L is for L-stance

      Comments Off on L is for L-stance

During April, I’m writing 26 posts for the A to Z Blog Challenge. I’m combining my skills as a writer, a life coach, and a martial artist (2nd degree black belt in ITF Taekwondo) to create a series of posts about applying aspects of TKD to life outside of martial arts. Whenever possible, I’ll include a little Taekwondoodle to illustrate what I’m talking about.

L-stance looks a lot like you imagine it would.

Say it was a left l-stance. Your feet, are facing two slightly different directions and they are 1.5 shoulder widths apart (measuring from the outside of your left foot to your right big toe.) Your left toes would be pointing almost toward 12 o’clock,your right toes would be facing almost toward 3 o’clock. Most of your weight is on your left leg and your left hip is pushed outward. (my taekwondoodle will follow later)

The details are slightly complex but the value of the stance is clear. L-stance not only keeps you a bit further from your opponent than other stances, it also lets you easily kick with one leg. You keep most of your weight on your back leg so your front leg is in position to deliver a kick.*

a person in a white martial arts uniform, their body is facing the viewer, their right arm is extended across their body in a punch, their left arm is at their side. Their right foot is pointing toward the viewer, their left is pointing to the left.

It turns out that an L-stance is really challenging for me to draw. 🙂

It’s an extremely useful stance because it sets you up to do what you need to do. It gets you right where you need to be to make the next move effective.

You can see where I am going here, right?

If you know what you need to do, it is very useful to set yourself up to do it easily.

Chefs often cut and measure their ingredients into little bowls before they cook.

Artists set up their supplies before they begin.

Mechanics bring a cart of tools near the car they are working on.

No matter what you are working on, it is helpful to be ready for the next step.

And it is useful to practice getting into that position.

I practice l-stance regularly so I can be ready when I have to use it. Even though it is the step BEFORE the action I want to take, there is value in ensuring that that step goes smoothly, that I can rely on it to work well when I need it.

How do you think you could apply that idea in your life?

What do you need to have ready before your work begins? What preparation to do you need to do to ensure that your work is effective? Are you respecting the effort that goes into that preparation?**

No matter what your work is, it will be easier if you take the time to ‘set yourself up’ in advance.

That includes things like giving yourself enough time before a meeting to get your notes in order – for me, it involves having enough time before a meeting to ‘get my brain there’ (switching tasks can be challenging for people with ADHD, I need to build in that switch time). It includes things like having a container for your post-it notes on your desk.

Whatever the physical or mental tools of your trade, if you can plan just one step back from the action you must take, it will serve you well.

So, if you can get yourself into a metaphorical L-stance before you get ready to kick at the next item on your to do list, you will be better positioned for success.



*These aren’t the only reasons or circumstances for L-stance but recounting every circumstance would get dull.

**I took a great course from Cairene MacDonald that made a huge difference in how I approach my work life. One of the key things I took from her course was the idea that ‘preparing to work is work’. Previous to that, I would get annoyed at having to sort papers or dig out documents or make phone calls before I could write/plan/whatever.  After her course, I began to respect that just like you warm up before you get into the strenuous part of your workout, you have to do your preparation before you can work. You can see that this post is that same lesson dressed in different clothes, so thanks to Cairene for helping me get here. 🙂