Cat Posture

1. Start with the feet together
2. Turn left toes out to the corner
3. Bend both knees
4. Slide the right foot forward about 12 inches in front of the left on the toes
Keep the weight on the left leg with the knee bent.

The Cat Posture is one of the most versatile stances for defense. The Cat Posture is used from everything to a basic guard position to trapping the opponent’s legs or feet for takedowns.

The Cat Posture has the rear leg bent and holding about 90% of the body’s weight. The forward leg is placed about 12 inches forward of the rear leg with the heels aligned. The toes of the forward leg lightly touch the floor with the knee bent sharply. Only 10% of the weight is on this leg. Remember to keep the back straight.

The first thing that the Cat posture gives you is the freedom to move in almost any direction. You can use that forward leg to move forward into any other posture such as the lunge, horse, and steal stance. [You can also move to the side or rear from the cat into the same postures.] If you cross the forward leg over the rear leg, it gives you the cross posture or the sit down posture. This allows you to spin or sweep easily.

If someone tries to kick low into your shins, you can quickly pick up your forward leg to a hanging or crane posture… and then use that same leg to kick your attacker. The forward leg kick from the Cat Posture is also used as an offensive tactic to quickly strike opponents in the lower extremities or to keep them at bay.

When moving forward on an attacker you can quickly trap the opponent’s leg or foot. Then you can easily throw them down, unbalance their position, or sweep their foot. You can also use the forward leg for quick half sweeps sometimes called the Iron Broom. The forward leg stays flat on the floor, as the rear foot makes a half-circle to sweep an opponent’s forward leg. Used with an arm technique, you can sweep them off their feet.

The Cat Posture also helps you generate more power in a technique by using the body’s forward momentum for punching and kicking. For example, to do a turn side kick, step forward and then execute the kick. This allows you to transfer your entire body momentum forward into the kick. The same is true for a simple punching technique. Stand in a lunge posture and perform a drilling fist punch. Next, try that same punch form the Cat Posture. Slide the forward leg out into the lunge as you throw a drilling fist strike. You’ll notice a big difference in the power that you can generate. The same idea is applied to other sports. When you watch a pitcher throw a baseball or a quarterback throw the football. They, of course, are not starting from a Cat Posture, but they still step forward with the forward leg before throwing the ball.

Another great use of the Cat Posture is covering distance between you and your opponent. You can quickly move into the critical distance zone (the distance at which point you can strike an opponent or be struck by an opponent). This quick step forward allows you to put forward pressure on an attacker and keep them off balance.

The Cat Posture is one of the simplest and most versatile postures in Kung Fu and is used for a variety of reasons from defensive to offensive.