Also known as ready stance, this is the core of all our physical skills.  Demonstrate stance and have participants try it out.  Offer encouragement and feedback as necessary.

Key Points:

Feet spread shoulder-width apart, one slightly in front of the other.  Knees slightly bent, trunk lowered, body solid and balanced.  Arms up and protecting the core, one hand slightly higher and in front of the other, elbows held close in.  Mind and senses alert.  Breathing deeply.

We like this stance because it is strong, confident and versatile.  The wide, sturdy legs and trunk provide balance, as well as readiness to move in any direction.  The hands out in front can be open, in a soothing gesture, or held in fists ready to throw strikes.  The extension of the hands in front of the body is a confident claiming and holding of personal space.  The stance can be modified for use in a seated position, or with a baby in one arm.  While physical, the stance is also a state of mind, including alertness, reminders to breathe and positive self talk:  I can handle this.