Over the course of formal tactical schooling, I have come to the conclusion that the most simple and natural defensive fighting stance works best.
Since the dawn of time, man has used weapons to defend himself from the attacks of others. With the use of weapons came the ability to use those tools effectively. With each personal weapon system, mankind has experimented with a stable platform or stance in which to deploy that weapon. Different weapon systems required different platforms. Since humans are such creatures of habit and conditioning, the stance that best embraces their natural response to fear or a threat is probably the best platform to use. We have put together a video demonstrating some of these principles.
When under stress, we generally face what we are surprised by, we drop our base, shrug and roll our shoulders and bring our hands towards our face. This position is very similar to the fighter or boxer's stance. The feet are a little wider than shoulder width apart and slightly staggered. This basic and natural stance can be used for almost all personal defense weapon systems; be it empty hand, knife, baton, pistol, shotgun and carbine. The idea behind using the same platform is conditioning. If we only train one versatile defensive fighting stance, then no matter what weapon system we use, the repetitions will carry over to the others. In the end of the day, it will come down to your training, be consistent and put in tons of reps, it may save your life.
What's natural reaction when it comes to a defensive fighting stance?