I'm not sure if this should be added so I won't make a big description yet. I'll explain it first and see if people like it.
Most often this occurs when a fighter is supposed to be just PERFECT, but the problem is that the animator or choreographer (depending on whether it's live action or animated) doesn't actually know martial arts. As a result we get crazy "perfect" poses that are awkward as Hell. Alternately, we might find the character just standing there, not in a stance at all, yet the other characters assure us that their stance is absolutely flawless.
Differs from Artistic License – Martial Arts
, because that trope is all about flashy moves like spinning kicks and flying punches, whereas this is specifically about the character's stance.
A few examples:
- In Dragon Ball, when Goku fights the mummy in the Baba arc, his opponent keeps insisting that "his stance is perfect" and "I can't find a single opening anywhere on his body." When the camera pans over to show us Goku he's just standing there with his hands at his sides, completely undefended.
- And an example of Type 1: Death the Kid's truly awkward "Mortal Sin Stance" from Soul Eater. Doubles as Gun Fu, but we do see him use it without his weapons as well.