One good reason for an angled stance.

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by lansao, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. lansao

    lansao Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Taking an angled stance at 45º off the line running perpendicular to central line (straight line connecting your heart to your opponent's) reduces the width of the 6 gates (or 4 depending on lineage) by 31.25%.

    38789906_463971707417179_5739563671810473984_n.jpg
     
  2. Martial D

    Martial D Master of Arts

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,632
    Likes Received:
    509
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Put on some gloves for 5 minutes and you wouldn't need all that math to get there.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Funny Funny x 2
  3. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    1,128
    Trophy Points:
    253
    i am again going to go back to my concept from your other thread. your looking at the problem from an engineering perspective and it is limiting your field of understanding. your missing factors that need to be entered into the equation.

    It often happens that those who discuss war, taking the weapon for the starting point, assume unhesitatingly that the man called to serve it will always use it as contemplated and orders by the regulations. But such a being, throwing off his variable nature to become an impassive pawn, is a creature born of the musing of the library, and not a real man. Man is flesh and blood; he is body and soul. And , strong as the soul often is. It cannot dominate the body to the point where there will not be a revolt in the face of destruction.
    Ardant Du Picq 1870 French Army

    in the same way your starting point is one of physics not of psychology. on paper your thesis looks sound but in real practice it has been proven through out history that in combat a bladed stance often fails because the attacker can press you into turning away and giving your back. Du picq documents battle after battle where the statistics show most deaths occured by wounds to the back.
    it has been my belief that a more square stance is more psychologically strong even though you do have more exposed area.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. lansao

    lansao Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I put them on enough to ask why it works. Not a lot of math here either, basically a triangle's worth of geometry.

    I personally learn best by referencing what I know in one domain (fighting) against others (math, music, surfing) and drawing connections. No substitute for regular sparring with people from different arts but feel it's worth sharing these thoughts here so that others who think similarly can access them.

    ~30% was really the interesting finding to me anyway. I knew it was narrower, but didn't realize effectively a third of the width.
     
  5. lansao

    lansao Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Interesting insights here. Trying to boil down the points so I can address them one at a time:
    1.) "engineering perspective and it is limiting your field of understanding"
    Couldn't see this as further from the case. I see it as additive to my existing intuition/practiced understanding of the art. My background is in music composition and engineering so I'll often bank off analogies from one to advance my understanding of another.

    2.) "...become an impassive pawn, is a creature born of the musing of the library, and not a real man." Du Picq
    He's wrong on this point. Real men read books and know basic math. They exist, in reality, I've seen them. There's also irony here in that Du Picq was one of them: "In sum, Ardant du Picq was a talented analyst and, had he lived, would have gained a fine reputation as a military historian."
    Ardant du Picq - Wikipedia

    3.) "in real practice it has been proven through out history that in combat a bladed stance often fails because the attacker can press you into turning away"
    Can you show me the proof? Curious to read more. Also, can you define "often?"

    4.) "square stance is more psychologically strong"
    I don't believe this to be true. Others can chime in here but I know that I go into wide-eyed, flared-nostril, wide-grinning, deep-breathing, emotionally detached, angry dog, terminator mode when in a fight. A squared stance won't change that or make me feel different ways about stuff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  6. DaveB

    DaveB 3rd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    58
    If I am understanding you, your saying that taking 45d angle away from where you're opponent is facing reduces the available targets he/she can reach?

    Or by angled stance do you mean having one shoulder further back than the other?
     
  7. lansao

    lansao Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Whole core including shoulders angled at 45d, centerline and feet are perpendicular to that 45d angle. Side note, 45d is a reference point. Just a diagonal between squared off and shoulder in front of shoulder (like a fencer). if you go steeper you get a narrower target but then you might fall into the trap hoshin points out of giving up your back.

    The drawing is more of a mathematical proof than a model of the stance. It's showing an areal view of shoulders (on the left the two lines with "8" pointing at them and then lining up a 2d print of 4 gates to visually demonstrate the difference in width.

    That said, another good analogy is a simple compass. Imagine you're standing at the center of a large compass on the floor, your opponent is North, and your feet are on the East West line. If you were wearing skis, they'd be pointing North East, and your median plane/centerline (running perpendicular to your shoulders, is pointing North East too. Your shoulder/reciprocal line (straight line from shoulder to shoulder) is pointing North West. The North South line is your central/target line. Attaching a shitty sketch to illustrate.

    Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 10.11.59 AM.png

    In particular for the Wing Chun folks, aside from narrowing the target, it makes the gates smaller (which is the same thing but within the context of our zone defense tactics).
     
  8. DaveB

    DaveB 3rd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Stance optimisation is really a function of distance.

    The closer you are the more square one should be to enable more even use of your limbs.
    Since you are close evasion is theoretically harder than entanglement of the opponent.

    The more you increase your distance the more bladed the stance becomes as you make use of distance to defend yourself by lowering your profile and increasing linear mobility (see for example the stance used in WC Pole). Distance reduces the opponents potential to reach your back due to the need to travel.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. lansao

    lansao Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I do believe stance should adapt with range and footwork although I'm not sure I'd say the closer the more square you should be. It depends on whether or not you are "squared off" with your opponent versus cutting in on the outside.

    I should also have clarified that the post is not about saying one is better than the other (squared vs angled). Just sharing an interesting new attribute of the angled stance I hadn't realized before (namely the ~30% reduction in width).
     
  10. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    1,951
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks Dave. I was trying to compose a reply to Lan Sao and you saved me the trouble ...and said it better, too!

    Another think to consider is what weapons you are using. Short weapons (elbows, fists, short paired knives, etc.) that bring both hands into play are more easily applied when squared-up with an opponent. Using longer weapons (long-fist, longer ranged kicks, single sticks or blades, etc.) where one side is primarily used for both attack and defense typically favor a bladed position.

    For example, in close-range VT work where both hands are equally in play, I use a squared-up position. When fighting with single stick in Escrima, where my weapon is used for both offense and defense, a power-side forward bladed stance works best.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Martial D

    Martial D Master of Arts

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,632
    Likes Received:
    509
    Trophy Points:
    178
    That figure sort of assumes both people are stationary though right? Both parties will usually be moving to maximize their angle while minimizing the other guys. In reality it would be more of a variation +/- type of game.

    I get you are talking ideally tho.
     
  12. lansao

    lansao Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Totally, it's a snapshot in time and just showing a single set-point at 45d. Actual angles will totally vary but hopefully within some range that offsets center.
     
  13. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    312
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    I like the 45 degrees because it is the closest to 0 and 180 degrees at the same time, an arm with elbow at 45 degrees can defend or attack...

    Other than that, the actual angle in use depends on each one training and skill and changes every instant according to the situation, intentions...

    All angles are fine. Just one cannot be good at everything at once so we get better at some angles and then we believe there is an universal optimum.
     
  14. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    312
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Thanks for this. It complements what I omitted in my post. It took me years to understand this and to overcome the square vs sideways stance dilemma. This is free gold and can save years of ideological conflicts for some. ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    1,128
    Trophy Points:
    253
    for firearm training this debate has been going on for a really long time; weaver VS isosceles
     
  16. Martial D

    Martial D Master of Arts

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,632
    Likes Received:
    509
    Trophy Points:
    178
    So you would stand square to an opponent, or keep them on your outside gate where they can hit you but you can't hit them? I dunno about ALL angles..
     
  17. pdg

    pdg Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1,712
    Likes Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Your numbers are slightly off...

    If you do the calculation properly you'll see the difference is actually 29.29%.

    (Your width becomes the hypotenuse, square that figure, divide by two, the square root of the result is your new apparent frontal width. Because it's effectively a right angle triangle we can skip trig and dive straight in with Pythagorean theory - but I can trig the crap out of it if you like ;))

    But the story doesn't end there.

    There is a secondary issue too, a person is not two dimensional.

    The physical property of having depth affects the reduction of apparent frontal area - you might be getting as low as a 20% reduction depending on build, and even less if arm position varies.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. pdg

    pdg Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1,712
    Likes Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Figures to support:

    Using your "8".

    8 squared = 64

    64/2=32

    Sqrt32= 5.6568

    8-5.6568=2.3432

    2.3432/8*100=29.29
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. DaveB

    DaveB 3rd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    58
    What is really interesting for me is the relationship between distance and fighting guard.

    When I analyse all these areas of a traditional wing chun fighting pose I see:
    Squared shoulders indicating close quarter combat;
    A vertically narrow stance that deemphasises grappling;
    Narrow foot placement that, counter to the shoulder/chest position, indicates strong emphasis on linear distancing;
    The backwards weighting on the stance matches the squared shoulders and hollow chest in emphasising close quarters, but slows down linear entry, suggesting emphasis on receiving attacks and the use of pivoting to gain advantage;
    And a staggered hand guard indicating mid-range combat that balances distancing with blocking/entanglement for defence.

    In summary the classic wing chun fighting pose is a touch confused between optimisation for mid-range combat and close range combat.

    To specialise at mid you would need to move your weight forward or to the center with a slightly wider stance and the 45d angled body discussed above.

    To specialise in close the stance should widen to shoulder width and the rear hand move forwards to a similar distance as the lead hand.

    Of course this is just my non chunner analysis, more for fun than anything else.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,844
    Likes Received:
    1,407
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
    After position your opponent's back leg, if his leading leg can reach to both of your legs, your base is too narrow. that's one of the square stance weakness.
     

Share This Page