A few perfect techniques

Clinton Shaffer

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Can anyone here name an empty hand style that utilizes a relatively small number of techniques and focuses on their perfection?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Sanda system.

Straight punch - jab, cross.
Horizontal punch - left hook, right hook.
Vertical punch - overhand, uppercut.

For offense, all you need is to use your 1st punch to create an opening. Your 2nd punch then punch through that opening.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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Praying mantis system.

- Use your right hand to grab on your opponent's right wrist.
- Use your left hand to grab on your opponent's right elbow.
- Release right hand, and punch at your opponent's face.

Brendan-switch-hand-1.gif
 

geezer

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Can anyone here name an empty hand style that utilizes a relatively small number of techniques and focuses on their perfection?

Simple? Efficient? Focused? ...Some branches of Wing Chun. Well, maybe not relative to Western boxing, ....but relative to most other Chinese MA. Yeah WC is simple and narrowly focused in scope. It has far fewer forms, relatively few techniques, and a huge emphasis on perfection, timing, and so-called "sensitivity" training (i.e. sensing another's energies and exploiting them, etc.).

Unfortunately, many systems keep expanding their curriculum and get further and further from this ideal of simplicity or "less is more". Since there is no competitive outlet specifically for WC and most students aren't "fighters" anyway, there is more money to be made by selling more and more techniques to keep the student "hooked" and paying to learn the next new thing. Most people won't hang around for years just to polish and perfect what they've already been shown.

...Also, there is an ego component that keeps bloating the system. Practitioners and instructors don't like to admit that their system has limits and when faced with techniques that are outside the system they always say things like "Oh we we have ____ too!" Fill in the blank with whatever are WC really doesn't have in any depth. Grappling, for example.
 

geezer

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MMA seems to include a fairly wide range of skills, ....but yeah, like any other competitive sport, focusing on what works best will always winnow out the less useful stuff. After all, you only have so much time to train, so it makes sense that you will spend that time where you get the greatest return.
 

isshinryuronin

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Boxing does have fewer techniques as fewer weapons are allowed in the sport's rules - no grabs, elbows, kicks, sweeps, etc. In systems where there are few, or no, rules, more techniques will be found. Still, one need not master all the moves as not all will be natural for and fit the individual practitioner.

We can pick and choose the ones we like (up to a point) and spend our time perfecting those. It's just important the moves we do practice the most will take care of the situations we are most likely find ourselves in. In any given situation there are usually 3 or 4 techniques that can be used. If we find two that seem to fit us best, most of the time we'll be able to handle the situation. One of those two moves should work well enough to put us in a superior position.

Who needs six ways to get out of anything? But it's good that there are six ways - that gives us a choice of those that work best for us. Too many choices takes time to process. I'd rather cut down on the choices and make the ones I like instantaneous.
 

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Patty Cake, Bro Handshakes, and double dutch



 

drop bear

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MMA seems to include a fairly wide range of skills, ....but yeah, like any other competitive sport, focusing on what works best will always winnow out the less useful stuff. After all, you only have so much time to train, so it makes sense that you will spend that time where you get the greatest return.

Yeah. Boxing kick boxing and so on have less complexity. But they are also doing less things. So I picked MMA as an example where almost all the variables are also covered.

Also the moves in MMA are the moves you learn as a beginner. If you look at the statistically successful techniques from the absolute best guys. They are mostly things like double leg take downs or rear naked chokes.

And the extra variables tend to simplify the method a bit. So in jujitsu you might need a lot of complicated guard passes but in MMA you don't because you can hit people untill they give up a position.
 
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Clinton Shaffer

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Interestingly, wing chun and western boxing were two systems I thought of when posing this question. Having only limited knowledge on both of them, I didnt know how accurate such an assumption would have been.

I hadnt thought of Muay Thai but I can easily see that as such a style as well.
 
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Clinton Shaffer

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Boxing does have fewer techniques as fewer weapons are allowed in the sport's rules - no grabs, elbows, kicks, sweeps, etc. In systems where there are few, or no, rules, more techniques will be found. Still, one need not master all the moves as not all will be natural for and fit the individual practitioner.

We can pick and choose the ones we like (up to a point) and spend our time perfecting those. It's just important the moves we do practice the most will take care of the situations we are most likely find ourselves in. In any given situation there are usually 3 or 4 techniques that can be used. If we find two that seem to fit us best, most of the time we'll be able to handle the situation. One of those two moves should work well enough to put us in a superior position.

Who needs six ways to get out of anything? But it's good that there are six ways - that gives us a choice of those that work best for us. Too many choices takes time to process. I'd rather cut down on the choices and make the ones I like instantaneous.

This last point you make is one on which I couldnt not agree with you more.
 

JowGaWolf

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Who needs six ways to get out of anything? But it's good that there are six ways - that gives us a choice of those that work best for us. Too many choices takes time to process. I'd rather cut down on the choices and make the ones I like instantaneous.
I'm the opposite on this. I like the choices. Choices = Variety and the more variety I have the harder it will be for my opponent to figure me out. I can be really good at 2 things but if my opponent figures those 2 things out then I won't win. When an opponent has to deal with multiple things, it makes it more difficult for him/ her to process the variety.
 

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Boxing does have fewer techniques as fewer weapons are allowed in the sport's rules - no grabs, elbows, kicks, sweeps, etc. In systems where there are few, or no, rules, more techniques will be found. Still, one need not master all the moves as not all will be natural for and fit the individual practitioner.

We can pick and choose the ones we like (up to a point) and spend our time perfecting those. It's just important the moves we do practice the most will take care of the situations we are most likely find ourselves in. In any given situation there are usually 3 or 4 techniques that can be used. If we find two that seem to fit us best, most of the time we'll be able to handle the situation. One of those two moves should work well enough to put us in a superior position.

Who needs six ways to get out of anything? But it's good that there are six ways - that gives us a choice of those that work best for us. Too many choices takes time to process. I'd rather cut down on the choices and make the ones I like instantaneous.
While you have an argument here, it's irrelevant to the question. In a style with more techniques, the style does not focus on just a few techniques. An individual can, but the style is not centered around mastering a few hand techniques. Boxing, as a style, is.
 

isshinryuronin

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I'm the opposite on this. I like the choices. Choices = Variety and the more variety I have the harder it will be for my opponent to figure me out. I can be really good at 2 things but if my opponent figures those 2 things out then I won't win. When an opponent has to deal with multiple things, it makes it more difficult for him/ her to process the variety.

I agree with you on this. I thought about this perspective as well. In competition, there is some time to figure things, true. But in real combat, there is usually little to no time for the opponent, or you, to develop/detect a pattern. I was going to add in that you can learn other techniques that you can throw into the mix as feints, without having to practice / be able to execute them as well as your main tools that you practice more.

For example, I can fake a head kick without actually being able to get my foot all the way up. Just the knee coming up and body position signal a (possible) head kick is on the way and cause the opponent to react as if it was. Like bluffing in poker (though I would not throw the same fake more than once, maybe twice.) So you can present choices to the opponent. By the time he realizes I can't kick higher than his chest, the fight should be over.

Just for clarification, I wasn't suggesting just learning and practicing 2 techniques to use in a fight. I meant 2 techniques for dealing with each specific situation occurring in a fight. For example, 2 ways of dealing with an arm grab, 2 ways to block a low kick, 2 ways to deal with the opponent circling you, etc. There may be, as I said, 3 or 5 ways to deal with each of these, but 2 would suffice.

I hope these details help to better explain my thoughts.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Who needs six ways to get out of anything?
In Chinese wrestling, there are 4 sides and 2 doors principles. You can attack:

1. outside of your opponent's right leg.
2. inside of your opponent's right leg.
3. inside of your opponent's left leg.
4. outside of your opponent's left leg.
5. in front of him.
6. behind of him.

You will need to learn at least 6 techniques to cover all situations.
 

isshinryuronin

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While you have an argument here, it's irrelevant to the question. In a style with more techniques, the style does not focus on just a few techniques. An individual can, but the style is not centered around mastering a few hand techniques. Boxing, as a style, is.

True. I diverged from the initial question to bring up some other points, relating to (as you observed) an individual, rather than the style, in regards to Clinton's premise of fewer techniques executed expertly vs (as I read into it) more techniques executed perhaps not as well.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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True. I diverged from the initial question to bring up some other points, relating to (as you observed) an individual, rather than the style, in regards to Clinton's premise of fewer techniques executed expertly vs (as I read into it) more techniques executed perhaps not as well.
I actually fully agree with your points. Basically any style can have people focus and perfect the techniques that they find most useful. Boxing just happens to already have done that work. Which is great if you want to save the effort of deciding the techniques to perfect. But not as good if you want to personalize it for yourself.
 

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I agree with you on this. I thought about this perspective as well. In competition, there is some time to figure things, true. But in real combat, there is usually little to no time for the opponent, or you, to develop/detect a pattern. I was going to add in that you can learn other techniques that you can throw into the mix as feints, without having to practice / be able to execute them as well as your main tools that you practice more.

For example, I can fake a head kick without actually being able to get my foot all the way up. Just the knee coming up and body position signal a (possible) head kick is on the way and cause the opponent to react as if it was. Like bluffing in poker (though I would not throw the same fake more than once, maybe twice.) So you can present choices to the opponent. By the time he realizes I can't kick higher than his chest, the fight should be over.

Just for clarification, I wasn't suggesting just learning and practicing 2 techniques to use in a fight. I meant 2 techniques for dealing with each specific situation occurring in a fight. For example, 2 ways of dealing with an arm grab, 2 ways to block a low kick, 2 ways to deal with the opponent circling you, etc. There may be, as I said, 3 or 5 ways to deal with each of these, but 2 would suffice.

I hope these details help to better explain my thoughts.
I would say that in competition, variety is much more important, especially in the modern era when people study video of their opponents in order to figure out their patterns and whatnot. So constant variety is more important.

In self defense, if you did the exact same thing in defending yourself against five different attackers on five different occasions who all happened to attack you in the same way, that is a victory in all cases. Variety doesnt matter so much. Nobody gets points for creativity in self defense.
 
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