Hard vs. Soft, with a twist

CuongNhuka

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
2,596
Reaction score
31
Location
NE
Thats the basic idea. Do you perfer a strong static stance, or a loose mobile stance. And please explain why.
 
OP
CuongNhuka

CuongNhuka

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
2,596
Reaction score
31
Location
NE
Sparring, fighting, anything. Pick a situation and run with it.
 
OP
CuongNhuka

CuongNhuka

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
2,596
Reaction score
31
Location
NE
Then the next quesiton becomes, which in what situation, and why. Kinda the premise of the thread.
 

Hand Sword

Grandmaster
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
6,545
Reaction score
61
Location
In the Void (Where still, this merciless GOD torme
Well....If it's real fighting then you'd probably go for the loose and mobile kind in order to move with the action. Though, deep static ones come into play as well, such as a grappling situation. Hard ones usually come with forms/kata practice and in training to strengthen the legs. You can't go with one over the other really. You have to bounce back and forth, using which is the best at the time. Generally speaking though, people don't like to use the deep, hard, stances and prefer to use loose ones-they are much easier to pull off, and feel more comfortable.
 
OP
CuongNhuka

CuongNhuka

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
2,596
Reaction score
31
Location
NE
Let me explain what I mean a little diifernitly. I mean more like, Bruce Lee's stance, or the way alot of MMA fighter stand.
Bruce Lee kept his body moving, constantly shiting the position of his hands, alterning were his feet are placed. Most (I empasise "most" as the key word) MMA fighters only really shift when they're trying to fake their opponent out.

I mean it more like that. Constanly shifting and swaying, or solid. Keep in mind you can do either in a deep strong stance or a light mobile one.
 

Hand Sword

Grandmaster
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
6,545
Reaction score
61
Location
In the Void (Where still, this merciless GOD torme
Actually you can't. Standing in a deep horse stance or any stance restricts mobility. MMA fighters use both depending on their orientation. Look at Anderson Silva's fight with Chris Leben. Upright and quick. Kick Boxed him into a knockout. Did the same thing to Rich Franklin. Why? He was a kickboxer. Others take a wider stance to stop the BJJ/wrestler shoots. Fighting them, you can stand deeper because they aren't too into kicking. They're not into boxing either. They only dabble on those skills. The punches are wide and the kicks flick. When they circle the ring, they are loose and fluid. Squared up with each other deeper because of the inevitable shoot. Standing like that helps with sprawling, and preventing the wrap up of both legs. On the other hand,Bruce Lee took the view of real fighting. Fast and mobile. And again, if you're in a street fight, both come into play.
 

charyuop

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
659
Reaction score
14
Location
Ponca City, Oklahoma
IMHO strong stance is good for kata and that's it. In a real situation (that can be sparring, real fight or ring) you don't want to be strongly planted. Whatever you do creates a reaction in the opponent or the opponent can start off in an unescpected way. You always have to allow your body the opportunity to move out of a certain situation in any direction it requires.
My Sensei often tells me that when I move I have to avoid to end up keeping the whole weight on one foot so I can change direction in any time, even in the middle of a step...of course that's easy said, but hard to do hee hee.

That is the main difference that I noticed when I added Aikido to my Tai Chi training. They are both soft arts with insode the concept of receiving and leading the opponent energy, but mobility is pretty different. In Tai Chi (well, for what I do of course) you end in a position where your body weight is on one foot (or most of the body weight) so to move rapidaly to avoid an attack first you need to switch foot. In Aikido on the other hand changing rapidly direction doesn't require hard weight shifting because your weight is well centered, thus to shift on one foot or the other the movement required is smaller and it saves time.
I wouldn't like to say (or add LOL) stupid things coz I don't know the Art, but seeing some video it seems to me that BaGua has the same way of centering the weight of Aikido. And, maybe not so much by chance, they are both arts created with the idea of fighting multiple opponents...
 

qi-tah

Brown Belt
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
436
Reaction score
1
Location
Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia
That is the main difference that I noticed when I added Aikido to my Tai Chi training. They are both soft arts with insode the concept of receiving and leading the opponent energy, but mobility is pretty different. In Tai Chi (well, for what I do of course) you end in a position where your body weight is on one foot (or most of the body weight) so to move rapidaly to avoid an attack first you need to switch foot. In Aikido on the other hand changing rapidly direction doesn't require hard weight shifting because your weight is well centered, thus to shift on one foot or the other the movement required is smaller and it saves time.
I wouldn't like to say (or add LOL) stupid things coz I don't know the Art, but seeing some video it seems to me that BaGua has the same way of centering the weight of Aikido. And, maybe not so much by chance, they are both arts created with the idea of fighting multiple opponents...

I'm probably just going to showing my ignorance here, but here goes anyway...
icon12.gif


Comparing Ba gua and Aikido, it seems like there are a couple of different ways of being centred. I mainly practice Ba gua, but have dabbled off and on in Aikido (Takemusu) and find the weighting to be quite different, although there is some similarity in the footwork. I find that i've had to make a concious effort to adopt that "hip cocked" slightly forward stance of Aikido, which seems to rely mainly on front foot pivoting and altering the distance between the feet to turn and change direction. Wheras the ba gua footwork seems to be more oriented toward a slightly backfooted stance, using a "searching" front foot to decide at the last split-second how to proceed.But then, Ba gua has a lot of kicks and leg locks and stuff in it, so that seems to make sense.

Apols to the aikido ppl if that analysis is incorrect however... :asian:

Going back to the original question, i'd pretty much stay with a short, fluid base in sparring, only moving into a wider stance when looking to sweep or grapple. But even then, a wide stance is not end point, just another transition.
 

tradrockrat

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
733
Reaction score
9
Location
my house
IMHO strong stance is good for kata and that's it. In a real situation (that can be sparring, real fight or ring) you don't want to be strongly planted.

That's the kind of thinking that causes people to slip and fall on their asses at the worst possible moment. There is a time and place for everything. You find yourself facing a real fight on loose gravel (wet leaves, etc.) or seriously uneven terrain and stances suddenly become "practical". Trust me. A guy light on his feet and bobbing around is just waiting for a good shove and he'll go down - I've seen it way more than once.
 

charyuop

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
659
Reaction score
14
Location
Ponca City, Oklahoma
I'm probably just going to showing my ignorance here, but here goes anyway...
icon12.gif


Comparing Ba gua and Aikido, it seems like there are a couple of different ways of being centred. I mainly practice Ba gua, but have dabbled off and on in Aikido (Takemusu) and find the weighting to be quite different, although there is some similarity in the footwork. I find that i've had to make a concious effort to adopt that "hip cocked" slightly forward stance of Aikido, which seems to rely mainly on front foot pivoting and altering the distance between the feet to turn and change direction. Wheras the ba gua footwork seems to be more oriented toward a slightly backfooted stance, using a "searching" front foot to decide at the last split-second how to proceed.But then, Ba gua has a lot of kicks and leg locks and stuff in it, so that seems to make sense.

Apols to the aikido ppl if that analysis is incorrect however... :asian:

As I said I don't know bagua, even tho I like the style alot, and my opinion was due to videos that I have watched.
As per Aikido, and here I quote I am a beginner, I don't see that leaning forward that you mentioned. It happens sometimes when we do excercises (since you know Aikido you will know Aikido words) of tenkan and irimi, but that has more a training purpose. The idea is to be ready to react with Uke so that he won't walk away and you stay planted on the spot, it is more an idea of connection. Basically the leaning forward has the idea of a continuing along in the direction Uke is going. I have noticed, for what I can remember now, that in every technique we have done so far, everytime I put all the weight on a single foot I cannot finish the technique coz it prevents my movements. But this is just my opinion...
 

charyuop

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
659
Reaction score
14
Location
Ponca City, Oklahoma
That's the kind of thinking that causes people to slip and fall on their asses at the worst possible moment. There is a time and place for everything. You find yourself facing a real fight on loose gravel (wet leaves, etc.) or seriously uneven terrain and stances suddenly become "practical". Trust me. A guy light on his feet and bobbing around is just waiting for a good shove and he'll go down - I've seen it way more than once.

I think here it has to do with what you mean hard and soft position. If with soft you mean a sloppy dancing position, then yes that wouldn't be good on good surface either. If with soft we mean a relaxed standing position with close feet ready to spring in any direction, then I think it is good. The person in front of you would have the same chances of falling on a slippery surface that you would in a soft position (as I intend it per soft).
I think it all comes down with timing. With a soft relaxed stance you have more reactivity, thus you can have a better timing. Of course if your main purpose is blocking and hit back at that point even a hard stance can work fine...tho leaving no time to react if the attacker does something unexpected.
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
430
Location
Cromwell,CT
Thats the basic idea. Do you perfer a strong static stance, or a loose mobile stance. And please explain why.

Then the next quesiton becomes, which in what situation, and why. Kinda the premise of the thread.

Let me explain what I mean a little diifernitly. I mean more like, Bruce Lee's stance, or the way alot of MMA fighter stand.
Bruce Lee kept his body moving, constantly shiting the position of his hands, alterning were his feet are placed. Most (I empasise "most" as the key word) MMA fighters only really shift when they're trying to fake their opponent out.

I mean it more like that. Constanly shifting and swaying, or solid. Keep in mind you can do either in a deep strong stance or a light mobile one.

I would have to say moving in a more relaxed stance is better IMO than a rooted one. During my forms practice, I stick to the stances that are in the forms. As far as sparring goes, my footwork and stance resembles more of a boxer. You want to be able to have movement, but at the same time, when you're ready to strike, you need to have good body and foot position, otherwise, the strike won't be as effective as it could be. If I'm trying to spar or fight someone in a wide, deep horse stance, my movement is going to be limited, in addition to exposing my leg.

Mike
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,460
Reaction score
732
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
it depends on what I am doing.
If I am in a street fight I try to keep moving. I do want to be in a solid stance when I strike
If I am sparring I may take a hard solid stance and decide not to move but to try strength against strength. Or I may take a solid stance then switch to moving when my opponent attacks.
 
OP
CuongNhuka

CuongNhuka

Senior Master
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
2,596
Reaction score
31
Location
NE
I think here it has to do with what you mean hard and soft position. If with soft you mean a sloppy dancing position, then yes that wouldn't be good on good surface either. If with soft we mean a relaxed standing position with close feet ready to spring in any direction, then I think it is good. The person in front of you would have the same chances of falling on a slippery surface that you would in a soft position (as I intend it per soft).

OK, you hit the issue, and missed it completely. Ignore width, depth, and weight placement of the stance. Not what I mean, forget it, ignore it, it is irrelevent to this discussion.

I'll try anouther example. Look at pro boxers. At Mini-Fly Weight (lightest weight in pro-boxing). They are constantly shifting their feet in and out, widening and shortening their stance. Shitfing up and down, increasing and decreaseing the depth of their stance. They shift their weight placement, increasing the weight on one foot, and then decrease it. They sway from their hips, in whats called "bobbing and weaving". They shift where their hands are.
Now compare that to Super Heavy Weights (the heaviest). Their foot placement remains reletivly constant. As does depth and weight placement. There is a minimum of bobbing and weaving, and the hands dont really move.
Now do you understand what I mean by loose or static?
 

Hand Sword

Grandmaster
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
6,545
Reaction score
61
Location
In the Void (Where still, this merciless GOD torme
The bobbing and weaving comes when both are close enough to exchange combinations. Doing that, yes their stances are wide. however when the action is moving around the ring, or when one at a time they throw punches at the other, the stances are loose. Heavy weight fighters, from what I've seen are too lazy and/or big to go through all of that work as you explained. Though, I have seen some in the past that perform boxing great. Bottom line is: when fighting for real, your stances and movement will go with the flow, so to speak. As the scene changes, your stances, movements change with it. You'll notice that you are loose and fast when in punching/kicking range. Wide and sturdy inclose to grappling range to stabilize and support weight and cover up if necessary.

As for the above, width, depth, and weight placement of stances can't be ignored. That is what determines stances loose, static, etc.. Those issues are indeed relevant to the discussion that you brought up. Perhaps you should have thought out what you wanted to ask better before starting a thread. You kind of left everything open by saying "anything" and "just go with it". Remember there are lots of factors that go into it, just like anything else. When the course is run, you'll have used both types of stances, as well as others.
 

qi-tah

Brown Belt
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
436
Reaction score
1
Location
Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia
OK, you hit the issue, and missed it completely. Ignore width, depth, and weight placement of the stance. Not what I mean, forget it, ignore it, it is irrelevent to this discussion.

I'll try anouther example. Look at pro boxers. At Mini-Fly Weight (lightest weight in pro-boxing). They are constantly shifting their feet in and out, widening and shortening their stance. Shitfing up and down, increasing and decreaseing the depth of their stance. They shift their weight placement, increasing the weight on one foot, and then decrease it. They sway from their hips, in whats called "bobbing and weaving". They shift where their hands are.
Now compare that to Super Heavy Weights (the heaviest). Their foot placement remains reletivly constant. As does depth and weight placement. There is a minimum of bobbing and weaving, and the hands dont really move.
Now do you understand what I mean by loose or static?

Maybe you just answered yr own question... lighter fighters have to move around a lot and be very mobile, 'cause that's an important part of their strength. Being small myself, i can appreciate this... i can't just stand and deliver like some of the bigger boys in my class can.
 

qi-tah

Brown Belt
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
436
Reaction score
1
Location
Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia
As per Aikido, and here I quote I am a beginner, I don't see that leaning forward that you mentioned. It happens sometimes when we do excercises (since you know Aikido you will know Aikido words) of tenkan and irimi, but that has more a training purpose. The idea is to be ready to react with Uke so that he won't walk away and you stay planted on the spot, it is more an idea of connection. Basically the leaning forward has the idea of a continuing along in the direction Uke is going. I have noticed, for what I can remember now, that in every technique we have done so far, everytime I put all the weight on a single foot I cannot finish the technique coz it prevents my movements. But this is just my opinion...

Hmm... i think i know what you mean, but that wasn't really what i was trying to say. I said "slightly forward stance: 'cause i didn't know what else to call it, but it really is a centred stance as you say. But it is centered in a different way to what i am used to with ba gua... with the Aikido i was taught, the back hip was cocked, with the weight slightly coming onto the front foot but the grounding coming mainly through the straigtened rear leg. I guess the distribution of weight might be about 40/60 (rear/front)? And the feet are generally fairly close together - certainly not a deep bow stance or anything. It still relys on quick, mobile, circular footwork, like ba gua, but the stances used by both arts seem almost opposite.

ok, going to shut up about this now before i get myself into trouble!
icon10.gif
 

FearlessFreep

Senior Master
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Messages
3,088
Reaction score
98
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Look at pro boxers. At Mini-Fly Weight (lightest weight in pro-boxing). They are constantly shifting their feet in and out, widening and shortening their stance. Shitfing up and down, increasing and decreaseing the depth of their stance. They shift their weight placement, increasing the weight on one foot, and then decrease it. They sway from their hips, in whats called "bobbing and weaving". They shift where their hands are.
Now compare that to Super Heavy Weights (the heaviest). Their foot placement remains reletivly constant. As does depth and weight placement. There is a minimum of bobbing and weaving, and the hands dont really move.
Now do you understand what I mean by loose or static?


You are seeing a dichotomy in what is really a continuum. The light boxers moves one way and the heavy boxer moves... well, really in the same way but to a lesser degree, simply as a function of their weight, not a function of philosophy
 

Latest Discussions

Top