horse stance Re: Was - Inspiration?



ok I'll ask...what purpose does that horse stance/reverse punch combo do for ya ? I can remember having my martial arts world rocked by one person....that will stay with you.
Nowadays, the reverse punch/horse stance drill doesn't do a blasted thing for me. :D For the beginner, it could help develop leg strength, a rooted stance, and proper 'traditional' punching. After they learn all that, it's pretty useless :D Of course, there are better ways to develop leg strength with modern training techniques, but I'm going with the context of a traditional, or classical, system. For a modern eclectic system, or one geared for pure self-defense, it's absolutely useless, and I'm more than willing to admit that. I just come from a traditional background, is all.

For example, since I'm training my brother with self-defense stuff, I'm not going to make him stand around in a horse stance all day. Totally useless and a waste of both of our times.

Reverse punches from a horse stance teach a master key of rotation and it's uses.
This is true as well, Gou, but for some reason, I was reluctant to list that. I don't know why. Can't the same things be learned from punching from a front stance? I can't really say, since Okinawa-te rarely uses the front stance (zenkutsudachi).

I prefer to do it from a traditional boxer stance myself.
Same here...either a boxer's stance or my natural fighting stance. I can feel the hip rotation much better from these stances. Also, hook punches and uppercuts are more natural for me in those stances.

I've always used the horse stance as a tool to focus on the proper structure, alignment, and principles behind hand movements. When looking at the reverse punch, specifically, I tend to focus more on the incorporation of the uppercut as a masterkey and how a reverse punch is nothing more than an elongated and straightened uppercut. The horse helps allow proper body contouring and weapon positioning for maximum power potential without overloading the brain with footwork, hip movement, and pivots. Just my opinion, though.
OK. Please understand I only come from a JKD perspective on all of this and by no means want to knock "traditional" training. I have trained traditionally as well. That said...the benefits you mention from this are ineffective when it comes to proper punching. Traditional karatekas have had terrible punches. power without fluidness, or guard, hands at the hips or??????? Planted positions are dangerous habits to break. flat feet power based stances are part of the real fights stances break down, guard breaks down and everything is constantly shifting and fluid. If I were asked my opinion, I would say mobility is where martial arts lies. in short technique is not where it's at half as much as attributes. centerline domination with angles of attack and mobil footwork. knowledge of all four ranges and the ability to flow in and out of each of them.
There are simply much more effective and quick ways to teach someone. If you want to teach someone to hok have them hook if you want to teach jabs and crosses have them jab and cross.

All of this said, I have to also say that I enjoy some aspects of tradition. For me it is in the spirituality however and not the forms, stances or other things.
I can see your point, Jim. However, the way I was trained, when working on basics, or waza, or forms, we maintained 'classical' form, with hands chambered (way up high for us) and wide horse stances. However, my instructor always ensured we didn't spar like that. He would try to teach us to be light and mobile on our feet. Show us different variations of more effective fighting stances. Explain the difference between the traditional punch, and say, a boxer's punch. I guess some of the student's may have found this confusing, but I never had a problem with it.

Personally, planted positions never has really been a problem for me. Though I had trained extensively like that, I don't root myself when sparring. I do think my footwork could be more 'alive'...particularly in breaking away from too much linear movement.

In the long run, again, it all depends on the instructor and the students.

As for forms, I like doing them as puzzles to pry out techniques and principles. Not only my style's forms, but others I've learned along the way. I look at it as an intellectual exercise. Also, the kata of Okinawa-te are quite long compared to, say, Shotokan or TKD kata, so they are excellent workouts! :D

Hi all,
My background is American Kenpo which does not follow tradition for the sake of blindly following tradition. The horse, as a stance, does have its place in self defense as a transitional stance. But for basics, it can't be beat. While in the horse, there is no focus on the legs. All attention can be focused on the hand (or elbow) weapons. It allows the student to develop proper mechanics, alignment, structure, and principles. Now take the reverse punch. For maximum power, how much is there to learn? Body contouring, proper arm rotation to ensure no loss of power (how far the elbow rotates so as not to lose power out the elbow), and the initial arm drive similar to an uppercut. This is a start and can then be moved into a neutral or boxer's stance. Now lets take blocks or strikes. What are the angles that optimize power? What angle do you block to, strike to, what is the angle of the arm? What is the optimum structural alignment for the human body and its hand/arm motions? These are all things that are easier to grasp when not worried about incorporating hip movement, forward projection, settling, and dimensional stages of action.
With that said, does a black belt need to repeatedly use a horse? Tough question, depends on the person, not the belt. Are you losing power when executing these basics in self defense senarios? Then maybe head back to square one to fine tune your motion. It may only be a 10 minute horse stance session, but the benifit is there for anyone.
Just my thoughts,
I see what you're saying in how you use it. Personally In trying to think this I have found only one "horse" type of stance and that is in delivering a Dumog arm pull to a headbutt. Yet in this situation it's after some destruction and is followed up by rising into a centerline dominate clinch (typically, there are others to follow)
I don't know if you explained it's use in a self defense situation. You mentioned it but where would it be used. In any situation I have been in, if I were to have been in that stance meant that I had some kind of time to square off with an opponent... never had that kind of time. s%@t just happens too quick. It also meant that in the middle of it, if I did that with the above exception.......I would have been picked apart. Everything more often happens in micro seconds...In one fight you have been in 3 ranges, two different weapons, one on one and one on two, If you won (if there is such a thing..for this sake we will call walking home winning) if you won you have moved from 10 different lines of attack and utilized very little blocking, utilized major tools, and were offensive. all in a matter of seconds.

This from my perspective and experience...just trying to understand adults motivation to train traditionally. Not knock it really, just want to be able to understand. thanks for the help and future help
You've asked alot of street application questions and I'll do my best to answer. I'm not going to get into ranges but just try to cover the stance. My initial 2 posts were to cover the use of the horse and its relevance, now we'll move into application.
For AK, we have a neutral (boxer), forward and reverse bow stance. There are variations with knee bending, but I'll stay away from that for now. ;) As defense occurs on the street, you will not stay in one stance. To use all weapons (read rear hand) there will be the need to shift forward and then back. Now the horse stance falls between the neutral and reverse. This minute change can be used for power generation in a split second. Attacks from the side, multiple attacks, and so forth will call for a lot of mobility and the transition through this stance is inevitable.
A good example of an effective use of a horse stance is the yellow belt tech. sword and hammer. An opponent grabs you from your right flank and pulls. You comply with the action and step into your opponent, executing an outward handsword to the throat. Using their body for rebounding, you immediately come off the body and deliver a hammerfist to the solar plexis or groin while moving from your neutral to a horse. The targets aren't as important here as the stances. The hammerfist is delivered with the use of opposing forces, your weapon is traveling in the opposite direction as your body, but in fact your lead hip (right) is moving in unison.
Hope this helps
Hurm. I don't recall mentioning horse stances in combat. Okay, Jim, let's see what I can come up with :)

First, I doubt I would ever square off with someone in a horse stance. It's just, well, silly. Okinawa-te's side throw is done from a horse stance. Basically, you'd shoot in from a realistic fighting stance, end up in a horse behind the opponent, and basically toss them over your leg. So, more than an actual stance, in this case, it's part of the technique.

We have some escape techniques that utilize the horse stance for dropping the center of gravity. Again, more than a stance, it's part of the technique.

So, I guess it would be unlikely for me to use a horse stance as an actual fighting stance, but it does pop up in some form as part of techniques.

How're these? :)

Mod note - I split this as its turned to stance discussion, from the original inspiration discussion.

I was wondering what happened here.Thanks Kaith. Hey Mace... how about sending me a video of this. would love to see it.
Sent you a message about the video.
I always thought it was a way to get through the tedium of stance training and ignore the pain somewhat.
You guys really believe horse stance has no usefullness in true self defense training?

What about balance, leg strength, learning your center and not to mention the mental benefits of it as well.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned and a bleeding traditionalist, but I think it does have good benefits evne for the self defesne learner only.