Is the YGKYM a fighting stance?

KPM

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This is also based on another discussion in the facebook Wing Chun forum. I was planning on posting my thoughts, but you guys already started the discussion in the "Three Components of Wing Chun" thread! So I already know that some of you agree with what I'm going to say. But I'll say it anyway. :)

Here is what was posted on the facebook forum:
As we know the YGKYM is a basic training stance. We also know that is should never be used in combat because it hinders mobility and leaves you vulnerable to attack. Here is a quote by a teacher and former student of Samuel Kwok "It must be stressed that the Wing Chun training stance is not a stance in which one would fight. The stance is used to develop leg muscles and balance."

I know that many Wing Chun lineages teach this, but I have never understood why! Maybe if you are standing with your weight back on your heels with your pelvis tilted so that you are leaning backwards and hunching the shoulders over to compensate...maybe then your stance would limit your mobility and leave you vulnerable. But that's not how I do YGKYM!

In Pin Sun we stand very upright with a "floating Kwa" and the weight centered over the arch of the foot near the K1 point. This is a neutral position that allows quick and unpredictable movement in any direction. It is also a very structurally sound position that can receive force well without being collapsed or over-run. Standing with the weight over the arch/K1 loads the Achilles tendon so you can spring out forward or to either side. Some favor the pivoted position or "sideling" stance as a fighting stance. How is this any different? In fact, if you are standing in the sideling stance pivoted toward your right, your ability to move suddenly to your left is affected. Standing in a neutral YGKYM you can move equally well in either direction.

Some people argue that it makes one vulnerable to a snap kick to the groin. But I say you are just as vulnerable to a round kick to the groin when you are in the front stance that many favor. Some will say that standing in the sideling stance protects the groin because you only have to slightly drop one knee to cover. Well...in the YGKYM you only have to drop EITHER knee to cover.

We spend many hours standing in YGKYM doing forms, Chi Sau, Pak Da Drilling, etc. Why would we do this if we aren't going to use it a real encounter? You can also do Chi Sau with one leg forward in a front stance. Some train this in Chi Sau at times, but it isn't their default position. Shouldn't it be the main stance used in Chi Sau if they in fact believe that the YGKYM shouldn't be used in a real situation?

As geezer pointed out in the other thread, YGKYM is the mother of all the stances and source of all the footwork. When pivoting we transition through the YGKYM. All the other stances are just permutations of YGKYM. So why wouldn't it show up in fighting?

Here is footage of one of Alan Orr's students Aaron Baum in his first MMA fight years ago. Note that for much of the time he is essentially in his YGKYM:


So to me, the whole teaching or idea that YGKYM is a "training stance only" just doesn't seem right.
 
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Vajramusti

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This is also based on another discussion in the facebook Wing Chun forum. I was planning on posting my thoughts, but you guys already started the discussion in the "Three Components of Wing Chun" thread! So I already know that some of you agree with what I'm going to say. But I'll say it anyway. :)

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I don't roam on multiple forums...just this one and occasionally in another one. And I don't roam much on youtube.
I depend on testing and not just with wc folks. And I don't do pin sun and I think that "wck is wck" is just redundant
and not sufficiently informative and I don't stand focused on the K1 point.
That does not mean that I am back on my heels.
And I test structure in the ygkym. You can fight in ygkym if you have to ... should be able to fight from any position
if you are caught in one.

But moving to attack and defend against an attack is better than standing still. Good Ip Man wing chun involves much training in footwork.
Ip Man in his prime and even upto retirement had great stance movement- often imperceptible.
 

Kwan Sau

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Keith what Facebook wing chun forum are you referring to. I didn't even know that had forums (?) Any links you can send along? Thx
 
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KPM

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This is also based on another discussion in the facebook Wing Chun forum. I was planning on posting my thoughts, but you guys already started the discussion in the "Three Components of Wing Chun" thread! So I already know that some of you agree with what I'm going to say. But I'll say it anyway. :)

---------------------------------------------------------
I don't roam on multiple forums...just this one and occasionally in another one. And I don't roam much on youtube.
I depend on testing and not just with wc folks. And I don't do pin sun and I think that "wck is wck" is just redundant
and not sufficiently informative and I don't stand focused on the K1 point.
That does not mean that I am back on my heels.
And I test structure in the ygkym. You can fight in ygkym if you have to ... should be able to fight from any position
if you are caught in one.

But moving to attack and defend against an attack is better than standing still. Good Ip Man wing chun involves much training in footwork.
Ip Man in his prime and even upto retirement had great stance movement- often imperceptible.

Good for you Joy! But I find discussing things with various people that don't necessarily think my way to be thought-provoking and challenging. I might learn something, and at the very least I'll refine my own understanding when I disagree with what others are saying. But then...I only go to two forums myself now. This one and the one on facebook. I now avoid that "other" place. ;-)

But anyway....I never meant to imply a "static" situation. Of course in a fight one should be in constant motion, transitioning smoothly from one position to another based upon what the situation dictates. Since YGKYM is the "mother of all stances", it just stands to reason it will be one of the positions you are transitioning through. You may not be in it long, but its going to happen! So again, to say it is a "training stance only" doesn't make sense to me. Does it to you?
 
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KPM

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Keith what Facebook wing chun forum are you referring to. I didn't even know that had forums (?) Any links you can send along? Thx

Go to facebook and search for "Wing Chun Forum." Its not an open forum. You have to ask to be added, so I can't post a link.
 

mook jong man

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As I have stated before , it is the fighting stance in the Tsui Seung Tin lineage.
From day one it is drummed into you to square up your feet after the completion of any movement .
People seem to be under the impression that it is an immobile stance , this could not be more wrong , it is highly mobile and able to move in any direction.

I concede that it would be hard for someone to get used to , if they came to it after learning some other stance.
But like anything , if it is all you know , then you get good at it and make it work , similar to a video I saw the other day of a dog that had no front legs.

This dog was getting around with more agility on it's hind legs than what my dogs show in getting around on four.
Again , it is what you practice and what you get comfortable with.

As KPM alluded to , the main criticism seems to be that you can be kicked in the groin , that is true.
But you also have equal opportunity to use either leg to jam a potential kick to the groin.

You can still be kicked in the groin with a lead leg stance , worse still , that leg that is sticking out becomes a target for low heel kicks or sweeps.
With a lead leg stance , it is also takes a lot less effort to grab your arm and displace you to the side exposing the back of your neck , and other vital targets.

I firmly believe that the YJKYM is better able to fully focus the full body mass into the target.
I have experimented in the past doing chain punches on a kick shield held by a partner , using both stances , with the YJKYM I am able to get the momentum going and start walking forward and my punches will start to move the pad holder back.

But in the lead leg stance , I can't even start to move my body weight forward and affect the pad holders balance with my punches.
Now to be fair , I don't have a lot of experience with this stance so there is that to take into consideration , there could be a vital component that I am missing.
But on the face of it , from my crude experiments, it would seem the YJKYM is able to bring more body mass to bear on the opponent.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Old Chinese saying said, "Get both if you can, otherwise get one 1st and get the other later." From a grappler point of view, it's not a good idea to use your YGKYM as your fighting stance.

When you have

- 1 leg forward and 1 leg backward, if your opponent gets your "single leg", you still have 1 rooting leg left. You can still play defense and counter.
- both legs parallel, if your opponent gets your "double legs", you won't have any defense and counter left but to go down.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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When you have reached to the higher level, the word "stance" no longer exist. Even if you don't know what you are going to do with your opponent, you keep moving around. When you are moving, soon or later, you will find some opportunity to attack. If you keep moving, there is no "stance".
 
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Argus

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I'd say just trust in your training and move more or less as you do in Chi-sau.

A lot of WC guys on YouTube seem to rely on a forward stance, usually with very extended arms, and inch forward cautiously with biu-ma. It seems to make them fairly immobile and hinders their ability to close the distance, or change the line when needed.
 
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mook jong man

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Old Chinese saying said, "Get both if you can, otherwise get one 1st and get the other later." From a grappler point of view, it's not a good idea to use your YGKYM as your fighting stance.

When you have

- 1 leg forward and 1 leg backward, if your opponent gets your "single leg", you still have 1 rooting leg left. You can still play defense and counter.
- both legs parallel, if your opponent gets your "double legs", you won't have any defense and counter left but to go down.

I was watching a wrestling competition the other night , and even with one leg forward they were still being toppled over with single leg takedowns.
Once someone starts lifting your leg up , you are probably still going down anyway whether they have captured one or two of your legs.

From YGKYM it is still quite easy to shoot one or both legs back into a sprawl if you see someone going for your legs.
We even train this movement in the Chum Kiu form in the section where you take a step back with one leg.

There are trade offs with every stance , having one leg forward makes it vulnerable to being smashed with a low heel kick.

There are a lot more benefits to being in YGKYM in my opinion than there are drawbacks.
The greatest advantage would have to be the ability to move with equal ease in any direction and still end up in a stable stance that is quite resistant to force from all sides.
 
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KPM

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Old Chinese saying said, "Get both if you can, otherwise get one 1st and get the other later." From a grappler point of view, it's not a good idea to use your YGKYM as your fighting stance.

When you have

- 1 leg forward and 1 leg backward, if your opponent gets your "single leg", you still have 1 rooting leg left. You can still play defense and counter.
- both legs parallel, if your opponent gets your "double legs", you won't have any defense and counter left but to go down.

But...if you are going to use a wrestler's sprawl, you are already half way there! You simply kick both legs back and sprawl. If one leg is forward, it has to move back more then the rear leg and this is going to take more effort and is slower. Just sayin........
 
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KPM

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Here is some more feedback from the facebook thread:

YGKYM is too powerful and locks you into an immobile posture. Reaction, timing, and ease of transition are compromised. Being a post stuck in the ground invites attack.

!!!! I told him it sounds like he is doing YGKYM wrong! There is a time to "root" and a time to "float" and a good YGKYM can do either one!
 

mook jong man

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Here is some more feedback from the facebook thread:

YGKYM is too powerful and locks you into an immobile posture. Reaction, timing, and ease of transition are compromised. Being a post stuck in the ground invites attack.

!!!! I told him it sounds like he is doing YGKYM wrong! There is a time to "root" and a time to "float" and a good YGKYM can do either one!

That is just a load of crap , who did this guy learn off?

I don't know about other schools , but our stance is relaxed and springy.
I have a feeling this myth about being a post stuck in the ground is probably propogated by people who advocate having a lot of tension in their stance.

Well in that case I would agree it would be hard to move , it would also be hard to kick , or do anything else for that matter.

My Sifu would say "You should feel light and springy in your stance".
 

Vajramusti

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That is just a load of crap , who did this guy learn off?
(((I don't know or care. I am not addicted to forums or youtube))

I don't know about other schools , but our stance is relaxed and springy.

(((Properly relaxed and springy))


My Sifu would say "You should feel light and springy in your stance".
((Sure))

FWIW simply sprawling has it's own problems- can be countered by a skilled person.
 

mook jong man

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I was actually trying to find a clip of Wong Shun Leung when he visited one of our academies in Australia years ago.
In the clip he asked one of our senior instructors to move around and try to get past him , Sifu Wong was in YGKYM and constantly was able to cut this instructor off and eventually backed him into a corner.
I was very impressed with how economical , fluid and speedy his footwork was.

Unfortunately I couldn't find that clip , but I did find a clip of my Sifu doing a 1 inch punch that I'd never seen before.

And also a clip of Tsui Seung Tin doing a bit of moving around in chi sau.
Slightly relevant to the topic I suppose , but more because I had never seen these clips before.

[video=youtube_share;41y9h0szKlc]http://youtu.be/41y9h0szKlc[/video]

[video=youtube_share;klSzbxgh8Mw]http://youtu.be/klSzbxgh8Mw[/video]
 

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When you have reached to the higher level, the word "stance" no longer exist. Even if you don't know what you are going to do with your opponent, you keep moving around. When you are moving, soon or later, you will find some opportunity to attack. If you keep moving, there is no "stance".

There is always a "stance." Or at least there should be.

Your feet don't need to be in a certain place to form a stance. Otherwise, we'd be pretty immobile now wouldn't we? YGKYM, or any stance for that matter, is a concept of how to maintain your body structure while moving. You can move around all you like, with your feet wherever they might be, but so long as you retain the structure you practice in YGKYM (sitting in your horse with your hips underneath you), you're in your stance.

You can even maintain your structure and utilize your stance for power when your feet are completely together, ala that section in chum-kiu.
 
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KPM

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FWIW simply sprawling has it's own problems- can be countered by a skilled person.

FWIW....ANYTHING can be countered by a skilled person. There are no "fool-proof" techniques.
 

Eric_H

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Here is some more feedback from the facebook thread:

YGKYM is too powerful and locks you into an immobile posture. Reaction, timing, and ease of transition are compromised. Being a post stuck in the ground invites attack.

!!!! I told him it sounds like he is doing YGKYM wrong! There is a time to "root" and a time to "float" and a good YGKYM can do either one!


The 50/50 isn't just left to right, it's also the balance of stability and mobility. If he is not mobile, I would question the mechanics behind his stance.

To the original question: yes, YGKYM can be used on it's own in a fight situation, it is also the root of our other SNT level stances/footwork in HFY (Leung Yi Ma and Buhn Yuet Ma).
 
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Cephalopod

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I believe that those who say YGKYM is not for fighting are thinking of the low, deep YGKYM that is perfectly 50/50 weighted. Some train in this way in their SLT for leg and root development, some use it in their poon sau rolling.

When fists start flying, on the other hand, it is fair to say that subtle weight shifts start to happen, and the feet start to shift side to side, back and front. This is nicely demonstrated by TST in Mook's second video.

When you are in YGKYM and your weight slightly shifts and you hips subtly turn is it still called YGKYM? Semantics. But there is no doubt IMHO that this is the way chunners should stand and move when they fight.
 
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