Lineage differences

Herbie

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My limited time training in Wing Chun was in the Leung Ting lineage. The forward stance was 100% weight on the rear foot. Pivoting was done on the part of the foot just behind the ball of the foot.
I'm interested to hear what weight distribution other lineages use, where you pivot, and why. Hopefully, without judgment or commentary on why any other method is "wrong." Just what do you do, and why.
Thanks!
 

KangTsai

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I didn't know such little things were differentiated by a lineage. Thanks for teaching me something. I was guessing up to this point that you would stand mostly however you want.
 

Lobo66

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The (forward) stance in WSL VT is a balanced 50/50 stance in terms of weight distribution. The width of the stance should be natural for the body, at least around the same width of the pelvis but not more than the width of the shoulders, and the length of the stance around the distance of one comfortable step forward.

The front foot is turned in slightly and the back foot turned out very slightly. The hips and shoulders face the opponent. It is "square on".

The advantage of this stance is that it is highly mobile. It allows movement in all directions, allowing the fighter to move in and out of range quickly. It facilitates using both arms and legs "evenly" in attack. This stance is very stable as well due to the even weight distribution, but can be vulnerable to sweeps and low kicks.

In WSL VT we also use the pivoted (side) stance when in "safe distance". Weight distribution is also 50/50, but the body is angled off around 45簞 in relation to the opponent. This takes the front leg away from danger, but also allows mobility in all directions. The fighter can advance and retreat on angles and "shift" the stance quickly, which can be used to cut off the opponent in offense and to control space and bait the opponent in defense.
 
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KPM

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My limited time training in Wing Chun was in the Leung Ting lineage. The forward stance was 100% weight on the rear foot. Pivoting was done on the part of the foot just behind the ball of the foot.
I'm interested to hear what weight distribution other lineages use, where you pivot, and why. Hopefully, without judgment or commentary on why any other method is "wrong." Just what do you do, and why.
Thanks!

In Pin Sun Wing Chun we also pivot on the part of the foot that is about 1 inch back from the ball of the foot and in the area of the K1 acupuncture point. But we keep the weight distribution 50/50. The "forward" stance is also 50/50. We may transition to a 70/30 weight distro with a pivot under certain circumstances, but that would be the exception and not the rule. We keep the "Kua" relaxed and use the waist to help generate power from the ground and legs, up the spine and out the arms. The further your stance departs from a 50/50 distro, the less efficient and more difficult this becomes. Also the more you depart from 50/50, the more inherently unstable you become. We also use the "side body stance" as Lobo66 described, with weight 50/50. In fact, we actually use the side body position more often than the front stance. We tend to close with footwork taught in our Biu Choi set, which is often not taught in Ip Man Wing Chun until the Knife form. But in Pin Sun it is taught early on and used pretty extensively. We also tend to angle to the side and flank the opponent more...somewhat like what you see in William Cheung's Traditional Wing Chun.
 
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wingchun100

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I pivot on the middle of the foot. Weight distribution is a tricky thing. Sometimes I do 50/50, other times 30/70 (front/rear, respectively).
 

Danny T

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Stances are fleeting...for learning and training exercises in the beginning 100% on the rear. Pivoting on the ball to the center of the foot and toward the heel as needed. As on strengthens the legs and understand the changing of one's center of gravity weight distribution becomes more 80/20 (80 on the rear) in time it becomes more and more natural moving to 70/30, 60/40, and finally 50/50.
The thing about movement and weight distribution is there are times we many use any aspect of it.

We don't go into a physical altercation thinking, "is my weight distribution correct, is my hip tucked properly, am I pivoting on my heels or on my whole foot or ...? We will move in a manner that is most natural to us. Train, practice the system and when needed just do whatever you have to do to attack/control the opponent's center (core).

Some people say one is better than the other and visa versa.
I say it is always situational and you have better be able to switch as need be.
One pivot is quick but keeps you in the same positioning, another is slightly slower yet creates greater angle changes and range. What is needed? Some say 50/50 only... I ask do you knee or kick?
Fighting is not the same as training form. Fighting is not the same as doing drills or exercises. The reality is within the dynamics of a physical confrontation many things may be utilize and your weight distribution, footwork, and stances will change several times during the altercation.
 

gpseymour

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I pivot on the middle of the foot. Weight distribution is a tricky thing. Sometimes I do 50/50, other times 30/70 (front/rear, respectively).
I've heard of this type of pivot also from a Silat instructor. I have a hard time imagining what it feels like, so either I'm entirely misunderstanding what you (and he) mean by a mid-foot pivot, or I just don't know how to do one. What I get when I try to pivot there is too much torque on the knee.
 

Juany118

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.

We don't go into a physical altercation thinking, "is my weight distribution correct, is my hip tucked properly, am I pivoting on my heels or on my whole foot or ...? We will move in a manner that is most natural to us. Train, practice the system and when needed just do whatever you have to do to attack/control the opponent's center (core).

Some people say one is better than the other and visa versa.
I say it is always situational and you have better be able to switch as need be.
One pivot is quick but keeps you in the same positioning, another is slightly slower yet creates greater angle changes and range. What is needed? Some say 50/50 only... I ask do you knee or kick?
Fighting is not the same as training form. Fighting is not the same as doing drills or exercises. The reality is within the dynamics of a physical confrontation many things may be utilize and your weight distribution, footwork, and stances will change several times during the altercation.

Exactly this. When you face a person you may be 50/50 or whatever (TWC starts 50/50). Thing is, depending on what comes your way, whether you have to step or pivot (TWC actually seems to do bit more "stepping" than pivoting) it is not just up to you, it is a dynamic synergy between yourself and the opponent.
 

KPM

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^^^^ Sure. I agree in a real exchange things are going to deviate and you are going to do what works! But I took the OP's question as referring to the standard in training and practicing.
 

wingchun100

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I've heard of this type of pivot also from a Silat instructor. I have a hard time imagining what it feels like, so either I'm entirely misunderstanding what you (and he) mean by a mid-foot pivot, or I just don't know how to do one. What I get when I try to pivot there is too much torque on the knee.

By "middle of the foot," what I mean is I try to visualized my weight there instead of, say, back in the heels. Otherwise I start to lose my balance. When that happens, my opponent doesn't need to worry about uprooting me...because I'm doing the job for them!
 

gpseymour

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By "middle of the foot," what I mean is I try to visualized my weight there instead of, say, back in the heels. Otherwise I start to lose my balance. When that happens, my opponent doesn't need to worry about uprooting me...because I'm doing the job for them!
Thanks. I'll tinker with that a bit. Are you aware of any videos that demonstrate this and talk about the differences compared to other pivots?
 

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I've heard of this type of pivot also from a Silat instructor. I have a hard time imagining what it feels like, so either I'm entirely misunderstanding what you (and he) mean by a mid-foot pivot, or I just don't know how to do one. What I get when I try to pivot there is too much torque on the knee.
You are probably initiating the pivot from on top, when you should initiate it from the bottom. Meaning: you rotate from the shoulders and then drag your feet behind.

Instead, do the work with the feet. Make the feet and ankles drive the turn while pressing into the ground, and rotate the torso as a result of that.

That is the proper way to pivot, and removes the stress from the knees.
 

wingchun100

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Thanks. I'll tinker with that a bit. Are you aware of any videos that demonstrate this and talk about the differences compared to other pivots?

No, unfortunately I am not.

Another tip that helped me out was when someone suggested I pivot from the hips. The feet will follow.
 

KPM

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^^^^^ This is how we do it in Pin Sun. The hips/waist move first. Sometimes you pivot all you need without even moving the feet. When the pivot needs to go further, the feet just naturally adjust to compensate. Since the weight is kept over the center of the arch as much as possible, the pivot just naturally happens at a spot roughly at the K1 point. I do not know what it means to pivot "at the middle of the foot" and am not even sure that's possible. Your weight has to be far enough back for the toes to swing during the pivot, or far enough forward for your heels to swing during the pivot. If you are "dead center" then both your heels AND your toes would be moving about the same degree and friction would be a huge factor because you would not be off-loading either the heels or the balls of the feet.
 

Flying Crane

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No, unfortunately I am not.

Another tip that helped me out was when someone suggested I pivot from the hips. The feet will follow.
It's not for me to overrule how a different system does things, but I will comment because my system does pivot, a lot, to the point where it is a stand-alone skill that we practice over and over and over, as well as in the context of our fundamental techs and methods. I suggest you look at my post, #12, where I suggest the pivot be driven by the feet. If you pivot from above and the feet will follow, then you are dragging your feet. That puts damaging torque on the knees, and the feet become anchors that you are dragging behind you. This bleeds out the power you should be getting from the pivot, and gives you very little with which to power your technique. The act of pivoting should be used to accomplish something, such as driving a technique like a punch. It shouldn't be just changing positions, or at least not only or not all the time.

If you drive with the feet, then you can get that full body power and you don't torque the knees.
 

wingchun100

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It's not for me to overrule how a different system does things, but I will comment because my system does pivot, a lot, to the point where it is a stand-alone skill that we practice over and over and over, as well as in the context of our fundamental techs and methods. I suggest you look at my post, #12, where I suggest the pivot be driven by the feet. If you pivot from above and the feet will follow, then you are dragging your feet. That puts damaging torque on the knees, and the feet become anchors that you are dragging behind you. This bleeds out the power you should be getting from the pivot, and gives you very little with which to power your technique. The act of pivoting should be used to accomplish something, such as driving a technique like a punch. It shouldn't be just changing positions, or at least not only or not all the time.

If you drive with the feet, then you can get that full body power and you don't torque the knees.

I have been pivoting this way for some time now, and I feel no torque in my knees. Also, the people who have done chi sao with me report no bleed out. In fact, I've gotten compliments on how my structure seems better since I started pivoting with this idea in mind.
 

Flying Crane

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^^^^^ This is how we do it in Pin Sun. The hips/waist move first. Sometimes you pivot all you need without even moving the feet. When the pivot needs to go further, the feet just naturally adjust to compensate. Since the weight is kept over the center of the arch as much as possible, the pivot just naturally happens at a spot roughly at the K1 point. I do not know what it means to pivot "at the middle of the foot" and am not even sure that's possible. Your weight has to be far enough back for the toes to swing during the pivot, or far enough forward for your heels to swing during the pivot. If you are "dead center" then both your heels AND your toes would be moving about the same degree and friction would be a huge factor because you would not be off-loading either the heels or the balls of the feet.
If you press your feet into the ground and engage the feet to pivot, then it isn't a problem. Yes, there is friction, think of grinding cockroaches into the ground with the bottom of your foot. Both the heel and toes of the feet move during the rotation, which happens at a point slightly behind the ball of the foot. But keep the heels down and engaged with the ground, during that movement. If the drift up, you are compromising your root.
 

Flying Crane

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I have been pivoting this way for some time now, and I feel no torque in my knees. Also, the people who have done chi sao with me report no bleed out. In fact, I've gotten compliments on how my structure seems better since I started pivoting with this idea in mind.
Ok, like i say, I'm not going to try to change what you do, but felt compelled to offer the suggestion. I've got a feeling that if I showed it to you in person, it might be a lightbulb moment for you, but over an internet discussion it might not translate well enough.
 

gpseymour

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You are probably initiating the pivot from on top, when you should initiate it from the bottom. Meaning: you rotate from the shoulders and then drag your feet behind.

Instead, do the work with the feet. Make the feet and ankles drive the turn while pressing into the ground, and rotate the torso as a result of that.

That is the proper way to pivot, and removes the stress from the knees.
When I talk about pivoting, it's driven from the foot or from the hips. Mind you, I'm talking about pivots that keep the weight evenly distributed between the feet (in theory).
 

gpseymour

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No, unfortunately I am not.

Another tip that helped me out was when someone suggested I pivot from the hips. The feet will follow.
I'll tinker next time I'm on the mats (I don't tinker with this stuff at home because dogs decide I'm playing and chew on my feet). Mind you, my knees are pretty sensitive, so it might just be my crappy knees complaining about something most folks wouldn't notice.
 
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