TMA Stances compared with snapshots from MMA

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I've always liked this nerd (he self-identifies as the Karate Nerd), but this is my favorite video of his yet. He talks about the traditional Karate and Kung Fu stances, looks at how they affect your movement, and then shows how they are used in MMA, even if you don't realize they are.
 

Headhunter

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I’ve always used the side on karate stance in every fight I’ve had boxing, kickboxing and mma. It pisses coaches off in boxing or kickboxing classes I do try and do it their way but in sparring I just naturally slip into it and it works for me. The stance is unorthodox for a lot of kick-boxer or boxers and they’re not used to fighting that stance and it allows me to throw a side kick easier which is my best kick.

yes there’s more chance of taking a leg kick or a takedown but to me it’s a risk reward thing. The rewards outweighs the risks for me.
 

drop bear

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Then you have to look at why one system can make these stances work. And another can't.
 

isshinryuronin

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I've always liked this nerd (he self-identifies as the Karate Nerd), but this is my favorite video of his yet. He talks about the traditional Karate and Kung Fu stances, looks at how they affect your movement, and then shows how they are used in MMA, even if you don't realize they are.
Jesse Enkamp has made it his business to gather MA knowledge and present the concepts in easy, tasty bites. This, I agree, is one of his best and most profound. Thanks for posting this one.

Then you have to look at why one system can make these stances work. And another can't.
You don't have to look far - as Jesse explained, most systems (or perhaps more correctly, most instructors) have missed the concept that stances are transitory and dynamic.

This was understood by all a century ago, but got lost by many during the popularization in the 1930's as kata became rigid and stances became static to dramatize kata in competition - like locking an extended punch out during a 3 second kiai as you grimace your most ferocious face.

This is a disconnect between form and function. Stances and angles should constantly shift to facilitate your tactical game plan. The only good time to stay static in a stance is to draw your opponent into attacking, or lull him into becoming static, himself. Good Japanese Shotokan karate-ka do this well. But generally, tai-sabaki and related footwork make the stances work in a dynamic scenario.
 

JowGaWolf

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This is a disconnect between form and function. Stances and angles should constantly shift to facilitate your tactical game plan.
Trying to tell people this statement is like a forever losing battle. I don't know how many times stances have been discussed here and it always goes back to trying to fight in the stances the same way that we train in the stances.

The only good time to stay static in a stance is to draw your opponent into attacking, or lull him into becoming static, himself
You can also use a static stance for defense. One of the things I often do to guys who want see how Kung Fu compares to MMA or BJJ take downs is to give them an opportunity to take me down while standing in a horse stance. I even tried it with my nephew and they all had the same difficulty. The stance was too low for them to get under me. The low stance positions my hands at the same level of my legs which made it easy for me to use my hands and maneuver my legs.
His dad (my brother) wasn't too happy about the idea of him trying to take me down. Not sure why people think I'm just going to smash others in the face lol. But anyway. My nephew gave it a good try and discovered that there was a lot that he couldn't do on hard surfaces without injuring himself. I figure I have one or two more good battle in me before I stop challenging young guys.

Hopefully one day I'll be able to go a couple of rounds with those guys especially since my nephew wants to get into MMA
 

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You can also use a static stance for defense. ...
When people ask you what stance that they should use in fighting, if you start to drag them around in circle. They will never ask you that question again.

Old saying said, "You may not find any opportunity to attack. As long as you keep moving, soon or later, you will find that opportunity". The key point is "keep moving". When you are moving, stance has no meaning to you.

wang-drag.gif

SC-circle-running-2.gif

sc-tearing.gif
 
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JowGaWolf

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When people ask you what stance that they should use in fighting, if you start to drag them around in circle. They will never ask you that question again.

Old saying said, "You may not find any opportunity to attack. As long as you keep moving, soon or later, you will find that opportunity". The key point is "keep moving". When you are moving, stance has no meaning to you.

wang-drag.gif

SC-circle-running-2.gif

sc-tearing.gif
Stand tall like that against someone who can shoot and take your legs, and I think you will discover that this may not work as well. In all your videos the technique is being done against someone standing tall. A wrestler or a BJJ practitioner would love for you to stand tall like that.
 

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Stand tall like that against someone who can shoot and take your legs, and I think you will discover that this may not work as well. In all your videos the technique is being done against someone standing tall. A wrestler or a BJJ practitioner would love for you to stand tall like that.
In wrestling, you want to be on top. You don't want to be at the bottom.

This is the worst position that you can have in wrestling.

reverse-head-lock.jpg

wrestling-guillotine.jpg


Basic wrestling principle 101 - lead your opponent into the emptiness (let him to kiss the ground). :)

Chang-tournament1.jpg


downward-pull.gif
 
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In wrestling, you want to be on top. You don't want to be at the bottom.

This is the worst position that you can have in wrestling.

reverse-head-lock.jpg

wrestling-guillotine.jpg


Basic wrestling principle 101 - lead your opponent into the emptiness (let him to kiss the ground). :)

Chang-tournament1.jpg


downward-pull.gif

The person in black clearly doesn't want to make that take-down work.
 

JowGaWolf

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In wrestling, you want to be on top. You don't want to be at the bottom.

This is the worst position that you can have in wrestling.

reverse-head-lock.jpg

wrestling-guillotine.jpg


Basic wrestling principle 101 - lead your opponent into the emptiness (let him to kiss the ground). :)

Chang-tournament1.jpg


downward-pull.gif
Yep and emptiness sucks. It's also the best description for anyone who has tried to grab legs only to find nothing.

If I can't get them to fall upon emptiness then I'll settle for a bad lift with me weighting them down.
upload_2020-7-13_2-1-0.png


Here, I'm off the floor but there's no way he's going to be able to lift me. In the video you can see his back give out
upload_2020-7-13_2-3-39.png


This is what happened after his back went out. I don't think he hurt is back day, I think he went with it after his back could no longer support 200lbs
upload_2020-7-13_2-4-47.png


Here's a failed attempt to trip me. Used his body to help keep me up. I just put all of my weight on him and slipped my legs out of any attempt for him to trip me.
upload_2020-7-13_2-6-24.png



When they make a mistake it's easy to take the neck. During those sparring sessions they wanted me to do take downs like they do but I never did. Just not my style, nor my strength.
 

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I've always liked this nerd (he self-identifies as the Karate Nerd), but this is my favorite video of his yet. He talks about the traditional Karate and Kung Fu stances, looks at how they affect your movement, and then shows how they are used in MMA, even if you don't realize they are.
Interesting video and concept, and I agree that the guy narrating the videos is kind of charming. In this video, the "argument" seems to be essentially that TMA focus on stances, which are actually steps, because from the stances all power is generated. This emphasis on stances is because TMAs "remember" that these are the root of any functional success.

I personally think that the observation is solid. It seems reasonable to me that these snapshots exist in the course of human movement. Further, I like his point that they are key to success in these transitions. But I think the conclusion of his argument is a little cockeyed and self serving. It's an example of a conclusion in search of a supporting argument.

I think it's more objectively reasonable to look at the combat sports participants, who are actually applying the "stances" during physical combat, and conclude that they are training them more effectively than other styles where they train them statically and without application. I don't think it's reasonable to conclude that combat sports schools have forgotten their stances, given that the footage used is of them actually using the stances effectively. The evidence simply doesn't support the conclusion.

If anything, the evidence/argument presented in the video makes it clear that the TMA styles that are stuck training a snapshot in time are putting undue emphasis on that at the expense of training the stances as transitions.

The rest of the thread on stances has been really interesting reading. I'm just commenting on the video in the OP.
 

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From my personal experience with stance training. I have notice physical changes. My tendons are thicker and stronger than they were before I did stance training. I'm assuming that it also affects the ligaments in a good way as well. My static stance training is easier than my dynamic stance training (what you see me do when going through my stances with be staff behind my back.) Stance training gives me solid footing, sometimes I feel like I'm a tank, which I don't like as it also makes me feel like I'm stuck to the ground. Looking at this in terms of fighting. You would really want some strong tendons and joints if you plan to fight on uneven ground, rocks, tree roots, small pits in the ground, etc. could easily damage joints and tendons.

Like everything else I believe stances are part of the training and not the final training. Stance training is a specific exercise used to meet a specific need. Many of us have all seen videos of TMA vs MMA where TMA is assumed to have done lots of stance training but when it comes to fighting they have horrible footwork and often appear off balance. We also don't see the power from the legs that is often cherished by TMA practitioners.

In Jow Ga we do both static and dynamic stance training (moving while in stance). We have a form that is specifically dedicated to dynamic stance training. (video below).

Overall I think many people underestimate the value of stance training and some overestimate the value. When you see people who spar and actually train to fight, you will see that they do more than just stances.
 

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Trying to tell people this statement is like a forever losing battle. I don't know how many times stances have been discussed here and it always goes back to trying to fight in the stances the same way that we train in the stances.


You can also use a static stance for defense. One of the things I often do to guys who want see how Kung Fu compares to MMA or BJJ take downs is to give them an opportunity to take me down while standing in a horse stance. I even tried it with my nephew and they all had the same difficulty. The stance was too low for them to get under me. The low stance positions my hands at the same level of my legs which made it easy for me to use my hands and maneuver my legs.
His dad (my brother) wasn't too happy about the idea of him trying to take me down. Not sure why people think I'm just going to smash others in the face lol. But anyway. My nephew gave it a good try and discovered that there was a lot that he couldn't do on hard surfaces without injuring himself. I figure I have one or two more good battle in me before I stop challenging young guys.

Hopefully one day I'll be able to go a couple of rounds with those guys especially since my nephew wants to get into MMA
i had much the same conversation with my instructor, that i couldnt lift or move him in horse stance, i said i could, and moved him back down the dojo about 10 yards, by which time he had come out of his stance to avoid fallibg over backwards
 

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The video is on point. Stancework is all about building strength in exaggerated uncomfortable positions, which is why the footwork builds on top of it, so that when you're not actually training, those positions are as natural as any other. That's why training goes from isometric to isotonic. Could you just do isotonic exercises? Sure. Would they be as strong as someone who does both? No.

The empty/false/cat leg stance found in several arts is nothing more than an a position where the weight is back loaded, allowing swift kicks and shuffle steps. In training, you spend a lot of time simply standing in this stance, and you will feel the lactic acid burn. Later on, you can spend an hour in such a stance (not that you'd need to). The "new strength replaces old" is the typical wisdom shared.

Then compare "Horse stance", it isn't the same between arts, even between kung fu styles (Tai Chi and several Southern Shaolin styles differ, and Japanese and Okinawan styles derived from them differ even further). But the central tenet is the same between them all, strengthening the same muscles in the core and groin used to ride a horse (or a goat, hahaha).

But then you get schools like Wing Chun kwoons that actually teach people to fight in the "Character 2 Adduction" or "Goat Riding" Stance. No, just no. They are doing it wrong.
 
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drop bear

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Interesting video and concept, and I agree that the guy narrating the videos is kind of charming. In this video, the "argument" seems to be essentially that TMA focus on stances, which are actually steps, because from the stances all power is generated. This emphasis on stances is because TMAs "remember" that these are the root of any functional success.

I personally think that the observation is solid. It seems reasonable to me that these snapshots exist in the course of human movement. Further, I like his point that they are key to success in these transitions. But I think the conclusion of his argument is a little cockeyed and self serving. It's an example of a conclusion in search of a supporting argument.

I think it's more objectively reasonable to look at the combat sports participants, who are actually applying the "stances" during physical combat, and conclude that they are training them more effectively than other styles where they train them statically and without application. I don't think it's reasonable to conclude that combat sports schools have forgotten their stances, given that the footage used is of them actually using the stances effectively. The evidence simply doesn't support the conclusion.

If anything, the evidence/argument presented in the video makes it clear that the TMA styles that are stuck training a snapshot in time are putting undue emphasis on that at the expense of training the stances as transitions.

The rest of the thread on stances has been really interesting reading. I'm just commenting on the video in the OP.

Yeah. I think there is this correlation made where people look at a successful thing and say. We invented that. And so assume that they are doing it better. That they have the deeper understanding.

Like Steven Segal teaching Anderson Silva how to front kick.
 

geezer

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But then you get schools like Wing Chun kwoons that actually teach people to fight in the "Character 2 Adduction" or "Goat Riding" Stance. No, just no. They are doing it wrong.

^^^^ Just to clarify, I think you mean to say, "...like some Wing Chun kwoons..." because the Ip Man WC/VT/WT branches I've been exposed too consider "Character-Two Adduction Stance" or Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma to be a training stance.

Really, the back-weighted stance, the "character-two" stance, the 45° and 90° turned stances, and the steps (both shuffle steps and passing steps), are all just a way to move effectively. Each position flows into the next as needed and only a fool stays put in a static position when sparring or fighting.

Now a person could legitimately criticize WC for overly favoring the narrow, upright postures characteristic of all the above listed stances. However, I would maintain that to some degree this "deficiency" of scope is addressed in the long, low pole stances. They are not used often, but are still taught for a practical reason over and beyond their value in conditioning. As Jow Ga Wolf has been saying all along, there are times when a strong, low stance is advantageous.
 

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Yeah. I think there is this correlation made where people look at a successful thing and say. We invented that. And so assume that they are doing it better. That they have the deeper understanding.

Like Steven Segal teaching Anderson Silva how to front kick.
It's a predictable result of a conclusion in search of premises. In this case, our static stance training works because we've always done it this way, and I can see them in something that I know works. In order for this logical train to work, we have to:
  1. Redefine the term: it's not a stance, it's a step.
  2. Ignore that few MMA fighters shown do not train static stances in the way a TMA does.
  3. Propose that, while MMA fighters are demonstrating the stances, they have also somehow forgotten how important they are.
  4. And lastly, draw a very questionable conclusion claiming some associative benefit for the static training, based on a superficial similarity to MMA.
I would encourage everyone to try and apply this same argument structure to anything else. It gets silly pretty quickly.
 

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i had much the same conversation with my instructor, that i couldnt lift or move him in horse stance, i said i could, and moved him back down the dojo about 10 yards, by which time he had come out of his stance to avoid fallibg over backwards
That's very different than what I've stated. I make no claims that someone can't move me when I'm in horse stance. The most I've ever said is that you can defend while in a static horse stance. This is something that I've done numerous times so I know it's not impossible. And as soon as I see that it benefits me to be out of a static horse stance then I'll come out of it. My brain doesn't even calculate what you just stated. When people say stuff like that I just ask myself why, what's the point? For me a static horse stance doesn't mean that I'm a statue. It just means there's little to no footwork. Shifting my weight forward or backwards without moving my feet would qualify as static.

This has no value to me. When I see this I immediately think of emptiness and the opportunity for someone to fall on it.
pushing-300x237.jpg
 
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JowGaWolf

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Redefine the term: it's not a stance, it's a step.
I didn't like that part of the video. I would rather that he say people misinterpret horse stance. "When you ride a horse your legs may move but your feet stay in about the same position dependent on how the horse moves." When the horse runs your feet are in one position. When the horse walks your feet are in another positions. A rider may choose to sit low on the side or stand off the saddle. This is the same way a fighter may raise or lower his or her height. It's a horse stance. Not a statue stance.
 
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