TMA Stances compared with snapshots from MMA

Oily Dragon

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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.

This is the funniest Youtube channel on the internet for a reason, after all.

Do the kick. Do the kick.

 

Oily Dragon

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^^^^ 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.

Yes.
 

JowGaWolf

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The biggest part that I thought the OP's video missed about stances is that. Strong stances are good for weapons use. Place the use of stance training in context to what things would benefit from them. People who think they can train spear, long pole, or heavy weapons with weak stances, will soon learn just how important their stances are.

and I'm not talking about those light weight performance weapons that people twirl around.
 

Oily Dragon

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I thought the biggest part the OP video missed was the mental attitude required for static stancework. He shows the clip of a certain Drunken Master, but missed the point a little about the whole scene in context of the movie.

Because the Kinesthetic theory is all well and good but the fact remains that proper stancework (and deep stance footwork) will cause a perfectly athletic, strong person to cry and beg for mercy, and conditioning away that attitude is the quintessence of kung fu.
 

Oily Dragon

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Oh and don't do the candle under your butt thing when doing Ma bu.

Bad idea, all around, like carrying a loaded gun down your pants bad.
 

JowGaWolf

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The biggest part that I thought the OP's video missed about stances is that. Strong stances are good for weapons use. Place the use of stance training in context to what things would benefit from them. People who think they can train spear, long pole, or heavy weapons with weak stances, will soon learn just how important their stances are.

and I'm not talking about those light weight performance weapons that people twirl around.

Take note of the stances being use. Remove the sword and you'll have a "stepping form"

In Jow Ga our stance training is formally known as "Stepping Form" You can can see here another Jow Ga school names the video Stepping Form.
 

Flying Crane

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I would say that the static stance training is very important, but is only part of the training. The other part is the transition from one stance to another. I’m not talking about footwork or stepping. I’m talking about the transition, for example from a side horse to a forward stance. The transition is where the work gets done. The stance itself is merely an posture. It may be a beginning or an ending posture. But no work gets done in the posture. Work gets done in the transition phase. That is where you get power for your technique. That is where you engage the body as a whole. That is where the work gets done.

So people like to focus on deep stances and I say ”yes, that is important”. But there is more to it. The transitions matter.
 

Oily Dragon

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I would say that the static stance training is very important, but is only part of the training. The other part is the transition from one stance to another. I’m not talking about footwork or stepping. I’m talking about the transition, for example from a side horse to a forward stance. The transition is where the work gets done. The stance itself is merely an posture. It may be a beginning or an ending posture. But no work gets done in the posture. Work gets done in the transition phase. That is where you get power for your technique. That is where you engage the body as a whole. That is where the work gets done.

So people like to focus on deep stances and I say ”yes, that is important”. But there is more to it. The transitions matter.

What matters most is not putting excess torque on your ankles and knees, either. The transitions are really about your core, like side horse to forward, or any other. The static stancework helps you become more light on your feet, and that in turn is where the dynamic power of training the dan tien comes in.

But there is the dark side to all of this training, well known to all the ancient masters. There's a term for it I won't utter here, but it comes down to degraded cartilage and the joys of bone on bone joint grinds.

Ouch.
 

Flying Crane

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What matters most is not putting excess torque on your ankles and knees, either. The transitions are really about your core, like side horse to forward, or any other. The static stancework helps you become more light on your feet, and that in turn is where the dynamic power of training the dan tien comes in.

But there is the dark side to all of this training, well known to all the ancient masters. There's a term for it I won't utter here, but it comes down to degraded cartilage and the joys of bone on bone joint grinds.

Ouch.
The pivot and transition needs to be pushed from the feet and work up through the legs, hips, waist, and torso. No problems with the knees in this way. If the mistake of turning from the top, meaning the shoulders and torso, and then dragging the legs and feet around, then there is a lot of torque on the knees. That is where injury happens.

I am not convinced that knee degeneration is guaranteed when stance training is done mindfully and correctly. My Sifu certainly has no problems and he is in his 80s, been training since the 1950s. I have no problems, and Ive been training since 1984, including several years of capoeira in the 1990s. Lots of very low movements there, but I saw a lot of people there have knee problems. I believe I was more mindful of what was potentially damaging, and I would not cross that line.
 

JowGaWolf

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What matters most is not putting excess torque on your ankles and knees, either. The transitions are really about your core, like side horse to forward, or any other. The static stancework helps you become more light on your feet, and that in turn is where the dynamic power of training the dan tien comes in.

But there is the dark side to all of this training, well known to all the ancient masters. There's a term for it I won't utter here, but it comes down to degraded cartilage and the joys of bone on bone joint grinds.

Ouch.
I'm glad that our school always taught us to move within the limitations of our body. If it doesn't bend that way, then don't bend it that way. Look at how the knee bends in the image below. That type of bend will screw up your joints when your leg doesn't naturally bend that way. Karate Cat stance uses a more natural bend, which is better for the knees.

2129364414_293cc4b48c_o.jpg


neko_dachi.jpg
 

Flying Crane

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I'm glad that our school always taught us to move within the limitations of our body. If it doesn't bend that way, then don't bend it that way. Look at how the knee bends in the image below. That type of bend will screw up your joints when your leg doesn't naturally bend that way. Karate Cat stance uses a more natural bend, which is better for the knees.

2129364414_293cc4b48c_o.jpg


neko_dachi.jpg
Modern Wushu, which is what that first picture is, is known for being damaging to the body. It emphasizes aesthetics over proper structure and function.
 

JowGaWolf

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Modern Wushu, which is what that first picture is, is known for being damaging to the body. It emphasizes aesthetics over proper structure and function.
I put it right in the same box with Foot Binding.
upload_2020-7-17_6-19-38.jpeg
 

jobo

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I thought the biggest part the OP video missed was the mental attitude required for static stancework. He shows the clip of a certain Drunken Master, but missed the point a little about the whole scene in context of the movie.

Because the Kinesthetic theory is all well and good but the fact remains that proper stancework (and deep stance footwork) will cause a perfectly athletic, strong person to cry and beg for mercy, and conditioning away that attitude is the quintessence of kung fu.
well yes it will, but is it actually doing any measurable good to performance is another question, that doesnt get asked enough or at all in kung fu circles
 

punisher73

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I remember taking a seminar from a local guy (JKD/BJJ) for LEO's. He was highlighting some stuff from "Dumong" and showing a push/pull on the person so that they couldn't keep their footing and strike you. Everyone in the class couldn't strike at him and was pushed and pulled all over the place. When he tried to illustrate it on me, I was able to set into a Shiko-Dachi (Horse stance) each time and could hit him, because I understood the stances from my karate training and that stances SHOULD be used for energy management of yourself (regaining balance, striking etc.) and the energy that your opponent is giving you (moving, redirecting etc.).

I didn't try to resist the push/pull like the others, I waitied until he had extended his range on it and then would immediately set and strike in that instant. I also think that too many "karotty" people think that their stance should be immovable and plant themselves like a tree. As my instructor would say, a rock might be stable, but if something hits hit with greater force, its gonna move and its gonna chip.
 

JowGaWolf

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I also think that too many "karotty" people think that their stance should be immovable and plant themselves like a tree.
This is the same with kung fu, probably worse, being that's one of the things some of them like to demo. 15 guys pushing on each others' unstable structure while trying to push a person. I think showmanship like this has done more harm than good. Now it's the expectation of what a horse stance is used for which is why so many people get it wrong.
 

Oily Dragon

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I am not convinced that knee degeneration is guaranteed when stance training is done mindfully and correctly. .

Knee degeneration is inevitable. It does not matter what gung fu you follow. It's the way of nature, eating away at you. Always eating.

That said, you can at least be mindful and defend yourself at all times.
 

JowGaWolf

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I am not convinced that knee degeneration is guaranteed when stance training is done mindfully and correctly
It's not. Which is why Doctors in the US prescribe Tai Chi for seniors with certain mobility issues. Most knee degeneration probably comes from people just tearing up their knees and genetics. Think of the average person who does not exercise. What type of exercise (other than walking) are they doing to condition the knee.
 

Flying Crane

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Knee degeneration is inevitable. It does not matter what gung fu you follow. It's the way of nature, eating away at you. Always eating.

That said, you can at least be mindful and defend yourself at all times.
If you live long enough then it is likely inevitable. The body does wear out, after all.

People tend to abuse their knees throughout their lives, and that contributes to degeneration. Obesity is widespread in our culture, and that can be hard on the knees. People live sedentary lifestyles, their muscle tone lessens and then they do something active that injures a joint like a knee. Heavy use of the joint in disciplines that involve lots of kicking, especially snap kicking, can contribute, as well as disciplines that include joint manipulations like grappling methods. These are all things that can lead to knee joint degeneration, but are not guaranteed and would also depend on the specific practices and experiences of the individual. I am not convinced that stance practice, when done correctly, is guaranteed to contribute to knee degeneration, at least not more than other activities, and quite possibly less if done carefully and mindfully.
 

Oily Dragon

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well yes it will, but is it actually doing any measurable good to performance is another question, that doesnt get asked enough or at all in kung fu circles

Yes.

As far as measurable good, all I can say is that all the gym bod in the world isn't going to help you stand in a proper ma bu for even a minute, let alone some of the other stances and footwork designed to make you learn how to move your body weight around.

So what does help?

You probably already know the answer, it's universal but in China it's called 吃苦, eating bitterness, and it's one of the most Shaolin things I can think of. Of course you can learn this in many different ways, but the Chinese developed some unique ones based on many lifetimes of hard knock lives.
 
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