WT lineage stance/steps to enhance rooting and power generation?

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
804
If you have a chicken in your pocket, i'd rather not know about it... :p

Chinese martial techniques are connected by metaphor chains. Cats to chickens to dragons, stuff like that.
 
OP
G

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,108
Reaction score
3,206
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Diu, ma bo. .
You either get it, or you don't.
Such is the way of all Shaolin styles.

I think I'm missing the point, although many years ago, I hung out with some Chinese and Mexican guys, and well, "diu" was a word word we used sorta like "chingada" ....I don't know if either of these will get past the censor on this forum.... but what that would mean to the ordinary Cantonese speaker when paired with ma bo (horse stance) I don't have a clue! ...Except "diu" is exactly how I personally feel about having to hold a deep horse stance. Not my cuppa tea.
 

Danny T

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
2,292
Location
New Iberia, Louisiana USA
Warning, The Geezer has some ideas to debate about "WT" stances and steps. Here's Chapter 1:

Some you here have had experience in the WT or WingTsun branch of the Ip Man lineage of Leung Ting. This was the lineage that I trained, and one of it's most distinguishing traits is its peculiar, ....perhaps even extreme take on the WC stance.

Many branches of WC favor a somewhat back-weighted stance when posing one foot forward (as compared to the square-on Yee Gee Kim Ma or "Character Two" / "IRAS" stance). Typically that would be wighting the rear leg 60-70%. In the WT branch, the stance is said to be back weighted 100%. All the bodies "dead" weight is placed on the rear foot and only a light "pressure" is put on the front foot.

The best descriptive analogy heard was that of a man sitting on the edge of a bar stool with one leg extended onto the floor. His dead weight is carried 100% by the stool yet he can put pressure on the floor. Since the stool carries all his weight, he can move or lift his extended leg up off the floor at will, or set it back down with pressure to scoot or adjust the position of his stool. Like this old guy:


Now the real challenge comes when you are told to maintain this weighting when advancing. You are told to extend your front foot, grip the ground and literally drag your whole body forward without unweighting or lifting up the rear, weight-bearing leg at all.

At first this seems an impossible task. Later, making some weighting adjustments most students actually do develop a certain degree of ability to move like this. Some remain clumsy and slow. Others integrate what I call "compensatory techniques" and ultimately come up with something that, while not quite totally back-weighted, is very close to this model yet also functional. In some cases, more than functional. Even explosive. Watch this guy at 2:28-2:30, slow it down to 50% and watch how his rear foot stays on the ground.

So here are a few questions, especially for anybody who spent any time training this in WT.

1. Were you able to make this stance work for you at all?

2. If so, what do you feel were it's advantages and disadvantages.

3. Do you still use this approach, and if so have you made any personal modifications?
Geezer,
I've spoken on this in the past. In my training and journey my stance, shifting, weight distribution has been:
In the beginning 100% rear foot. Here I learned both the step-slide as well as the step-pull movement.
As I advanced the weight distribution became more toward 70-30 and then shifting between 50-50 to as much as 100% (after all one can't kick or knee with weight on the leg used for the kick or knee) We also use different pivoting and shifting based on need not adhere to pivoting in one manner.
When studying the person you refer to as the head of the system you learned he doesn't adhere to only the step-pull or pivoting only one foot at a time or staying at 100% back weighted. One needs to move about naturally and not be restricted to a particular method of moving or balance. Controlled balanced mobility is far more important than adhering to a particular stance, shift, or stepping method.
 
OP
G

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,108
Reaction score
3,206
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Such is the way of all Shaolin styles.

BTW, we were taught, that in spite of the origin myths deriving Wing Chun from Southern Shaolin, that in many ways, WC was iconoclastic and went against a lot of that tradition. Examples would be the emphasis on simplicity and directness, shedding complex and low percentage techniques, resulting in fewer techniques, fewer forms, and also a preference (especially in the Ip Man lineage) for naming techniques plainly and forgoing traditional poetic terminology.

On the other hand, even the rebellious son who leaves home and denies his family, carries his parents with him in his genes. So it is with WC.
 
OP
G

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,108
Reaction score
3,206
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Geezer...One needs to move about naturally and not be restricted to a particular method of moving or balance. Controlled balanced mobility is far more important than adhering to a particular stance, shift, or stepping method.

True enough. I just wanted to examine how one particular way of moving ...what's taught in orthodox "WT" ....contributes to power generation.

I find it also true for the "WT" method of turning where you turn one foot at a time in sequence and shift your weight nearly 100% from side to side.. They teach it as a means of shifting the centerline laterally to yield and evade a strong attack "like a bulfighter" dodging a bull. But I find that this method of turning, with one foot always rooted, adducted, almost torqued into the ground really adds to my power generation as compared to the faster methods of pivoting both feet simultaneously.

Here's a very basic demo of the "WT" turning stance showing how only one foot is moved at a time:


When turning like this, I find that the combination to turning and shifting of the weight on to the firmly rooted rear foot lets me access both rising (lifting) and rotational energy to gain power, especially in body punches and uppercuts (lifting punches). I can't get the same feeling turning both feet simultaneously pivoting either on the heels or toes.

The fact is that to turn both feet at the same time means that, for an instant, you are "unrooted" on both sides and that's the difference.
 
Last edited:

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
804
BTW, we were taught, that in spite of the origin myths deriving Wing Chun from Southern Shaolin, that in many ways, WC was iconoclastic and went against a lot of that tradition. Examples would be the emphasis on simplicity and directness, shedding complex and low percentage techniques, resulting in fewer techniques, fewer forms, and also a preference (especially in the Ip Man lineage) for naming techniques plainly and forgoing traditional poetic terminology.

On the other hand, even the rebellious son who leaves home and denies his family, carries his parents with him in his genes. So it is with WC.

I thought you'd be able to point out the connection between Wing Chun and Diu Ma? If you need me to spell things out, just ask.
 

yak sao

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
2,175
Reaction score
749
I'm of the mindset that in Wing Tsun we learn things in isolation but we apply it as a whole.
Once you obtain all the pieces to the puzzle your picture is complete and you are able to use/apply as the situation dictates.
 

O'Malley

Brown Belt
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Messages
408
Reaction score
265
Thought I'd backtrack and include this short video for anybody with no idea of what si taught in the "WT" lineage:


Let's say he's in that stance with the right leg forwards, left leg backwards. And he's got 100% of his weight on his back (left) leg.

If he needs to step to the left or step back, he will need to shift his weight again. Or am I missing something here?
 

yak sao

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
2,175
Reaction score
749
Let's say he's in that stance with the right leg forwards, left leg backwards. And he's got 100% of his weight on his back (left) leg.

If he needs to step to the left or step back, he will need to shift his weight again. Or am I missing something here?

It's situational, but generally speaking, the short pulling step is used to cover a short distance, like scooting up under the table.
If you were to go a further distance then the rear leg steps through and the other leg becomes weighted.
Same as in going backwards or to the side opposite the leg that's out.

A good rule of thumb is you step with the same leg you would easiest kick with in a particular instance.
In other words, if the opponent is too far away to kick with the front leg, you would kick with( or step) with the rear leg.
If the left foot is forward and opponent is on your left, you would kick with the left foot using a side kick or facing them and using a front kick...if they were on your right, your right foot would come through in an arcing motion and kick (or step) to the right.

So we don't stay on the back leg completely and scoot around the floor like a doofus, the legs change position just like walking.

Clear as mud?;)
 

hunschuld

Blue Belt
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
208
Reaction score
113
First I am not trying to be a jerk and I respect all versions of Wing Chun. I am sure every version believes it is effective. Wing Chun is not a religion for me. It is about what is actually effective and practical for fighting. While many Wing Chun styles may be effective against the untrained or drunks the truth is it is not very effective against trained fighters.
Just look at YouTube,very few effective WC fighters.
This type of footwork and the adherence to it and the justification of it points to the fantasy religion and not the practical fighting skill that was the hall mark of the original wing chun practitioners of the late 1800's.

The question is are WC people human and do they share in the physical anatomy of all humans? If your answer is yes then this is not the best way to generate power and in fact violates several WC Kuit

Power comes from the ground or the lower body depending on how you look at things. Power generation comes from the connected usage and alignment of the 6 joints ankle.knee,HIP's,shoulder. elbow, wrist. The largest muscles in the human body of in the lower body.

Power generation comes from learning how to transmit the power from the lower body up to and out the hands of the upper body. This is the same for all physical endeavors.

You should be able to take your WC stance and mechanics and apply it to all other activities with minimal changes based on the activity. Olympic lifting, power lifting , golf, tennis ,hitting a baseball, Offensive lineman technique in American Footbal etc etc.In fact using WC mechanics may actually improve your skills in other activities. This stance and foot work locks the hips. The hips must be loose and you must be able to open and close them . The lean back on one leg breaks the link between lower body and the arms.

If you believe Leung Jan was a practitioner of Chinese medicine then this stance and foot work is incorrect for the same reasons. The way the knees are used closes and blocks the inner leg meridians. The meridians along the spine are broken. A person knowledgeable in Chinese medicine would never do this.

If I am wrong you can prove it. Take this front stance and place your hands behind your back. Have a partner place both hands on your chest and have them push into your chest as hard as they can. You should be able to take their energy and you should also be able to freely pick up your front leg and perform any kick you wish while maintaining your balance and structure. No Leung Ting tricks of pushing up on the persons elbows as they push into your chest. In Lo Kwai'ss system this is considered a basic SNT level skill

There are 2 energy power generation methods of Ging's in our WC. The first is dog shakes water. The horizontal energy of WC This is the longer range method from used in white crane. It comes from the rapid rotation of the hips and waist area it also triggers the secondary energy usage of the shoulder/ scapula area. When doing a turning punch the power of the retraction of one arm helps to propel the striking arm is an example. Float and Swallow

the second Ging is snake strikes. Some have said this is from Emei snake style . I have no opinion on the matter. This is the vertical energy. Up from the grounds the hips transmit the energy up along the spine and out the arms. This trigger the sinking energy as its secondary affect. the next strike will trigger the use of the chest area as your sink or boxers would say drop or use a drop step.. Sink and Spit .

For use the first Kuit is, WC invested by a woman. A woman is not as powerful in the upper body as a man. for her to be successful she must use the muscles of her lower body. Even a small woman's leg is more powerful than a large mans arms. To do this she must rely on her hips to both transmit out attacking energy and accept ,sink and control incoming energy. The proper use of the hips is all important.and is the basis for all wing chun.

Footwork is to be light and fast move quickly and grind. How can you move to a flank of a boxer,side body if all you do is plod forward?

If I am wrong you should have no problem cleaning up at the nearest MMA school.

If I am am wrong you should see every wing chun school full of professional MMA fighters learning the footwork.. They want to win fights and will take any edge they can find.to do so.

This is just my position it may not be true for anyone else but when I have had to fight and when I sparred in a cage. I was not infused with the spirit of Leung Jan or Yip Man and non of my teachers showed up to protect me. It was just me alone so I was happy I had given myself over to reality and practicality.



.
 
OP
G

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,108
Reaction score
3,206
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Hunschuld: I don't think we disagree as much as you may suspect. I moved away from Wing Chun for a while and for a number of years I favored the practical footwork of my old Escrima teacher, Rene Latosa (who I trained with long before his association with the EBMAS group). Latosa's footwork is both quick and powerful, being influenced by his FMA background and his experience as a boxer.

But in spite of my success at applying Latosa's modified boxing footwork, at a certain range I found that the principles of my WT footwork would naturally come into play. So I looked at what I was doing more closely, and have found that there is so much more to it than some would think.

Footwork is to be light and fast move quickly and grind. How can you move to a flank of a boxer,side body if all you do is plod forward?

The "WT" footwork is not just plodding forward. Properly done, it can be light, it can be quick, it is multi-directional in 360簞, it can be evasive, and it can be explosive. I feel that a lot of the misconceptions about it come from the way it has been taught. The various "WT" organizations around the world tend to so stress the most basic drills, and tend to dole out material so slowly that most of what you see is so rudimentary as to be almost unworkable.

Furthermore, the "official WT" groups I have experienced tend to be very authoritarian and do not encourage the kind of experimentation that is necessary to discover how to bring these principles to life and freely apply them. Some of the EWTO trained people I've met here in the states are especially guilty of this. Like "WT engineers" they have so over-analyzed every detail of a movement, that their students may miss the synergy that comes when all these separate pieces flow together. IMO the older, Chinese trained practitioners seem to be better at that.

...If I am wrong you should have no problem cleaning up at the nearest MMA school.

For your information, I have never had any trouble cleaning up at the MMA or Boxing gyms I've used.

...At Camelback Boxing and also at Torres DTE/MMA, I used to help store away the pads and equipment, help disinfect the mats, sweep up, ...even carry the trash out to the dumpster. It was always appreciated. ;)
 
OP
G

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,108
Reaction score
3,206
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Let's say he's in that stance with the right leg forwards, left leg backwards. And he's got 100% of his weight on his back (left) leg. If he needs to step to the left or step back, he will need to shift his weight again. Or am I missing something here?

^^^^ No, you are not. :)

Whenever possible, we prefer angling, turning or off-lining to retreating. But if can't turn and you are pressed back, you step back. ...or if you have to, jump back!

I'm presenting a "favored approach" to stance work, not a straight-jacket that will get you killed! ;)

Similarly, if you are moving forward using the rear-weighted "drag step" and you are moving over rough, uneven ground, your rear foot will often catch on obstructions. Then as you pull forward, your weight automatically shifts forward onto your front leg, allowing you to pick up your rear foot and move it over the obstruction. Its a natural process called stepping or walking. Most of us have been doing it since early childhood. :D

The rear-weighted drag-step is something you can move in and out of. More valuable at corta mano than larga. So, personally I maintain a more boxer like stance at long range or with weapons and then may shift into the WT rear-weighted stance when getting inside, especially when empty handed. It's really quite mobile and quick. In some ways, as when you add the turn, it's similar to what you see Pekiti guys doing. It's problems aren't a lack of speed and mobility. IMO it's greatest vulnerability is against a grappler. :cool:

 

hunschuld

Blue Belt
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
208
Reaction score
113
"Hunschuld: I don't think we disagree as much as you may suspect." Geezer I am sure you are right. Since we are all built the same I believe we all naturally will drift toward methods that best fit our anatomy.

I started WC in 1983 and went through and was exposed to the same way of thinking as everyone else. This is better than that. My teacher was closer to Yip Man etc. I started when things were still old school including blind folded full contact Chi Sao. I always learned best by getting hit and I was stubborn. I did some crazy things to test my WC against other trained Fighters of other methods . I believed WC was designed to work so for example when a boxer would smack me or a BJJ guy took me down I felt the problem was with what I had been taught not with WC itself so I looked for answers and have experience with many teachers and styles of wing chun. My only experience with LTWC was with a couple of people that made a big deal of spending time training at the "castle". I was impressed with the marketing skills.

For me we all have the same basic techniques the differences are based on the internal structural use of the body and what parts of WC in emphasized. For example my WC and everyone's forms are full of grappling and throwing techniques yet most WC has been reduced to a primary focus on striking.There are reasons for this change. The other problem if a primary misunderstanding of Chi Sao.
 
OP
G

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,108
Reaction score
3,206
Location
Phoenix, AZ
For example my WC and everyone's forms are full of grappling and throwing techniques yet most WC has been reduced to a primary focus on striking.There are reasons for this change. The other problem if a primary misunderstanding of Chi Sao.

Hmmm. Two excellent topics for a new thread and further discussion:

...everyone's forms are full of grappling and throwing techniques....

...the other problem is a primary misunderstanding of Chi Sao.
 

hunschuld

Blue Belt
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
208
Reaction score
113
Could you explain what kind of throwing techniques exist in your WC form?

Very hard question. Much easier to show than to type full explanations.

Tung Sheng Chang said in an interview maybe 35 years ago that he found all styles of Kung Fu had Shuai jiao in their forms and he spent a lot of time showing Masters the Shuai jiao inside their forms. It no different for WC For example the very first thing you learn, the stance opening, is a standing knee lock and a throw that will break the knee. The downward palm section of SNT side ,back front. . That whole section is how to deal with the clinch. One of the most brutal throws is the double tok sau..

It just keeps going on Chum Kui and the Dummy contain the most information. I will admit our dummy has 8 sections that Yip Man may not have taught. I have never seen the sections in any other dummy form. It is full of leg cutting, sweeps, whipping and driving throws.

The key to training starts with the 1 leg SNT and then learning defense against sweeps and throws.I was told one of the reasons the sweeping and throwing stopped being emphasized
was that they caused to many injuries and were hard to train.Don't know that I believe that. Their are other more selfish reasons that I think are closer to the truth.For example from stories Yip Man used Kneeling horse in a fight yet you don't see it in most versions of his WC. The throws tend to trap the arms so break falling is difficult and often the goal is to bounce the back of the head off the ground.

One example is when in Chi Sao you arrow step through the other persons legs and hook a leg while your upper body attacks keeps driving through putting your opponent right on the back of their head. Wing Chun throws are not nearly as comprehensive as Shuai jiao. They are a subset that work with WC principals and flow with WC hand techniques.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
12,141
Reaction score
3,525
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
the stance opening, is a standing knee lock ...
I'm glad you have pointed this out. You can use WC YJKYM to lock behind your opponent's ankle, and use your shin bone to press on the inside or outside of your opponent's leg to cause a "biting" motion. The lower that you can drop your knee, the strong biting motion that you can perform.

I believe some WC systems still train this kind of "sticky leg".

shin-bite.gif


Does this posture look similar to the WC YJKYM?

ho-wo-dan.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
G

geezer

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
7,108
Reaction score
3,206
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Very hard question. Much easier to show than to type full explanations.

^^^ This is so true. But thanks for giving it a go anyway.

....One of the most brutal throws is the double tok sau.

Some of the sweeps and throws you described sound similar to things I've seen, but this, using double tok sau, as a brutal throw doesn't sound like anything I'm familiar with. Could you elaborate?

...It just keeps going on Chum Kui and the Dummy contain the most information. I will admit our dummy has 8 sections that Yip Man may not have taught. I have never seen the sections in any other dummy form. It is full of leg cutting, sweeps, whipping and driving throws.

Fascinating. The dummy seems like a very good tool for practicing this kind of work.

....example is when in Chi Sao you arrow step through the other persons legs and hook a leg while your upper body attacks keeps driving through putting your opponent right on the back of their head. Wing Chun throws are not nearly as comprehensive as Shuai jiao. They are a subset that work with WC principals and flow with WC hand techniques.

We do practice something like you describe above, but like you said, in general the Ip Man lineage WC/VT/WT I've seen emphasizes striking far more than throwing. Emin was fond of standing knee / leg locks, kind of like the "shin bite" John Wang showed, but delivered from an upright WT posture. Those techniques can be dangerous and due to already damaged knees and ankles, I avoid them. Not that they aren't good techniques ....just that they aren't good for me. Anyway, the old saying is that all arts train ti da shuai na. Why should Wing Chun be different?

Here's an old clip of Wang Zhi-Peng. At 1:15 he says he will show us how ti da shuai na all work together in his VT and then starting from a poon sau platform proceeds to thrash the heck out of his student. I believe this is his own re-introduction of shuai chiao into the mostly striking oriented Ip Man / Wong Shun Leung lineage he trained:

 
Top