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Thread: Forward Bow

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    Default Forward Bow

    I have seen so many black belt go half way into a forward bow. When one goes into a forward bow the front foot is supposed to stay where it is while the back foot pivots until all of your towes are pointing forward....forward bow duh. But so many black belt get half way theree and than lean in. I do not understand this. Is it just because they are lazy or just have been taught differently?
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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    If your toes are pointed directly forward, you have pivoted too far.

    Start in a horse stance, feet parallel. Pivot into a bow stance. Your feet should not pivot more than about 45 degrees. Pivot more thru the waist to face forward, but keep your feet parallel to each other, on that 45 or less degree angle. Your front knee angles inward somewhat, giving some protection to your groin from attacks coming from the front. If you pivot to point directly forward with your feet, then your groin is wide open to attacks from the front.

    By keeping your feet on that angle, you widen your base and make yourself more stable. If you rotate your feet to point directly forward then you have narrowed your base and you are less stable from side to side, while in a forward bow.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    In Infinite Insights 2 it says to point your backfoot foward but in the picture the individual event has his back foot half way there (I do not know who he is, but I saw him of a video from maybe back in the 80's showing the curriculum while Mr. Parker was calling the things out).
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    I'll concede, you may want to pivot the back foot somewhat further than the front, but I would say not completely straight forward. The deeper your bow stance, the harder it will be to pivot the back foot further. I stand by my comments regarding the front foot, however.

    The way I have described it is how it is commonly done in the Chinese arts. I guess I don't pay much attention to what is written in the books. I find them interesting to read, but how I do my techniques is determined by how I am taught by a real teacher. I book is reference, not to be confused with a teacher, and not to be confused with somehow being a "higher authority".
    Michael


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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    O deffinitely agree with you. A book is nt the final say. Just don't tell college professors that lol. I was just cureous.

    But which would brace you more having your back foot turned foward or on an angle? I remeber watching a seminar of Mr. Parker from the late 80's back home teching about bracing and bracing angles. I am probably just thinking too muh about it.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    With regard to a bow stance, bracing from the front, I don't think it makes a difference. If you turn your back foot completely forward, vs. keeping it at a 45 degree-ish angle, won't make a difference in the depth of your stance and bracing angle, and won't affect your stability.

    But keeping that angle in the feet gives you a wider stance from side to side, and more stability in that direction. Your foot is probably 4 or 5 inches wide. But if you keep that 45 angle you have widened your base by probably 3 or 4 extra inches, for each foot. With the relatively narrow stance that the forward bow creates, this small amount makes a huge difference in your stability.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    So I am just trying to see this. There are three things that a forward bo are supposed to give you:
    Power
    Greater reach
    And a greater foundation to brace yourself

    Torque is gained by turning your body into a foward bow, the depth comes from leaning into the front foot and usually when we use a forward bow the opponent is in the front so if I am hit at the same to how will turning my foot only to a 45 degreeish angle keep me from being blown away.

    By not turning all the way how am I going to gain depth and power (by tourque)?
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    [quote=parkerkarate;32354]So I am just trying to see this. There are three things that a forward bo are supposed to give you:
    Power
    Greater reach
    And a greater foundation to brace yourself

    Power and reach thru the pivot and torque. A greater foundation to brace yourself depends on what you are trying to do, so yes, and no, for that one. Depends on the task at hand.

    Torque is gained by turning your body into a foward bow,

    Yes.

    the depth comes from leaning into the front foot

    Well, I wouldn't say you should lean into it. You can become overextended and off balance in that direction. But the pivot itself does tend to shift your torso forward somewhat, compared to where it was in a horse stance. So your torso and accompanying mass does move forward into a strike, but don't lean into it. Keep your torso upright, but relaxed.

    and usually when we use a forward bow the opponent is in the front so if I am hit at the same to how will turning my foot only to a 45 degreeish angle keep me from being blown away.

    yes, if you are attacked in a way that pressures you somehow from side to side, you maintain greater stability than if your feet, or even one foot, is pointing directly forward. Try experimenting with the stances. Hold the stance with these different foot variations, and have someone push you side to side. See how it feels.

    By not turning all the way how am I going to gain depth and power (by tourque)?

    Turn thru the waist. You pivot with the feet and legs to the 45 degree, but then continue the pivot thru the waist.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Well, I wouldn't say you should lean into it. You can become overextended and off balance in that direction. But the pivot itself does tend to shift your torso forward somewhat, compared to where it was in a horse stance. So your torso and accompanying mass does move forward into a strike, but don't lean into it. Keep your torso upright, but relaxed.

    Now when I say lean into it I do not mean drastically.

    Turn thru the waist. You pivot with the feet and legs to the 45 degree, but then continue the pivot thru the waist.

    Wow I feel alot of tenision in my lower back if I try to do that. It is kind of the same thing when you swing a golf club. BUt your hips do not clear and yourback foot stays planted lol. How do you hit through your target like that?
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


    "Praying Mantis, very good. . . For catching bugs." --Jackie Chan

    "A horse stance is great for taking a dump" --Jet Li

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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate View Post
    Turn thru the waist. You pivot with the feet and legs to the 45 degree, but then continue the pivot thru the waist.

    Wow I feel alot of tenision in my lower back if I try to do that. It is kind of the same thing when you swing a golf club. BUt your hips do not clear and yourback foot stays planted lol. How do you hit through your target like that?

    When I said Waist, I probably should have said hips. Your hips turn and settle a bit. You can turn your hips until they face forward, and still keep your foot on the angle. Your back knee will straighten, and your hip joints sort of allow your hips and thighs to fold in. Not sure exactly how to explain it without showing it...Like I said before, you may need to pivot your back foot a bit further than the front, but you shouldn't need to pivot all the way until it is straight. You might need to do this if you lack a bit of flexibility in your hips. Find what works best for you. Honestly, while I believe this way is better, you may have reasons why it doesn't work the best for you. If you decide that, I respect that decision. But I am giving you a bit of a different perspective in the mean time.

    I was discussing this with one of the students in the tai chi class that I attend. We got to discussing stances, and I was pointing out some problems with his stances. One of the instructors in the class, a high level Choy Lay Fut kung fu teacher, confirmed what I was telling him. The next time I see him, I will ask his opinion about pivoting the back foot fully to face forward, while leaving he front foot on the angle. It will be interesting to see what he says. I may not see him for a couple weeks, however.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Let me throw in my two cents here ....

    I have seen the tape to which you refer (Jim Mitchell) and I agree, his first forward bow was very weak. The second side was improved, but still not the way I execute a forward bow. (I will note, that Mitchell was wearing black - something I am not yet doing).

    The Forward Bow is to add reach, power, and stability to the rear weapon.

    The "greater foundation" is in support of a strike on the 6-12 line. The forward bow will not have stability on the 3-9 line, or even any of the corner angles. We want to make sure that when we make contact with whatever is on the recieving end of that punch, gets hurt; that all of our force is transferred to the point of contact. We also want to make sure that in the process, we don't hurt ourselves. By using the foward bow when executing a rear weapon strike, we stabilize ourselves for the recoil of our strike. .... Right????

    Yes, the waist should turn (trunk rotation according to Mr. Planas). The rear leg should straighten. The heel of the rear foot needs to remain on the floor. The rear foot should be aligned on the 6-12 line. The front foot should be on the angle (7:30-1:30 or 4:30-10:30).

    One more thought, I don't think we need be overly concerned with concealing our centerline when executing a Forward Bow. The Neutral Bow does not conceal the centerline. We must be in a 'Fighting Horse' to close of the centerline. But, doing that eliminates the effectiveness of the rear weapon; we must go around ourselves to use them.

    When we hit the forward, we are hitting something infront of us. We then are transitioning out of that forward pretty quickly. Either back to a neutral (think parting wings - Neutral Forward Neutral), or kicking (daring mace?).

    So, yes, our centerline is open, a bit, but the benefit of using all four weapons outweighs that negative.



    Personally, I think sometimes we all get lazy, and execute our stances poorly. At this level, I am still kicking myself in that my stances are entirely too deep. Sometimes, just a couple of inches, but those inches may put me out of effective range.

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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    When I said Waist, I probably should have said hips. Your hips turn and settle a bit. You can turn your hips until they face forward, and still keep your foot on the angle. Your back knee will straighten, and your hip joints sort of allow your hips and thighs to fold in. Not sure exactly how to explain it without showing it...Like I said before, you may need to pivot your back foot a bit further than the front, but you shouldn't need to pivot all the way until it is straight. You might need to do this if you lack a bit of flexibility in your hips. Find what works best for you. Honestly, while I believe this way is better, you may have reasons why it doesn't work the best for you. If you decide that, I respect that decision. But I am giving you a bit of a different perspective in the mean time.

    I was discussing this with one of the students in the tai chi class that I attend. We got to discussing stances, and I was pointing out some problems with his stances. One of the instructors in the class, a high level Choy Lay Fut kung fu teacher, confirmed what I was telling him. The next time I see him, I will ask his opinion about pivoting the back foot fully to face forward, while leaving he front foot on the angle. It will be interesting to see what he says. I may not see him for a couple weeks, however.
    There is still a little tenshion in the outside of my leg, maybe its just something I would have to get used to.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


    "Praying Mantis, very good. . . For catching bugs." --Jackie Chan

    "A horse stance is great for taking a dump" --Jet Li

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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate View Post
    There is still a little tenshion in the outside of my leg, maybe its just something I would have to get used to.

    There is some tension, but generally not great, and I think you can develop it and it won't be a problem.

    I looked thru the Vol 2 of Infinite Insights last night to see what is being described and diagramed. It seems that the stance as diagrammed is that the front foot remains completely sideways, on a 3-9 line, while the rear foot turns completely forward, on a 12-6 line, with your torso facing 12. The feet essentially form a "T" shape. That is what the diagram shows.

    None of the photos of the people demonstrating the stance seem to show this, however. Generally, in the photos, the rear foot is closer to 45 degree, and the front foot has also shifted somewhat. Essentially, both feet are close to parallel, perhaps the rear foot has rotated more, but not completely forward. At least this is how the photos appear to me.

    I think that the way the diagram shows this stance, with the feet in a T shape, is really problematic. In order to reach this position, you are forcing your joints to work against each other. This is in the hips, knees, and ankles. Try forcing yourself into this position. It is really uncomfortable. I believe that a stance like this places excessive pressures on these joints, both in a twisting and lateral way. Over time, I suspect this could be dangerous, and could lead to injuries and problems with these joints.

    If you pivot the front foot into a 45 degree angle, you relieve this pressure somewhat. But if you still pivot the back foot all the way until it faces forward, you still contribute to excessive pressure in these joints. In addition, in my opinion, you will sacrifice side to side stability, as I already suggested in a prior post.

    Making the pivot all the way forward with the rear foot does nothing to improve your stability from front to back. It does not deepen the stance. Whether you pivot all the way, or only to 45 degrees, your heel remains at approximately the same spot. But it will decrease your stability from side to side, and that is important. Even tho your strike is moving forward, you need stability side to side. If you hit something forward, and you don't have lateral stability, your forward strike will be weak and you may even fall down.

    Try an experiment to illustrate this in the extreme. Do a bow stance, but face both feet completely forward. Now put both feet so they are directly in line with each other, minimizing your stance width as much as possible. Try hitting a heavy bag from that position. Try pivoting from a horse stance into this stance, hitting a bag. You will see how weak and unbalanced it is, when you remove lateral stability. Nobody should be using a stance like this, it is rediculous. I am just using it to show in the extreme what happens, when you remove lateral stability. This example just makes it more obvious.

    I have seen the bow stance done without shifting the feet at all, from a horse. Basically, the feet remain parallel on the 3-9 line, while you pivot thru the hips to face 12. I think the feet do need to pivot somewhat. You may need to experiment a bit and find where it works best for you, and this may change over time as you develop. You may pivot the back foot somewhat further than the front, but again, in my opinion, pivoting the foot until it faces forward is a mistake.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Quote Originally Posted by parkerkarate View Post
    I have seen so many black belt go half way into a forward bow. When one goes into a forward bow the front foot is supposed to stay where it is while the back foot pivots until all of your towes are pointing forward....forward bow duh. But so many black belt get half way theree and than lean in. I do not understand this. Is it just because they are lazy or just have been taught differently?
    You must've just seen someone do this. You sound peeved. LOL.

    Regardless of foot position you definately shouldn't be "leaning." You sacrifice stability, upset your centerline, become off balance, and easier to take down.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    This amoung other things are my pet peeve's. I just compare things too much to the past (80's and 90's), where at least I think I see Kenpo at its best.
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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    There is some tension, but generally not great, and I think you can develop it and it won't be a problem.

    I looked thru the Vol 2 of Infinite Insights last night to see what is being described and diagramed. It seems that the stance as diagrammed is that the front foot remains completely sideways, on a 3-9 line, while the rear foot turns completely forward, on a 12-6 line, with your torso facing 12. The feet essentially form a "T" shape. That is what the diagram shows.
    Are you sure that I.I. shows the front foot on the 3-9 line while in a neutral bow stance?

    Assuming you are using a neutral bow that has both feet at 1030, it should take no more than 2 minutes to determine for yourself if your back foot provides more stability when turned all the way to 12-6 or somewhere short of 12-6. That is how long it took our class to figure that out, anyways...

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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC View Post
    Are you sure that I.I. shows the front foot on the 3-9 line while in a neutral bow stance?

    Assuming you are using a neutral bow that has both feet at 1030, it should take no more than 2 minutes to determine for yourself if your back foot provides more stability when turned all the way to 12-6 or somewhere short of 12-6. That is how long it took our class to figure that out, anyways...

    not a neutral bow. A forward bow.

    The diagram in the book clearly shows the lead foot on the 3-9 line, with the back foot on the 12-6 line, forming a "T".
    Michael


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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    This is the page from my copy of I.I. 2 pp 66 & 67

    http://home.sprynet.com/~michaeledward/image/fb.jpg


    I see the front foot pointed to a corner. Rear foot pointed to the wall. The image on this page, I believe, is Jim Mitchell, who was on what I believe was the earlier referenced tape.

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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    This is the page from my copy of I.I. 2 pp 66 & 67

    http://home.sprynet.com/~michaeledward/image/fb.jpg


    I see the front foot pointed to a corner. Rear foot pointed to the wall. The image on this page, I believe, is Jim Mitchell, who was on what I believe was the earlier referenced tape.

    whoa, yer right! I got that turned around in my head, the diagram and photo definitely show the front foot at about a 45 degree angle, not left on the 9-3 line as I stated earlier.

    I think I got mixed up by the drawing on page 60. In this particular drawing it gives the impression that the front foot is left on the 9-3 line. I must have subconciously carried that over into the diagrams and photos by mistake. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I still dont like the rear foot pointed forward, but we are in agreement about the front foot.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Forward Bow

    Go outside and try to push your car up a hill. Look at your rear foot, what position do you put it in for maximum 12:00 - 6:00 stability. Most people will turn their hips square to the car and the foot turns to face 12:00. Now the fact remains that I see a lot of half hearted forward bows amongst advanced Kenpo players. I'm convinced that when practicing one should practice the full range of motion to the 12-6 line but I'm unsure whether or not it can or must be effectively short cut in actual practice. A lot of Kenpo players sacrifice stability and strength for speed. I'll continue practicing full range of motion for now and hope Dr. Chapel or Mr. Conatser respond to this thread.

    As to the initial question/statement leaning forward to compensate for inadequate foot hip stability is a weakness that I like to exploit when playing with others. I'm slow but if I can get them off balance I look faster.

    Jeff

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