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Thread: Stances?

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    Dharma_Punk is offline
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    Default Stances?

    Lately, I have been playing with my stance. When I first started kenpo, I was taught the normal (I think?) kenpo stance, feet a little wider then shoulder width, front foot facing forward, rear foot at a 90 degree angle to the front foot. Front hand up to protect the face and rear hand chambered by the waist. Well lately, I have found myself moving to more of a boxer inspired stance. Bringing my rear foot up a little closer and more forward facing relative to the front foot, body more facing opponent, and rear arm chambered up a lot higher. Any thoughts on this? What stances is everyone else using?
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
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    Default Re: Stances?

    Here ya go, bro. Check out this thread.

    http://www.kenpotalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1907
    "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." Ė Charles A. Beard

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    Dharma_Punk is offline
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    Default Re: Stances?

    Excellent, thank you for the link.
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
    "If you train very hard, you will be very good." - Remy Presas

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    Lately, I have been playing with my stance. When I first started kenpo, I was taught the normal (I think?) kenpo stance, feet a little wider then shoulder width, front foot facing forward, rear foot at a 90 degree angle to the front foot. Front hand up to protect the face and rear hand chambered by the waist. Well lately, I have found myself moving to more of a boxer inspired stance. Bringing my rear foot up a little closer and more forward facing relative to the front foot, body more facing opponent, and rear arm chambered up a lot higher. Any thoughts on this? What stances is everyone else using?
    That is not a 'normal' kenpo stance in the method I learned.

    In a 'neutral bow' stance, your feet should be facing in the same general direction. You are describing your feet pointing in different directions. I think this leaves your centerline more open than might be advisable. And, from your description, your rear foot is poised to attack someone coming in from your side; when the aggressor is to your front.

    If you are in a square room, your feet should be pointed toward the corner of the room.

    Yes - your body should face your opponent.
    Yes, your hands should be in realistic position.

    This thread may also be of interest to you.
    Basics - Stances

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    When I first started kenpo, I was taught the normal (I think?) kenpo stance, feet a little wider then shoulder width, front foot facing forward, rear foot at a 90 degree angle to the front foot. Front hand up to protect the face and rear hand chambered by the waist.
    That sounds like a Tae Kwon Do back stance. I don't know of any Kenpo system that teaches that. Your profile says you are EPAK/Tracey's. Which school taught you this as a fighting stance? Just curiouse.

    There have been several threads and posts here regarding stances, particularly the neutral bow. You might try a search.

    The boxers stance is designed to support his footwork and the use of his upper body weapons only. It's a bit too narrow to support a Kenpo fighting posture. But I'd use it over the back stance (and I have trained the back stance, and other TKD stances as well). As a side note, the seriouse TKDers that I've trained with in the past don't use their base stances either when sparing or fighting. The back stance is usually seen as preparitory to a kick off the lead leg- not a good way to hide your intent.

    Dan C

    edit: here's just a few-

    March 2006 - Form Of The Month - Short Form 1
    starting on page 2

    April 2006 - Form of the Month - Long Form 1

    http://www.kenpotalk.com/forum/showt...ht=neutral+bow
    Last edited by thedan; 04-16-2007 at 03:37 PM.
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    bujuts is offline
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    Default Re: Stances?

    Great topic,

    The "T" stance you describe is unarguably immobile. The things to consider in the stance, when ascertaining its particular parameters of height, width, and depth largely center on its capacity to provide stability and mobility. And mobility, mind you, should entail 1) mobility in all directions, and 2) mobility under resistance, i.e. maintaining structural alignment while in motion.

    Some other threads along these lines are on stances directly related to, or include, the neutral bow, and from this perspective other stances that connect from, to, or through the neutral bow should also be considered when you evaluate / learn about a stance and why it works. The related topics are:
    Twist stance: Twist Stance
    Cat stance:
    April 2006 - Form of the Month - Long Form 1
    I'm sure there are more, but I hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    The "T" stance you describe is unarguably immobile.
    The "T" stance! Shades of Bruce Tegner- I'd forgotten that one!

    The difference in the back and T stances is that, with a back stance, the heel of the leading foot is aligned with the heel of the trailing foot. In a T stance, the heel of the leading foot aligns with the instep of the trailing foot. TKD also does the T, but I can't remember what they call it.

    They also do one where the lead foot is 90' to the trailing foot, but the toes point to the instep of the trailing foot. That generally means he's about to back kick you. I love fighting traditional TKD types.

    The Dan
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    Dharma_Punk is offline
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    Default Re: Stances?

    This T stance was not taught to me, per say. The hand placement I described was, but me turning my rear foot was a habit I gave to myself. (Apparently a bad one) My instructor has encouraged me to take a stance a lot closer to Celtic crippler described once I became more advanced, but I found it to feel unnatural, (Except the hand placement, which made sense to me) so shyed away from it. I had not heard the part about turning your heels out before, this feels odd, to say the least. For me, keeping my toes pointed towards the opponent allows me to advance and close the gap much quicker, and keeps my feet at a good position to throw rear and front kicks.
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
    "If you train very hard, you will be very good." - Remy Presas

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    This T stance was not taught to me, per say. The hand placement I described was, but me turning my rear foot was a habit I gave to myself. My instructor has encouraged me to take a stance a lot closer to Celtic crippler described once I became more advanced, but I found it to feel unnatural, so shyed away from it. I had not heard the part about turning your heels out before, this feels odd, to say the least. For me, keeping my toes pointed towards the opponent allows me to advance and close the gap much quicker, and keeps my feet at a good position to throw rear and front kicks.
    Try the neutral bow and get used to it, I think you'll find it is the most mobile, yet still stable, stance going. Quicker to move and to transition from. Quicker and more solid to strike from. And the rear hand never rests at the hip in a chambered position in Kenpo. Sometimes it moves through this chamber, but never stops there.

    Pointing the toes of the lead foot forward leaves your center line open, especially the groin where the front leg is a perfect guide to target. It also reduces stability, especially lateral stability. Front to rear stability is less than a neu bow, but how much in any direction depends on posture and weight distribution. If you weight the back leg, kicks and some (few) steps are quicker off the front. But anything off the rear is slow, and many moves off the front are slower as well. For example, in a simple step sideways with the front foot you must first turn the foot to engage the proper muscles and step.

    Even the more seriouse TKDers don't use this stance much when they fight. They each develope their own "fighting stance", which, surprise-surprise, looks a lot like our neutral bow in just about every case. At least, that's been my experience working out with several schools and groups of TKD folk, many of whom did this stuff for real- full contact training and high risk jobs.

    Dan C

    By the way, Oscar Wilde was wrong. Many men have died for what they know to be true. History, and the very fact that our nation exists, attest to that.
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    John M. La Tourrette (04-16-2007)

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    Default Re: Stances?

    align the outside edges of your feet straight ahead, not the inside edges. it only doesn't feel natural for a while. Soon you will fell the strength of it.

    assume the foot position of a horse stance to either 1:30 (left neut bow) or 10:30 (rt neut bow).

    or, as I tell all my classes at least 3 times per hour : "Heels Out!"

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    Lately, I have been playing with my stance. When I first started kenpo, I was taught the normal (I think?) kenpo stance, feet a little wider then shoulder width, front foot facing forward, rear foot at a 90 degree angle to the front foot. Front hand up to protect the face and rear hand chambered by the waist. Well lately, I have found myself moving to more of a boxer inspired stance. Bringing my rear foot up a little closer and more forward facing relative to the front foot, body more facing opponent, and rear arm chambered up a lot higher. Any thoughts on this? What stances is everyone else using?
    As was said earlier, it sounds like you were taught a TKD stance. One of the problems with the front foot facing forward is that there's no give in the leg. If you take a shot to the front of your knee, kiss it goodbye.

    Go with the advice and get used to the kenpo stance before you start playing around with it.

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    Lately, I have been playing with my stance. When I first started kenpo, I was taught the normal (I think?) kenpo stance * * *
    I wouldn't say there is "A normal Kenpo stance." It all depends on what you want to do. As far as a neutral bow, there should absolutely be a toe-heel line. Your description didn't seem to accurately encompass that line. Look in Infinite Insights; it will give you a fairly solid example of the stance.

    A lot of people--for whatever reason--have their rear foot behind that line. That really messes with the structural integrity of the stance, and consequently the integrity of any blocks executed from that stance.

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    bujuts is offline
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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Even the more seriouse TKDers don't use this stance much when they fight. They each develope their own "fighting stance", which, surprise-surprise, looks a lot like our neutral bow in just about every case. At least, that's been my experience working out with several schools and groups of TKD folk, many of whom did this stuff for real- full contact training and high risk jobs.
    Iteresting how the body eventually conforms to the way its designed, eh? Toes toward the front, capturing the capacity of the flexors to propel us in the desired direction, or sustain force from that direction, etc. I studied classical systems before, so I'm as guilty as anyone of having spent years mimicking animals and bridges. Eventually, logic brings us back to operating according to the magnificent design of the human body.

    Natural width, natural depth, natural height. This is the neutral bow in my mind, in its purest essence. Nautral function is the motto Musashi was talking about when he said "your fighting stance is your everyday stance, your everyday stance is your fighting stance." Simple yet powerful statement, we humans get so wrapped up in "style", dont we?

    Great topic, all. Look forward to more.


    Cheers,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    thedan (04-17-2007)

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    Default Re: Stances?

    THIS is so difficult to discuss with much certainty at all without actually being able to SEE what you are doing.

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    Lately, I have been playing with my stance. When I first started kenpo, I was taught the normal (I think?) kenpo stance, feet a little wider then shoulder width, front foot facing forward, rear foot at a 90 degree angle to the front foot. Front hand up to protect the face and rear hand chambered by the waist. Well lately, I have found myself moving to more of a boxer inspired stance. Bringing my rear foot up a little closer and more forward facing relative to the front foot, body more facing opponent, and rear arm chambered up a lot higher. Any thoughts on this? What stances is everyone else using?
    LOL!
    Yep a "hul gul chase", or rear foot stance out of taekwon-do.
    You have NO centerline defense.
    ALL low range targets, bladder, testicles, hips, thighs, knees, shins and dorums are open and YOU CAN"T get out because that "stance" lacks any type of movement except jumping up and down.

    Now it "might" work for taekwon-do because they do not allow sweeps, groin kicks, etc.

    It's NOT the best thing for any type of defense, and it's very inadequate for anytype of attack, whether kicking or punching.
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC View Post
    align the outside edges of your feet straight ahead, not the inside edges. it only doesn't feel natural for a while. Soon you will fell the strength of it.

    assume the foot position of a horse stance to either 1:30 (left neut bow) or 10:30 (rt neut bow).

    or, as I tell all my classes at least 3 times per hour : "Heels Out!"
    Well, maybe,

    And I always like to know the "purpose" of anything before I do it;-0

    And what is the given purpose of any stance?

    Depends, right?

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Try the neutral bow and get used to it, I think you'll find it is the most mobile, yet still stable, stance going. .
    Hi Dan,

    I don't think that the neutral bow was ever meant for movement.

    And if you attempt to use it for movement,

    1. you are sort of stuck with bodyshifting,

    2. shuffle step,

    3. and step drag,

    4. which are all very slow and very short range.

    And it does not use any of the other 5 movements.
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Well, sir, your last post was interesting- at least if you can "show me."
    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    I don't think that the neutral bow was ever meant for movement. And if you attempt to use it for movement, 1. you are sort of stuck with bodyshifting,
    As in stance changes? Yes, they are movment, and very effective. Also very quick, and can be deceptive.
    2. shuffle step, 3. and step drag, 4. which are all very slow and very short range.
    Uhmmm, slow compared to what? And what about things like push drags and crossovers for more distance, as well as for off angling?
    And it does not use any of the other 5 movements.
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    Which other movments, and why can't they be done from a neutral bow?

    Could you please describe your primary fighting stance? Mine is the neutral bow, but with the front foot turned out just a bit like the IKCA does. It is also narrowed up just a bit like bujuts (and others) have suggested, so it is the same depth as a natural stride. Seems to me to be very mobile and quick. But, as folks here will tell you, I'll try anything. I'll also give an honest opinion whether it works for me.

    (Well, I hope to try it in a couple of weeks. I might even play around sooner if you don't tell my doctors.)

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedan View Post
    Well, sir, your last post was interesting- Which other movments, and why can't they be done from a neutral bow?
    Dan C
    All of your questions hinge around this one concept.

    For the other closing gaps you mentioned, you'd FIRST have to body shift and then do the push-step, or the step through, etc.

    So the telegraphed motion would give away your intention.

    Nice questions.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Stances?

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    All of your questions hinge around this one concept.
    For the other closing gaps you mentioned, you'd FIRST have to body shift and then do the push-step, or the step through, etc.
    So the telegraphed motion would give away your intention.
    Nice questions.
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    I second Dan's questions.
    Why would you need to "body shift" in order to become mobile in/with/from a Neutral Bow stance?? ....not seein it.

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