View Poll Results: Which stance do you prefer?

Voters
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  • Neutral Bow

    19 67.86%
  • Fighting Horse

    3 10.71%
  • Lunge Stance

    2 7.14%
  • Other (please specify & describe)

    4 14.29%
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Thread: Which Stance?

  1. #1
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    Default Which Stance?

    In your system and/or experience in others what stance do you prefer and why?

    Advantages?

    Disadvantages?
    "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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    KenpoHank is offline
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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    It really depends on the specific situation, but as for a general 'fighting stance' - the Neutral Bow feels more natural for me than a Fighting Horse stance.
    "Fall seven times, stand up eight." Japanese proverb

    "I've seen some cats do some crazy stuff like bending swords with their necks and breaking flaming bricks... thats great and all but can they fight?" *shrugs* Moses Powell

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    What is the difference between a 'fighting horse stance' and a 'neutral bow'. Because my neutral-bow is exactly a horse-stance; just one that has width as well.

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    What is the difference between a 'fighting horse stance' and a 'neutral bow'. Because my neutral-bow is exactly a horse-stance; just one that has width as well.

    We are actually having this very discussion over on this thread:

    Short 3 kata

    Feel free to chime in. I'd like to know how they differ, or how they are similar as well...
    Michael


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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    One of the things that need to be considered in these stances is the capability to engage the body. The beauty of the neutral bow is not in its capacity to withstand imparted forces in a stagnant position (many classical stances can do that), but in its capacity to withstand force while in motion. The world's strongest stance is of little use in a violent encounter if it has no mobility, and mobile stances are of little use unless they can withstand force.

    The neutral bow as I understand it is based on the natural functionality of the human body. That is, the height, width, and depth measurements of the stance are based on the natural gait of an erect body. An excessively deep stance, while it may be a tool for exercise, disrupts the body's ability to engage effectively through the natural extensor / flexor processes, requiring leaning and sub-optimum engagement of the major muscle groups just to move against resistance.

    Transition to and from the neutral bow (or fighting horse, or anything else for that matter) is in my mind the litmus test for that stance's effectiveness. The other stances within the system (for AK, the twist, concave, closed kneel, wide kneel, activated cat stance, etc.) must be arrived at with power, be able to hold against resistance (e.g. no balancing), and move back to the neutral bow with power. In evaluating stances for their suitability, we should evaluate all of these things in addition to their effects of alignment on the upper body (another topic), IMHO. Finally, its important to distinguish a training stance from a stance used in application (which, in my opinion, shouldn't differ).

    Great topic, look forward to more.

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    In your system and/or experience in others what stance do you prefer and why?

    Advantages?

    Disadvantages?
    One which is "centered" and precise for the attack used.

    That means for movement, for Belt Line Flow, for proper closing gaps, for proper speed accelerators, for Power Master keys, etc.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by KenpoHank View Post
    It really depends on the specific situation, but as for a general 'fighting stance' - the Neutral Bow feels more natural for me than a Fighting Horse stance.
    Neither are for "attack" purposes.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    but in its capacity to withstand force while in motion. The world's strongest stance is of little use in a violent encounter if it has no mobility, and mobile stances are of little use unless they can withstand force.


    Transition to and from the neutral bow (or fighting horse, or anything else for that matter) is in my mind the litmus test for that stance's effectiveness. The other stances within the system (for AK, the twist, concave, closed kneel, wide kneel, activated cat stance, etc.) must be arrived at with power, be able to hold against resistance (e.g. no balancing), and move back to the neutral bow with power. In evaluating stances for their suitability, we should evaluate all of these things in addition to their effects of alignment on the upper body (another topic), IMHO. Finally, its important to distinguish a training stance from a stance used in application (which, in my opinion, shouldn't differ).UKF
    If you are referencing "transitional stances", I do agree totally.

    Nice post.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Neither are for "attack" purposes.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

    Very good point.

    I remember when I began to train way back when, my instructor didn't use either term - he would just say 'right/left foot back; fighting stance. That stance was a heel toe aligned stance.
    "Fall seven times, stand up eight." Japanese proverb

    "I've seen some cats do some crazy stuff like bending swords with their necks and breaking flaming bricks... thats great and all but can they fight?" *shrugs* Moses Powell

    -Hank Colado

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    generally, cat stance...

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    The NEUTRAL BOW!!!!!!

    There's lots of good reasons.
    First of all, it is THE "Master Key Stance" of American Kenpo. It's the one that all of the other stances are based on. (more or less) From this 'neutral' position it takes little time, effort or motion to POP right into pretty much any other stance in the Kenpo arsenal!!! That alone makes it powerful through versatility!

    It's got wonderful stability. I trained in other arts that simpy used a "Fighting Horse Stance" or "side facing horse stance" to fight from. Others use a "Forward Stance" ...sometimes called a 'stride stance'. These don't offer the same level of versatility or stability that the Neutral Bow does because:
    Fighting Horse stance: too narrow of a width. Lateral motion is limited. It takes more time/effort/motion to transition into the other arts of these systems.
    Forward/Stride stance: too open to the front with little ability to obstruct a forward/upward trajectory to the family jewels, same for the forward thrust trajectory for the midsection! Also: this stance is more suseptible to a sweep than a Neutral Bow!

    I consider all (ok....almost all) other Kenpo stances to be transitions to or from the Neutral Bow. Making it the most important stance in my arsenal.

    Your Brother
    John
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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    The NEUTRAL BOW!!!!!!




    There's lots of good reasons.
    First of all, it is THE "Master Key Stance" of American Kenpo. It's the one that all of the other stances are based on. (more or less) From this 'neutral' position it takes little time, effort or motion to POP right into pretty much any other stance in the Kenpo arsenal!!! That alone makes it powerful through versatility!

    It's got wonderful stability. I trained in other arts that simpy used a "Fighting Horse Stance" or "side facing horse stance" to fight from. Others use a "Forward Stance" ...sometimes called a 'stride stance'. These don't offer the same level of versatility or stability that the Neutral Bow does because:
    Fighting Horse stance: too narrow of a width. Lateral motion is limited. It takes more time/effort/motion to transition into the other arts of these systems.
    Forward/Stride stance: too open to the front with little ability to obstruct a forward/upward trajectory to the family jewels, same for the forward thrust trajectory for the midsection! Also: this stance is more suseptible to a sweep than a Neutral Bow!

    I consider all (ok....almost all) other Kenpo stances to be transitions to or from the Neutral Bow. Making it the most important stance in my arsenal.

    Your Brother
    John

    Given my current level of understanding, I can relate to this answer above all of the others, as this is exactly what I'm being taught. I do recognize that, perhaps I'm being taught to belt level (yellow) but, it's basic and true. Again, being a noob, I haven't seen anyone of our higher ranks "settle" into anything other than a neutral bow. What is really funny is that every other art I've studied teaches many other stances in the forms and katas and drills very hard on them...yet, when in rendori, you are told to take the "fighting" stance...i.e. neutral bow. That's KMA, FMA, and JMA.

    Thanks for being so articulate, yet again Brother John.
    ~Bill Richardson

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by toejoe2k View Post
    ...What is really funny is that every other art I've studied teaches many other stances in the forms and katas and drills very hard on them...yet, when in rendori, you are told to take the "fighting" stance...i.e. neutral bow....
    This disparity between training and application seems to pervade many classical systems, and I can say that as one having spent 8 years with my stance spanning the state prior to immersing in kenpo. Many systems will do deep stances for "leg training and stability", but don't fully apply whatever strength is developed, let alone the strength they already had. Musashi said it best: "your everyday stance is your fighting stance, your fighting stance is your everyday stance". Something my instructor told me in my first session was to "live the neutral bow", hence it is something done at all times, not just on the mats.

    Cheers,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    We are actually having this very discussion over on this thread:

    Short 3 kata

    Feel free to chime in. I'd like to know how they differ, or how they are similar as well...
    That thread was on Short Form 3 I believe. In the interest of keeping threads on track I started this one. That, and I think it would make for an enlightening and educational discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Neither are for "attack" purposes.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    That is an advantage and reason I like the "Lunge Stance."

    Quote Originally Posted by youngbraveheart View Post
    generally, cat stance...
    Hmmmm...I always considered the "Cat" as a transitional stance; once that I would not hold for a prolonged period of time.

    I recognzie the advantages of assuming this stance in transition prior to executing a kick. It's also advantageous when avoiding a strike because by assuming this stance one can quickly get out of range of an attack and then quickly move back within range to counter attack.

    ....but I wouldn't hold this stance because the weight distribution is roughly 90-10 and you sacrifice quite a bit of stability when assuming it. That and the fact that your legs are closer together make you easy to sweep and take down. IMHO


    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    The NEUTRAL BOW!!!!!!


    There's lots of good reasons.
    First of all, it is THE "Master Key Stance" of American Kenpo. It's the one that all of the other stances are based on. (more or less) From this 'neutral' position it takes little time, effort or motion to POP right into pretty much any other stance in the Kenpo arsenal!!! That alone makes it powerful through versatility!

    It's got wonderful stability. I trained in other arts that simpy used a "Fighting Horse Stance" or "side facing horse stance" to fight from. Others use a "Forward Stance" ...sometimes called a 'stride stance'. These don't offer the same level of versatility or stability that the Neutral Bow does because:
    Fighting Horse stance: too narrow of a width. Lateral motion is limited. It takes more time/effort/motion to transition into the other arts of these systems.
    Forward/Stride stance: too open to the front with little ability to obstruct a forward/upward trajectory to the family jewels, same for the forward thrust trajectory for the midsection! Also: this stance is more suseptible to a sweep than a Neutral Bow!

    I consider all (ok....almost all) other Kenpo stances to be transitions to or from the Neutral Bow. Making it the most important stance in my arsenal.

    Your Brother
    John
    The Neutral Bow is a great stance IMHO. It allows for mobility as well as provides stability. It also obscures targets to an opponent and allows for adequate protection of those that are somewhat exposed.

    One could defineately argue that other stances in Kenpo/Kempo, like the Lunge, are based on it. As I mentioned above though, I like the Lunge just a little better because it is slightly more aggressive in nature and can be used for "attack" purposes.

    Great posts everyone! Keep 'em coming! We've barely scratched the surface.
    "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: Which Stance?

    I consider all stances transitory, my perspective is even the netural bow is tranistory. Its serves as a base to respond from. I like a modified reverse cat stance looking forward, or modified forward bow. I know some say that there is no stability, however there is mobility, and thats what Im looking for during transistion. I also must consider the desired effect when I do engage the target, to ensure I engage both the upper and lower platforms.

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    The NEUTRAL BOW!!!!!!

    There's lots of good reasons.
    First of all, it is THE "Master Key Stance" of American Kenpo. It's the one that all of the other stances are based on. (more or less) From this 'neutral' position it takes little time, effort or motion to POP right into pretty much any other stance in the Kenpo arsenal!!! That alone makes it powerful through versatility!

    It's got wonderful stability. I trained in other arts that simpy used a "Fighting Horse Stance" or "side facing horse stance" to fight from. Others use a "Forward Stance" ...sometimes called a 'stride stance'. These don't offer the same level of versatility or stability that the Neutral Bow does because:
    Fighting Horse stance: too narrow of a width. Lateral motion is limited. It takes more time/effort/motion to transition into the other arts of these systems.
    Forward/Stride stance: too open to the front with little ability to obstruct a forward/upward trajectory to the family jewels, same for the forward thrust trajectory for the midsection! Also: this stance is more suseptible to a sweep than a Neutral Bow!

    I consider all (ok....almost all) other Kenpo stances to be transitions to or from the Neutral Bow. Making it the most important stance in my arsenal.

    Your Brother
    John
    Brother John,
    Please clarify the different types of netural bows for us.
    Brad Marshall SP
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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    This disparity between training and application seems to pervade many classical systems, and I can say that as one having spent 8 years with my stance spanning the state prior to immersing in kenpo. Many systems will do deep stances for "leg training and stability", but don't fully apply whatever strength is developed, let alone the strength they already had. Musashi said it best: "your everyday stance is your fighting stance, your fighting stance is your everyday stance". Something my instructor told me in my first session was to "live the neutral bow", hence it is something done at all times, not just on the mats.

    Cheers,

    Steven Brown
    UKF
    Great point, look at how the stances are in our every day lives. We may carry furniture upstairs using a front cross over as an example. Look at how we walk,shouldnt those physical applications be used within our transistions?
    Brad Marshall SP
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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by toejoe2k View Post
    Given my current level of understanding, I can relate to this answer above all of the others, as this is exactly what I'm being taught. I do recognize that, perhaps I'm being taught to belt level (yellow) but, it's basic and true. Again, being a noob, I haven't seen anyone of our higher ranks "settle" into anything other than a neutral bow. What is really funny is that every other art I've studied teaches many other stances in the forms and katas and drills very hard on them...yet, when in rendori, you are told to take the "fighting" stance...i.e. neutral bow. That's KMA, FMA, and JMA.

    Thanks for being so articulate, yet again Brother John.
    Perhaps, they havent been shown anything else. There is also a right and wrong way to move into a netural bow.
    Brad Marshall SP
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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by youngbraveheart View Post
    generally, cat stance...
    Which one and why?

    45 degree cat stance
    reverse 45 degree cat stance
    90 degree cat stance

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    Default Re: Which Stance?

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    One which is "centered" and precise for the attack used.

    That means for movement, for Belt Line Flow, for proper closing gaps, for proper speed accelerators, for Power Master keys, etc.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette
    Dr. John,

    Sir,you laid out a multiple scernio of perspectives, based on alignment, desired effect, and sensory manipulations. Some say there are no Master Keys in Kenpo,only reconized patterns of motion. Sorry off topic.

    Just so everyone knows, I have and continue to learn from Greats like Dr. John, Doc, and others here every day. I may not agree, but first I do my research. You see they offer us tid bits to help in our journey,they dont dictate the path.

    My Respects
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