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#264357 - 06/17/06 08:33 PM Northern and Southern Stances
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
I always hear "Northern Kicks, Souther Fists". While we all know that's a broad generalization, I can still kinda see it. Longfist does seem to have lots of kicks, while Wing Chun does lots of hand work (although both claim the exact opposite at high levels).

Now what about stances? I always hear southern styles stress low strong deep stances, while northerners sacrifice that stance for the kicks. Again, with longfist and wing chun, I find exactly the opposte. Wing Chun has fairly high stances, while longfist stresses pretty darn low ones.

Hung Gar is southern, and from what I've seen, it's all about low stances too. So, am I right saying that wing chun is simply the exception?

#264358 - 06/17/06 09:10 PM Re: Northern and Southern Stances [Re: 18lohans]
Mr_Heretik Offline

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 1074
Loc: Bronx NY, USA
I think you may also have to look at the history and times they were formed, and how they have evolved.

#264359 - 06/17/06 09:18 PM Re: Northern and Southern Stances [Re: 18lohans]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

I think the saying is just a convenient shortcut instead of trying to describe the reality of so many different (hundreds) systems in each area.

"Northern Kicks and Southern Hands" is relative meaningless. Northern Mantis or Northern Eagle Claw, just for two examples, have a wealth of hand techniques with great complexity, and so do they have the kicking techniques.

Northern Shaolin is likewise a more than full range art.

The more likely origin was the fact the northerners had more open space, so longer range techniques might be explored, and the southerners were in crowded cities and had to explore shorter range techniques.

But this abstraction, repeated ad infinitum even in China, does not describe the reality of any of hundreds of systems.

I wouldn't worry about it, just keep training.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#264360 - 06/18/06 03:26 AM Re: Northern and Southern Stances [Re: Victor Smith]
IExcalibui2 Offline

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
well you cant take Wing Chun as a prime example of southern fist because WC is heavily influenced by Fujian and Hakka arts (such as Southern Praying Mantis, which bears many similarities due to the Hakka). Though yes they were all generally made from Shaolin monks but the influences come from different places. Taking things like Hung Gar and Choy Li Fut are more directed towards that low stance of the south.

Wing Chun and Southern Mantis were made on the premise of being non-flashy, staying on the ground, quick and direct FIGHTING arts. They have relatively no aesthetic value to them, they arent flowery or fancy. Just fighting as what it is.
"you're going to work till you wish you were dead and then keep going.." -Sgt Slaughter

#264361 - 06/18/06 08:09 PM Re: Northern and Southern Stances [Re: IExcalibui2]
songmei Offline

Registered: 06/16/06
Posts: 8
well, to be honest i've heard the opposite: that northerners have longer stances than the southerners. hmm, odd. oh well. i've heard that the mok gar is not too low nor the white crane... but i dont have personal experience. oh, and here is another one to add to the sayings: northern staff and southern sword!


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