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#344554 - 05/30/07 10:48 PM Stances: Self defense and sparring
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
Howdy folks in keeping with the post above about some of the greatest topics we've debated, I've decided to spring up this oldie but goody.

Let me start out by saying that when I spar I basically use one stance, that is a boxers stance, variations of it are the high front stance or the walking stance. For some wreslters who like to strike often you will see them in a forward stance, this allows them to strike and immediately sprawl if they have to. I myself adopt this stance when sparring with shooters/wrestlers. But generally sprig back up to my narrower boxers stance to stay mobile and agile. As I said I generally use one type of stance and different variations of it, which I couple with a lot of footwork. Lots of foot work!

Now for self defense which to me is the initial moment of an attack, generally right before the moment in which both you and the attacker have acknowledge that you both are in combat. I believe using a solid stance to evade, block and counter an attack is appropriate. Hear I find some of the more traditional stances beneficial, however, once you both are fighting, I would go back to footwork.

I hope I'm able to make myself clear. How do you guys feel about stances and their use in self defense and sparring. Please remember that sparring is continuous and although in a fight you try to end it as soon as possible often there will be a lot of movement before you can end it quickly. While in self defense you have that first initial response, of course if you choose to attack first in self defense this is a totally different question which for this thread I will avoid.
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#344555 - 05/30/07 11:53 PM Re: Stances: Self defense and sparring [Re: TeK9]
Umbra_777 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/03/06
Posts: 148
I think a good way to consider this would be to analyze where the various stances originaly came from. What was their intended purpose or use?

As for myself, right now I use sortof a boxers stance but I think stance is something I need to improve. I tend to be too tight and rigid.

-Umbra

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#344556 - 05/31/07 12:02 AM Re: Stances: Self defense and sparring [Re: Umbra_777]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
I usually think of stance as being for a technique. If you're in the right stance with the right technique it can be more powerful or easier to pull-off. Ignoring stance altogether isn't all that great an idea because you lose out on a lot if you do. That said, I do prefer a walking stance and a boxing guard whenever I am sparring and use stances transitionally.

As to the initial stance you use in self defense; well, it's going to be whatever stance you happen to be in when the other guy makes his move. Unless you're extremely lucky, you won't get a chance to pick your initial stance in a self defense scenario. This is why I believe that training stances for self defense scenarios is kind of silly. If you've got yourself caught in an altercation, it SHOULD be because you screwed up and made a mistake with your awareness/avoidance. This means you were likely caught unawares. By this point, 80% of your "self defense" has failed and you are forced to make do with what remains; physical response. It's unlikely that you will be incredibly well prepared if you are caught unawares so you don't have much choice in stance.

Ironically, a walking stance happens to be the most likely stance you'll be in at the start of a self defense scenario. For me this happens to be a good thing because, as we all know, you fight how you train.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (05/31/07 12:14 AM)
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#344557 - 05/31/07 05:45 AM Re: Stances: Self defense and sparring [Re: Leo_E_49]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
Sup Leo it's been some time since I've seen a post from you, glad your back. I believe we've had many talks about stances in the past so I'm glad this thread peaked your interest.

Although this time I'm not discussing the usefulness of traditional stances over footwork, I'm just talking about when to use them. For the sake of argument we are merely talking about physical self defense and not awareness.

The way I see it I can totally see a TKD-man fall back into a forward stance in order to block a punch durring the initial attack. Or someone side step either inside or outside of the initial attack. That right there is stance vs footwork.

When you fall back into a stance vs side stepping in or out. The particular stance you land in doesn't matter. As for me the stances is always a forward boxers stance.

Oh by the way, I have reevaluated the Tiger Stance. Before my position was that it was not useful and I hardly use it except a variation during sparring called half step back. However, not that I consider variations typically the same thing. I now consider the tiger stance not a stance but a transitional move, so that puts it under the footwork category. It's a move of which I use for a mere instance.
_________________________
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#344558 - 05/31/07 06:05 AM Re: Stances: Self defense and sparring [Re: TeK9]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
A walking stance, like most traditional stances, isn't something you stay in. It is a technique in itself which is the ultimate point of a movement/technique. As soon as the technique has been used you move out of it. Most fixed stances are the same.

The thing with a boxer's stance is that it is designed for continual mocement, therefore you are never actually in it for very long, you are constantly changing it and readjusting.
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#344559 - 05/31/07 06:59 AM Re: Stances: Self defense and sparring [Re: Leo_E_49]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Quote:


As to the initial stance you use in self defense; well, it's going to be whatever stance you happen to be in when the other guy makes his move. Unless you're extremely lucky, you won't get a chance to pick your initial stance in a self defense scenario. This is why I believe that training stances for self defense scenarios is kind of silly.




I disagree Leo. To me, stances are merely part of footwork- certain techniques require a shorter/longer stance to maximise their effectiveness. For instance, a rear cross requires a more squared-on stance than a jab, or a side kick. Stances are ways of transitioning into such techniques, so that the minimum amount of time is wasted and the maximum amount of power is generated.

In SD, this is very useful, since although you may not choose your initial stance, the moment you begin to attempt to defend yourself, you should move your feet into the most useful position. Without that shifting of bodyweight and adjusting of position, defending yourself is pretty difficult. For most people, it would be entirely natural to re-orientate themselves according to where their opponent was and to what they wanted to do. Martial arts training I hope, shows us the most effective stances for certain situations and the best footwork for certain techniques.

Like Tek, I am a firm believer in the importance of footwork- in all things. I've played basketball for a long time, and the one thing I have noticed, particularly as a point guard, is the crucial importance of footwork in anything you want to achieve sports-wise. How your bodyweight is kept, and the length, width and height of stance are vital to effectiveness, and I cannot see SD as being any different.

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#344560 - 05/31/07 08:17 AM Re: Stances: Self defense and sparring [Re: Supremor]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
I don't believe in a lot of stances. I think a stance should do nothing more than keep your balance and allow you to move in any direction with a minimum of preparation.

In surprise assaults, there will be no stances. In those where you see it coming, the stance should be a very dynamic one in which the legs are constantly moving. Specifically, moving one away in a rapid manner if you get my drift.

If you're in some form of protective services, a good (true) neutral position is beneficial to assist with de-escalation. That will really similar to your fighting stance with perhaps a different arm position (basic forklift structure).

Otherwise I don't see the need for different stances.


-John

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#344561 - 05/31/07 01:15 PM Re: Stances: Self defense and sparring [Re: JKogas]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
Quote:

In those where you see it coming, the stance should be a very dynamic one in which the legs are constantly moving. Specifically, moving one away in a rapid manner if you get my drift.




I think this is exactly what I am trying to say. I don't believe either in slowly stepping into specific stances like horse stance and holding it for a few seconds. However, if we take stances to mean how the feet move and how weight is shifted, then stances are unavoidable. I do not like to use the words stances for this reason- that it leads to a vision of people moving slowly up and down in various wide and long stances like in a kung fu movie. I prefer the word footwork, and believe me, if you don't have good footwork, then you don't have good fighting ability.

Everything in fighting is about footwork- how can you throw a punch if you're not in range; how can you initiate a takedown if your stance is too high? The same goes for SD- if you think that stance is unimportant, then when someone grabs you in a bar, what are you going to do- defend yourself with your back to him? No, you are going to turn around, possibly drop your centre of mass etc. Doing this efficiently requires good footwork.

The idea that fighting is all about techniques is daft in my opinion. If you don't have the footwork to enable you to use those techniques, then you're as good as done for.

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#344562 - 05/31/07 02:54 PM Re: Stances: Self defense and sparring [Re: Supremor]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
Quote:

The idea that fighting is all about techniques is daft in my opinion. If you don't have the footwork to enable you to use those techniques, then you're as good as done for.





Wouldn't you consider stances as a part of technique?
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#344563 - 05/31/07 04:02 PM Re: Stances: Self defense and sparring [Re: Kimo2007]
MA_Student Offline
Member

Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 29
For sparring, my master says to use a "back stance" but keep your right leg in front when fighting offensive... (generally that's where he wants our right leg to stay), or your left in front if you're fighting defensive.

I don't listen to him, because I don't like the back stance... 70% weight on the back leg doesn't feel comfortable for me. I don't know what my stance is called so here's a description.

Imagine standing relatively square with one foot slightly in front by oh say... half a step if not a little bit more. I put just a bit more weight on the front leg than the back because I find that when attacked, people generally move backwards. So having more weight on the front leg makes it quicker to extend the reach of the kick.

As for traditional stances, they can be applied to self defense. My master is a sixth degree black belt and one time was sparring a kung fu practioner. The kung fu guy just used a traditional stance and my master was unable to take him down. So I guess traditional stances could be useful.

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