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#352349 - 07/21/07 10:27 PM Ditang/ground techniques
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
I posted this in another forum, but I'd like to see what the folks here have to contribute as well.

I would like to start a thread discussing the methods and applications of the ground techniques of various styles.
I know ditang quan is a style in its own right, but many styles include ground techniques as a part of their curriculum. (I'm not talking about just grappling or wrestling)
Do most traditional styles include some form of tumbling in their basic skillset?

How does your style develop these skills? Do students begin learning to fall and roll (and get up again) from the very beginning of training? It seems like such skills ought to be fundamental to any marial arts curriculum.

Do you learn "breakfalls" by slapping the ground as you land, or use some other method?
Does your style utilize strikes performed from a prone position? kneeling, squatting, or otherwise extremely low to the ground? What types of strikes are trained, and is any wrestling/grappling included in these techniques?

Techniques I am familiar with include rolling to escape a grab or get out of range, rolling to quickly get into close range for grabbing or strikes, rolling while grappling, like grabbing and pulling someone's legs out from under them.
Falling as a way of evading and striking at the same time, falling and dragging someone down with you, falling on an already downed opponent. kicking the legs or groin from a prone position, sweeping from prone position, reaching up from a prone position to drag someone down.

Do you ever incorporate techniques like this into sparring/free fighting, or is it just something you do in forms that are never applied?

From many people, we hear "you should never go to the ground willingly". While I understand the sentiment, how did styles like monkey and drunken (which heavily rely on unorthodox attacks, including falling and attacks from the ground), get a reputation for being good? If they really aren't any good, why did they spread and become as famous as they are?

A young student "Joe" who trained in my school relayed an experience he had: His PE class in school offered a kickboxing/"karate" course. Having some experience in martial arts, he was allowed to spar with other kids who also had experience. His opponent was a big kid who came charging at him with fists flailing, and "Joe" performed a drop kick like he had learned in one of our crane forms, hitting his opponent in the chest or stomach and knocking the wind out of him. He got up and helped up his opponent who was clutching his stomach. The coach then proceded to scold "Joe", saying "You should never go to the ground". Joe just shrugged his shoulders, feeling that his dropping technique seemed to have been quite effective.
Perhaps such a technique isn't a good idea against a very experienced opponent, and certainly not when surrounded by opponents, but it seems to be applicable in some situations. The element of surprise can easily tip the scales in your favor, and buy you the few split-seconds you need to gain complete advantage. Sometimes you end up prone on the ground unintentionally, and it is good to be able to threaten your opponent from that position and have the skill to turn a fall into an attack.

What are your thoughts? What importance is placed on ditang/ground techniques in your style?

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#352350 - 07/23/07 08:19 PM Re: Ditang/ground techniques [Re: WuXing]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
Guess no one wants to talk about their ground techniques.

oh well.

here's a few examples of "going to the ground" from the Bubishi (a text on Fujian white crane and monk fist boxing that was passed down in Okinawa, everyone probably knows what it is by now)

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x145/Taiji_changes/rollthrow.jpg
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x145/Taiji_changes/legscissor.jpg
http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x145/Taiji_changes/dropscissors.jpg

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#352351 - 07/24/07 05:55 AM Re: Ditang/ground techniques [Re: WuXing]
ThomsonsPier Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 475
Loc: Reading, UK
I'm happy to chat about ground techniques, but I haven't really done a lot in that regard. We've covered a few throws and takedowns but those from a standing position. Breakfalls have obviously been covered, but only to the minimum required to prevent injury at the moment. We don't really have the facilities for groundwork at the moment.

We are encouraged to look for ways to apply any and all techniques when drilling or sparring, but lack of mats and such means that throwing to the ground is out at the moment (unless you catch as well, I suppose).
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#352352 - 07/25/07 05:47 PM Re: Ditang/ground techniques [Re: ThomsonsPier]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
My school had a concrete floor covered by thin carpet, this is where I practiced falling and rolling. In my style, these techniques are found throughout several different forms...drop kicks and sweeps, rolls, and kicking/striking from the ground. I wondered if this was common among other Chinese martial arts, and how they practiced. (external "shaolin" schools mainly, I know taiji and bagua and xingyi don't really do this)

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#352353 - 07/25/07 06:09 PM Re: Ditang/ground techniques [Re: WuXing]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Not a Chinese stylist per se, but both my AKK and JKD has some Chinese elements in it.

"Do most traditional styles include some form of tumbling in their basic skillset?"

Not sure. They were taught in all the AKK and JKD schools I went to.

"How does your style develop these skills? Do students begin learning to fall and roll (and get up again) from the very beginning of training?"

That is how I learned it.

"Do you learn "breakfalls" by slapping the ground as you land, or use some other method?"

Slapping, yes.

"Does your style utilize strikes performed from a prone position? kneeling, squatting, or otherwise extremely low to the ground? What types of strikes are trained, and is any wrestling/grappling included in these techniques?"

Both AKK and JKD trained kicking and takedowns from the ground.

"Do you ever incorporate techniques like this into sparring/free fighting, or is it just something you do in forms that are never applied?"

Occasionally, but very rare, TBH.

"From many people, we hear "you should never go to the ground willingly". While I understand the sentiment, how did styles like monkey and drunken (which heavily rely on unorthodox attacks, including falling and attacks from the ground), get a reputation for being good? If they really aren't any good, why did they spread and become as famous as they are?"

I could be way off-base here, but I would swear that I read that "drunken" style was created by Jackie Chan for a movie. Unclear about utility of Monkey style either.

Overall, I feel that striking and grappling from the ground are very important if you are concerned with utility.
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#352354 - 07/25/07 06:46 PM Re: Ditang/ground techniques [Re: MattJ]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
Drunken style wasn't created by Jackie Chan, though that's where most people have heard it from, and Jackie adds his own flair to everything. Drunken Eight Immortals style isn't common as a stand alone system, but different styles incorporate various forms of it in their system, like Choy Li Fut.
There are all kinds of monkey styles, and they can be quite effective. The original post/question may have been simplified in its wording, of course it is the person and not the style, really, that makes something effective or not.
My point was, someone clearly was good at these styles and used them effectively, if they were preserved and passed down. It doesn't seem like anyone who practices such a style is here to comment on their methods or whether my assumptions are correct. It's not a big deal

We've always got wushu performance style ground boxing

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=...h&plindex=1

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=...h&plindex=0


Edited by WuXing (07/25/07 06:49 PM)

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#352355 - 03/09/08 02:28 PM Re: Ditang/ground techniques [Re: WuXing]
ShaolinWarrior Offline
Stranger

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1
This is why CMA is so far behind. We need to focus on these aspects of fighting / training. The techniques are there but somewhere along the line the Chinese stopped practicing and teaching these techniques. One reason being it is undignified, two they believe that they are so good at stand up fighting that no one can take them to the ground, etc.These are just a few that I have heard. Like I said the techniques are there they just need to be worked on.

You have to train with some sort of reality base in your program or you will not survive


Edited by ShaolinWarrior (03/09/08 02:31 PM)

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#352356 - 03/09/08 07:42 PM Re: Ditang/ground techniques [Re: ShaolinWarrior]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Hey guys, if you check the Karate section you will see endless debates on this with a whole host of viewpoints on the subject:

http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthreads/s...=0#Post15985959

My personal view is that it is good to learn and cover some of this stuff, but probably not to get so transfixed with it that you neglect the more "primary" skills of your art.

I've heard rumors about things like Dog boxing (I think that was it) in CMA that maybe had more groundfighting, but is it really ever very emphasized?

If it's not what you do best then I think it's important to keep it in context to the whole of your training, it's good to learn, but more of an auxillary skill than something to focus on primarily.

Training Karate both my teachers taught limited throws, rolling, falling and the occasional ground technique, but it was understood that this is not our forte, so an attempt was made to view these skills as part of the greater whole.

If you wanna really learn detailed groundfighting there are styles that simply do it better than than striking arts do, that's no reason not to include it in one's learning, just to keep it in context.

Anyway, you might want to pop over to the Karate section and take a look at the grappling/crosstraining thread, i'm guessing it would paralell the same issues in CMA


Edited by Zach_Zinn (03/09/08 07:48 PM)

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#352357 - 03/09/08 09:00 PM Re: Ditang/ground techniques [Re: Zach_Zinn]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
The question was specifically addressed to Chinese styles, particularly the shaolin "family" of arts (which is almost everything).
ZZ, I appreciate the input. Yes, dog boxing is one of those styles which supposedly has a lot of ground techniques. I've never really seen it, it's rare or only taught as a subset of other styles I think.
I'm really asking specifically about Chinese styles to compare to the style I learned, which draws from several Chinese influences compiled in Indonesia. In other words, it's not a debate about whether such things should be trained, or if we need to supplement our training in some way...it's a fact that these techniques exist in various Chinese styles, like mine, and I wondered what types of experiences people had with practicing them. I wouldn't remove or neglect the ground skills, certainly. At least the falling and tumbling skills are extremely important.
This probably wasn't the right place to ask such a question, as there aren't that many CMA stylists on the forum.

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#352358 - 03/09/08 11:38 PM Re: Ditang/ground techniques [Re: WuXing]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

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

Dox boxing ground techniques have been well documented in the book "Fukien Ground Boxing, Nan Shaolin Leg Techniques" by Cai Chu-Xian, in the Chinese Martial Arts series 4. Of course it was published in 1993 and may be impossible to obtain.

Having studied ground boxing from an Isshinryu and Silat Tjimande tradition the book really appealed to me. Not for myself (too old, inflexible, brittle) but as a great study for those who could be trained to the point to undergo it (IMO a small percentage of students, especially for those techniques requiring high level acrobatics).

My friend Ernest Rothrock (Ying Jow Pai) had occasion to review it and everything in the book is also found in Northern Eagle Claw, as I'm sure in many other Chinese arts. Though I suspect it's the same, only for those students that can be prepared for it.

Such ground techniques are for those who want to push the tactical envelop. IMO some of the Siliat systems may be even more extreme (but that depends on one's perspective).

I've observed them in my instructors in Chinese and Indonesian arts, spectacular.

I once spent 7 or 8 years developing a young man who had great potential and when he was at the point we could begin, life intervened, and he moved on for work. I was planning on using the Fukien series of drills.

Sorry I can't add more.
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