Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Are lower stances the way forward?

We drilled low front stances tonight during Tang Soo Do. Specifically low and deep front stance. This fairly simple 'walking' stance can be notoriously difficult to teach to young children. It's a paradox I find. So simple: from ready stance, step forward or back, maintain feet forward and flex the front leg, keeping the back leg straight (acting like a buttress). There is a lot more to it, but in essence it gives a good stable base from which to apply techniques.

But...I'm forever correcting the children's front stance. My biggest gripe with them is they stand on a tightrope. Turning left into front stance requires stepping out and back to give a wide and deep stance. Working on this is essential as kids tend to turn into it and end up with feet aligned.

It was, however, my training in the senior class which gave rise to some internal questions concerning my front stance. Master AC emphasised deep front stance, making us push hard into it, gripping the floor and straining muscles. I was tired and hot and grumbled at the prospect and didn't want to tip my pelvic bone out of alignment so reluctantly sank down. There is a good article here regarding front stance and pelvic alignment at fighting arts. I've often had this in mind when practising my front stance and actually, I believe, used it as an excuse not to explore it more. Tonight when pushed to produce a lower, grounded stance I had excellent feedback but bore in mind my pelvic position. It was possible to produce a low stance, gripped to the floor with my feet in correct position without tipping the base of my spine.

My conclusion is that it's good to revisit base techniques and be open to trying stuff out. It's all well and good to intellectualise training but the only way to the heart of one's practice is through doing... Trying it! Practising!

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