Sunday, 17 June 2012

Back stance

Back stance is one of the three main stances in Chinese Boxing along with Front stance and Horse stance.

When performing back stance your back leg should be bent with the foot pointing at a 90° angle to the front foot, about 70% of your weight should be on the back leg. The front leg should also be bent; the front foot should be pointing forward with about 30% of your weight on the front leg. The hips should be pulled around so when viewed from the front the upper torso is facing to the side. This turns all of the vital points (groin, solar plexus and throat) to the side making them harder to attack. The body must be upright, don’t lean as this will result in the stance being unstable. The length of the back stance should be about 2 shoulder widths
Back stance foot position

It is very important that you don’t allow the knees to collapse in, as this weakens the stance and could result in an injury (look after you knees). Never let the front knee be straightened in back stance as it could be stamped on by an opponent.

When moving forward in back stance push from the back leg driving the hips forward and bring the knees together staying the same height, (don’t bounce up and down) at the same twist the hips so they now face forwards, then step forward at the same time turn the hips back to the opposite side landing with the feet at a 90° to each other landing in back stance. When moving back push from the front leg driving the weight back over the back leg before stepping back bringing the knees together with the hips facing forwards then step back into back stance.

Back stance should be practised as low as possible to promote strength and flexibility. All blocks, strikes and kicks can be performed from back stance.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Set sparring

Set sparring is a set up fight routine, it is composed of fighting moves, and choreographed to run smoothly from start to finish. If you think of a fight scene in a movie, that is basically a set spar, this should give you some idea what a set spar looks like, but without the camera tricks. Set sparring can be done with empty hands against empty hands, weapons against weapons of all types, also weapons against empty hand. 
The purpose of the set sparring is to learn fighting techniques and strategies in a safe manner. As opposed to “”free sparring “ where any technique can be used at any time , set spars have a fixed routine so you know what’s coming. This means there is less chance of injury, although care must be taken at all times.
The performers of the set sparring have to help each other. This is essential for the set spar to look right. If one performer is going at a speed faster than the others (usually only two but sometimes more) it will look as if he/she is always waiting for the others to catch up .It will end up in the situation were if a punch or kick is done faster than the opponent can block they will be waiting for the block with their hand or foot hanging in the air. Or if they anticipate the next move and a block is done to early they will be waiting for the technique to happen, therefore the routine looks fake .The set spar should look as real as possible, and so it is essential that the performers work together. As the saying goes " it takes two to Tango".
Once one side of the set has been learned , the performers should change sides so that all sides of the set are learned by all participants. This is important so that all techniques can be both applied and defended .
 Once the pattern has been learned the performers should start to make the techniques as martial as possible, while still allowing the set to flow. It is important to use focus and power, but  in a controlled manor. Correct distancing must be shown, they should be able to make contact with each technique if they choose to. Correct posture must also be demonstrated at all times. Be careful not to use excessive contact.
The final stage once the set has been mastered by all participants is to fight the set. This does not mean beating the crap out of each other, it means doing the techniques in a manor reflecting real fighting.  This is the most advanced stage of learning the set spar. The end will not be reached when fighting the set as usually only a few moves can be done before someone is hit or stopped. Small sections of the set should be done in this manor at a time, until all techniques in the set can be done in real time with ease.
Remember it is vital to help each other while doing the set. It is very easy to make someone look silly if you know the set better than they, but what would be the point! You won’t learn anything and will very quickly run out of people willing to train with you.