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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    2,669
    Boy this talk really makes some lights go off in my head when thinking about the Shotokan dojo I spent my 20's in. It was all about the big, deep stances, but thinking back, I can't recall the Sensei ever getting down low in those exaggerated stances. The guy was middle aged with bad joints and not exactly fast, but he was basically untouchable as he had an uncanny knack for not being in the same spot you were attacking. I remember thinking many times, "How the heck did he get behind me?"
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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado
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    7,160
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Yamamoto View Post
    Practice walking across the floor as quickly but silently as you can. Practice a short sprint making as little noise as possible.
    It freak people out when I do that lol. "How does someone as big as you most that quietly?!?" some have said. Its basically like making your legs totally shock absorbers. Everything from your toes and feet to your knees and hips are slightly activated to allow for body support but not braced for maximum stability. It reminds me of someone playing Full/Half back in football. Move fast and then hit hard. I wonder if there would be any utility in the footwork drills for some. Who doesn't want to do tire or rope drills?

    I have always thought of the deep stances in Karate and the like as a place to end up momentarily when getting hit and counter attack. When Brent would be showing us different things and he would throw a punch at me I always want to move into it. To basically punch his fist with my chest as I would set up to hit someone. I see that as how one would end up in a deep stance to setup an attack as it would then put you in a perfect position to launch towards them from a loaded stance. Instead of smashmouth football it would be smashmouth fighting depending on the situation.
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Beyond The Wall
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    44,328
    AND...you do not step into a deep stance...and then hit. Nor do you step, hit, and stay there stopped. Nor does the foot precede the fist. It is movement forward...and through. The problem with only hitting bags or punching posts is that by necessity, you remain stationary. Same with too much g**da*** moth******* range work and live fire. The necessity of the training environment or drill develops horrible habits.

    A proper punch begins in the mind...the eye looking at the target. The hand begins to move toward the target as the feet follow. Then as the hand connects, the lower body supports it and drives through as if hitting with the ground itself. That is the timing. Feel light and then heavy, driving and crushing...then light again. Its a timing...same as the dynamic move off the X in Diagonal Lines and Watch Your Back has a timing from heavy to light and then heavy again as you change directions.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

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  4. #14
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    May 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by kabar View Post
    Boy this talk really makes some lights go off in my head when thinking about the Shotokan dojo I spent my 20's in. It was all about the big, deep stances, but thinking back, I can't recall the Sensei ever getting down low in those exaggerated stances. The guy was middle aged with bad joints and not exactly fast, but he was basically untouchable as he had an uncanny knack for not being in the same spot you wer, e attacking. I remember thinking many times, "How the heck did he get behind me?"
    I get chastised at the dojo I train at (not a teacher there). Its a Shotokan JKA school and I am learning useful things there...but for them the preservation of JKA doctrine is of greater importance than my taller lighter stances, tucked chin, and such. Its ok...I am there to learn and I smile.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    186
    If they think the high stances are disconcerting, wait until they catch a kick to the thigh....

  6. #16
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    May 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJames View Post
    If they think the high stances are disconcerting, wait until they catch a kick to the thigh....
    There may have been one or two of those.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    379
    I use a tightening/clenching of the fists, locking the muscles momentarily and then exploding with an Open Hand Technique covering the High/Low Line instead. My version of Light and Heavy.

    An example of covering the High Line is the part in JOIN Kata where you turn to face back to the front again after having turned to your right, completed the Break-Out, Front Kick and 3 Punch Combination.

    Next in the Kata you perform an Open Hand Head-Block, Head-Block and Reverse Punch Combination. You then repeat this Combination twice more.

    The Open Hand Block shooting up as fast as possible simulates bringing my hand back up from the wheel covering the left side of my Face/Neck, having being forced to drop me left hand to make a left turn. The strong Head-Block, tightening the fists and locking the muscles of the arms momentarily trains a strong Stop-Hit where I thrust both arms out at the same time. Intercepting a powerful Slash/Stab-When the attacker accompanies the Stab/Slash with a step, instead of just throwing out small sniping attacks out of range.

    So it is: Shooting the Open Hand up as fast as possible, locking both arms for the Block and then immediately relaxing the fists to execute a fast Reverse Punch,waiting to the very last moment to lock the arms out again. Then when the fists relaxes again it acts as a starter pistol to shoot the Open Hand on the opposite hip up as fast as possible.

    As I repeat this drill the Open Hand Block becomes faster and faster.

    I take this piece of the Kata and see how many reps I can perform in a minute. It is a better use of my training time than performing the whole Kata-It takes me about 2 min. to do the Kata. I average 80 reps a min. instead staying static. So that is 180 reps versus 9 reps in 2 min.

    I will add some of my other Karate drills to the workout creating 3 min rounds switching between drills every min. Or using the min rest between sets on Pressing days.

    FOOTNOTE: A bonus is that I get an AB workout in as well, the tightening and relaxing of the muscles of the body acting as an isometric workout.

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  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
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    688
    Interesting to read this and think back to when I was 18-19 and a brown belt.

    I had a guy start class a few weeks after his son did as a black belt in some form of karate.

    During the “forms” and movement teaching portion of the class, he was missing it. Couldn’t kick, punches looked stupid, and over all he was slow and clumsy.

    During the sparring portion of the class I got cocky. He and I squared off and he got in this deep and low stance. I mean, movie style, super low horse stance. So heck, I did too because I’m a 19 year old badass right? Every time I would advance he would sweep my leg and do a kind of push/punch move so I would get up and get low again thinking, “okay this crap is working for him so I must be doing it wrong,” and each time same thing. At one point I heard my instructor yell, “Chris...get off the floor and start fighting!” But I just...wouldn’t, because I kept copying him, because I was comfy but unsure of myself.

    As you can see from the photos, I didn’t actually fight/spar like that. I mostly stood upright with my chin down and moved. (I’m in the red shirt). These are from about 1998-2000. Two are my senior photos...clearly...and in the one where I’m standing, my lead hand was down for the look of the shot, but it usually stays up to protect my head. Otherwise, that’s my fighting stance in karate.








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  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    99
    Brent, interesting take on the teaching aspect of the deep stance. Makes sense, I can see that giving an instructor more control over the class. The teachers I had taught me they deep stances where good for getting a "feel" for your body and how to transfer energy to your delivery system. The secondary use was power development, I took that to mean strength training. We where never taught that as a fighting position because it left you immobile and vulnerable. Love discussing this with folks who actually use it for real as opposed to just dance.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
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    9,225
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel Suarez View Post
    AND...you do not step into a deep stance...and then hit. Nor do you step, hit, and stay there stopped. Nor does the foot precede the fist. It is movement forward...and through. The problem with only hitting bags or punching posts is that by necessity, you remain stationary. Same with too much g**da*** moth******* range work and live fire. The necessity of the training environment or drill develops horrible habits.

    A proper punch begins in the mind...the eye looking at the target. The hand begins to move toward the target as the feet follow. Then as the hand connects, the lower body supports it and drives through as if hitting with the ground itself. That is the timing. Feel light and then heavy, driving and crushing...then light again. Its a timing...same as the dynamic move off the X in Diagonal Lines and Watch Your Back has a timing from heavy to light and then heavy again as you change directions.
    What I see with a lot of this is what I do/have done, when training myself with something new. Even if the action is semi-familiar, if I'm working with something new I exaggerate the movement very deliberately in practice and then gradually introduce speed as it becomes more natural. As the speed is introduced the exaggeration is reduced, or as I have said hundreds of times "get it right, then get it fast". I tend to do this with everything from double clutching in a car, BJJ moves, and weapon manipulation, to foot work.

    As you build the "feel" of your structure when you get something right/correct your speed will increase because it will feel right /correct. Once you build that "feeling" into your psyche, make it unconscious, own it, you become efficient and it becomes natural. I don't want to train the exaggeration to be natural but I want to train the process to be natural. I want to work the process until the speed, power, balance, and consistency all exist in the movement. When I know the feeling of the entire process when it's right, consistent, and fast, it allows my mind to quickly shift to a different solution if it doesn't come off as expected.
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