Stances and Movement

Stances and Movement

Postby Ted Dinwiddie » Thu Mar 28, 2002 3:35 pm


One underlying concept of your seminar that has really had an effect on my thinking and my training is the footwork. You said that you thought the Filipino footwork was the best of any style you had studied. You have studied quite a few so your statement resonated with me. Indeed, I found that aspect of the drills we practiced the most challenging; I could never be considered fleet of foot. Be that as it may, proper body movement hinges on good footwork and proper application of all technique hinges on good body movement.

Bringing the flowing and dynamic nature of FMA to Karate is very valuable. When the traditional stances of Okinawan karate are viewed as dynamic movements rather than static positions, many keys to understanding appear. This is especially true when the transitions between stances are examined. A final "stance" is actually only an instant in time, a snapshot, if you will. The problem is that some of us have learned these stances as static positions. The traditional Okinawan stances are not only integral to an upper-body technique one may be executing, they are techniques in and of themselves. The development of good movement with the traditional stances being focused techniques flowing together as combinations is a valuable way of seeing things.

The farther we go down the road, the more territory we open up for exploration.


"I learn by going where I have to go." - Theodore Roethke
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Stances and Movement

Postby Raffi Derderian » Wed Apr 17, 2002 2:54 pm

Thanks for your comments. I haven't been very active on these forums lately and I just saw your post.
Although we practiced with the weapons during the Charlottesville seminar, the footwork is the same even for the empty hand fighting. And I still stand by my statement that the FMA footwork is the best. Believe me, if you practice some of the footwork drills I teach at the camps (and on my tapes) you will definitely become "flight of foot".
When I began down my road of obsessive cross training, Kali was the first art I was exposed to. It actually sparked my interest in finding out "what else is out there?" Prior to that I only did Uechi-ryu. I couldn't believe how alive the body mechanics and footwork drills are. Your explanation of static Karate footwork couldn't be better. A snapshot is very accurate and I plan to quote you on that. Image
The stance is an excellent one for in close fighting, once you've bridged the gap and going to be punching. In this range, you need to be "rooted" to draw power.

>>>>The farther we go down the road, the more territory we open up for exploration<<<
Absolultely! The more I learn, the less I feel I know, the more humble I become.
Hope to see you at summercamp.


[This message has been edited by Raffi Derderian (edited April 17, 2002).]
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Postby Akil Todd Harvey » Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:57 pm

Greetings All,

Coming late to the thread, but intrigued. I too am recently viewing the Uechi kata in a new light, as not of series of abrupt actions followed by a considerable period of pause (freeze-static position-statue-waiting to get hit). I like the description of the flow from one movement to the next, generating the power from the forward step, rear step, side steps, the turn/pivots.

The Seisan lower arms swings (please dont ask me the japanese names for these) are amazingly powerful as taught by Sensei Mattson, especially the one that comes off a turn. I love those moves, because you can grappple, avoid holds, & strike very effectively, combined with the ducks and dodges that are learned in boxing, one can fight well in this hands down position because of the combination of lowered head, blocking with a raised shoulder, elbow combination, while turning so as to change the angle of anttack to the body (decreasing the force directed at the body).....

My cross training experiences, though somewhat few in number compared to some, have been eye opening experiences that I feel have really enhanced my Uechi training. I recently began joint teaching with a Kali instructor once a week, I will be showing him uechi and he will be showing me Kali, and I will assist him teaching his Kali students.

Sensei Campbell was one of the first to open my eyes to all chinese weapons as well as a broader array of japanese weapons.

LA is a good place to learn FMA, eh? There seems to be a considerable Philipino-American population in southern California.

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