Author Topic: Stances used in Kajukenbo  (Read 4896 times)


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Stances used in Kajukenbo
« on: June 02, 2003, 03:35:07 PM »
I was curious as to what stances are used in Kajukenbo? More specifically, are there stances that are emphasized more than others due to their effectiveness? The reason I ask is because I was reading a book on Jeet Kune Do and Bruce Lee discusses the pro's and cons of various stances. Since Kajukenbo is geared towards effective and practical techniques etc I would like to hear the more experienced Kajukenbo perspective in regards to stances used and why they are used (pros and cons)


Offline Mell

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Re:Stances used in Kajukenbo
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2003, 12:39:18 AM »
In your question, are you looking for stance information in regards to stances for fighting, or in executing forms?

I'm going to assume you mean for fighting.  Our school teaches to use a fighting stance about shoulders width apart, both knees bent, with weight evenly distributed, center of the body tilted away from the opponent.  We feel this allows for faster movement and use of all weapons without losing time to shift weight.  (We do not teach fighting out of a back stance).

Sibak Mellody Porter

Offline sifutimg

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Re:Stances used in Kajukenbo
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2003, 07:53:26 PM »
Stance training may seem boring and mundane for some folks, not judging now.  I happen to believe it's a very important part of my training regime.  There is more to stances then just holding a particular stance in practice or when doing your forms.  Stance training builds static strength in the legs and joints.   I remember reading in one of Dr. Yang’s' (prominent Chinese martial artist) books how some of the traditional Chinese teachers would make them work on their horse stance for up to 6 months before teaching them any kicking arts in order to strengthen the muscles and joints.  Stance training helps you to understand your root and how to connect with the ground to derive power in striking as well as holding a position when someone is trying to throw you to the ground.  An example that comes to mind is a headlock counter.  Someone grabs you in that headlock and usually wants to either hang on with one hand and beat you with the other hand or they may try and throw you to the ground and do something from there.  I teach how to take root into a horse stance and become a tree trunk.  You become very hard to move at this point.  It could make your opponent have to change what they intend which could result in an opportunity for you to capitalize on when they have to modify their decision and choose a new course of action.  Practicing low helps one to learn to work low.  In the art of Silat that I train in stresses the important of he who has the lower center is in the advantageous position (as long as you understand what that means now).  Being low and knowing how to strike and off balance an attacker is critical for women self defense in my humble opinion.  Stance training is a great way to exercise mind body connection as many of you have probably experienced how the mind will keep you in that stance longer than your body will.  Concentrating on holding the position when those legs start shaking and going into spasm, then getting your mind back to your breathing, taking in that precious oxygen to help calm our mind even though our body wants to give up is great understanding indeed.  Another aspect that comes to mind is how to teach that stances are transitionary as well.  We work on the understanding of why you may go to a horse stance then change to an arrow (or forward) stance, then maybe into a cat or tiger stance.  Stances help facilitate certain tool use like how an arrow stance can help generate linear power into a ram horn or half twisting punch or how a cat stance can facilitate quick lead leg kicks.  Stance transition is very important especially when fighting multiple attackers.  Getting low, using the octagon, and being able to work from there is very valuable understanding to have.  My opinion only.

Good topic and look forward to hearing other views.

Yours in training,
Sifu Tim Gagnier
Grandmaster Tim Gagnier
Student of Great Grandmaster Charles Gaylord & Grandmaster Sid Lopez
Chief Instructor Pacific Wind Kajukenbo
Student Forever
Yamhill, Oregon

Sigung Ray

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Re:Stances used in Kajukenbo
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2003, 07:30:02 AM »
This is a Small comment from Joe Davis in the School of Bruce Lee.

People want a handle to hold onto. They want props. I think we all need props. A good example is when he had the little school in Oakland,
over on Broadway, there was only 8 or 9 students there.
One guy named Joe Davis, who was a Kajukembo practitioner said he was going to quit JKD. (He was asked why),
And he said that he wasn't having fun, and that at least in Kajukembo he learned a new trick on each class. And here he would only hearing Bruce Lee talk.
Bruce would demonstrate something like closing the gap, and then talk and lecture about it for half an hour. He didn't line us up and go 1-2-3 and drill us over and over like traditional schools. It was very hang loose, very informal.That's how Bruce Lee trated martial arts. He said it was a style with no style, and it has no boundaries. Freedom????.  :o

Offline cirillo

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Re:Stances used in Kajukenbo
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2003, 02:03:46 PM »
I consider stances critical for development of strength, flexibility and proper footwork for delivery of attacks and effective defense.  Once these abilities are well developed, their practice can continue to allow further improvement.

Like any technique, they provide the tools that you can pull from to respond, not the exact response, which should be geared fit the situation.  We consider that stances are present within any type of movement, even running (you may not see the tiger stance - cat stance transition, but it is there).  They can be used as footwork either high or low to deal with nearly any given situation.  However, I would hope to NEVER see a student using specific stances during a street fight, mobility is too important.  We maintain a clear separation between technical and practical training.  Though the abilities developed through long-term technical stance practice will allow them to better deal with any given practical situation (many of which you might not normally expect to end up in).

I don't consider stances or basic techniques a handle to hold onto or a prop.  Many students don't know the options and don't have the tools.  For these students it is important that they train stances until proper footwork becomes  natural and spontaneous.  For other students who naturally have exceptional physical abilities and great footwork, possibly one could argue that they would not need to train stances.  However, I have never had one of those students.  I assume that they are very rare, but maybe they just don't come to me for instruction, maybe they don't need martial arts training?

Just my opinion, I am curious what others have to say.

Sifu Jeffrey D. Cirillo,  7th Degree Black belt in Wun Hop Kuen Do under GM Al Dacascos and 3rd Degree in FaChuan (Blossom Fist) under Sifu Bill Owens with over 35 years experience in the martial arts.
College Station, TX