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Depth of Squat

Author Topic: Depth of Squat  (Read 13084 times)

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Depth of Squat
« on: November 21, 2011, 02:56:40 PM »
I've been wondering about how the squat has passed through Kajukenbo and related or derivative branches.  This came to mind when I was watching a number of YouTube videos of Naihanchi Kata AKA Tekki, Death Dance .   Gichin Funokoshi uses a deeper horse stance/squat while others use a very shallow stance.  It's easy to see that the physical demands of a deep squat are more on older men, so I'm wondering if the variety of stance depths has to do with when students were exposed to the master teacher.  Has this been discussed here before?
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Offline kcerda

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 03:52:47 PM »
Depth of the stances was an usual way to differentiate southern and northern chinese martial arts (nanquan vs chanquan) styles. Southern ones use to do very deep stances, and northern more natural or high, supposedly because kind of terrains from one part of china to another. Since history says that southern chinese styles are one of the major roots of okinawan kempo,  the deep squatting position (kiba dachi) that one can say in many katas, but specially in naihanchi or tekki, would depend from this source. However, Choki Motobu (who supposedly was the inspiration for Mitose's adoption of naihanchi) in his book Watashi no karate jutsu, shows an interpretation of Naihanchi that uses a square kiba dachi not that deep as Funakoshi's one, important point since they both trained in some moment of their careers under Anko Itosu, who's credited as the one that made the three naihanchi katas by breaking an older chinese form. So in this case, i think is not about the teacher they had but the way they both understand the relationship of kata training with real fighting. Since Funakoshi approach to movement is heavily influenced by kendo idea of ending the confrontation with just one strike, they tend to understand the stances thinking in to get the most stability, reach and power that is possible by deepen the body center of gravity. In Motobu's approach stances also work as source of power but as stages of a flow (like in modern kenpo) that could support many strikes and changes in the fighting situation.
Sifu Kristov Cerda
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Offline Greg Hoyt

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2011, 06:06:07 PM »
Very interesting, thank you sir. 
Sifu Greg Hoyt
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Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 06:16:19 PM »
Thank you, Sifu Cerda.
"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
Baltic Dog, Dog Brothers Martial Arts

Offline Tony49

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 06:40:13 PM »
Very insightful, Sifu Cerda
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Offline guarded

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 10:27:41 AM »
Kajukenbo Tum Pai is a very flexible art. Kajukenbos merge with Tai Chi allows it to adapt very well to the body type and skill level of the practitioner. We are taught that the lower you can go while still maintaining the control and flow of your counter or form the better.  I think a nice wide base with the thighs just a few degrees short of horizontal is ideal for strength and balance.
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 02:56:24 PM »
I'm also wondering how much deep stances are influenced by "it looks cool because it's so angular" and "it's not easy to do".
"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
Baltic Dog, Dog Brothers Martial Arts

Offline guarded

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 02:07:09 PM »
In Kajukenbo there is reason why our counters and tricks take it to a point where the threat no longer exists. Whether it is just leaving the scene, or having to break limbs and leave the attacker unconscious. We train for the most extreme scenarios in case we have to take there. Tum Pai Basic Trick #3 is a great example for this. It is a counter for a 2 hand grab to the chest and hold. The footwork on this is stepping back about 45 deg. while dropping into a horsestance. This move alone is enough to throw an unsuspecting attacker off balance without even using my hands especially if he tries to hang on. The wider and lower you take the stance all the more off balance he will be. But combined with hand trap and strikes this is lethal. So training to take the stance as low as we can and still stay within our own physical limits is paramount in case the situation requires that it go there.
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2011, 04:13:06 PM »
Anyway, it seems I've spent a lot of time in the squat.  As a chair-sitting office worker, I noticed my squats improved significantly after "squatting" (regular, front squat and front-split squats) heavier weights 50-200% my body weight.  In particular, single-legged squats (50-100% of body weight) made the biggest difference.  The same could be said of everyone I trained with. I'm left convinced that squatting with no more than your own body weight is not enough to develop a strong squat.
"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
Baltic Dog, Dog Brothers Martial Arts

Offline guarded

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2011, 05:13:15 PM »
No offense but that post seems a bit random compared to your opening post Sir. I surely agree with you if you are talking about squats and weight lifting. I find most of the squats in martial arts, the technique is doing the most damage on the way down and only needs to be held for a very short time. Unless doing it in forms. In particular Form #3 in Kajukenbo Tum Pai. Just a thought! A good strong core I feel is just as important in respect to the squats and techniques that along with it.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 07:44:11 PM by guarded »
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Offline Gints Klimanis

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2011, 05:48:12 PM »
No problem.  There are a few angles to explore in the topic of the martial arts squatting stance and the inevitable drift from function to form. 
"We do not condone the use of a toilet seat as a deadly weapon"
Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo, 3rd Degree Black Belt Prof. Richard Lewis
Bono JKD/Kajukenbo, Prof. John Bono, San Jose, CA
Baltic Dog, Dog Brothers Martial Arts

Offline guarded

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2011, 07:46:24 PM »
I can dig it! 8)
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Offline kcerda

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2011, 08:24:10 PM »
I didnt know too much about Tum Pai, but i know its (partially) based in Tai Chi...right? As I've seen in many Tai Chi fighters stances are transitional moments of a movement flow that absorbs and build power at the same time. In that case the deep squat is a powerful way to use the gravity as a source of focused power and body alignment. In the kind of stuff I teach, the flowing concepts are more influenced by fma and old school kenpo than by chinese arts, but are almost the same, then the deep of the squat helps to add power to the strike by putting  body weight on it (like in a downward hammer or elbow strike) but also as a way to have enough balance to confront a grappling situation (since we go always from mid to close range). Precisely, this last way to understand the "ritual" practice of the deep square squat is something we should analyze, since hawaiian kenpo have a strong influence from Danzan Jujitsu, and in jujitsu the deep squat is the root for throwing and unbalancing techniques (nage waza).
Sifu Kristov Cerda
Half Blood Hawaiian Kenpo - Chile, Southamerica.
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Offline guarded

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2011, 09:00:34 PM »
Yes Sifu Cerda, Kajukenbo Tum Pai is a blend of Original Kajukenbo and Tai Chi. A very flowing and circular Art. Footwork, staying within your center, body and tendon alignment for optimum strength and balance and continuous motion strikes/blocks are the root of Tum Pai. We have a stance set that can be practiced as a form that transitions from stance to stance that is great at strenghthening the muscles and tendons especially when done with the concepts of Tai Chi. The lower and slower you go the more you will get out of it. Start with good low forward stance, slide front foot up into tiger stance, than same foot back into twisted horse, than same foot around into horse stance, than small step with opposite foot into forward stance opposite of how you started. Repeat with that foot. A very linear drill. Straight line both ways which demonstrates the strength involved in the footwork and stances letting your legs and hips along with gravity and flow do the work. None of the other techniques above the waist will work if it's not done right below the waist.
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Offline Greg Hoyt

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Re: Depth of Squat
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2011, 07:43:37 AM »
One of the most important reasons to practice the deep horse stance is to allow a defender to strike the groin area while maintaining a good base.  It is nearly impossible to strike the groin with power while in a traditional fighting stance....unless you bend over (not good).  When we transition from standing to low base to perform our groundwork we need to have a strong core.  Lower body strength is key here, both for base and to resist the temptation to bend over for our 'groundwork'. 
Sifu Greg Hoyt
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