They do if you fall over……..
A big difference between traditional kung fu and modern or reality based martial arts is the focuses on stances.
As students of Head Academy Kung Fu in Sydney will know, we obsess fanatically about students stances. Always correcting and always encouraging students to focus on the refinement of their stance and structure. There is a really good reason for this.
No self defence technique
Let me repeat that
No self defence technique will work unless you are operating from a superior position of stability or control. This applies if you are standing or lying on the ground. If you are engaged in a standing confrontation (where most self defence situations begin from) and your base, stance and ability to move is inferior to your opponent then you will likely lose the confrontation. If that opponent happens to grapple you, or try to wrestle, then you will likely end up on the ground. Similarly though if you are on the ground and your opponent has a superior structure, greater stability and control, then you will be submitted and lose just as surely as if you were standing. You still lose.
In our kung fu training for beginners we apply this realisation to our standing martial arts techniques. All techniques then must begin with correct structure, stability, grounding and balance of stance. Once this is established our offensive and defensive kung fu applications can be executed with a greater degree of effectiveness.
Jow Gar Kung Fu focus’ heavily on standing martial arts techniques, therefore it makes sense that we spend our energies and time developing the strong foundation from which to apply all of our kung fu. Otherwise you will end up on the ground in a self defence situation, conscious or unconscious.
Strong, grounded and stable stances do not necessarily lead to an inability to move fast. They merely need to be practiced in the correct manner, enough times, in sparring and application drills so that they reach a competent level.
The stances in traditional kung fu forms are there for a reason. Not only do they provide this stable base, they offer various guards (or starting/defensive positions) from which our techniques can be executed. You can be standing front on, side on, or turning to face an attacker. If you use the traditional stances in kung fu and our traditional forms they will give you a blueprint of footwork and applications that can be executed from those positions.
Remove the stances and you have no structure, no base and an inability to move with purpose.