I wrote:...in BSL #1 and the hand sparring set, there are times when a "fighting stance" is adopted, which is either a horse or a reverse bow - hips facing sideways in both cases - with the hands up and extended forward. It's a pretty terrible fighting stance, to be blunt, especially in the sparring climate of today, in which your front knee/leg will be kicked or grabbed for a takedown (yes, one could do it as an invitation, but it shouldn't be adopted for a general fighting stance). They're both also way too inflexible and turning almost completely sideways to one's opponent isn't wise. I'm guessing this isn't how our predecessors sparred, but that's very hard to judge. Sifu told me that fighters would just move around each other and use the traditional stances once they're in, which sounds similar to what I'm advocating here. I'm not sure why we have horse and reverse bow ready positions in sets... show?
You can see both the horse and reverse bow versions of this ready position in the BSL sparring set video here (first time at 00:35): http://www.wle.com/products/VSL09D.html
By the way, it sort of sounds like it, but I'm not attacking BSL here. I was a BSL student of Sifu Wing Lam for years and I enjoy it greatly. I was mostly trying to emphasize (a) that form and application are not always the same, requiring that the student think critically about the movements and put them to the test, and (b) that I believe a flexible ready position is vital. The traditional footwork is still essential to the the fighting techniques, though. The original thread puts all of this is context.
Dan C wrote:I agree with your comments about turning your side to your opponent in the ring. On the other hand, we have to remember that competition rules protect fighters from below-the-belt attacks. My assumption has been that the developers of the BSL style were very concerned with defending against that particular type of attack, so the horse stance was a preferred stance.
I think a sideways facing horse opens us up more to low attacks. We'd be essentially be offering our knee for a low side or stomping kick. Throws and sweeps would be harder to defend against and the kidneys are less protected, too. Also, turning as far sideways as we do in the sparring set and #1, limits the ability of either hand to attack efficiently. The front hand is too far extended (and the hips are turned completely sideways), so generation of power is very hard. The rear hand is very far back and would take too long to reach its target. An extended forward hand invites grabbing and other manipulations. Lastly, a horse is very flat-footed and hard to move around in freely, or at least it is for me.
I could be wrong, but I also assume that the BSL style doesn’t use the round-house kick, because it invites a particularly unwelcome counter attack.
So does the hooking punch. We have plenty of circular attacks in BSL, which some say are easy to counter with a linear strike, but, in my experience, circular techniques work well because they're sometimes hard to see coming. Also, if the roundhouse is easily defeated, then our high sweep, which looks very similar, is also easily defeated. We had a big debate on the roundhouse in a thread a few years ago, if I remember correctly.
Some have added the roundhouse to their BSL, I've heard. I haven't yet seen a BSL set with them, though.
I actually don’t see a lot of difference in your views and mine, but the debate is fun anyway.
Mutual respect is a good thing.
Yes, I agree that we should save it for another thread.
Here you go.