Saturday, October 27, 2007

Series on Hand Trapping

I think this may be the first Bruce Lee video I have posted. This will be the start of a series on hand trapping. It's interesting how our personal fighting styles evolve. When I was a wrestler, every fight went to the ground. Then in Tae Kwon Do, it was all about kicking. My hand techniques were limited to big power-strokes for brick and board breaking. Then came Kenpo, and the western boxing drills. Lots of hitting replaced the high kicks. Now, with Tai Chi Chuan and related arts, I am hooked on sticking and close-in manipulation.
Let's start with this ANCIENT video of the late great Bruce Lee. This must be from the mid-sixties, when young Dojo Rat was getting his first black eyes and bloody noses. Check out Lee's wide traditional stance. I'm quite sure he changed it to a more nimble and narrower stance later. The video is grainy and sometimes difficult to see, but it shows the young master at work. It's 7+ minutes long, with black screen between shots, so stick with it.
Much more on hand trapping all next week!


Martial Development said...

From a Wing Chun standpoint, this is not a traditional stance. It was Bruce's innovation.

Dojo Rat said...

I guess my point is he seemed to change it later, a little more mobile. Yes, no?-- and, I have seen some old wing chun styles that used some very exposed, wide stances.

Hand2Hand said...

Hey MD,

I agree that what Lee was doing in the video was pretty much his own innovation, but I respectfully disagree that the horse stance is not part of Wing Chun.

After all, it appears in the luk dim bun kwan form, along with classical cat stances.

I've also seen it in some versions of the baht jam dao form, both mainland and in Yip Man-derived branches. In Yip Ching's version of the BJD, he drops into some very deep horses when retreating in the earlier sections of the form.

My own chi sao improved greatly when incorporating deep horses and cats into the footwork, as well as the conventional Wing Chun stances.

Lee's trapping was influenced not only by his Wing Chun, but by Kenpo, Tong Long and most especially by the Filipino Martial Arts. In my opinion, Lee was trying to move himself and his students as quickly as possible from the sensitivity training of chi sao directly to applications of phon sao.

Also, in my experience, current Jeet Kune Do people draw more from the FMA for their trapping than from Wing Chun.

Martial Development said...

True, mainland style is a little different, and the HK pole and knife forms have the wide stance.

I should have said that it he is not demonstrating orthodox Yip Man style Wing Chun (not a value judgement BTW).