Center line principle -- overrated?

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby Steve James on Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:39 pm

Hmm, I think "center line" theory is a broad category. I think that wing chun (and other arts) focus on the center line, especially in terms of defense, but I think tcc's approach to "the center" is very different. Otoh, the "center" of a human body is what it is. I.e., it holds a lot of important physical stuff that has little to do with philosophy. For ex., if we were considering the use of any weapon, guarding the heart --at least- would be obvious. Keeping a blade between you and the opponent is just practical imo. But, it does relate to this discussion of western boxing.

There have been boxers who've specialized and become champions using either straight punches or hooking punches. One is not superior to the other. Frazier was a hooker, and he beat Ali. Ali specialized in straight punches, and he beat Frazier.

When it comes to wide, looping punches, it is true that they might be more successful overall than straight punches. I don't think it's because they're superior. I think it's just harder to become good at straight punching, including jabs and crosses. So, when it comes to techniques that work, it's fair to start from the assumption that the puncher is good at what he does. If he is, then wide punches might work, if you don't get hit. Though, taking a hit in order to get inside might be a logical tactic if one is a grappler. That's the same for all types of punchers.

But, in terms of punching, browse through some examples of good jabbers, hookers, and crossers. Just for fun.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBnBcGst5CI


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY6N5iUKQY4


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEUvfIvs1fo
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby chimerical tortoise on Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:46 pm

There's centreline principle in trying to "snatch the centre line" (搶中線)... which is not really the only thing about the centreline.

In the diagram that Johnwang posted the wedge is also 'centreline' even though the elbows are not stuck on the centre - the person is 'pointing' forward (向前) and doesn't have to occupy what appears to be the centreline to dominate it. If you're pointing correctly then there can be interesting results e.g. from 3:13 to 3:37:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uIQ46ow7Nk
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby Subitai on Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:32 pm

marvin8 wrote:
@ :22, hook punch.

windycitywingchun
Published on Jan 11, 2013:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwTnfrumGEI&t=0m22s

@ 3:18, inside diagonal punch (hook), swoop change the center.

windycitywingchun
Published on Jan 17, 2013:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-SoTx4cl2A&t=3m18s


ok, I just gotta say something about Ed Cruz in the 2 clips above. I Like Ed...he's a fellow FLIP, so I really don't want to talk smack about another Pinoy.

However, in addition to fighting, I've also done Choreography...and I got to say the one thing I didn't like was it was as if HE STOLE the multiple fighter One at a time concept from "Walker Texas Ranger". I love Chuck Norris...but watching that was like watching Chuck get surrounded by 4 guys and then have them all wait to attack one at a time. :)

(!) Jacky Chan, IMO does way better multiple attacker choreography...he gets HIT allot and he has to use the environment (most of the time) Just to survive (not be a badass) ... did I mention that he also gets hit allot!????

I had allot of street fights in my life (when I was younger) and yea I've knocked people out ...but oddly enough mostly with straight style punches. 2 times I've had multiple people jump me; 1st was in Tijuana and the 2nd was in the US. In both cases, I certainly didn't try to be Bruce Lee and stand in the middle...that's just stupid.

* In one example; Being fast on your feet, Isolating one guy by changing angles and boxing another to the side. Running around a truck...using hit and run.... throwing one dude into a bush that was Freshly trimmed. Finish move on the last dude was a basic hip throw then pound him for the knockout. Simple and real but not movie-like at all.

Straight or curved blows...I don't think necessarily one is better than the other...it's just whatever works for you....GO FOR IT!

================================
Lastly I'm not cutting down WC per say, but I think like allot of other styles...a WC user would be more well rounded if he also studied some grappling arts.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:44 am

chimerical tortoise wrote:
MaartenSFS wrote:Footwork and Shenfa are critical to proper application, which is why Wingchun is doomed - they lack it.


Really now? Tell me more ;D

All of the Wingchun guys that I've been up against were easily dispatched with round techniques because they don't have much of those in their system and aren't used to them, nor could they evade them with their inflexible footwork and rigid structure. They just tried to crowd me and got tagged from all sides as they rushed in with their chin pointed forwards. This has also been the case with fighters of other styles that favoured charging in with straight punches, without defending, but WC is just particularly bad. Although I'm not a wrestler this approach would probably be to their benefit as well. They would probably do well against Olympic Taekwondo, though. When they tried to control my arms I didn't engage, but just slipped through and delivered blow after blow after blow, whether advancing or retreating. I do make use of trapping, but it's only fleeting and doesn't rely on unrealistic reactions from my opponent, nor does it leave me exposed. It only takes a second to give me a window of attack.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:49 pm

Wing Chun is only one system that uses centreline
Hsing i is all centreline as are tai chi and ba kua
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:33 pm

True, but those system have round attacks and the Shenfa and/or footwork to deal with them..
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby C.J.W. on Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:09 pm

Might step on some toes for saying this, but I basically agree with Maarten's assessment of WC. I've always felt if it wasn't for the whole Bruce Lee craze -- and the more recent Yip Man boom -- WC would be nothing more than a small obscure system found only locally in pockets of southern China. Historically speaking, WC is only an offshoot of Fujian White Crane and was never considered to be particularly martially effective or sophisticated.

On a side note, none of the old-timers I've spoken with in Taiwan think highly of WC. Some even claim that the characteristic toe-in high stance, lack of agile footwork, and stationary appearance were designed to be practiced only by females who ,in ancient times, had deformed bound feet and limited mobility.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:53 pm

Interesting regarding the bound feet. I think a lot of the attraction is that training in WC makes them feel badarse without ever having to really fight (99% of WC anyways), much like most Taijiquan. As long as they win in Chishou or Tuishou they can claim to be doing a martial art. It's rather cultish. Of course as soon as fists start flying that shit goes right out of the window - mostly due to bad training.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby chimerical tortoise on Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:22 pm

Toes are tucked towards the centreline so carry on and step where you will! (Especially CJW... if I remember right you're a bagua guy?)

There's not a lot of good WC out there, and there's a lot of WC out there (thanks, Bruce!) and so most of Maarten's comments do ring true. But that's not to say there isn't shenfa in WC... I've seen plenty of TJQ for example without shenfa but there are certain TJQ guys that do have it. I'd have thought that this is a widespread CMA problem and not limited to just one style.

Taiwan is not known for good WC, I'd expect a similar perspective from old-timers anywhere outside of Guangdong really. That's like asking for rum at a whiskey bar.

wayne hansen wrote:Wing Chun is only one system that uses centreline
Hsing i is all centreline as are tai chi and ba kua


From my limited experience with those three sisters they have a different approach to centreline which is often apparent in the applications and other partner drills... and the shenfa is very different. I really liked all three and will say that the xingyi and bagua I've seen has a lot stronger focus on entering strategy than WC... and are sneakier, for lack of a better word!
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:38 pm

"If not for Bruce Lee" :). His point at the time was that "classical" wing chun, like other tcma, were stuck in a classical mess. The mere idea that a "style" would limit one's use of a weapon was the problem as he saw it. So, his philosophy was simple, absorb what's useful, discard what's not, and add your own.

Adherence to "style" is an impediment, but having a strong foundation in something is an asset. That's where rubber meets road. It's possible that any form of training will be useful in any given situation, and it's easy to make theoretical comparisons of matches between wc (etc) and other martial arts. Of course, for a time, wc was "the" big thing. Yeah, there are plenty of tcm artists who scoff at wc. But, need I mention CMC? Or, how about TKD? People scoff at other martial arts all the time. In fact, it was the reason for the UFC. Sometimes, it seems to be the rationale for martial arts discussion boards, too. :)

Bruce Lee didn't invent mma, but mma fighters generally follow his philosophy. They don't say because they do this, they can't do that. In fact, it is useful for him to study those elements that were not part of his base martial practice.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby C.J.W. on Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:06 pm

chimerical tortoise wrote:Toes are tucked towards the centreline so carry on and step where you will! (Especially CJW... if I remember right you're a bagua guy?)

There's not a lot of good WC out there, and there's a lot of WC out there (thanks, Bruce!) and so most of Maarten's comments do ring true. But that's not to say there isn't shenfa in WC... I've seen plenty of TJQ for example without shenfa but there are certain TJQ guys that do have it. I'd have thought that this is a widespread CMA problem and not limited to just one style.

Taiwan is not known for good WC, I'd expect a similar perspective from old-timers anywhere outside of Guangdong really. That's like asking for rum at a whiskey bar.


If you are implying I don't know what I'm talking about and that I think all toe-in stances are wrong, please re-read my previous post. ;)

What I was saying is that "some" of the master-level southern stylists I've met believe that THE PARTICULAR TYPE of toe-in stance and kua/dang structure taught in WC is meant to compensate for the ancient females' lack of stability -- and mobility -- in the lower body due to their bound feet.

The toe-in stance is also employed in a variety of other southern styles, including Fujian White Crane (which I used to practice), but with different and "arguably" more stable and mobile kua/dang structures than WC.

As for the lack of quality WC in Taiwan, I actually completely agree with you. The main reason is that the WC scene in Taiwan is dominated by a certain mediocre teacher who, due to his familial ties to a very famous master, has been able to maintain a monopoly on the art for decades.

And mind you, the Taiwanese masters I spoke with were not ignorant individuals who simply jumped to conclusions. Some of them are well-traveled businessmen and have sought out CMAists from various schools in HK, Macau, Guangdong, Malaysia, and Singapore to compare notes and "exchange hands" with.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby chimerical tortoise on Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:14 pm

C.J.W. wrote:If you are implying I don't know what I'm talking about and that I think all toe-in stances are wrong, please re-read my previous post. ;)


Not at all, just trying to make a joke about stepping on toes, toes tucked away, etc. but didn't do it ver ywell.

C.J.W. wrote:The toe-in stance is also employed in a variety of other southern styles, including Fujian White Crane (which I used to practice), but with different and "arguably" more stable and mobile kua/dang structures than WC.


There's some pretty ridiculously low WC stances out there, you hear a lot of "we train this stance not to fight but for conditioning" and holding apples in between your knees type of stuff. I personally think that a lot of it is overemphasis on 'form' and 'shape'. Not to say that YJKYM isn't a thing, but it can be done (well) looking a lot more upright and natural than it usually appears.

C.J.W. wrote:As for the lack of quality WC in Taiwan, I actually completely agree with you. The main reason is that the WC scene in Taiwan is dominated by a certain mediocre teacher who, due to his familial ties to a very famous master, has been able to maintain a monopoly on the art for decades.


Sorry to hear that. I would imagine there are a lot more worthwhile teachers to meet in Taiwan.

C.J.W. wrote:And mind you, the Taiwanese masters I spoke with were not ignorant individuals who simply jumped to conclusions. Some of them are well-traveled businessmen and have sought out CMAists from various schools in HK, Macau, Guangdong, Malaysia, and Singapore to compare notes and "exchange hands" with.


I'm sure they were, and sorry that they didn't run into any nice WC. It is quite hard to find, apparently... I was very lucky to have met my sifu, whose WC is very immediately appreciable, and being a bit of an idiot didn't realise until a long time later that not all WC was the same.
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:10 pm

This guy is a wing Chun,hsing I tai chi,Ba kua practicioner
Anyone know him
https://youtu.be/U5mC2QS_4fU
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby Trick on Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:17 pm

Subitai wrote:
However, in addition to fighting, I've also done Choreography...and I got to say the one thing I didn't like was it was as if HE STOLE the multiple fighter One at a time concept from "Walker Texas Ranger". I love Chuck Norris...but watching that was like watching Chuck get surrounded by 4 guys and then have them all wait to attack one at a time. :)
.

CN stole it from Shaw Brothers and BL, it's classic KungFu(movie) fighting 8-)
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Re: Center line principle -- overrated?

Postby klonk on Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:36 pm

C.J.W. wrote:On a side note, none of the old-timers I've spoken with in Taiwan think highly of WC. Some even claim that the characteristic toe-in high stance, lack of agile footwork, and stationary appearance were designed to be practiced only by females who ,in ancient times, had deformed bound feet and limited mobility.


That is a fascinating side note. I have observed in some WC adepts a unique wave-like longitudinal motion (when viewed from the side) that seems to be a mechanism of power generation. Why not step instead? If you cannot step very well, that would be a possible explanation.
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