This is What Happens When You Skip Stance Training

Jason Chambers
Ten years of professional fighting experience
Zero years of stance training?

Jim Fung (and students)
Zero years of professional fighting experience
45 years of Wing Chun Kung Fu training

Explaining the relationship between stance training and effective kicking, Jim Fung writes:

Wing Chun emphasises low kicks because we believe them to be faster, easier to apply and less risky than high kicks. It is most important to keep your balance when kicking, otherwise the opponent may be able to grab your leg, or move in and push you over.

The Wing Chun stance teaches you how to keep your balance. In training, always practice your stance, and do all kicking from the stance. [In application], bend the knees slightly to lower the center of gravity and allow ease of leg movement, apply your internal contraction to hold the upper and lower body together as one unit, and keep the back up straight.

The stance teaches you how to kick without telegraphing…most people find it hard to stop a fast, powerful low kick.

(continued at International Wing Chun Academy website)


  1. What did stance training have to do with this, exactly?

  2. Look at 0:28 in both videos, compare the techniques and the outcomes.

  3. Well, the technique in the first video is being performed against a guy who is actually trying to get in a hit on Jason, while the technique in the second video is being performed against a student who is there to be a demo dummy and make Grandmaster look impressive. That’s the main difference I see.

  4. Stance training has nothing to do with it.

    FOOTWORK training, however, is very important.

  5. Oh PLEASE that Wing Chun video (the second) is mostly crap.
    It’s just another example of students being quite obediant toward their master.
    There is:
    – Learnt obediance after endless hours of practice of training drills where the “defender” (winner) and “attacker” (loser), take turns.
    – Confusion between respect and submission
    – Concious, voluntary restraint because it is a demo, not sparring nor fight with rules nor free-fight.
    – Involuntary restraint provoked by fear of the master’s reaction if you do not let him perform the technique properly. (He may try again much harder, this time injuring you badly)
    – Fear of injuring your master

  6. While I definitely think Wing Chun is a great art and is very effective, I feel that this is a fairly poor comparison and demonstration of the discipline.

  7. I wonder what’d happen if you’d put Jason Chambers and that kung fu dude face to face in a kicking bout? It’d be sad to see 45 years of stance training run down the drain.

  8. I’d say the taekwondo match is similar to pitting a high school basketball star against Kobe Bryant in a one-on-one basketball match. It certainly illustrates the former’s lack of experience in the game, but it’s a rather obvious outcome.

  9. Jason Chambers is a lousy stand-up fighter most of the time, relying to much on the clinch and his jiu-jitsu background. Coupled with the worn-down condition his joints are in (he talks about that in several interviews), he’s hardly the person to compare anything too.

  10. jason’s kick had no force his attack simply bounced of his enemy while the other guy had a strong pushing motion in his kick i see your point about what stance training does

  11. When I saw the Jason Chambers video on the
    page where it was by itself I noticed that low kick he did wasnt right.
    It lacked force. It was like a keep away feint kick or something.
    I mean it seemed like he either could not or did not attempt force.

  12. In the first video JC has to defend against a knife attacker. Its hard to defend against a closing attacker when you are back pedaling. The attacker will always be ablet to move faster than you. The way to defend against this is to neutralize the attack or never let him get close to you. The leg is longer than the arm. But a kick against a knife attacker will only work if it is fast, violent, and most importantly doesn’t cause you to lose balance.

    In the first video the guys are trying to gain range by back pedaling and slipping. In the second video the attacker will never get close enough to use a knife. Notice that J Fung never loses his balance and is back in his stance is less than a second.

    Yeah, stance training is critical. It isn’t the only thing going on there, but its a big part of it.

  13. Just goes to show that even though professional fighting does provide skills, there is a lot more to learn in terms of self defense.
    Then again thats most of my training. Practical defense. One of my friends who does the ‘octagon/ring’ style asked me to come fight on their team. Half the stuff we get taught isn even allowed.

  14. Put that craptastic wing chun guy in with that agressive knife attacker and he’d be dead too. Personally I think TMA’s are dead. Rarely do they ever prove effective. Any art can be effective if the practitioner is athletic like Chuck Liddell for instance. If not, then you need something that’s proven time after time.

  15. I looked at it carefully, after the kick, the opponent just knocked his leg out of the way and totally wailed on him. The defender NEVER tried to trap the knife arm, instead tried an inclose body lock which left his back open to multiple stabs. If his kick was going to do anything he should have side stepped and then throw a more substantial blow below the knee or some such.

    The Wing Chun master most likely would not have used a kick but some kind of arm trap and beat the crap out of the attacker.

    Anyway, that’s my opinion.

  16. I think the faults in the training of the individuals in the 1st video are too many to list. Clearly they do not work hard enough, or long enough. Gym work will not replace daily drills and practice. These guys wear makeup in front of a camera.

    Bodybuilding MMA fighters look like poster children for gay pride.

  17. after reading the responces, I believe the problem is simply a belief in magic. Kung Fu is magic and therefore does not exist.

    Stance-work, as well as foot-work for those who think they are different, is simply training to be stable up to the point where you can feel stability and maintain that stability while moveing. In the first vid, the krav maga fighter actually had stance-work. he was focused forward and his stability supported his ability to use the knife. The two morons on that sad show got scared and simply did whatever techniques supported their ego. The small guy kept his hair from being messed and the big guy proved that he weighed more than his opponent.
    While the second video did not have real fighting, it did show what is possible when you have the skill to maintain a solid foundation while punching.

    Back to the first video. How come punching the hand and wrist is never taught? You can hit the hand and wrist when blocking. Does the punch somehow make you less perceptive? If you can’t affect the wrist then why are you punching the chest? Baby steps!

    All krav maga teaches is coherance. the whole body is connected, pay attention to it. When punching remember that you have two hands. What are your legs going to do now that you have punched?
    Why is this considered revolutionary?

  18. Actually several styles of Kung Fu do teach attacking the wrists and hands whle parrying or blocking.
    The art is only as good as the student and the teacher.
    If it is taught incorrectly or used incorrectly it will not work.

  19. I guess they never heard of side to side movement against a knife attack. Both guys allowed the individual with the knife to move forward and engage. The first rule is to side step the hand with the knife and counter by moving in trapping the arm, and taking the opponent down HARD!

  20. OK, nice stuff, but the Wing Chun guys didn’t do anything with opponents handling knives. What is point of this? Let’s see some Wing Chun against knives. Please.

  21. First video the attacker has a solid stance with weight on both feet…stable and he was able to make the kick mostly miss. The second video the attacker is in the process of kicking and off balance…of course the defender’s kick is going to seem so powerful.

    This is a very very very biased article searching for videos to support their biased opinion and only idiots can’t see it.

    Why are the results different? It’s because the defender in the first video was live but the second video was scripted. Get a clue people.

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