I was taught to pivot on center of the foot and by another school on the heel. What is the most accepted form of pivoting? Thanks
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Answer: My answer may confuse you even more… that’s the disclaimer, so read on if you dare –
Pivoting the feet footwork is common in many Wing Chun lineages. I like to call it sliding and shuffling because that’s what it looks like and sounds like many times.
I’ll give you the answer from my lineage, which is shared by others too.
Don’t pivot, slide, or shuffle.
Pick up your feet and step.
Note: I don’t disrespect any of my Wing Chun cousins. The truth is when you describe or “show” a lap sau, straight punch, and especially a bong sau to other, non-Wing Chun martial artists, most of them laugh and think those moves are silly and weak. And, when you’re a beginner, those moves are unnatural and do feel silly and weak.
But then you train them, over and over again and build muscle memory until you are proficient, and those moves become devastating tools.
Likewise, I’ve never learned nor trained any kind of pivot footwork. So take what I say with a grain of salt. Perhaps, you even learn something new or have a few concepts to think through and test
out during your training.
When you fight you need to be mobile, that’s just common sense. Picking up your feet and stepping gives you maximum mobility.
Stepping over or around an obstacle is strategically important, too. The obstacle could be uneven ground; stones, rocks, and other debris; it could be soft ground like sand or mud; it could be your opponent’s feet.
When you train this kind of footwork you want to develop efficient movement in tune with the situation. Not too much, not too little.
When you use this Wing Chun footwork you use the balls of your feet for mobility (not the middle, not the heel). Using the balls of the feet is a proven method for stable and quick movement.
Think of tennis players, basketball players, and boxers. They move on the balls of their feet. The balls of your feet are the tough rounded area right behind your toes, on the soles of your feet.
Of course, when you strike or kick you’ll generate more power form your body by planting your heel down on the floor, and your knees bent a bit for more balance.
This all takes practice to make it effective and all flow together.
The point being shuffling, scooting, sliding, and pivoting may have practical limitations.
What’s your take on Wing Chun footwork? Leave a comment below:
In my lineage we pivot on our heels. This is because pivoting on our soles causes the feet to move out of line slightly (try it! pivot 10 times on your soles & you will lose position & structure).
I must agree with the previous comments regarding mobility in general, Cheun Mar is only one of our options and its important to ensure that we master al the stances and steps.
Hope that helps!