Trapping, FMA vs Wing Chun
In FMA trapping is a skillset that comes into play frequently. More common in medio and corto ranges, most systems at least touch on this skill. From my experience trapping as used in FMA be it empty hand, knife or stick, differs from trapping we see in other systems.
I suppose in this discussion we should come to a consensus as to exactly what trapping is. If not, somewhere along the line some pedant will derail the discussion with half truths and debates about authenticity. For FMA I'd consider trapping the use of the non weapon hand to manipulate or control the opponent's weapon, weapon hand, arm, or body. I'd consider any pass, parry, grab, or push in the category of trapping but I'm open to other considerations.
I train Balintawak which emphasizes close quarters fighting, but the principles can be applied to all ranges. As such, I've heard people say that it resembles "wing chun with a stick." I'd argue that my system is more akin to boxing with a stick as there is an emphasize on slips, head movement and body movement.
This leads to my thread title. Trapping in FMA vs Wing Chun. For some reason any mention of WC on this site gets lots of attention even though everybody seems to hate on the style. So I figured I'd use this to get people talking about FMA.
In most, but certainly not all FMA, there is an emphasis on getting off center line. Footwork is frequently the solution to get off line. But this can also be accomplished with head and body movement, weight shifting, body lean, ect. The advantage in getting off line with the use of trapping is that the body is removed as a target. This affords room for the arms to trap and manipulate the opponent. In addition, moving off line gives room for error. In real time a fight is chaotic, arm position and timing won't always be spot on. By stepping, or moving off line you are giving room for reaction time and error. I'd be interested to hear other strikers, kick boxers, and boxers, comments on this idea.
My limited experience of wing Chun is that the stance is square, meaning shoulders are facing and equidistant from the opponent. Attacks are linear and direct which may be efficient. However, the defense i've seen is also linear. There doesn't seem to be any attempt to move out of the way of the opponent. This leaves the wing chun fighter to rely on hand speed, form, and timing alone to execute a defense. If any of these is off, the defense fails. Perhaps if Wing Chun used the principal of moving off line it would have more success in combat sports, not that it's their goal.
As mentioned not all FMA systems emphasize moving off line, but it is a common strategy. Coupled with trapping range skills I think it's an effective approach to trapping and manipulating the opponent. Give me some input bullies.
Last edited by jspeedy; 3/10/2014 8:01pm at .
Reason: deez nutz
Originally Posted by jspeedy
It may be more of an eyes of the beholder thing. I look at several FMA styles and I see more karate type movement, where others look like gung fu with sticks.
Trapping aids with tactile feedback on where the opponents weapon is during the fight and I think that is one of the reasons you find it to be so prevalent in the FMAs. I think you would see trapping more in styles dealing with weapons. While I find a lot of similarities in angles of movement and footwork in both arnis and gung fu, I wouldn't say that my gung fu teacher ever focused on trapping. It may be that I already had that skill from arnis so he focused on other areas in out limited time, but I really don't know. I see a lot of trapping in some silats and kun tao but as far as wing chun or other gung fu styles I haven't seen much of what I would call trapping.
I hope someone post some video for comparison.
Here is how I see it. They both work off the idea of tie and untie. WC is more sticky and "linear" that feeds off opponent's energy and of course stay in that box of centre line. FMA has "triangle" footwork that moves to the side of the opponent to attack the opponent's flank. People who I've seen doing WC meet the incoming attack which FMA people do as well (beat parry with the stick for example). Whether it's WC or FMA, we move "forward", even the triangle footwork is design to move "forward" not "side way". However, that being said, sometimes we just don't have time to move.
I once asked someone about WC's lack of footwork, he then replied: when the opponent moves forward, we will meet the attack. If the opponent moves backward, we will advance. If the opponent moves to the side, we just turn our body.
As for the hand that does the trapping, it's just the hand that's not currently attacking. Sometimes you have weapons in both hands (stick and knife for example) but you can still "trapping/tie up" the opponent.
Every art has room for improvement. Every art works (some better than another in certain circumstances). I personally think trapping works very well whether is in WC or FMA or any art. There's obstruction between my attack and the target, I clear it, disarm it /immobilize it (disarm doesn't necessarily means physically take the weapon away) in the process while I continue with my attack. Every martial art does that and it's applicable anytime two limbs touch.
The definition i gave for trapping related mainly to FMA, because different groups use different terminology. As we know movements in FMA are the same with and without the weapon, the same pass can be applied to numerous scenarios in FMA not dependant on the presence of a weapon. The definition i gave started with weapon control as a reference point. As for wing Chun trapping, i thought that it was commonly used to refer to the defenses such as pak sau,lap sau, bong sau, ect. Not arguing with kendalguro, just clarifying where I'm going with this. My main point being body movement and getting off line vs staying on center.
The description above is EXACTLY what I learned in wing chun. There is a lot of emphasis on centerline positioning in wing chun...ie that I always want my centerline facing my opponent, and want to get out of the way of his centerline as often as possible. This of course is accomplished through footwork and shifting the body.
Originally Posted by jspeedy
I know exactly what you are talking about but I can't speak to this very much as it completely differs from the wing chun I was taught. I was taught to take a staggered, athletic stance...allowing movement in every direction. Often the shoulders would be squared towards the opponent so that the centerline was facing him, but that was never intended to be a static position.
Originally Posted by jspeedy
The way I interpreted (and used) trapping in wing chun is as a result of keeping the hands always cycling forward (think chain punches). If I cycle my hands forward and hit something other than the intended target, I either stick to that something and trap it, or flow with the counter pressure and move into another position (is lop sau).
In Lightning Scientific/LESKAS, we use some trapping, but a lot more aggressive checking. With trapping, we are just clearing the weapon for a power shot, but we try to avoid standing in range with someone (even at off angle) trapping and letting ourselves be counter-trapped. It is more like angleout-clear-SMASH! For stick work, we consider ourselves an impact-oriented system, and are simply looking to set up for maximum power.
If I feel that someone is trying to play trapping slapsies with me, I will try to check their body (or even face) rather than their arms. This might mean that I momentarily clear their weapon, but will immediately transition up to their body to upset their posture. I want to upset their balance, and positionaly dominate them. This will help to avoid the racing-hands trapping game.
Our check is somewhere between a slap, a punch, and a push. If I've got a super clean shot to somewhere vulnerable, it might just become a punch instead. But a good check can get them bent over backwards or stumbling, and makes space for a nice big power shot.
My observations have been that the square stance in WC is typically a training tool, as are sumbrada, hubud lubud, transition drills, templates, etc. that we find in FMA. No one with any depth of knowledge would argue that someone should fight using box pattern or a drill as the primary framework for a fight. Attribute and skill development: yes. Combat: no.
Originally Posted by jspeedy
As to trapping: my personal takeaway is that anytime I can off-balance or manipulate, regardless of whether it's with the weapon hand or the live hand, I am trapping. As others have mentioned, trapping is always on the way to something else (a throw, lock, strike, finish or some combination of the above).
In my experience, trapping becomes more difficult when working against someone with a blade.
Lots of good points above. Consider that WC is primarily an empty hand art, whereas FMA is primarily stick/machete centric.
With empty hands, to strike with power one usually must have a base and be striking to the front, hence the WC movement is generally shuffling from base to base and the trapping is to the front. Whereas with a stick/machete sufficient power can be generated while stepping offline and gaining positional advantage, thus you seen the FMA emphasis on zoning footwork and offline trapping.
Sure, there are exceptions, but as to the OP this is the fundamental difference between the two methods of trapping IMHO.
Last edited by SteveM; 3/17/2014 7:55am at .
Piling on after breakfast...
Where this gets interesting is with a short knife, because with a knife the movement is generally shuffling from base to base and the striking is also predominantly to the front. In practice, even experienced FMA guys look like they are doing WC traps when they spar with knives.
Also with knife, the use of the check/live hand is paramount, and this requires a hips-square stance.
And as to the definition, AMOK! which is largely derived from FMA considers trapping to be a tactic of restricting and immobilizing your adversary’s arms.
Last edited by SteveM; 3/17/2014 8:10am at .