If you asked me some years ago what the difference between Kungfu and Karate was I would have told you that Karate requires the back to be straight at all times while Kungfu is a lot more liberal.
Well- if you never get beyond the kihon stage of karate training it will look like it, but the truth is that while even kungfu training has a phase at which posture is strictly adhered to and the back never bends so Karate has examples of ducking, bending and leaning.
I experienced my liberation while learning Jeet Kune Do. Where being within range used to mean a definite punch in my face I have now become able to slip that straight punch and go for the exposed ribs at the same time. :D I still block, but really- leg attacks are often most easily evaded by just getting your leg out of the way and face punches by a relatively small movement of the upper body.
While I know a lot of karate instructors who would not want to see you bobbing and weaving like a boxer the Mantis, Drunken and original style of Shaolin Kungfu are fully aware of the advantges of having two hands and feet available while evading an attack without moving out of range.
The same can be said about dropping to the ground. While it may be unusual for a lot of us to drop to the ground in a fight we find at an advanced level that it has its uses. Some of the ones I am able to think of at short notice include:
1. Briefly getting out of the opponent's line of sight;
2. Evasion of high attacks;
3. Pulling the opponent down.
Your basic posture is nonetheless important as it is the base from which other movements originate. What I do advise, however, is that it is not necessary to take a blow to the face because you could not move your legs fast enough and your training prevents you from ducking.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
See you with my next post.