Thank you for your interesting email regarding the relatively 'open' stance as found throughout the various lineages of Fujian White Crane Fist when practicing the 'San Zhan' (三戦) or 'Three Battles' Form - as compared with the 'closed' stance work (and obvious groin protection) found within the 'Sanchin' Kata of the Goju Ryu Karate-Do Style!
Yes - I have noticed this. I was talking to a student about this. It reminded me of the stance used for skiing. As if 'gripping' or 'stabilising' on a slippery surface. Sometimes, the old Masters (such as Master Chan) would talk about stepping in, through or onto congealed blood - which is slippery. He fought, wounded and killed invading Japanese soldiers during WWII (1941-1945) as part of the Hakka Resistance operating throughout the New Territories (a People's Militia had developed - supplied from the Mainland). His father (Chan Yun-Fat) was killed fighting in 1944 leading an attack on an Imperial Japanese Army position - armed only with traditional gongfu weapons. This was a diversionary attack whilst those armed with the limited number of rifles and ammunition attacked the main target.
His wife's mother was gang-raped by Japanese soldiers, skinned, hung-up by her hair and set fire to. Por Por (Mrs Chan) used to tell us stories for years about those terrible times - until her passing in 2011 (years later, a Detective contacted Mrs Chan and said one of her brothers had survived a Japanese village massacre and had been taken to Australia by foreigners - she got to meet him again one more time in his now native Australia a year before he passed away. I spoke to him on the telephone. He was around five years old at the time of him going 'missing' - with his small body being hidden under the bodies of the adults killed around him).
We practice falling to the ground forward, backwards and to the sides in our Hakka Longfist Family lineage - and using Ground Fighting (with a groin guard and a head guard). I suspect that other aspects of the Fujian Style in question also teach a groin guard in an accumulative sense - as is usual in traditional gongfu. Goju Ryu is highly rationalised and modernised (a process of sheer genius) - which is a good thing - but traditional gongfu is often sprawling, illogical and difficult to fathom!
PS: Wong Tai Sin is our 'Daoist' family God - as Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1923) was a TCM Doctor (taught in the old way). It is virtually impossible to acquire statues of this 'healing' God as it is very carefully guarded by the Temple Authorities in the New Territories! We have a photograph on our family shrine - but my ex-wife currently looks after the family Wong Tai Sin statue (which was passed into my keeping by Mrs Chan upon her passing). Indeed, my ex-wife can be seen on the above-linked BBC programme - 'Escape to the Country' with our family statue of Wong Tai Sin (黃初平) shown at 5:39:
Combative interaction can occur in a myriad of ways. It can be psychological, emotional and/or physical. Intense combat can involve all three realms of existence. This is a serious situation where the ‘immediacy’ of the threat generates the inherent danger! Relaxation, awareness and superior positioning is the way to meet these challenges in the physical world. How this unfolds is dependent entirely upon an individual’s experience and the style they have been practicing for decades. Spiritual maturity is defined as the ease with which a person occupies their mind and body, and their ability to predict aggression and quickly counter ‘shock’. This is how the Master makes what is hard for most people appear to be ‘easy’. In other words, this is unhindered ability of an individual to come to terms with ‘change’ (易 - Yi4). In other words, a traditional Chinese martial artist, regardless of style or lineage, should make a point of studying the ‘Classic of Change’ (易經 - Yi Jing). This study should be ongoing, deep and profound. Furthermore, it should be free of all profit-seeking and worldly limitations. No one can ‘tell’ you how to understand this text and you must take responsibility for your own understanding of it.
What does ‘易’ (yi4) mean? The upper particle is ‘日‘ (ri4) is the Moon that lights up the Earth through its reflection of the Sun! This probably refers to a light in the darkness or a cultivated light which dispels darkness (the exact definition of the Sanskrit term ‘Guru’). The bottom particle is ‘勿’ (wu4) which composed of the left sub-particle of ‘刀’ (dao1) or ‘blade’ and the right sub-particle of ‘𠚣’ (dao1) or ‘dripping blood’. When placed together, these two sub-particles generate ‘勿’ (wu4) which literally depicts ‘blood dripping from a blade’. As a distinct character, this ideogram appears on the Shang Oracle Bones (c. 1766 to 1122 BCE) and was used as a ‘warning’ ‘not to do something’, ‘not to carry-out a specific action’, or to ‘stop doing what has already been done’. The emphasis is from ‘movement’ to ‘stillness’. Within modern (everyday) Chinese language use, ‘勿’ (wu4) is used to refer to the word and concept that denotes ‘no’ as opposed to ‘yes’.
When combined, and taking all this data into consideration, ‘易’ (yi4) seems to imply a situation where once there was difficulty (勿 - Wu) - but this difficult situation is transformed into its opposite by the presence of ‘日‘ (ri4) - which is the Moon that lights-up the entire landscape through its glow! What was previously ‘hard’ is now made ‘easy’ by a ‘change’ of circumstance. When beneficial ‘change’ is experienced, it is generally the case that actions that were once ‘blocked’ or ‘hindered’ now become ‘open’ and ‘free-flowing’. This explanation demonstrates how the ideogram ‘易’ (yi4) can simultaneously mean both ‘easy’ and ‘change’. However, another version of this ideogram is ‘蜴’ (yi4). It is related and exists within the same series as ‘易 (yi4)’. The difference is that this version - ‘蜴’ (yi4) - has the extra left-hand particle of ‘虫’ (chong2) which refers to a dangerous, venomous snake, or a similar type of animal or insect.
When expressed as ‘蜴’ (yi4) - this ideogram takes on the meaning of a ‘lizard’ which can adapt its outer skin to ‘blend-in’ with the ever-changing environment (I.e., a ‘chameleon’). This type of lizard knows how to ‘not stand out’ and how to ‘achieve things’ in an ‘effortless’ and ‘unassuming’ manner. As the external temperature changes – so does the pigmentation arrangement of the Lizard’s skin. As a means of temperature control – the lizard also manages to remain ‘unseen’ as an evolutionary by-product. An advanced practitioner of martial arts can adapt to the physical environment in a manner that preserves his or her life, and which removes greed, hatred and delusion from the mind (and body) of the opponent. When this type of change is mastered in every position, a practitioner literally seems to perceptually ‘disappear’ as they no longer react in a dualistic manner. There is no one to chase and no one to hit...
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.