The origin of JACORVA stance-work occurred while I was integrating my go-to stances from Northern Praying Mantis with what I was picking up from Capoiera Regionale during the later period of my first ten years of martial arts study.
One reason I was attracted to Mantis in the first place was that the footwork combines and tweaks some of the traditional stances found in Chinese martial arts (as well as many other Asian striking arts). I realize that at some point in advanced study, different traditional arts start to overlap in concept. But I saw right away that Northern Praying Mantis incorporates some of this meta-thinking from the onset.
This stands to reason because Mantis was a new martial art of its time: a mixed martial art built upon older kung fu styles. The ability to adopt seemingly endless variations of 55/45 weight distribution as opposed to the 50/50 “horse”, 30/70 front (bow), or 95/5 back (empty, “cat”) stance resonated with me.
The Praying Mantis stances also lent themselves to the athletic lateral movement of the Capoeira ginga I appropriated at the time. Both of these geometric bases retain their integrity during extreme level changes experienced when wrestling and jumping.
The fact that my influential Praying Mantis teacher, Art d’Agostino, was an accomplished freestyle wrestler and movement coach at University of South Florida further showcased how useful Mantis footwork served upon the legs of its 8th generation.
This is probably why we are seeing an only slightly modified version (will go into the specific differences in a separate post) of this classic footwork in modern MMA and why JACORVA lends itself well to MMA standup.