I have been reading about how judo’s innovation was really in a teaching / training approach and not in techniques since almost 100% of the techniques already existed in different jujutsu schools. Extending that approach, bjj added techniques but also some different rules for its sport formats. Those innovations add something that could probably be reverse engineered back to standup limited sparring / r&d formats such as randori, tui shou, or rou shou. Some rambling thoughts:

Bjj practice approach – a few techniques as kata. Limited randori. Similar to judo. Why don’t internal arts usually do that? Of course many reasons but anyway I’d prefer an approach like: A technique as a no pressure application. Do it under limited pressure and limited freedom. Get to free form push hands later. Do forms as an advanced topic to show some solo practice and deeper qigong aspects. Forms are advanced, not beginner, material. Now that the “inner door” idea is not necessary and may lead to arts being lost forever, that should probably be totally reversed. In contrast to advanced forms, do zhan zhuang from day 1. That is simpler. I suppose that is the yiquan approach. If I ever teach, scratch that, I suppose I teach my kids whatever I can exactly like that. Then they go and make up moves that wouldn’t really be optimal yet that’s a good idea – a limited freedom sparring. Some initial creativity from some initial structure. A few short words from a few letters. Some basic stick figure drawings.

Bjj points approach – that seems worth reverse engineering all the way back to stand up. Most people know the art has something to do with groundfighting. Probably few people outside the art’s students know it also extended judo to reward positioning in finer detail, e.g., passing guard, knee on stomach/chest and not just stop at a pin or a clean throw. It says that fewer restrictions on techniques and a further breakdown on what constitutes points increases effectivess in both a sport bjj format and freer fighting formats such as mma or self-defense, etc. Sambo adopted fewer restrictions as well and therefore probably has a similar claim on effective application to contexts with fewer restrictions. Similar to the problems with the judo approach (done for safety), push hands often stops short of most everything, such as throws and locks. It’s good to focus on a particular thing like root, but it’d be more useful after a while if it could flow into the next thing and then the next thing. Could we reverse engineer these sport points ideas back to standup practices some way? E.g., get to the outside, get to the back gets points, throw with any landing (not just on the back) gets points, chin na gets points, and so on. Occasionally I read about some group doing something just like that.