What are your thoughts on low stances in Kenpo?
Do you make sure your students keep those knees
bent during techniques and forms or do you opt for
higher stances with knees only slightly bent, how about
Do you feel that deep stances aid in footwork or detract from it and of course I want to know your reasons...
Those who have the background can you compare Kenpo footwork to Aikido footwork, pros and cons?
A fully extended limb has no potential energy of its own. But how are you defining deep? I consider "proper" to be knees bent to the point at which your knees obscure your toes from your own vision. I have students find the depth and width of their neutral bow and then sink down to the dimension of height I just described. Then I tell them to get used to the view from down there because "as long as your hands are up and the fight is on, this is as tall as you should ever be."
I think careful attention should be paid to all 3 dimensions of our stances during forms, but I especially hate seeing someone's height bob up and down during stance changes. If you aren't jumping, leaping, or hopping, your head shouldn't rise above the height of a proper neutral bow, and I think that doing the forms in extra low stances is a great way to condition the legs so that properly low stances aren't as taxing...the ol' swinging two bats methodology. Sparring allows for more freedom of personalized expression, in my opinion. I can't think of any advantage to having a shallow stance, but if somoene is having consistant success with it, whaddya gonna say? In the forms, however, we should all strive to look like shining examples of our basics in motion.
As for maneuvering... Lowering the center of gravity improves balance/stability, and you have to be poised to pounce in order to move with speed and power.