Stances are fundamental to the practice of Kung Fu. They are usually the first thing learned, but it usually takes a student a long time to realize how important they are.
The Basic Stances of kung fu are:
Horse Stance , Step your left leg out to the side so your feet are wider than your shoulders and slowly squat into Ma Bu. It is most commonly used for practicing punches or to strengthen the legs and back. Horse stance is used for endurance training as well as strengthening the back and leg muscles, tendon strength, and overall feeling and understanding of “feeling grounded”. It is a wide, stable stance with a low center of gravity.
Bow Stance, The forward stance is a very important stance in Kung Fu. This basic stance is great for moving the body forward and it forms a very stable base for generating power and further forward movement.The weight is on the front leg. The front knee is bent and the back leg is straight. From the side the stance resembles a drawn bow and that is why sometimes it is also called the bow stance or the bow and arrow stance.
Note: Be sure your heels line up. If you were to draw a straight line on the floor, the front foot would line up with the rear heel. Also be sure not to left the rear heel as you step forward.
Cat Stance, This stance is used for transitional movements and mobility. All the weight is on the back leg. The front leg rests on the toe or the ball of the foot. The front foot resembles the way a cat will put its paw out to take a step, with no weight on it, and this is how we get the name. The front leg can be used to step into another stance or it can be used to kick the opponent.
Usually it is fine if you start up higher and then slowly with training and strength make your way down.
It gets its name because the legs appear twisted. The front foot is turned outward and the back foot rests on the ball of the foot. the stance can either be crouched down like in the picture above or higher.
This stance is used to advance or retreat, to change the position of the body, or you can untwist to change directions. This stance also contains a hidden kick and chin-na (joint locking) .
This one, the “Pu Bu” is the enemy of most Kung Fu students.
For this you need to go into a very wide horsestance but will put all your weight onto one leg. You will need to squat down as low as possible. This is usually used to avoid high attacks, sweeps and knee, groin and ankle attacks.
Plus it does look damn cool if you can do it properly. Also a great strength training, because standing up fast from this position ain’t that easy.
Shaolin Kung Fu is strongly influenced by Buddhism. The term Kung Fu or ‘Gong Fu’ in Chinese refers to the achievement and excellence that is obtained through hard work and dedication of training. Kung Fu is, at heart, the expression of deep spiritual goals of awakening and perfection. It is this spiritual wisdom that drives its teaching methods and inspires the kind of training and dedication that can produce such incredible and seemingly miraculous abilities. For examples, watch this demonstration by the Masters.
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