Hard and Soft Stances in the Martial Arts
One of the things I’m always trying to do
is mix the hard and the soft.
I’ve made pretty good inroads,
you can see me tossing people around
with effortless (intention only) techniques
in Five Army Tai Chi Chuan.
One of the places to start,
with this thing of mixing hard and soft,
is in the stances.
In TCC and PKC one is frequently in motion.
The stances are transitional,
you don’t stop and look at them,
unless you are pile stancing.
(Holding a stance in a static position)
and other such arts,
you frequently hit the stance and lock to the ground.
So you have two ways of doing the stances.
all my research has proven to me
that both ways are half the picture,
and there is a ‘more right’ way of doing stances.
The Japanese have a saying:
‘stand squarely in the room.’
This means that you are balanced,
able to move in any direction
and without ‘pre-leaning.’
Taking this as the starting point
I worked with the basic sanchin stance,
but with slightly different emphasis.
The problem with sanchin is that people adapt it to different purposes.
Sanchin is for breathing,
for energy development,
for dynamic tension (muscles)
and so on.
I subscribe to all of those theories in part,
but none by itself.
but them all together and cultivate chi power.
(Check out Matrixing Chi book)
So you stand with the feet shoulder width apart,
and one foot in front.
Draw a line, the toes of one foot should touch the line,
and the heel of the other foot should touch the line.
On the surface this is just a sanchin stance,
but you don’t lock yourself down,
you crouch slightly and realize
that with the feet in this position
you can move in any direction
without the need for ‘pre-leaning.’
the stance is not dedicated to locking the body down,
but preparing the body for motion in any direction.
It’s not just the power in the legs,
but the slight crouch,
that builds tension
that can be used to propel the body in any direction.
some fellow is out there saying,
‘you didn’t know that?
Why, in my system we…’
But I have never seen anybody doing this stance
in exactly this way.
It is always locked down
so the person can build power.
the closest representation to this type of stance
that I have seen,
is in Hsing I.
once you have played with this stance for a while,
you should put the feet more in line,
forward and back,
and still try to crouch,
to retain the ability to spring,
and the balance in all directions.
one could say that in Monkey Boxing
there are only two stances.
Except that there aren’t.
But there are two concepts,
and the stances are built on these concepts.
But it might be that all studies of stances are merely an attempt
to manifest what I’ve said here:
the ability to spring in any direction without ‘pre-leaning,’
The hard isn’t right,
nor the soft,
they combine in a stance/concept that is overlooked.
Here’s a link for you
Have a great work out!
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