The most important part of Kung Fu is the foundation and the stances. Ask any Master, they will agree.
In this article you will learn 6 tips for improving your Kung Fu Stances.
Master Gong ZhongXiang - Low Stance
1 - Foot Position is Key
To have a correct stance, you must place your feet in the correct position.
When the feet are not in the correct position, the entire stance is incorrect. The feet are the foundation. They are the connection to the earth. When the feet are correctly placed, the rest of the body can be aligned with power.
2 - Align the Knees
The next point to pay attention to is the correct alignment of the knees.
The knees should always be aligned with the toes. This is important! If your knees are out of alignment, then you are causing damage to the joint.
The knee joint is only built to work as a hinge. If you train with your knees out of alignment, you are damaging your joint. Good health is a priority. Do not sacrifice the health of your joint in the future for a incorrect lower stance today.
3 - Relax into the Stance
You need to relax into the stance. Feel the body sink through the legs and connect with the earth.
This lowers the center of gravity. It also allows you to be stable and rooted.
This feeling does not come right away. You have to work on it. Many people are used to having a high center of gravity, with the chest stuck out. (Think about a military posture.)
To train Kung Fu Stances correctly you need to relax and sink down through the body and legs and into the earth. Do not treat your legs like stilts that you balance on top of.
After you hold basic Kung Fu Stances consistently for a long time, your body will be able to relax to a deeper level. Your root will get stronger and you will become more stable.
When you feel your lower back and pelvis are able to relax into the stance, then you are on the right track.
4 - Stepping and Transitions
In the beginning of training we think of stances as static things. This is not the case. That is only the beginning of training.
Stances are ways to transition and move.
As you step and move with your stances:
- maintain connection with the ground
- relax through the feet
- place the feet correctly
- make sure the knees are aligned
This will allow you to move with power, connection, alignment, and fluidity.
5 - Start Slow
It is important to get the stances and transitions correct. So, start slow.
The most important part is to have it correct. Once you have your stances correct, then you work on transitioning between the stances. Once you can walk and move with your stances, then it is time to add speed and power.
If you find that you are out of alignment, then go back and work at a slower pace until everything is correct. Then speed it up.
In the long run, this method of training will give you the best results.
6 - Awareness is Key
Awareness is the key to implementing the previous tips.
You need to be aware of where you place your feet, the alignment of your knees, the relaxation of your body, and your connection with the ground.
Don't just go through the movements. Feel and be aware of what you are doing. That is the only way you will progress and gain real skill in Kung Fu.
I hope you find these tips useful.