Thursday, October 30, 2008

The first wall!

People all over the world has always been attracted to the beautiful movements, speed and power of the martial arts. Taiji and Silat with their graceful flowing movements, Taekwondo's fantastic kicks, Karate's and Boxing's punches, Wing Chun's speed and short range techniques and many many others.

With those ideals in mind they join a martial arts class so they can do the same things. Here many encounters their first wall, "stance training". Imagine walking into a class, expecting to do the wonderful stuff others do and then we're asked to STAND and HOLD the position until the instructor says otherwise! I have seen many come and go soon after the first lesson, and I'd like to start my blog with this lesson.

After doing this for 17 years, I will say that this is the single most important training any master can teach you! Stance training will benefit you several ways:

1. When we are standing, running, walking or sitting down our body subconsciously collects information from the surrounding (foot pressure, distance with other objects, touch, feeling, sway and anything else). By standing still in a position, our brain screams for information which causes it to heighten all our senses. The longer we do so, the more natural this heightened sense will become to us.

I can only use my limited English and martial experience to explain this. Surf the net and you'll be able to find articles that better explain stances and structure.

2. Body Structure is the most important thing in life. It helps in stability, improves blood circulation, increases focus and a whole lot of other things. The proper stance practice will give you a better body structure that will give rise to many other good things in life.

3. Power comes from the correct body structure. I believe, the power in martial arts (by that I mean Wing Chun because I've only done those), comes when you are able to "throw" your body weight forward. There are two components to this. First is acceleration and the second is weight. When you can connect your body weight to your fist and accelerate to top speed in the least amount of time, you have attained full power.

4. Proper structure will also help us defuse any strikes and/or energy applied on us.

I didn't like my first three months of Wing Chun classes either because we only stood in one position at every class! But now, I wish I had done longer...

Now practice that stance!

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