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The Horse Stance May 20, 2009

Posted by warriorspath in Uncategorized.
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Kung Fu Fighting

Yesterday in class we worked heavily on something called ‘the Horse Stance’ or as it said in Chinese “Sei Ping Ma”.

The Horse Stance

The Horse Stance

The horse stance is the most basic stance or pose in virtually every variety of Kung Fu. Say for example when one does squat exercises, the horse stance would resemble the position one takes at the bottom of the squat.

Here your knees are at a 90 degree angle at your knees and shin, your knees should be parallel to the ground. Your knees are pointed outward away from your body and your feet are pointed forward. The back is straight and the arms are pulled back, elbows facing backwards, with hands in fists facing upward. Also your face is facing forward.

Trust me it it’s a lot harder than it looks! Getting into the right position, and holding it for extended periods of time, usually in sets of 30 seconds to a minute, is very difficult. We often do 3 sets of these each for a complete exercise.

The hardest part would be once you get the right position is finding your ‘center’, the way in which you distribute weight throughout your body that allows you to have the most balance given your current position. After that point its all a test of will and determination to stay in that position and to hold your body up.

Often times to test ourselves we place a wooden staff of about 5-6 feet in length across our thighs while in the horse stance. The purpose is to make sure that our thighs are low enough to the ground (parallel) to allow the staff to stay on our legs. This is what separates the men from the boys! Haha!

With the Staff

With the Staff

The great thing about this exercise is that it goes a long way to strengthening your legs, particularly your thighs. This is crucial because in kung fu and in many other martial arts and sports “power” from the body comes from the legs, travels to your core and then extends our to your arms. This is demonstrated in baseball when you bat or pitch and in basketball when you take a shot. Therefore the more “power” your legs can generate the more energy overall your body can exert at one time.

Other areas that the horse stance helps to improve are balance, concentration, endurance and posture. These are self-explanatory but are no means less necessary, all of which are important not just for sports or martial arts but to overall well-being.

Group Horse Stance

Group Horse Stance

Well that’s enough Kung Fu 101 for today!

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