Now that you’ve familiarised yourself with the five essential stances, it’s time to start incorporating these into some basic movements. Beginning with the Horse Stance, today’s class will cover three basic foundational strikes; straight punch, block & push and elbow strike.
Training these movements in a static horse stance will help you to achieve the following:
Strengthen the legs and core. Punching in a low stance requires the legs and core to remain engaged throughout in order to maintain balance during the course of the punch, helping to build strength in these areas and form an improved understanding of the importance of waist stability and power generation in Kung Fu.
Isolate the movements. Although these techniques would not necessarily be used from a square-on stationary Horse Stance in fighting application, training them in this manner helps to isolate the strikes you are performing and focus on honing these techniques before you add in dynamic steps (步法, Bù Fǎ) at a later stage.
Remain centred and rooted. With the feet parallel and to either side of you in a Horse Stance, you are forced to remain upright with your weight firmly planted as you punch or risk losing your balance. Many beginners have a tendency to lean too far into their punch and lunge forward without control, thus breaking their posture. Training these Horse Stance strikes will help you to build a controlled centre of balance and good posture, which is both a foundational skill for further Kung Fu study and can help to fix poor posture and relieve tension in the back, shoulders and neck caused by sitting at a desk for extended periods of time.
Try following along with each movement slowly in your own time to begin with, paying special attention to the following points in particular during each movement:
Relaxing your shoulders
Keeping your back upright and chest open
Keeping your fists and elbows tight to your sides as you strike
Once you feel comfortable with each movement, try the following:
30 Horse Stance Straight Punches
30 Horse Stance Block and Push
30 Horse Stance Elbow Strikes
And then rest and repeat for as many times as you feel comfortable doing during your training session. Try paying careful attention to the details and building these movements into your muscle memory, as they will form the basis of your Kung Fu study later on.