Stances – Xinjyi, Dragon, Tiger, etc.

From others blogs:http://northstarmartialarts.com/blog1/?p=35

My own experience is that deep stance training is more effective than stretching and high kicks for re-making young Northern Shaolin students bodies so that they have a bigger range of movement potential. This is sometimes called, “getting the qi in the channels.”
While in my twenties, an hour a day of low stance training initially made my thigh muscles and shoulder muscles bigger, but as time passed and my alignment improved my muscles got smaller and smaller. This is sometimes called, “qi going into the bones.”

It’s true, my muscles got smaller. My alignment improved and along with it my ability to issue power, to connect (integrate), twist, and pulse (open/close). Believe it or not, I got weaker. Not lazy or deficient but muscularly weaker and functionally more sensitive.

Xinjyi Dragon and Tiger Stances: http://dojorat.blogspot.com/2010/04/chasing-another-dragon.html
More on the Dragon Stance: http://dojorat.blogspot.com/2010/05/xingyi-dragon-discussion.html

Doing this step back and forth across the room is a great exercise for the hips and leg twisting muscles. Bit hard on the knees.

Why Does Chinese Kung Fu Look So Good?

Fascinating thesis: Chinese Opera (performing arts) and Chinese Martial arts were deeply interrelated until the 20th century:

http://northstarmartialarts.com/blog1/?p=1622

Apparently entertainers were viewed as extremely low-class people, in a way reminiscent of the European prejudice against the Rom people, and so today’s martial artists deny their arts’ roots in opera, dance, and village ritual.

Look at the athleticism in this Chinese opera scene:

Take a look at Jackie Chan breaking bricks on this German TV show:

Oh, that Jackie. What a clown. I’m sure he doesn’t know how to actually hit anybody.

I’ve read articles and books where Shaolin monks lamented their temple’s ongoing transformation into a performing arts organization, but maybe it’s just a return to form. The more things change…

Even more awesome Chinese opera here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB-p3Fi_6i4