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Yiquan Training: Small Step Fighting Posture (Hun Yuan Zhuang, ) to be transcripted into traditional characters...

. Yiquan uses relaxed standing (Zhan Zhuang, ) with inesthesia to see , !e aware o", perceive, understand, learn from experience, and cultivate the whole-body balanced force (Hun Yuan #i, )$ This training, %alled Hun Yuan Zhuang ( ) pra%ti%e, emplo&s the small step on-guard fighting posture. To organize the mind-body (mentally and physically) in preparation for combat, the posture re uirements are! ". #. $. To place the body in the optimal posture for the next move, To enable you to deceive your opponent by hiding your intention, reach, strength and wea%ness, and To maintain comfortable natural ease, appropriate relaxation&tension, and perfect balance for uic% spontaneous reflexive action and smooth coordinated movement. 'e will des%ri!e the le"t lead small step posture (Hun Yuan Zhuang, ) !ut &ou should practice both the left lead and the right lead postures. 'ocus your concentration and enter a mentally and physically tran uil state. (tretch and then relax your entire musculature to achieve an appropriate relaxation&tension state that allows for gentle and supple movement with alertness and readiness for action. )void pure relaxation that

leads to physical laxness and diminished consciousness. *eep your eyes forward as if loo%ing at a distant cloud. (tand comfortably erect with the hands naturally at your sides, heels together with the feet forming an angle of approximately +, degrees. -ext, slide your left foot a small comfortable step straight forward in the direction to which the toes of your left foot are pointing and move it one foot.s width to your left. The angle between &our "eet should !e neither perpendi%ular nor parallel$ This step is %alled (ing )a )u ()$ The size of the small step should be comfortable such that you can easily lift your left foot off the ground without assistance from your right leg. Too large a step sacrifices mobility and too small a step sacrifices stability/ choose a comfortable, neutral step size. Twist your body left slightly/ shift your weight bac% and down onto your right leg, bending both legs slightly ((i 0u Fei Zhi, ?)$ Your weight distri!ution is *+, on &our le"t leg and -+, on &our right leg. placing the body in the optimal stance for uic%, smooth forward or bac%ward movement. The weight on the left leg should be biased toward the ball of your left foot/ do not put much weight on &our le"t heel !ut do not li"t &our le"t heel o"" the ground (Zu /en 'ei 0u, ?? ?)$ 1isualize s ueezing a balloon between your %nees (or visualize imaginary springs connecting your %nees)/ the weight on the right leg should be biased toward the inside edge and the ball of your right foot.

2o not twist the torso/ align the shoulder over the hip. 1isualize sitting on a high stool with a string pulling the top of your head upward. These results in an intentional mild vertical tension " on your spine that both pushes up and pulls down, yielding an internal isometric that 3i uan %alls an 1opposing "or%e pair2 (Shang 0ia Zheng #i, )$ 1isualize directing a small force in your left %nee forward and upward and a small force in your right hip bac%ward and downward, thus creating a mild forward&bac%ward opposing force pair (3ian Hou Zheng #i, )$ 4ift your hands up with the palms facing inwards. The left hand should be forward over your left foot, left of your central line, slightly higher than shoulder level, palm facing your nose. Hold your right hand slightly lower than your left, at approximately shoulder level in front of your body, right of the central line, palm facing your chest. 3our right hand should be slightly closer to your torso than your left. 5end and separate your fingers/ visualize holding cotton balls !etween &our "ingers$ 4eep all 5oint !ent with angles larger than 6+ degrees (0ing 3u #i Zhi, )$ 1isualize holding a large imaginary balloon between your chest and arms. )pply both inward (7-+,) and outward (7*+,) pressure through the arms (Heng 8heng Shu )ao, ) %reating a mild lateral opposing "or%e pair (Heng 0iang Zheng #i, ) !etween the

arms. 2o not crush the imaginary balloon/ do not let the balloon drop. 2irect all the aforementioned actions with your focus attention and mind-intent/ do not use any !rute strength (Yong Yi )u Yong #i, )$ 9se mus%ulos eletal support to maintain your posture/ relax the antagonistic muscles. The re uirements for the other body elements are as follows! Head! *eep the head and nec% erect (stand tall)/ slightly tuc% in your chin as if holding a small imaginary balloon between your chin and nec%. 6magine a string pulling the top of your head upwards (Tou 0u #ing, ??)$ :elax the "a%ial mus%les. maintain almost a smile$ The greatest residual tensions are found in the face and nec%. Teeth! 4et the teeth lightly touch/ do not bite down hard. Tongue! )llow the tongue to lie naturally, slightly retracted, or rest the tip on the upper palate of your mouth. 7outh! 8art the lips (mouth) slightly. -ose! 5reathe naturally. 2o not pay conscious attention to your breathing and do not lengthen or hold your breath. 9yes! 5roaden your focus, expanding your peripheral vision. 6magine loo%ing through a light fog. 1isualize seeing the blue color s%y. )s your training progresses to include the combat mindset, narrow your focus to a faraway ob:ect, li%e watching a bird flying near a distant cloud. 9ars! 4isten uietly, passively, as if to the sound of falling rain. #

(houlders! The shoulders should be down and relaxed. (lightly round your upper bac% and hollow your chest. 5ac%! The spine should be naturally straight, neutrally erect. ;elax your lower bac% and let it fill out as if sitting on a high stool. 9lbows! 8rop your elbows out to the sides, but %eep them lower than the shoulders. 8rop out 7*+,. hug in 7-+, (8heng San )ao 3i, )$ ;isuali<e holding small imaginar& balloons in your armpits. Hands! *eep your hands approximately three fists width apart from each other with fingers slightly bent as if holding small imaginary balloons in your palms. (eparate your fingers as if attempting to stretch imaginary rubber bands binding your fingers. *eep your hands in their comfort zone! the right hand does not cross the central line of the torso to the left/ the left hand does not cross the central line to the right. 5oth hands are not higher than your eyebrow, nor lower then your navel. They must not touch your torso nor extend beyond your lead foot toes. 4egs! 2istribute <,= of your weight on your rear leg and $,= on your front leg. 1isualize holding an imaginary balloon between your %nees/ apply slight inward pressure below the %nees and outward pressure above the %nees. 'eet! 8lace the rear foot flat on ground/ weight biased towards the inside edge. The front foot should be weighted towards the ball of your foot but %eep the heel on the ground. The step size

should be small enough such that you can comfortably lift your front foot without straining your rear leg, allowing for uic% forward or bac%ward movement. >hile maintaining this small step posture with comfortable natural ease and minimum muscular tension, you will use directed mental imagery to guide your intentional ?motionless movement2 ()u (ong Zhi (ong, ) to a%hie=e three goals: ". #. $. @ultivate mind-body relaxation from stillness, (ynthesize your neuromuscular actions from this mind-body relaxed state to develop whole-body harmony, and Ase -euro-4inguistic 8rogramming (-48) to achieve total control of your neuromuscular relaxation and tension exchanges, to merge all force components as ?oneB. This stillness training, using proprioceptors to sense and develop the stimuli of the concurrent se uential overlapping movement of :oints and muscles to transmit force through the ground path (this term is "rom >i e Sigman) to an impa%t point, is %alled >o #i ( )$ The resulting small mo=ement is %alled 1motion in stillness2 (?ing Zhong Zhi (ong, ? )$ You must minimize and internalize these movements but you must not remain absolutely still. $ ). 8ulti=ate :elaxation "rom Stillness (?)

)e"ore attempting an& mentall& dire%ted (Yi @ian You (ao, ?) exer%ises, &ou must learn to be mentally and physically relaxed. (tand in Hun 3uan Chuang. 6magine holding a large fragile light weight imaginary balloon between your chest and arms/ visualize holding cotton balls between your fingers and balloons in your armpits. 2o not crush the balloons or the cotton balls and do not drop them. ". #. $. 5reathe naturally through your nose/ do not lengthen or hold your breath. Ase musculos%eletal support/ maintain your posture, relax all antagonistic muscles. 'ocus your attention on mind-body relaxation. 1isualize that you are positioning your body into a comfortable natural posture to ?ta%e a rest with no conscious mind-intentB. 2o not be conscious of meeting the re uirements of the posture/ assume you have mastered them. ;elax and let your weight pass through your s%eletal structure to the ground$ An maintaining &our !od& posture or "rame (?ian ?ia, ?), optimum %onne%tedBness (#ian Tong Yi /uan, ?? state o" slight ?), alignment, and equili!rium, some mus%les will !e in a

tension. ;elax and let your subconscious responses instinctively maintain your balance and reproduce the feeling of relaxation. 6n relaxed standing, relaxed does not mean absolutely lac%ing of tension, slac%ened, slumped down, physically lax, careless or indifferent. 6ndeed there is tension

within relaxation/ there is relaxation within tension/ one begets the other (explore and examine the opposites)$ The proper relaxationCtension ex%hange (Song ?in Zhuan Huan, ?) and whole-body harmony must be maintained. The relaxation desired is relaxation of the muscles and attitude/ not that of attention. 5eginners sometimes mista%e limp-ness (physical slac%ness) with relaxed-ness and therefore slump and slac%en. This is wrong. 5. (e=elop 'holeB!od& Harmon& "rom :elaxation (!) >hen you can attain mind-body relaxation on demand, you may begin the %inesthetic perceptive pra%ti%e o" >o #i ()$ :elaxed standing "ighting posture training (?i ?i Zhuang, " ), uses mental dire%ted a%ti=it& in a relati=el& stationar& posture to exe%ute mus%ular tension (?in, ) and relaxation (Song, ) ex%hanges. use inestheti% per%eption and sel"B exploration$ This 1motionless mo=ement2 ()u (ong Zhi (ong, ) training s&nthesi<es &our mind and !od& into a wholeB body harmony unity by using mental imagery or mental visualization to guide your %inesthetic perception and neuromuscular coordination system to re-pattern your neuromuscular system into a new ha!it o" using wholeB!od& strength and "or%e (Zheng Ti #i Yi, !# Dppropriate )$

relaxation and tension ex%hange (Song ?in Zhuan Huan, ?), equili!rium and !alan%e, %onne%tedBness and alignment, and multiBdire%tional !alan%ed "or%e (Hun Yuan #i, ) are cultivated in this stage.

Stand in the small step posture (Hun Yuan Zhuang, )$ ;isuali<e hugging an imaginar& tree with your entire body/ your arms, torso and legs are all in contact with the tree. Though this imaginary tree is massive and immovable, attempt using your entire body to slowly and slightly push the tree forward, pull it bac%ward, lift it upward, plant it downward, rip it open and s ueeze D it together. 'ocus your mind-intent to lead your action/ do not use any brute strength. *eep relaxed at all times and move all your body elements in unison. 'eel the lin%age of the concurrent se uential overlapping movement of each body component as it transmits the force from the foot pushing off the ground to the hand. (ense the opening of the :oints (an%les, %nees, hip, torso, shoulders, elbows and wrists) as you ta%e up power from the ground. (light movement of every body element is all that is necessary. 4arge movement is inferior to small movement and small movement is inferior to the minimal, almost imperceptible, motion in stillness (?ing Zhong Zhi (ong, ? )$ >entall& indu%ed inesthesia is use to %ulti=ate your whole-body neuromuscular coordination, to see% total control of tension and relaxation ex%hanges, and to nurture &our !alan%ed "or%e (Hun Yuan #i, )$ 'rom the perspective of Hun 3uan Chuang, you can study the relationship between focus%on%entrationCmindBintent (Yi, ) and "or%eCstrength (#i, )$ Yiquan emphasi<es the supreme importance of the intentional component of the mind because the mind controls all voluntary

physical actions. 7aster >ang EiangChai wrote! ?8erceive and figure out the force&strength imbedded within your mind-intent. The mind is the commander/ the force&strength is the soldier. 7ind-intent becomes force.B The initial level is to use your mind-intent to guide your practice without using any brute force&strength. The second level is to combine your mindintent and your force&strength so they ?arrive simultaneouslyB. 'inally, merge and integrate your mindintent and force&strength. 3our martial ability becomes art when your mind-intent and force&strength are inseparable and indistinguishable. 7ethods and 8rocedures Ase directed mental imagery (visualization) to guide your whole-body neuromuscular coordination training as follows! (tep "! 5egin practicing by see%ing&sensing force with %inesthetic perception first in one direction then in both directions of a single dimension e.g., forward&bac%ward. 7entally ?feel2 the solidity and weight of your imaginary tree, visualize pushing your imaginary tree forward and pulling it bac%ward using the entire body. (tep #! >hen you are comfortable and can ?feelB this immovable tree add other dimensions, do forward&bac%ward, up&down, and open&close. -ext, you should mix up and change the se uence/ move this tree in any direction at will without any preset se uence. 3ou must develop the capacity to move and deliver the balanced force in any direction with whole-body harmony of action.

@. Total 8ontrol o" @euromus%ular :elaxationCTension Ex%hanges ( ??$) >hen you have mastered the whole-body harmony of action and force, you should increase the switching speed from one direction to another so it becomes a blurred, fuzzy continuum. 7ove from sensing resistance in a single direction to sensing it in multiple directions simultaneously and no direction in particular. 3ou should see% a mental state of emptiness that is yet hyperaware, which affords the greatest potential for effectively releasing the balanced force. 6t is not F necessary to focus your mind-intent yet you are ready to react in all directions instantaneously with no conscious thin%ing. 6n essence, you relegate your actions to your unconscious response. 3our mind enters a ?fuzzyB state in which you are in a state of high focus attention, ready to move in any direction. This is the coordinated whole-body harmony unity with alertness and readiness for action for which 3i uan strives. 6f unprovo%ed, there is no reaction. However, any stimulus will draw uic% smooth spontaneous reactions with an explosion of your balanced force. This mental state is similar to that of good swimmers forgetting the presence of the water through which they are moving. 2. (e=elop Spontaneous :e"lexes (?%)

Hun 3uan Chuang is used in @risis ;ehearsal and -euro-4inguistic 8rogramming (-48) to internalize maneuvers into spontaneous reflexes. (tand in the small step on-guard posture. >ithout any external physical movement, mentally visualize a crisis in which you need to fight. 3our mind is most susceptible to visualization suggestions when you are relaxed and still (Ging, ?)$ Pla& a mental mo=ie o" the entire %on"li%tC%on"rontation with &ou using the sele%ted maneuver&techni ue/ executing it perfectly. 3ou must %now the correct actions&movements of a maneuver before you can visualize using it. This crisis rehearsal, with you coming out on top, will send positive signals to your brain/ reinforce and encode your neural transmitters, sensors and muscles to perform this maneuver&techni ue. This is called imaging in -48. 4arge numbers of repetitive visualization will ingrain the s%ills to become spontaneous reflexes, help you to stay relaxed when you need to use the s%ills for real. 6t is important to be in control of your visual image/ start with slow motion to picture the successful execution of each part of your maneuver or techni ue/ speed up only when they become natural. 2o not introduce any negative image. This mental practice is even more effective if you feel (%inesthetically perceive, Ti ;en, #?) as well as see (=isuali<e) the a%ti=ities o" the maneu=erCte%hnique &ou are mentall& practicing. 5e realistic and let the motions flow with no conscious effort. 1isualize solutions consistent with your physical ability. 2o not day dream and cheat yourself with selfdelusion,

i.e., visualizing motions that you cannot perform. 5e positive, visualize successful execution/ eliminate negative mental distractions. 1)oxing with no pre%on%ei=ed method. the mind holding no deli!erate thought. methodBlessBness and empty-minded-ness are the awa%ening to the true %nowledge.2 6n this article we have discussed the practice of Hun 3uan Chuang and introduced the concept of opposing force pairs called Cheng 4i. Cheng 4i is at the core of, and inseparable from, all 3i uan exercises. Hun 3uan Chuang should be practiced with the intent of strengthening your combat mindset, courage, and confidence while cultivating the whole-body balanced force. HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH