Why do you do Kung Fu?

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by JohnTheDragon, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. BklynJames

    BklynJames Kung Fu New Jack

    Well I've found out some of my weaknesses already, dragon stance. Doing the dragon where your knee is two inches from the ground. Especially after a pre exhaustive conditioning session. I'm lacking in that area... I will need some upper body work, especially push ups.
  2. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    Kei Loong Ma Bo is one of those stances brother that will burn your quads and legs like few other things and make you want to stop almost immediately, and then suddenly you hit a point where it becomes almost easy (at least for a few minutes, you seem to be completely aware that for the first months, even a minute is torture). A lot of Hung gar positions seem to be like this one, there is a learning curve, and endurance curve, but once you are past both, you've replaced what was once a weakness with a new strength. It's definitely noticeable when you get there, because you'll see other students struggling and you'll be somewhat at peace through several minutes of the position. And then, wherever the position sits in the forms, where once they seemed like roadblocks, they become no big deal.
  3. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    :confused:Dragon stance? Is that what I would call a kneeling horse?

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  4. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    It's also called "monkey stance".

    By using

    - cat stance to monkey stance, you can advance 10 feet distance.
    - monkey stance to cat stance, you can retreat 8 feet distance.
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
  5. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    The stance you posted is a stance in Hung gar, that is the 'Gui Ma' or 'kneeling stance', and I only know this because it's a stance learned in the Tiger and Crane set about where I know up to. It is not the Dragon or 'Unicorn' (Loong) stance, which is a very tight sort of twisting stance with a fist's distance between the front quad and rear knee, with about a 90/10 weight distribution. The rear leg's toes should barely be supporting the form with most of the load on your opposite quadriceps, which is why this stance and exercise is so taxing, you will feel that quad burn in seconds, until you've mastered this technique, which doesn't take long, but does take a great deal of effort.

    This is the Hung gar Dragon stance, also called Unicorn' stance, and it also forms the base for a type of stepping that is useful for changing your level quickly and with power.

    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  6. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Ah thanks Iron Fist. We call that a Cross step. I think Ben Gash mentioned (in another thread maybe?) that the Chinese names change depending on whether you are in place, advancing or retreating.
  7. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    What's confusing is when I learned Hung Gar that was crane stance and dragon stance was a Wing Chun like stance.
  8. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    That's opposite from what's taught in the WFH lineage like Yee's or Lam Sai Wing's schools, where the Crane stance is literally the Yee Gi Kim Yeung Ma (same as in Wing Chun, a Crane stance in the 'Snake and Crane' style), and Dragon/Unicorn is the "Cross step". This is aligned with the Hung gar Elements such that Wood, the Crane element is 'squeezing' (as in the literal name of the adduction stance above) and Dragon, the Earth element is a stance/stepping method very low to the ground (hence the difficulty). It's entirely possible and valid that Hung gar schools outside WFH and LSW's have different names for things, but these are the names in LSW's books and the Dang Fong lineage (Yee's) which both use the same naming conventions for the animals and elements. Some of the 'Kim Yeung Ma' stances are actually in the 'Dragon' sections of several forms, which may have something to do with the naming. It's possible they were once upon a time called 'Dragon' somewhere and Wong Fei Hung or someone else codified them differently to work with the rest of the framework, and they ended up being 'Crane' according to his systematization.

    This is the WFH/LSW 'Crane/Wood' stance, also known as the 'Character 2 Adduction stance' because of the way the heels and toes of the pigeon toed stance (which Lam Sai Wing is only barely doing here, for demonstration) form the shape of '2' or 二. One massive difference I've seen between Hung gar and Wing Chun is nobody I know in Hung gar has ever believed these are fighting stances. They are for training in Hung gar. In fact from what I've been told Lam Sai Wing removed this stance from the early training in his school, which is why his version in this picture (a beginner's version) is not very tight. A more advanced student would look more like the traditional Wing Chun version, which is the 2nd picture.


    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  9. huoxingyang

    huoxingyang Valued Member

    Or did someone add it in? :p
  10. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    Well as far as I can tell the stance actually appears to be one of the oldest of all Chinese stances, far older than 19th century schools. It's found in the Iron Wire Fist as well as other styles associated with Shaolin. This is the stance the Shaolin purportedly use to strengthen their 'guat', which is 骨 and can mean something like 'frame'. As the anecdote I've heard goes, Lam Sai Wing didn't want the Yi Gi Kim Yeung Ma to be visible in his portraits, because training that way is not only considered advanced, but not particularly necessary (according to LSW) when learning the basics of Hung gar. It would be learned later, by 'in the door' disciples only, not the masses LSW taught (which was thousands). So today many people who have learned in LSW schools will perform the same forms as the Dang Fong schools, only instead of using Kim Yeung Ma, they'll just stand normally in the poses. In the Dang Fong line, you learn and use the Kim Yeung ma everywhere, and it actually does make the training far more difficult (I've tried both ways, the Dang Fong versions are harder). This is one of the reasons they called Dang Fong 'Old Square Mind', he didn't approve of Lam Sai Wing changing this specific thing, as well as changing the Five Animal Fist and so forth.
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  11. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member


    This sort of confusion over names and usage happens quite a bit in traditional arts.

    For example I would call the above either dragon or woman stance (Occasionally I will also informally call it win chung stance). We use it within our hung gar for fighting a lot. The reason we call it dragon is that the alignment of the skellington / musculature in the stance is well suited for generating power by storing muscular tension in the pelvic girdle / tantien ( like winding up an elastic band) and then releasing the power by relaxing. The dragon is associated with spiral Technics with pulling twisting and with explosive movements powered by chi - hence dragon stance.

    The way I handle this type of confusion is i stick to my own names for myself but I do not judge anyone negatively for using a different name system - I just try to look at how they are using the stance to see if I can improve my own understanding of my kung fu.
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  12. BklynJames

    BklynJames Kung Fu New Jack

    Iron Fist is correct, those are the stances i'm speaking about. The dragon is tight and they have us sit in it till we fall over. I'm getting and practicing it daily. But one of the instructors knows how to pre exhaust us then throw us into stance training. Holy cow....
    So we will go from Horse>dragon>bow>Horse>dragon>Spin out of dragon into horse and continue. Intense training, just trying to remember it so I can write it down when I get home and train it daily. Iron Fist has been giving me some good things to think about when training too. Like watching my knees etc.
  13. huoxingyang

    huoxingyang Valued Member

    Perhaps. But if you look at some other other branches of Hung Kuen that were not passed through Wong Fei Hung or don't include Iron Wire practices, the stance doesn't appear at all. I am inclined to believe that the exercises at the start of forms such as Gung Ji and Fu Hok were a direct result of Iron Wire influences so for that reason it makes sense that they be practiced in a similar stance, rather than for anything to do with the age of stuff...

    Never heard this particular story but then I probably don't know most of the stories! It would be interesting to hear the Lam family's take on this (and they are usually pretty open about changes and innovations LSW and Lam Cho made to the system).

    Of course, Dang Fong and those after him made their own changes to things, as is natural. In any case, while I have learnt the sets the Lam Family way, I do sometimes like to practice those sections using the Kim Yeung Ma, because I do quite like it.

    Interestingly, I have never heard anyone call the stances anything other than "Yi Gi Kim Yeung Ma" or by some descriptor such as "the one like Wing Chun" or "pigeon-toed stance". I can understand though why it gets called as "Crane stance" (it is not unlike the stance used often in styles such as White Crane) or "Dragon stance" (it is the stance associated with "Dragon" stuff like Iron Wire).
  14. dbl0

    dbl0 New Member

    I started learning Kung Fu as I had been looking for something new to try after about 4 years of stopping my boxing classes and my uncle was / is a Kung Fu instructor in the Feng Shou style.

    I continued training as I had fun and enjoyed the classes whilst feeling myself getting fitter and stronger. Every week you learn something new or improve and what you think you already know !

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