The Eight Postures correctly aligns the joints in a still, meditative position. Holding each position strengthens the tendons, muscles, and ligaments to build a solid structural foundation.Once proper alignment has been habituated, the Eight Postures then develop coordination of the joints within the transitions of each position. This practice teaches you how to use your body weight to generate power, no matter how big or small you are!
At the end of your technique, your posture will turn to stone releasing devastating power to your attacker!
1. Ma Bu: The Horse stance resembles the posture of a horse rider, with both feet pointing forward as if standing on railroad tracks, the knees obstructing the birds eye view of the toes, and both shins in vertical alignment. The body weight should be evenly distributed between both lower extremities, and the hips should be slightly rolled forward to facilitate elongation of the spine resulting in increased blood, breath, and metabolic flow. Relax the quadriceps and accessory muscles, and attempt to utilize the kwa (area of the psoas major and iliac crest) to maintain the position.
2. Gong Bu: The Bow stance is established by moving the midline closer to the achilles of the front foot. The weight should be distributed 70% to the front foot, and 30% to the rear, with both toes at a 45 degree angle pointing away from the body.
3. Xu Bu: The Empty Step resembles the posture of a cautious cat, thus its alias “Cat Stance”. The weight is distributed with 90% on the rear foot, with 10% on the toes of the front foot.
4. Ru Huan Bu: The Circle Entering Stance holds the front foot turned in 45 degrees supporting 80% of the weight, while the rear femur is slightly vertical with the rear foot on its ball supporting 20% of the body weight.
5. Du Li Bu: The Single Leg stance holds one knee close to the corresponding shoulder, with the posted leg bent and rooted supporting 100% of the body weight.
6. Pu Bu: The “Falling Stance” is often used to destabilize the opponents balance. The rear foot supports 80% of the body weight and the front foot supports 20%.
8. Niu Bu: The Twist stance allows both lower extremities to support the body weight evenly, with the front shin parallel to the ground.
8. Gou Bu: The Hook stance distributes 80% of the body weight to the rear foot, with 20% on the heel of the front foot, which is turned inward to hook the opponent’s achilles tendon.