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Posts Tagged ‘Stances!’

How Far Does the Fu Go?

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

From: Adam
Date: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 9:27 AM
Subject: How Far Does the Fu Go?
To: Sifu


I was out for my run and saw a huge Rottweiler several blocks up. He was by the front door of a house and I was trying to discern the situation. I popped out my earphones to be more aware and was about to turn around and try a different route when he saw me. He did that aggressive freeze and stare they do so I slowed down a bit to try not to appear scared or aggressive. When I got a couple of yards from him I tried to softly say “hey puppy”, to calm him down – it didn’t work. When I got parallel to him he took off out of the yard right toward me. I immediately stopped and looked right at him. I clapped as loud as I could and yelled “NO!” as sternly as I could and I pointed up to the house and ordered him, “GO!”

With him running at me and me trying to stop running we basically collided. We were so close his chin hit my knee and got dog slobber on it. My clap and aggressive yell startled him, I could see him sort of twitch. He stopped, growled a bit and looked up at me. Again I said, “NO!” and pointed and said “GO!” It was like he was thinking for a second and then turned and jogged back up to the house. I walked until I was out of his sight and then took off faster than I had planned to run today!!

I gotta tell you, I was ready to bring about “complete destruction” on that dog. Not sure how it would have gone, but I would have snatched the life out of that dog, that’s for sure! Well, at least I had to believe I would have! Whew, that was intense. I just kept remembering times we had run together and you had taken that aggressive stance with dogs before and it worked. I did everything I could to show I wasn’t scared and was in charge of the dog. I’m glad he decided to buy it!


Been Caught Stealing

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Honestly? I don’t like to fall.

I don’t like to fall and I try to keep myself from falling as much as possible. Oh, I’ve practiced falling safely and I’ve been thrown (a lot), and I usually learn something valuable when I get thrown, but I still don’t like falling; it doesn’t feel good and I’ve been known to break bones when I do.

I know that when I play hands it is inevitable that I will be thrown and that I will fall, and fall hard. I accept that, but I guess in a way it’s important to me to do what I can to keep myself from falling whenever possible. One of the most basic ways I know how to do that is by staying rooted and keeping my center.

“Aha! Your center you say…I hear about my center a lot in class but, what is it and how do I find it, much less keep it?”

Well, think of it as your center of gravity or balance point. When a person is standing straight and still, it is usually located slightly lower than and behind the naval, but since Kung Fu is not a static exercise, your center of gravity changes with every movement. When you hear someone talking about having your center it usually means that they’ve done something to make you off balance, therefore giving them a little more control of the situation.

“Alright, now that I’ve sort of found it how do I keep it?”

Horse stance! Forward stance! Ladyhorse stance! You thought those stance drills were just for torture discipline and strength training? They are. They also teach you how to root and to find your center in each stance as well as when shifting from stance to stance. For those of you familiar with 8-basic stances, think about when you shift from Ladyhorse stance into Cat stance; if your center is too high you tend to wobble a little until you get your balance again. The more you practice 8-basic stances, the more aware of your center you become and the better you can flow from stance to stance without wobbling.

Also? I love the motto “work smarter, not harder”.

I love Kung Fu because it is incredibly efficient (among a fragillion other reasons). I like the fact that theoretically I can play hands with someone bigger and stronger than me and by working within the principles, being solid in my stances and technique, and by stealing their center (replacing their center with mine) I have a better chance of controlling the situation – without muscle.

Lately I’ve really been trying to use all of the drills we’ve been learning and to be more aware of both mine and my opponents’ centers; using my stances to make me more efficient at making them work harder. Usually their skill is greater than mine or my timing isn’t quite right and I get beat up, but, sometimes I succeed–and wow…when everything “clicks” it is a feeling like no other and makes the 40 previous beatdowns and all those hours of stance drills Worth. Every. Minute.