Basic Forms

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Street Fighting and Self Defense Guide

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The practice of solo forms (basic forms) is the most traditional training method for learning the fundamentals of Shuai Chiao. In earlier times students would spend two to three years perfecting one form. Strict, proper and regular practice of solo forms improve the coordination of mind, eye, hand, body, steps and balance, and develops the control necessary for every throwing technique. It also increases endurance, accuracy, speed and strength.

It is said that in ancient times there were 72 solo forms which were later reduced to 37. In 1928 the Central Kuo Shu Institute standardized the solo forms, reducing their number to 24. In the book by the contemporary Shuai Chiao master, Ch'ang Tung-sheng, only 16 solo forms are listed. Here we list 20 solo forms for practical Shuai Chiao training. Some of these forms can be combined to create additional solo forms.

The solo forms are 1) Diagonal Striking, 2) Neck Surrounding, 3) Elbow Locking, 4) Diagonal Pulling, 5) March and Kick, 6) Backward Kicking, 7) Lower Body Control Hip Throwing, 8) Lower Body Control Leg Blocking, 9) Upper Body Control Leg Blocking, 10) Cracking, 11) Pushing, 12) Pulling, 13) Embracing, 14) Bowing, 15) Vertical Lifing, 16) Leg Seizing, 17) Inner Hooking, 18) Horizontal Throwing, 19) Shouldering, 20) Thigh Lifting.

In practicing solo forms, your posture and movement must be accurate. Performing the movements in their proper way must become second nature. When practicing, feel as though you are actually applying the techniques. This way, when you use the techniques from the forms, they will follow fluidly and naturally and you will be successful. If proper attention is not paid to the practice of the forms, the applicaiton of the techniques will definitely suffer.

Description of Basic Forms

1. DIAGONAL STRIKING: a) Ready position—stand erect. Feet together, toes pointing out at 45 degree angles. Fists at side (eyes of fists, or thumb side, point away from the body). Elbows squeeze in, fists are slightly behind the surface line of the stomach. Look forward, relax the shoulders, tuck in the buttocks. Concentrate on the Tan-T'ien (a point about 2 inches below the navel). Breathe through the nose, evenly and deeply from the diaphragm (see Fig. 1). b) Movements—While stepping forward with the left foot into a bow and arrow stance, the left hand blocks by extending forward across the body to the right. The left hand opens so that the palm turns out as the left hand sweeps from right to left blocking with the knife edge of the hand and forearm in a twisting, grabbing, pulling motion that ends with the left hand returning to form a fist at the left side. While the left hand is pulling back, the right hand is simultaneously striking out diagonally with the edge of the palm in the direction of the stepping foot. The grabbing, twisting block of the left hand, and the strike of the right hand are performed in unison with the twisting power of the waist. In the final position, the toe of the front foot, the waist and the striking palm all face the same direction. This direction is forward and 15 degrees off the centerline of the body as viewed from the ready position (see Fig. 2).

To perform Diagonal Striking to the other side —the forward arm sweeps back across the body blocking, grabbing, twisting and pulling back to form a fist at the side as a step is taken to form a bow and arrow stance. The hand previously in a fist at the waist now becomes the striking hand.

TIPS: Lock the rear leg straight as you strike; keep the rear foot flat on the ground; make sure the power is generated from the waist; the striking surface of the hand is the edge of the palm with the fingers pointing up; usually the target is on the opponent's shoulder diagonally across from the striking palm, therefore, the step, waist and strike are toward that point.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Bending at the waist in the final position either by leaning too far forward or by standing too erect, or by leaning to either side; using just the arms instead of the twisting power of the waist.

2. NECK SURROUNDING: a) Ready position same as described in Figure 1, b) Movements—though the step is different, the blocking motions of the lead arm are similar to Diagonal Striking. The lead hand opens, extending forward across the body, blocking in a sweeping, grabbing, twisting, pulling motion as the hand returns to form a fist at the side where it began. The other arm (the right arm in Fig. 3) will perform the neck surrounding motion by swinging out circularly, parallel to the ground, then squeezing so that the point of the elbow is forward, the fist and palm are down, and squeezes in towards the chest. In the final position the right arm is parallel to the ground, and the head is rotated as if to rest the right cheek on the right fist. The eyes look back toward the rear left corner, and the front toe is turned out 45 degrees from the center line of the ready position (see Fig. 3). From this position, Neck Surrounding may be performed to the other side by stepping forward with the right foot (toe out 45 degrees) as the right arm sweeps out parallel to the ground, blocking, grabbing, twisting and pulling in to form a fist at the right side. Simultaneously the left arm follows the right, swinging out circularly, parallel to the ground, and squeezing in so that the point of the elbow is forward as the waist twist Is completed.

TIPS: On the step forward, the sole of the foot should be flat with the toe turned out to 45 degrees; this movement is clearly performed with the twisting motion of the waist around the axis running from the top of the head to the rear heel. The student should be made to feel the straightness of this axis by having the instructor or a partner press on the top of his head. The student should feel the force run directly to the heel of the rear foot; study the use of the eyes.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Bending at the waist, not squeezing the surrounding arm so that the point of the elbow is directly forward, not tilting the head to align with the spine and rear leg.

Figure 4

3. ELBOW LOCKING: (Fig. 4): a) Ready position-same as described in Figure 1. b) Movements—while stepping out with the left foot into a bow and arrow stance (toe out 45 degrees), begin the block described in diagonal striking by extending the arm across the body to the right opening the hand to sweep from right to left, blocking with the knife edge of the hand and forearm. This time, however, as the left hand reaches the line of the left shoulder in its horizontal sweep, it will grab and pull down forming a fist just outside the left knee. Simultaneously, the right hand, directed by the lifting power of the waist, swings up, bending at the elbow to form a 135 degree angle. The right fist should be directly in front of the nose, not higher than the eye. The chest, waist and bending arm all face the same direction (see Fig. 4). To repeat the motion to the other side, the raised fist simply opens as the step is taken, and turn palm out, to block, grab and pull down in a fist beside the knee as the step is completed. The other hand performs the lifting motion to become a fist at eye level. The eyes look at the fist in front of the nose.

TIPS: The blocking surface of the lifting arm is the inside of the forearm just below the elbow. The lifting force of the waist should be concentrated here. The bottom hand should stop right beside the knee.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Spreading the hands too far apart. The fists should pass each other in front of the chest about two inches apart.

4. DIAGONAL PULLING (Fig. 5): a) Ready position-same as described in Figure 1. b) Movements—The stance is a bow and arrow stance (toe out 45 degrees) with a turned waist. Direct all motion, arms included, with the waist. From the ready position the two arms raise to full extension at shoulder level, palms facing each other, slightly to the right of the centerline of the body. As you step out with the left foot to a bow and arrow stance (toe out 15 degrees)

both arms swing downward across the body from right to left, the left arm leading. The eyes follow the left hand as it travels diagonally down in front of the body and back up to the rear stopping at shoulder height parallel to the ground with the thumb down. The right hand simultaneously follows the same arc as the left, but comes to rest at the outside of the knee, palm out, with the thumb pointing down. The waist should turn to the outside providing the dynamic momentum for the whole movement. In the end position the line from one shoulder to the other extends from the front of the stance to the rear. The line from the top of the head to the rear heel is straight and forms a 45 degree angle in relation to the floor (see Fig. 5). To repeat the movement to the other side, let both arms become parallel at the height of the shoulders as you step forward with the right foot. Use the twisting force of the waist to uncoil the body as you step forward and pull down diagonally from the left to the right ending in the mirror image of Fig. 5.

TIPS: Eyes follow the lead hand, power comes from the waist; in the final position the body should be relaxed, but coiled like a spring.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Bending at the waist; shortening the bow and arrow stance; the front knee should end up above, but not beyond the big toe.

Figure 5

5. MARCH AND KICK (Figs. 6-7): a) Ready position-same as described in Figure 1, feet together, toes pointing out at 45 degree angles, etc., but the hands rest on the hips with the thumbs at the rear of the body, b) Movements—Sinking the weight on the right foot step forward with the left foot to form a bow and arrow stance in the same direction as in Diagonal Striking (i.e., 15 degrees off the centerline of the body as viewed from the ready position). The weight having been sunk, the step is performed with a strong surging motion. At the completion of the step the balance should be centralized by the waist with the center of gravity sunk down (see Fig. 6).

Figure 7

Then shift the weight completely to the front leg, and kick forward and up with the rear (right) leg. The kick (which in application will sweep the opponent's leg off the floor) must be performed in the same direction as the initial step (i.e., 15 degrees of the center-line of the body as viewed from the ready position). The kicking leg will straighten and the leg will kick upward with the knee locked straight and the ankle flexed so that the toe is pulled back toward the body. The stationary leg remains bent. At the completion of the kick the leg should be parallel to the ground, and the eyes focused on the toe of the kicking foot (se Fig. 7). The kicking leg should be held in the horizontal position parallel to the ground at least two seconds. Stability is maintained by sinking on the rear leg as if to sit. Keep the torso straight and relaxed.

After holding the position in Fig. 7 for at least two seconds the movement may be performed to the other (right) side by bending the kicking leg at the knee, allowing the foot to swing back to a position outside the knee of the stationary leg. The ankle of the raised leg remains flexed, and there is a slight forward bend in the waist to gain momentum for the surging marching step forward. The step is performed to form a right foot forward bow and arrow stance 15 degrees to the right of the centerline of the body as viewed for the original ready position. The kick is then performed with the left foot in the same manner as before.

TIPS: Sink the weight so that the marching step may be taken with a powerful surge forward, remember to look at the toe, and sit as the kick becomes parallel to the ground.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not keeping the supporting leg bent; not completely withdrawing the kicking foot with the ankle flexed before stepping.

6. BACKWARD KICKING (Figs. 8-9): a) Ready position—same as March and Kick, b) Movements—The beginning of this form looks like March and Kick. Step forward into a bow and arrow stance and kick up as in marching kick. Except, after kicking, coil the kicking leg so that the heel of the foot comes toward the groin. Using the momentum of the coiling action pivot on the toe 90 degrees counterclockwise to the left reaching the position shown in Fig. 8. Then, transferring the weight from the toe to the heel of the supporting foot, continue to turn counterclockwise using the heel of the foot as the pivot point. Twist the waist continuing to turn counterclockwise, uncoil the leg thrusting it backward so that you form a bow and arrow stance with the waist turned (see Fig. 9). The front of the bow stance in the final position is in the opposite direction from the ready position. You have turned 180 degrees. The waist, chest and direction of your line of vision will have turned even more. The toe of the left foot, the front foot of final position bow and arrow stance, should turn out as much as possible (at least 45 degrees from the new centerline). This is facilitated by pivoting on the heel as mentioned above. The eyes look back and up over the left shoulder (in the frontal direction of the original ready stance). There should be a straight line of force from the heel of the uncoiled leg (the rear leg of the final bow and arrow stance) to the top of the head.

7. LOWER BODY CONTROL HIP THROWING: a)

Ready position—This form starts from a small horse riding stance. The two feet are shoulder width apart and parallel to each other. The hands are in fists at the sides. The knees are bent (see Fig. 10). Movements—From the ready position with the feet parallel, open the left foot so that the toe points out to the left 45 degrees off the centerline of the body. Shifting all of the weight to the left foot, step forward lightly with the right foot, placing it straight forward on an imaginary line with the heel of the left foot. As the step is taken, the two hands will raise to the front of body opening and closing in a grabbing motion, ending in fists as the right foot touches down lightly in a cat stance as shown in Fig. 11. Note that though the right foot is flat on the ground, all of the weight is on the rear (left) leg. In this position, if the fist were open, the palms would face toward each other. The right arm, however, extends further than the left, and the position of the left fist is adjacent to the middle of the right forearm (see Fig. 11). The eyes of the fists are up. Next, shift the weight to the ball of the right foot and perform a 180 degrees pivot bringing the left foot up parallel to the right so that you are on a small horse riding stance in the opposite direction from your original ready stance (see Fig. 12). The eyes should look at the right fist. From this position

TIPS: The most forceful part of this movement should be the backward kick; in the beginning, the forward kick should not be thrown too hard in order to allow for the forward momentum to be led back circularly by the heel of the coiling leg. Turn on the toe to reach the position in Fig. 8, then, on heel as you kick back the toe of the weight bearing leg opens in a "wide angle" as a result of the waist being twisted and helps the upper body provide counterbalance for the backward kick.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Losing one's balance; not coiling the kicking leg enough to repeat the movement to the other side (simply take a marching step forward with the right foot to form a new bow and arrow stance, 15 degrees as above) and kick up, etc. with the left foot.

Figure 9

(Fig. 13), you will perform the hip throwing motion by bending completely forward at the waist while powerfully straightening the knees. The eyes should follow the right fist as it travels in a vertical circle over the head, down and across in front of the body. As the hip throwing motion is completed the right arm will be allowed to bend at the elbow and the right fist, continuing its arc, will come to rest at the left shoulder (eye of the fist facing the chest). The tip of the right shoulder will point down, and the eyes will remain focused on the right fist. The left arm will trace a simlar arc downard across the body, but it will pass the left leg and continue upwards, bending at the elbow and coming to rest high on the shoulder. Thus, in the hip throwing motion the right fist will lead the upper body in a downward arc that will be accentuated in the action of pulling. The left fist pulling up the back toward the opposite shoulder as the knees are straightened (see Figs. 12 and 13). At the completion of the motion the eyes should look up to the rear under the shoulder of the arm that is across the back.

To repeat the movement to the other side, bend the knees and raise the upper body to assume the ready position as shown in Fig. 10. (You will be facing the opposite direction.) Open the right foot so that the toe points out to the right 45 degrees off the centerline of the body. Shifting all the weight to the right foot, step forward lightly with the left foot, etc., reversing the procedure described above. This time the eyes will follow the left fist to completion of the movement.

TIPSrThe^yes should follow the lead fist from the position ^ttbwn in Fig. 12 (there the right fist) to the end of the motion; keep the knees bent and the center of gravity low so that the head stays at the same' height as you move through the positions shown in Figs. 12-13; make sure the back is as straight as possible at the position shown In Fig. 12; if the knees are straightened with sufficient force, both feet will slide back a little, this is fine as long as balance is maintained.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Putting weight on the front foot too soon (study Fig. 11); not keeping the back sufficiently straight or buttocks tucked in, feet parallel, bent arm parallel to the ground and the eyes on the fist at the position shown in Fig. 12; not bowing deeply enough, losing your balance.

8. LOWER BODY CONTROL LEGS BLOCKING(Figs.

14-15): a) Ready position is the same as in Lower Body Control Hip Throwing, b) Movements—Lower Body Control Leg Blocking begins exactly like Lower Body Control Hip Throwing as shown in Figs. 10-12 and described above. When the position shown in Fig. 12 is reached, shift all your weight to the left leg and coil the right leg as In Fig. 14. Then while kicking back with the right leg and opening the left toe out 45 degrees ("wide angle") the arms perform Neck Surrounding similar to Basic Form No. 2, only without opening the fist. The object is to kick block against the opponent's shin with the calf of your leg. Therefore, from the colled leg position in Fig. 17, the backward kick or leg block should drive back hard to reach the position shown in Fig. 15. In the end position the eyes look up to the rear (left) corner as in Backward Kicking. Return to the ready position before repeating the movement to the other side.

TIPS: As you kick back (leg block) pivot on the heel of the supporting foot, this will allow you to turn the toe of the supporting foot out "wide angle," 45 degrees, as in Forward Marching Backward Kicking.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not kicking back straight; in the end position which is a bow and arrow stance, the feet should only be shoulder width apart; not kicking back far enough and thus not achieving a full bow and arrow stance.

9. UPPER BODY CONTROL LEG BLOCKING: a)

Ready position the same as in Diagonal Striking, b) Movements—The upper body control aspect of this form is performed by executing a block with the lead (left) hand and Neck Surrounding with the other hand, as described in Basic Form No. 2 (Neck Surrounding) above. Only in Upper Body Control Leg Blocking, the eyes focus directly to the front, the direction the elbow is pointing. "The toe of the stepping foot only turns out slightly, 15 degrees off the centerline of the body. Next, assuming the right elbow is forward, step forward with the right foot (not shown), then execute a steal step forward with the left foot by passing it behind the right foot to reach the position shown in Fig. 16. The arm that was forward in Neck Surrounding unfolds, extending forward in a vertical arc finishing parallel to the ground at shoulder height palm open. The hand that was in a fist at the side in Neck Surrounding (the left hand) simply comes forward across the chest palm open at the (right) armpit (see Fig. 16). The arms move into position as the right foot steps forward, and merely remain In position as you sink into a stealing step, the left leg passing behind the right. Next shift the whole weight of the body to the left leg, coil the right leg as in Fig. 17 and kick back performing Neck Surrounding as in Fig. 18. As with Lower Body Control Leg Blocking it will be necessary to pivot on the left heel in order to allow the toe to turn out 45 degrees ("wide angle"). The eyes will look back and up to the right rear corner, as in Neck Surrounding form. A repeat to the other side does not return to the ready stance. From the leg block bow and arrow stance simply step forward with the right foot and perform Neck Surrounding and steal step this time with the right foot passing behind the left, coil the leg and kick back (leg block).

TIPS: The center of gravity should be kept low throughout the movement, but the upper body should physically sink lower as the stealing step is taken. Stay low as you coil the leg and kick back. As you progress you should cultivate the habit of performing the form rhythmically in three beats: 1.) Neck Surrounding. 2.) Step forward (with the right) and steal step (with the left). 3.) Coil the leg and kick back. It is only necessary to count one, two, three.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not getting the rear heel flat on the kickback; not turning the toe of the front foot out on the kickback.

10. CRACKINGS: a) Ready position—stand in a Wide Horse Stance with the wrists crossed six or seven inches in front of the throat, hands folded into fists (see Fig. 19). If you are going to do cracking to the right side, as shown, then the right fist will be inside. To do cracking to the left, the left fist will be inside the Hands Crossed ready position, b) Movements—From the ready position, the position shown in Fig. 20 will be reached in an abrupt, coordinated motion generated by twisting the waist and pulling the inside fist (the right in Fig. 19) back to the waist. Both feet will shoot out to the sides from horse stance to bow and arrow stance. The upper body will rotate as in Backward Kicking, the eyes looking to the rear of the bow and arrow stance and up. In "cracking" the bow and arrow stance position, you will pivot on the right heel and turn the toe out 45 degrees from the front direction of the bow and arrow stance. The rear leg should be straightened forcefully. While the inside fist pulls back to the waist, the outside fist (the left in Fig. 20) will open and the palm will press down and across the front of the body, coming to rest parallel to the left leg with the finger tips pointing out away from the body (see Fig. 20). To repeat to the left side, snap back to the ready position with the left fist crossed inside and crack to the left.

TIPS:Learn to perform the movement from the ready position In one explosive burst of energy; rotate on the heel to turn the front foot of the bow and arrow stance out; develop stability, balance of the twisting motion and the action of the open hand pressing back in the opposite direction.

Figure 20

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not twisting far enough on the cracking motion; not reaching a full bow and arrow stance; not ending with the open hand parallel to the rear leg of the bow and arrow stance with the finger tips pointing out.

Figure 22

11. PUSHING: a) Ready position is same as described in Figure 1. b) Movements—From the ready position (see Fig. 21) drop the center of gravity while separating the feet laterally, allowing the feet to skim the ground and the knees to bend to form a Wide Horse Riding Stance. Simultaneously, the two hands will strike forward in a pushing motion ending up with the palms out, finger tips of each hand towards each other, with the outstretched arm parallel to the ground (see Fig. 22). To repeat, retrace the arms to the ready position while straightening the knees and bringing the feet together. Perform Pushing exactly as described above.

TIPS: Martially, Pushing is a simple way to repell the advance of an attacker while maintaining one's balance and gaining distance; with the finger tips in, it may be applied to an attacker's forehead.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Leaning too far forward.

Figure 24

Figure 25

Figure 23

Figure 24

Figure 25

Figure 26

12. PULLING: a) Ready position—This form starts from a "natural stance." Stand with the two feet shoulder width apart and parallel to each other. The shoulders should be relaxed. The legs should be straight but the knees should not be locked. The arms and hands should be down at the sides with the hands open, palms in, beside the legs. Focus your attention at the Tan-T'ien (a point about 2-1/2 inches below the navel). Breathe slowly, evenly and deeply, b) Movements—From the ready position, raise the left hand and grab in front of the left shoulder as if catching an opponent's right arm just above his elbow. Pull back your left palm to your chest and form a fist above the left nipple {see Fig. 23). Next, swing the right fist to the left. Steal step to face the left 90 degrees. Simultaneously with the step, cover the left forearm with the right forearm, forming a cross in front of the chest (see Fig. 24). You should be sitting low at this point, with most of the weight on the rear leg. From the Stealing Stance shown in Fig. 24, shift all of your weight to the left leg, coil the right leg so that the sole of the right foot faces up and the toe points to the left (see Fig. 25). Using the heel of the left foot as a pivot point, pivot another 90 degrees to the left and perform a "kick back" similar to that in Backward Kicking (form no. 6) or Lower Body Control Leg Blocking (form no. 8). in Pulling, however, as the leg kick back is performed the arms will vigorously pull out of the position shown in Fig. 25 in coordination with the twisting power of the waist. The arms move in opposite directions, the left hand remaining in a fist and pulling back to the left side of the waist and the right hand opening to pass down along the straightened right leg, palm facing and pressing toward the rear of the body, finger tips pointing out and forming a 45 degree angle with the right leg (see Fig. 26). In the final bow and arrow stance position, the head and torso should turn to look toward the rear and down as in the end position in Backward Kicking. The toe of the left foot should turn out at least 45 degrees. The torso and the right leg should form a straight line running from the top of the head to the heel of the right foot.

TIPS: Sit low on the Stealing Step shown in Fig. 26 and keep the weight sunken throughout the rest of the movement; practice turning the toe of the pivoting foot out as much as possible (i.e. 90 degrees).

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Raising the center of gravity while coiling the leg (Fig. 25). Not pointing the finger tips away from the body in the final bow and arrow stance.

13. EMBRACING: a) Ready position—This form starts from a Small Horse Riding Stance with the fists at the sides of the waist (see Fig. 27). b) Movements—From the Small Horse Riding Stance, step forward with the right foot, pivoting the body 90 degrees to the left to form a Wide Horse Riding Stance as shown in Fig. 29. The two arms will perform an embracing movement with the left palm cupping the right fist (see Fig. 28). Then, while straightening the knees and bringing the left foot up to the right, simulate a lifting motion with the power of the legs coming to attention as shown in Fig. 29, with the left arm pushing up to the right. The eyes should look at the tip of the right elbow in the position shown in Fig. 29. From here a downward throwing motion will be performed by turning to the right rear corner. With the center of gravity sunken you will draw the right leg back as if executing an escaping step to form a Half Horse Riding Stance (Forty-Sixty Stance) as shown in Fig. 30. The right hand will pull to the right side of the waist while the left arm is carried in an arc to strike downward with the fist and forearm. The left fist should stop at the level of the navel and the forearm should be parallel to the ground. To complete the form, pull the right leg up even with the left, forming a Wide Horse Stance with the fists at the sides of the waist.

Figure 27

Figure 28

Figure 29

From this ready position (facing away from the viewer), perform Embracing to the other side, by stepping out with the left foot and repeat.

TIPS: It is essential to practice Embracing as if lifting an opponent from the position shown in Fig.

28 and carrying his center of gravity above your center of gravity through the position shown in Fig.

29 at the beginning of the transition between the positions in Figs. 29 and 30, pivot on the heel to the left foot as you draw the right leg back and step out, in practice you must simulate the change in the direction of the force from lifting up (Fig. 29) to throwing down (Fig. 30). The bottom of the left forearm conveys the downward direction. The twisting power of the waist coordinates the transfer of momentum from an upward to a downward direction. The pivot must be executed smoothly and sharply so that the momentum gained from the right lifting motion can be redirected downward to the right rear.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not keeping proper tension in the Tan-T'ien thus destroying your own balance in shifting from the lifting action to the throwing action. Proper tension in the Tan-T'ien will unify the lifting and throwing action and allow a sharp smooth pivot.

14. BOWING: a) Ready position—This form starts from a Small Horse Riding Stance with the hands in any one of three positions. The hands may rest on the hips (as in Fig. 31) or be clasped together over the head (Fig. 32) or one hand may hold the back of the neck while the other hand grabs the upper arm. b) Movements—Bowing may be performed straight away from any of the three Ready Positions or in combination with footwork, allowing for a turn around motion before the bow. To perform straight Bowing from the hands on hips position (Fig. 31), keep the center of gravity sunk and bend forward at the waist as far as possible. Simultaneously with the

Figure 30

bend at the waist, the legs should be straightened quickly and powerfully so that the two feet slide backward. The soles of the feet should brush the ground while sliding back as opposed to hopping back (Fig. 33). Other methods of Bowing described below and in Lower Body Control Hip Throw (see Fig. 34) are just variations of this basic Bowing method. The same straight bow may be performed beginning with the hands clasped together over the head. Here the bowing motion is aided by passing the clasped hands forcefully through the legs as the < Bow is completed. There are two ways to add a turnaround motion to Bowing. From the hands on hips Small Horse Stance, step forward with one foot forming a Cat Stance (see Fig. 35). Then pivot 180 degrees, bringing the left foot up parallel to the right and bow. The footwork here is the same as the Lower' Body Control Hip Throwing. The form is the same' except that the hands remain on the hips. In the second variation the initial step will be taken by swinging one foot behind the other to form a Stealing Stance. In Fig. 36 the right foot has been crossed behind the left to form the Lying Stance shown. From this position (the Lying Stance) a 180 degree pivot is executed on the balls of both feet. Both feet should be flat on the floor, heels down, before bowing. In forming the Stealing Stance the ball of the foot that steps behind (the right foot as shown) should be placed in line with the ball of the stationary foot. Thus, when the 180 degree pivot is completed the feet will be parallel. The Lying Step should not be too long or short. When the 180 degree pivot is made the feet end up shoulder width apart.

Figure 31

Figure 35

15. VERTICAL LIFTING: a) Ready position—same as described in Figure 1. b) Movements—First, stick out the right hand to make a blocking, grabbing motion that sweeps from the centerline of the body to the imaginary line extending forward from the right shoulder. While grabbing and beginning to pull the hand back to the right side of the waist, the left

TIPS: Practice the straight bow from the Small Horse Riding Stance, hands on hips. Ready Position; remember, no matter which turn-around step is used in preparation, you must reach this balanced, straight backed, knees bent, feet shoulder width apart Ready Position before the bow is started.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not bowing completely; hopping instead of allowing the force of the bow and straightening of the knees to slide the feet back naturally; not keeping the shoulders square to the front when taking the initial Lying Step as correctly

Figure 34

hand should strike out directly from the left side of the waist and make a "standing palm" at shoulder height. The palm of the left hand will face out and the fingertips will point upward. Next, lift up the right leg and kick forward with the sole facing to the front. Simultaneously bend the left knee and sit low with your center of gravity in balance over the supporting foot (Fig. 37). From this position point the toe of the right foot and swing the foot downward then back and up to the rear as far as possible. When doing this, keep the right leg straight until the very end of the backward kicking up motion. Later on, the supporting leg should be straight at the end, and the backward kickup motion also. You should reach a point of balance at the end of the form with the sole of the kicking foot facing up and the two hands in fists at the sides of the waist (Fig. 38). To repeat to the other side, lower the right leg in balanced control to the Ready Position and perform the motions described above to the other side, blocking with the left hand first (Fig. 39).

TIPS: Sit low, bending the knee of the supporting leg on the forward kicking motion.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not bending the supporting leg low enough; losing balance while doing backward kicking.

Figure 37 Figure 38 Figure 39

16. LEG SEIZING: a) Ready position—Sam? as described in Figure 1. b) Movements—Step up with the left foot to the left front corner, blocking, grabbing and pulling back with the left hand as in Diagonal Striking (form no. 1). However, this time the left hand will pull back to the left armpit instead of the waist. While the left arm is blocking, the right arm will swing forward circularly, parallel to the ground, and bend to bring the fist in front of the chest, fist palm down, with the tip of the elbow forward. Simultaneously with the right arm, the right leg also swings out circularly, close to the ground, with the right knee straightened and the toe of the right foot hooked back like a long sickle. The right foot should brush the ground before coming to rest directly in front of the left foot. The left knee should be bent deeply, and most of the weight should be on the left foot in the position shown in Fig. 40. There should be a feeUng of reaping back with the right foot. The right foot will then actually reap back upward a little before stepping forward to form a Bow and Arrow Stance. The waist must turn as the right foot steps forward and the arms perform the coordinated blocking and grabbing, and pull and strike as in Diagonal Striking. To repeat Leg Seizing to the other side, draw the left hand back to form a fist in front of the chest as the left leg swings forward with the toes hooking back to form a sickle with the left leg. The position of the right fist should be raised from the waist to under the right armpit. The left foot will then reap back a little before stepping out as the front foot in Diagonal Striking. Note, the Diagonal Striking portion of this form is an intermediate movement for combining Leg Seizing with other forms. When practicing Leg Seizing along to the left and then to the right, the diagonal strike may be omitted. If this is done from the position shown in Fig. 40, the right foot after reaping back a little will be turned toe out and placed back down where it was or farther forward ¡impossible. The right arm will then lead in a blocking, grabbing, pulling motion, ending with the

Figure 40

right fist at the right armpit. While the right arm is blocking, the left arm will swing forward circularly, parallel to the ground, and bend to bring the fist in front of the chest, fibt-palm facing down with the tip of the elbow forward. In timje with the left arm the left leg will swing out, toes hooking back to form a sickle as similarly described to the other side.

TIPS: As shown in Fig. 40 the Leg Seizing Posture is low with most of the weight on the bent leg; the leg forming the sickle must be straight; practice the training stance (Dull Sickle Reaping Rice) to develop the necessary ankle flexibility in the supporting leg; the rear elbow should be consciously pulled back.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not pulling the toe of the sickle foot back toward the body; not sitting low enough; raising the body when actually reaping the sickle foot back before stepping.

Figure 41

Figure 42

Figure 43

Figure 44

Figure 42

Figure 44

17. INNER HOOKING: a) Ready position—same as described in Figuré 1. b) Movements—Block with the left hand in a twisting grabbing pulling motion, similar to the opening block in Leg Seizing. Step up left foot, with the hand pulling back to a fist at the left side. Raise the right knee and thrust the right foot forward as if to kick with the heel; when the leg is fully extended, swing it back to the outside, bending at the knee and bringing the leg back heel first, and parallel to the ground (Fig. 41). While continuing to extend the right leg back parallel to the ground, strike directly forward with either or both palms, fingertips up {Fig. 42). In the final position the toes of the right foot will point directly to the rear and the sole of the foot will be up. To repeat to the other side, lower the right leg and assume the Ready Position.

TIPS: To learn to swing the "hooking leg" parallel to the ground as in Fig. 41, practice slapping the palm of the same side hand with the outer part of the foot in passing the point shown in the photo.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not kicking forward first, not extending completely at the end, as correctly shown in Fig. 42.

Figure 45

18. HORIZONTAL THROWING: a) Ready Position-same as described in Figure 1. b) Movements—From the Ready Position step directly forward with the left foot and perform Neck Surrounding with eye looking forward. Next, step forward with the right foot and then continue moving in a forward direction by crossing the left foot behind the right to "steal" a second step forward. The waist will rotate a quarter turn to the left as the stolen step is performed and the arms will extend forward traveling in a vertical arc stopping with the right arm reaching straight forward, palm down, while the left arm is bent in front of the chest with the left palm at the right armpit. From this low cross-legged position with the arms toward the original forward direction, shift all the weight to the left foot and coil the right leg as shown in Fig. 44. The toe of the coiled leg will point toward the original rear direction and the eyes will look at the right hand. The right hand, will now become a fist and the right arm will swing straight downward, passing the hip with the palm of the fist facing forward. The right hand will then swing up to form an outstretching arm, stopping at shoulder height. Simultaneously, with the action of the right hand, the coiled right leg will kick back forming a Bow and Arrow Stance in the opposite direction from the original Ready Stance Position (Fig. 45). In this final position the eyes will look forward at the right fist. You will have turned 180 degrees from the forward direction of the original Ready Position. To repeat the form to the other side, step forward with the right foot, performing the blocking, grabbing, twisting motion with the right hand as you step and swing forward with the left arm. Continue Horizontal Throwing, mirroring the above described movements.

TIPS: After reaching the position shown in Fig. 43, both hands will travel in small circles coming "over the top" before you reach the sunken cross-legged position. Keep the right arm straight as the right leg is coiled.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Not keeping the proper tension in the Tan-t'ien throughout the movement.

19. SHOULDERING: a) Ready position—same as in Figure 1. b) Movements—While turning the waist a quarter turn to the left, shift all of your body weight to the left leg and sit as low as you can, bending the knees; bearing little weight the toes of the right foot

will be placed a half step in front of the left toe. Bothj hands will open from the Ready Position and the two arms will cross each other in front of the chest as the' weight sinks over the left foot. The palms will facej each other as the arms cross. The left hand will rise} to the right cheek of the face, palm out, while the1 right hand will travel downward past the chest as the' body turns. As you reach the position shown in Fig,; 46 the right hand will hang down palm out. From this1 position thrust the right foot toward the right front corner of the original Ready Position to form a Sixty-Forty Stance with the right toe out 15 degrees. The two arms will simultaneously uncross, the left hand pulling down and stopping in front of the body, palm down, and the right hand raising in a forward direction to the height of the shoulder, palm up (Fig. 47). From the position in Fig. 46 to the position shown in Fig. 47 the eyes will follow the right palm and the waist will unwind to face the forward direction. To repeat the form to the other side, return to the original Ready Position.

TIPS: Though the eyes follow the palms as it rises and force is released primarily through the shoulder, the force must be issued from and controlled by the Tan-t'ien.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Bending too far forward in the arms crossed position shown in Fig. 46. The lead shoulder may be lower but the body should be erect.

20. THIGH LIFTING: a) Ready position—Small Horse Riding Stance, b) Movements—Shift all weight to the right leg and straighten it while raising the left knee. Let the left toe hang down naturally. The two arms will be brought up in front of the chest as the left knee is raised. Then the arms will be rotated counterclockwise to reach the final position shown in Fig. 48. The left fist is pulled to the left side of the waist (palm up) and the right arm is bent in front of the chest. The right hand will be in a fist, palm facing down, eye of the fist in toward the chest. The right forearm will be parallel to the ground. As the arms perform this action, the left leg will bend at the knee and vertically raise up high with the feeling of lifting with the front of the left thigh. The eyes should focus on the left fist in the final position shown in Fig. 48.

TIPS: Establish total weight on the right leg so the left knee can be vigorously lifted without affecting balance. Emphasize eye-hand coordination.

MISTAKES TO AVOID: Make sure left shoulder and left knee move in opposite directions.

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