Kung Fu Stance
Shutterstock/ Luceluce
There are thousands of martial arts techniques. Students learn everything from blocks, kicks, and punches, to weapons, katas, and more. However, just as the maxim states, that one must walk before they run, the first and most important technique is to stand.

Standing in Martial Arts

Stance training is part of most martial arts, and it is taught with the understanding that a good stance (horse, fighting stance, San Ti Shi, etc.) is the best way to build a strong foundation. Driving off the earth for power, keeping legs bent to create a stable base, and the knowledge that kicks are half of a student's martial arts, of the striking variety, are all reasons to forge strong legs through standing.

In my martial arts journey, classes often started with a few minutes of calisthenics and then a period of holding a variety of static standing forms for what felt like an eternity. While holding the stances, their solidity was tested by pushes from the Sifu at a variety of angles, as he probed for weakness. “Breathe, relax, stand,” he would say. The class would be eerily quiet, except for the labored breathing of the students, as we tried to squint through the pain, breathe through the fatigue, and will our shaky legs to hold on for just a few more seconds. The sore, rubbery limbs would eventually become a sturdy base on which to build all the technique and skill that came later. However, the practice of standing is not limited to external martial arts though.

Internal Martial Arts and Qigong

Quite possibly the single most identifiable standing form, aside from the horse stance, is the Qigong form of standing and embracing a sphere: body straight, legs bent, and arms held as if holding an invisible ball. Many readers are likely familiar with it. The form is taught for health, meditation, and martial arts.

When students first see the form, it is usually followed by: “That looks easy.” As with most things that “look easy” students quickly realize that it is demanding, even after a short time of just a few minutes, and that looks can be deceiving.

There are a variety of standing forms taught in internal martial arts and Qigong, and some are more rigorous than others, (such as those requiring standing on one leg) but all have a benefit whether specifically for health or martial arts. Whether seeking more martial power, health, or inner peace, standing quietly for a few minutes a day can be very beneficial.

Another Use for Standing Still

While stillness has many advantages, as described above, standing is also a great way to learn new material such as forms and techniques. Holding each step of a new form, kata, or technique for a few seconds will help cement the material into the body and mind.

Whether building a better body, calm mind or pumping up your energy, sometimes the best thing you can do is just stand there.

Introducing Martial Arts School Listings on Black Belt Mag!
Sign Up Now To Be One Of The First School Listed In Our Database.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the worlds largest magazine of martial arts.
Executioners From Shaolin
Executioners From Shaolin / Lau Kar-leung

Dr. Craig’s Martial Arts Movie Lounge

In Part I, I covered the following films from 1970-1976 in order of the years the films came out: Brothers Five; The Avenger; Fist of Fury; Black Tavern; Chinese Iron Man; Defensive Power of Aikido; Fists of Vengeance; The Gallant;Pacific Connection; and The Tongfather. The last 10 films are presented in a similar fashion.
Keep Reading Show less
Bruce Lee’s “10,000 Kicks” Challenge – Complete 10,000 Kicks in 10 Days

2021 Update!

The Power of the Martial Spirit = Master Yourself so You Can Be of Service to the World.
For millions of Americans, hungry kids are their reality. Not enough money to buy groceries. Not enough food to last until the next paycheck.

Black Belt Magazine, The Bruce Lee Foundation, and Sifu Harinder Singh are calling all Martial Artists and School Owners to come together to Kick Off the New Year and unite to Kick Hunger Away. Let’s make #10000KICKS go viral.

Keep Reading Show less
Boxing
Shutterstock / Slatan
When we think of superheroes, it is likely that images come to mind of Superman flying high over Metropolis, Spider-Man swinging from wrist-spun webs, or any variety of lasers shooting from alien eyes, some kind of magic weaponry, or ancient mystical powers. However, some superheroes created their superpowers, such as Batman, Green Arrow, Nightwing, The Punisher, and more. They forged their formidable skills through rigorous training and relentless dedication. And we can all do that. Can’t we?
Keep Reading Show less