SiFu presents the Bow and Arrow Stance – Shorten to Bow Stance
The subtleties of obtaining the correct posture of the Bow and Arrow stance and the movements back and forth as in Pecking Rooster (preps)and Opening the Chest while Riding a Horse (18 Tai Ji qigong).
From the drawings supplied with this I try to convey the finished posture by showing a caricature of Master Yang in a classic move of AN (Press). It shows him in a very long Bow Stance (I’ve shortened the title for convenience), if this is done correctly the balance and strength needed is considerable. For placing the heel down with the right foot without falling into it, one has to have a very low stance from the move before. This is not encouraged for beginners as Tai Ji Quan should be practised being level in the first instance with no bobbing up and down.
Balance is the objective and with the strength gained with regular practise plus good instruction both of these can be achieved by regularly going through the preps and the recently introduced 18 Tai Ji Qigong’s and many other Dao Yin to come.
The sketch I’ve drawn shows two postures of foot positions in the Horse Stance and Bow Stance, these are the mantra of TJQ. Understanding these and doing them without thought is the groundwork of the art, the canvas that has to be covered first with these movements, for without them you will never be in true balance.
Some students would have seen in a practical way the drawing I’ve produced, I’ve run to my bag of tricks and retrieved two shoe insoles and laid them on the floor just as the sketch, to highlight this, probably in their early days. From a true bow stance where the forward foot/leg has 70% weight with 30% on the trailing foot/leg, from this position one can move freely either forward or by retreating. By retreating I mean moving backwards on the same spot. This technique is performed by moving the hips backwards, thereby transferring the weight to enable the trailing foot/leg to have 70% weight on it and 30% on the front. In a martial situation if you don’t move the hips, your back will arch backwards and you will end up a heap on the floor. There is one other I didn’t mention that is the kua, this needs to be open as the weight moves back and forth. I am delighted to say a student’s remark during their feedback highlighted that I didn’t show a side view of opening the Chest etc. I DID IT ON PURPOSE, I wanted to see if anyone would mention it. The lady knows who she is, thank you, as it encouraged me to write and produce this article. I love feedback you will all get more from me if you ask questions and give me something, enabling me to give back to you.
Please look at the small film clip on this subject and if you have any comments please let me have them. The way I look at every student, is you are all potential instructors everyone has something to offer, this group is a family who have all benefited from this art – I’d like to shout this from the rooftops. So please value the Art and continue to support your instructors, it’s taken them over 20 years of hard work to get where they are now and it’s so rewarding for me to see how generous you are with such the lovely comments.