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        Footwork and Stances

Stance Training and its accompanying footwork is critical to a strong foundation, and is so necessary for the basic, as well and advanced techniques of Kung-Fu San Soo.  For technique, without disciplined, controlled stance work is rarely rapid, powerful or exacting. Balance and its maintenance is the result of stance integrity and proper integration of upper and lower body movement.  With lots of practice, utilizing proper stepping and shifting, the student develops a reliable, fluid and varied technique. So the San Soo fighter is literally assembled from the ground, up. Quality control is realized by a carefully crafted and evolving curriculum, expert guidance and hard work.   

The San Soo practitioner is the product of a disciplined and focused process consisting of lessons, examples, explanations and precision workouts. These requisite procedures quite literally mold and shape the disciple.  All this, of course, is strictly, necessary for the development of a strong, but flexible foundational underpinning, which is, by continuing this same analogy, built brick by brick and piece by piece. Failing this, we build a house of cards which is destined to lean, sway and ultimately topple.



The Basic 8 Exercise


Note:  All rotating is done on the balls of the feet. Feet do not move at the same time.  When one foot moves, the other is at rest.  During the exercise, the hip remains level and does not bob up and down.

The exercise begins from set position, hands on hips.  The heels of the feet are touching and the feet form a "V". 

1.     Su Ping Ma  (Full or Center Horse Stance)

From set position, pick up the right foot and move it in a clockwise arc, putting it down, to your right, at a point, just past your right shoulder.  Next, move the left foot in a counter clockwise arc, placing it at a point just past your left shoulder.  The toes of the feet remain pointed at a 30 degree angle to each side.  Proper horse distance is 28 - 30 inches.

2.     Ando Ma  (Half Horse Stance)

Turn the hips and right foot counter clockwise, to your left, until the right foot points about 35 degrees right of the line of your heels.  During the execution of this movement, the left foot for the most part, remains stationary but is allowed to adjust slightly in a counter -clockwise direction.  The left foot’s final position is also about 35 degrees with respect to the line of the heels, or parallel to the right foot.

3.     El Ma  (Kick Stance)

Move the hips, back, over the right foot, allowing the right leg to bend at the knee. Draw your left foot back, putting the left toes down very slightly ahead of the right toes. All weight is on the rear leg.

4.     Deem Ma  (Slide Stance)

From the kick stance, move the left foot to a point about a horse and one-half ahead of the right foot. The left foot travels in a slight clockwise arc, and the left toes will be pointing about 35 degrees to the right. Now, pull the back leg up till the legs are, again, one horse distance apart. Be sure that the right foot points about 20 degrees right of the line of your heels.

5.     New Do Ma  (Cross Stance)

Swing the right foot in a counter clockwise arc placing the right foot, on line, ahead of the left foot. The right toes point about 60 degree to the right. As the right foot makes contact, the left knee bends, moves forward and comes to rest, touching the top of the right calf. The left big toe points slightly right of the right big toe.

6.     Jona Ma  (Turning Horse)

Rotate the upper body 90 degrees, counter clockwise, and allow the left foot to rotate on its ball, at the same time. The hips and foot turn until the left foot is nearly parallel to the right foot. Like the plie (plee-ay) position in ballet. As you are doing this, do not allow the right foot to move. As you set the weight on the left foot, now, begin to rotate the right foot, counter clockwise on the ball, about 105 degrees, until a Su Ping Ma is formed.

7.     Bing Guy Ma   (Kneeling Stance)

Continue twisting counter clockwise turning the right knee down down. The left foot does not move!  The right foot rotates until the right foot points about 20 degrees right of the line of your heels. At the same time bend and drop the knee half way down toward a point between the legs.

8.     Shum Gak Ma  (Triangle Stance)

Draw the right foot to the point, between the legs, that the right knee was hovering above. This is located half way between the two feet. Then step straight. The horse (line of the heels) will be angled about 45 degrees to the right.

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