Thursday, April 22, 2010

"On Guard" Stance: Raise Hands vs. San Ti

Yang Chengfu in "Raise Hands"

Back in February we took a long look at the "On Guard" stance in Tai Chi Chuan. In that post, various instructors gave their opinions on what position or "Stance" gives the best pre-attack protection for students of Tai Chi Chuan.
Opinions varied, but "Raise Hands" or some variation of that posture was suggested the most.
Here's where we can see a difference in "Intent" between Tai Chi Chuan and Xingyi. Looking at the picture of Yang Chengfu above, we see that his stance in "Raise Hands" is back-weighted, front leg "empty" and ready to kick if necessary. The arms are held high, as if to join with the attack and neutralize.
Now let's take a look at the "San Ti" stance from Xingyi (also Pi Chuan, or "splitting fist"):

Note that the weight distribution is more forward, with the back leg spring-loaded and ready to drive the body into the opponent; to "occupy" his space. The front hand is held fairly high to check an incoming punch, the rear hand held at the Dantien to protect the center and groin.
In my opinion, I think these two stances reflect the "Intent" of the two arts. Tai Chi Chuan is more likely to respond to the attacker, attempt to neutralize and control the opponent.
The Xingyi San Ti appears to be ready to punch the other guys lights out.
Now, both these arts are still using internal principles and Xingyi does attempt to neutralize, but Xingyi is more likely to hit first. Just my opinion...

Xingyi Bear Form:

Coming soon:
Thoughts from myself and Chris Dow, author of "The Wellspring" on elements of "Martial Shapes", and just what makes internal arts different than hard-style arts.

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