horse stance training

Discuss shaolin longfist, white crane or other styles. Theory, practice and applications. Please stay on topic.

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Postby Crane_Fighter » Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:02 pm

In my class whilst in horse stance we get kicked on the inside, outside, lower and upper parts of the leg to build endurance in our stances. :twisted:
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Postby mookie » Sun Aug 07, 2005 11:09 am

You guys are way too nice, Grump43 needs a good lashing for his question. Isometric exercises, in this case the horse stance utilize a completely different metabolic system than do moving exercises ie. squats. Masters across the ages have determined this system, the one used in isometrics, is crucial in proper performance of kung fu fighting and form work. If Grump43 has not done the horse stance training I can't really explain the benefits, except that you can run a two to four hundred meter sprint alot easier and faster just to name one. I can explain the consequences of not doing it, you'll look like a complete ****ing amatuer for the rest of your life no matter how long and hard you study kung fu! Your back will not be straight, your breathing will be shallow (breathing technique is the crux of this exercise), and your legs will look rickity and weak. You'll look like a buffoon TRYING to do martial art. Grump43, stop whatever training your doing for at least a month and train your horse stance deeply and often. If your knees are sore you should rub them before you begin training with your palms. Create a warm sensation and use a circular motion in the rubbing. Next put your feet together and with your hands on your knees rotate the two knees in first small then larger circles. Always warm up properly.
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horse stance

Postby dc » Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:00 am

mookie, i think you're a little over the top with your comments. horse stance is important, but it is, by no stretch of the imagination, as important as you say. though a good way of training leg strength and mid-range endurance, it's definitely not the only way.

as for squats - aside from the endurance issue - they can accomplish the same goals as horse stance if done correctly. rooting, knee/leg strength, and connective tissue stability will all show improvement, perhaps even more improvement than with horse stance.

professional wushu teams in china practice almost no horse stance...perhaps none at all, and i'm pretty sure that they have more power, better stances, and balance than all present. instead they tailor their weightlifting routines to achieve the greatest gains.
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Postby mookie » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:04 pm

I was squatting 565 lbs. sets of 8. for 8 sets, at 165 pounds, in the late 90's. My leg strength was garbage compared to what it is now. There is no overstating the importance of this training. Wushu
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Postby Flip » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:23 pm

one other thing to remember is that the horse stance training that develops tremendous strength is quite intense. It is uncommon for people to do horse stance for 2 hours or longer but this is what is being spoken of.

no amount of squats w/ any amount of weight can train your legs/body/spirit for this.
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Postby Crane_Fighter » Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:09 am

My teacher says that body building with weights is useless and all it does is created rigidity in the body making you slow and not flexible, also you are not as fluid...

One needs to be quick and flexible in the arts and only natural exercise can achieve this...

Body building is only for show on the outside, The arts build strength inside..

I cant image holding horse stance for over 5 mins as my legs start to shake and really hurt!!

Whilst in horse stance I practice punch, strike combos or try opening and closing my hands as quick as poss to pass the time...

I must say that in my experience horse does build endurance, but if you want a good strength builder try Frog Hops over a distance... :wink:
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Postby mookie » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:36 am

I like the frog hops too. I do them with the Jump shoes alot. As far as doing punches and so forth while practicing your horse stance, it takes focus off your breathing and makes the exercise easier. Its better to put your hands in a Child Worship Buddha position, this keeps you more focused and when the pain gets unbearable you can press your palms together as a distraction. JMHO
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horse stance

Postby dc » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:42 am

mookie wrote:I was squatting 565 lbs. sets of 8. for 8 sets, at 165 pounds, in the late 90's. My leg strength was garbage compared to what it is now. There is no overstating the importance of this training.


thats pretty intense. are you telling me that you could squat more weight than that now just because you have been practicing horse stance? i'm guessing that you are talking about endurance in lieu of raw strength. in that case, yes, it is much better; however, horse stance is not the sole way of training said "strength."

in reference to crane_fighter's comments, weight lifting only makes you slow and unflexable if done improperly. i've met many people - mostly traditional wushu people - who have a certain prejudice against lifting though they have never done it themselves. again, i will point you to my example of chinese contemporary wushu teams in my previous post. furthermore, i myself have been lifting weights for about 6 years now, and i am sorry to disappoint, but am not huge, slow, nor inflexible.

that being said, unfocused weightlifting IS useless. if you just go out there, stack on as many plates as possible, and go to, that is not the best way to go about things. lastly, i don't hate horse stance; after a little loosening up, i've found no better way to warm-up the legs in 5 min. while also building endurance and will.
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Postby mookie » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:40 am

If I did anything over 450 now I'd probably blow an O-ring. You are right I meant endurance strength...sort of. I meant functional leg strength for things like getting up from a seated postion, carrying dren out of the garage, pushing my car when it runs out of gas ect. Its not exactly endurance I've done some marathon running as well and that's endurance strength to me but not really any good for martial art or doing much of anything else but running a really really long way. On the other hand being able to run a really really long way can get you out of a lot of trouble spots.
Thanks dc for mentioning something that really has troubled me in martial arts circles. People bash on lifting wieghts and say what it does to you and they've never done any of it. Don't knock it till you try it right?
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Postby Hephaestus » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:59 am

As I understand it, weight-lifting in itself will not make you huge, slow, and inflexible.
However, bodybuilding probably will, bodybuilding implying a specialized super-protein diet (as well as other factors) that will make you huge and slow and inflexible, crammed up with muscle that isn't even necessary (and is mostly useless for anything but lifting weight, as its entirely slow-twitch fiber).
Simple weightlifting does not have the "hugeness" effect unless you have a one-in-a-million metabolism. When considerable attention is paid to full-body stretching, it won't make you inflexible. And when coupled with plyometric exercises, those built up slow-twitch fibers work together with your strong fast-twitch fibers to make a very balanced (and very functional) combination.
Sorry to commandeer the thread a bit, but next time someone starts arguing about how terrible weightlifting is, just remind them of the difference between weightlifting and bodybuilding. :)
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Postby Crane_Fighter » Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:27 pm

I have to inform you that when I speak of horse stance I only refer to lower horse stance as it's all I do..

Mookie that praying hands sounds good ill give it a try!!! :)
Maybe some dynamic tension exercising would be good??

I hope one day to achieve the one legged praying stance in which you rest one foot on the opposite knee..
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lifting

Postby dc » Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:25 am

ci...love the low horse stance.

although, isn't horse stance with legs parallel actually squat stance?
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Postby Crane_Fighter » Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:06 pm

Dont know about any squat stance.. Only been described as lower horse.

You could well be right dc?? 8)
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Postby scramasax57 » Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:38 pm

what's in a name?

i've also heard squat stance used to describe the stance similar to false stance but with the feet together.
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t-stance

Postby dc » Sun Aug 14, 2005 5:40 pm

the stance thats like false stance with feet close is actually t-stance. i'm pretty sure according to the longfist book, squat stance is just like ma bu but with legs parallel.
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Postby Blarg » Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:03 pm

Hephaestus wrote:As I understand it, weight-lifting in itself will not make you huge, slow, and inflexible.
However, bodybuilding probably will, bodybuilding implying a specialized super-protein diet (as well as other factors) that will make you huge and slow and inflexible, crammed up with muscle that isn't even necessary (and is mostly useless for anything but lifting weight, as its entirely slow-twitch fiber).
Simple weightlifting does not have the "hugeness" effect unless you have a one-in-a-million metabolism. When considerable attention is paid to full-body stretching, it won't make you inflexible. And when coupled with plyometric exercises, those built up slow-twitch fibers work together with your strong fast-twitch fibers to make a very balanced (and very functional) combination.
Sorry to commandeer the thread a bit, but next time someone starts arguing about how terrible weightlifting is, just remind them of the difference between weightlifting and bodybuilding. :)


This is very true. Go to a place like t-nation and you'll see that weightlifting has many more dimensions than typically assigned it by martial artists. There are ways to build strength without adding mass(few repetitions, few sets, don't work to exhaustiion, no great increase in food consumption), ways to build endurance but little size(light weights done ad infinitum), ways to build mass with strength(medium repetitions, medium number of sets, gigantic increase in eating), and ways to build mass with less strength(far more repetitions and sets, plenty of isolation exercises, gigantic increase in eating). So you see, you can just pick your training style to match your chosen goal. Only the rare person has the genetics to put on huge amounts of muscle without specifically training for it, especially quickly. And even they have to have a calorie excess to do it; nobody can conjure the calories or nitrogen balance to build muscle from thin air. So unless food intake is significantly increased, forget the mass. Yet you may still get the strength!

Also, Arnold Schwartzenegger said that though people always say weightlifters are stiff and inflexible, he was always able to put his hands behind the middle of his(huge) back, fingers pointing up, and press his palms together. Many very skinny martial artists couldn't do the same.

It really depends how you train.

Remember, too, that if you were to see a martial artist who obtained a large or muscular body from simple genetic heritage, you wouldn't write off his ability to be flexible or quick just because he wasn't slender.

And remember also that many great internal martial artists came to the internal arts, or indeed were only accepted as students in the internal arts, after they had built strong and sometimes correspondingly large bodies through learning external styles.

We can't confuse tendencies for reality. Sure, most people will tend not to keep up on their flexibility, and weightlifing can quickly start that downhill process off or make it worse But a tendency doesn't mean the deed has already been done.
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