four six stance

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Postby kippo » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:46 pm

I would like to know if the back foot is really at 45 degrees? cuz, i have somes DVD of Dr. Yang and on each one of them, everytime he teaches us Si liu Bu (four-six) every one had the back foot with 0 degrees...

Even Dr. Yang on Taijiquan Classical doesn't have his back foot at 45 degrees...

Scuse me for my poor english, i m from Canada (French) :wink:
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Postby Tarandus » Wed May 09, 2007 4:14 pm

Tai Chi sword uses this stance. As mentioned elswhere here, the stance is 60% on the back foot, 40% on the front. It is an extremely versatile stance in Tai Chi sword. Also, in Western fencing, the 'en garde' position is similar. In his book on Taiji sword, classical Yang style, Master Yang says:

'This is one of the most versatile stances in Chinese martial arts. From this stance, the martial artist can switch into various techniques with relative ease. In this stance, 40 percent of the weight is on the front leg, while 60 percent is on the back leg. The knee of the front leg should be turned slightly inward, and be kept slightly bent. Never straighten the knee in this stance, because, if a kick were to land on the locked knee, it could easily break it. The front foot should be at a 15 degree angle inward. In addition, the back knee must be flexed and turned inward toward the groin. The back knee and the toes of the back foot should line up with each other. Otherwise, damage to the knee could result.'

As for pain in the back foot, this might in some cases be due to not turning the back foot out far enough. The back foot should be at 90 degrees to the front. Thus the angle between front and back feet is 75 degrees. The movement is difficult to judge because the difference in weighting is only 20 percent and it is easy to end up being double weighted, or alternatively, having too much weight on the back foot. Of the two, it is probably better to be weighted too much towards the rear than be double weighted. Kind regards, T.
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Postby darth_freak » Wed May 09, 2007 4:44 pm

can't visualise what you say with 90° to the front forming a 75° angle etc.

'thing is: try to keep you rear feet inward. Don't go beyond 90° out or 45° in. The higher you are on your stance, more inward should your feet be. Unless you're quite flexible with your waist, knees and ankles, it's gonna be hard to be smooth and relax with a 45° back feet while you're low.
Also keep in mind what's been said above: line up knee and feet.

Also, you'll realise that there're some move where you can't help being at 90° while with some being at 45° feels better...
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Postby Tarandus » Wed May 09, 2007 11:27 pm

Darth-freak: what I meant, was that, supposing you are facing North, then your back foot in the stance will be facing West and the front foot will be facing Nortnorth-West (or to put it in terms of a clockface, if you are facing towards 12, the back foot will be pointing towards 9 and the front foot will be orientated on a line parallel with 10, approximately). I hope this clarifies what I meant and this is what I meant by the angle between the back foot and the front one being 75 degrees. If you don't believe me, please consult Master Yang's book,
Taiji Sword, Classical Yang Style. Figure 2-13 on page 25 shows him in the Four-Six stance for Taiji sword. Kind regards, T.
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Postby Tarandus » Thu May 10, 2007 6:29 am

Oops. A mistake in my last posting. It was very late at night, and my brain wasn't functioning properly, obviously. I meant, on the clock analogy, that the front foot would be on a line parallel more or less with 11, not 10. Sorry about that. Kind regards, T.
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Postby SunTzu » Thu May 10, 2007 5:39 pm

Tarandus wrote:Darth-freak: what I meant, was that, supposing you are facing North, then your back foot in the stance will be facing West and the front foot will be facing Nortnorth-West (or to put it in terms of a clockface, if you are facing towards 12, the back foot will be pointing towards 9 and the front foot will be orientated on a line parallel with 10, approximately). I hope this clarifies what I meant and this is what I meant by the angle between the back foot and the front one being 75 degrees. If you don't believe me, please consult Master Yang's book,
Taiji Sword, Classical Yang Style. Figure 2-13 on page 25 shows him in the Four-Six stance for Taiji sword. Kind regards, T.


Also, there should be added that this is only the case with right leg in front, left leg in the rear. Otherwise it should be 1 o'clock (front left), 3 o'clock (rear right).

Plus, in my opinion, it doesn't matter which angle the rear (right in this case) leg has opposed to the front leg as long as it doesn't start to point backwards (ie. 91% and up) or too much to the front (ie. from about middle between 1 and 2 o'clock).
Bow and Arrow stance also has those two ways of doing the stance with the rear leg.
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Postby Tarandus » Thu May 10, 2007 7:02 pm

Quite so, Sun Tzu - (I'd assumed the reverse would be understood)! Though just a slight technical quibble: the right foot would be towards 3, and the left foot towards five past one! I agree too, about the degree of precision involved. After all, it's not as if one's going to be able to get a protractor out and mark out the floor positions with every move ... I don't think Master Yang means 15 degrees in precisely trigometrical terms. Kind regards, T.
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Postby SunTzu » Thu May 10, 2007 9:58 pm

T, I thought it would be wise to enter, because I can imagine some beginners could have a little trouble figuring it out.
For the rest, exactly my thoughts also. :)
Though, in combat it kind of depends on what you want to do. Depending on the angle of the hips/waist in relation to the front foot/eyes. In some cases it's better to have a 90 degree angle (back foot 3 or 9 o'clock) than a 45 degree angle (direction of the follow-up movement; more protection of certain points like the groin area etc.)
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Postby Tarandus » Fri May 11, 2007 10:15 am

Sun Tzu: I agree with this, and also I think there can be a difference in terms of how high the stance you are adopting. If it's a high stance, then arguably, more like 45 degrees is more appropriate for the back foot, but then the lower you go, the more the back foot should turn out towards 90 degrees. At least, this seems to help me, but I always do Tai Chi forms pretty low in any case. Kind regards, T.
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Postby Tarandus » Fri May 11, 2007 10:52 am

I thought I would just illustrate my point about the relationship between 4/6 stance and the 'En Garde' position in Western fencing. Here is an image of he 'En Garde' posiiton showing its remarkable similarity to the 4/6 stance - an obvious case of 'parallel evolution' as between Western and Chinese martial arts:

http://www.orgs.utulsa.edu/tufencing/lesson1.htm

However, the text here refers to the weight being evenly distributed on both legs. But this was not the way I was taught it at school. I was taught to have the weight a little more on the back foot, as in the 4/6 stance. I've found a passage on the web that confirms this:

9. Balance:
Did you find yourself falling over in practicing the lunge? This is a very common occurence for the beginning fencer. The first balance exercise is in the en garde position. The body weight should be centered just in front of the back foot. Try lifting up your forward leg and achieve balance. When you can do this easily, you will have properly centered your body for maximum balance. If the left shoulder is too far forward, there will be a tendency to fall to the left when lunging. A similar thing happens when the the shoulders are not in line with the leg, in which case the fencer tends to fall to the left in the lunge, and the point goes off target. Maintaining this position also reduces the open target area of the torso. At the end of the lunge, when the back arm is extending, adjust it in the opposite direction to which you may be falling in order to achieve balance.


You can see the very informative fencing site from which the quotation is taken here:

http://www.sword-play.net/techniquesII.htm

Kind regards, T.
'Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions. Live the questions now. You will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.' Rainer Maria Rilke.
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Postby Yue » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:23 pm

Hang on a minute. Conflicting sources. In an above post I remember reading that the back knee and the toes of the back foot should line up to avoid damaging the knee, but in the Long Fist book it shows Dr. Yang with his back foot turned out ninety degrees with the knee itself bent inward, so the knee and the toes don't align. This doesn't feel too good when I try it, so I figured I'd get some input before continuing training that stance.
Anything goes.
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