Zhuang Fa (Standing Methods) Practice

Zhuang Fa (Standing Methods) Practice

Standing Meditation composes 70% to 90% of our Training Method

Zhan Zhuang, or standing meditation, is the foundation of all training taught by Shifu Victor Chao. Zhan Zhuang translates as “standing like a post” but there is a lot going on inside. The body rises and falls with a natural breathing process and the joints are constantly checked and aligned. In the beginning, this is the students main training until the joints begin work with each other.

Six Harmonies Theory

The 6 harmonies is a framework for coordinating the body, mind and energy together for maximum leverage. In one form or another, the 6 harmonies underly most internal Chinese martial arts. Without the 6 harmonies, you are either going to rely more on muscular strength as in the shoalin, karate and boxing type arts or you are practicing an internal martial art without any power and it won’t work against a well trained fighter from another style.

The Three External Harmonies in Zhan Zhang Practice

Shifu Chao’s method emphasizes training the three harmonies first. The are sometimes called the three external harmonies which are are; hands coordinate with feet, knees  coordinate with elbows, hips coordinate with shoulders.

Even this process is complex and Shifu Chao breaks it down into the following samller steps:

  1. Start in whatever posture you are working on and nail your foot to the ground at the big toe.
  2. Next, you learn to connect this weighted point with your knee.
  3. The weight path then goes up the inside leg from the knee then works with the kua, (hips / pelvis / Tan Tien)  and sacrum.
  4. After that, you can begin up the back to the shoulders, elbows, head, chest and hands.

The lower body usually requires a few months until the calf and other leg muscles get strong enough to support everything on top. This training is strenuous and uncomfortable, especially at first. It doesn’t really get much easier even when your leg muscles start to develop, you can just hold it for longer and go lower/higher/wider with more power.

If a student sticks with standing practice they will experience various benefits come at different stages. As mentioned it will first improve your leg strength and balance, after that it begins to release stuck areas, where we habitually hold tension. This is great for building health, correcting old posture habits, even those caused by injuries. Stacked with the pre heaven palm training, Zhan Zhaung it makes a great general health practice.

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