5 Main Kung Fu stances

16 September 2019

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What is Kung Fu?

Kung Fu is mostly referring to a type of Chinese martial arts and is also called Wushu and Quanfa in China. This type of martial arts isn’t just about fighting but is also about how you learn, study or practice. This requires a lot of patience, energy and a lot of time to complete. There are different types of Kung Fu branches such as Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi etc, these are practiced all over the world.

The different types of Kung Fu have different principles and techniques that make them unique but they are best known for their trickery and quickness.

Kung Fu in popular culture?

Over the years Kung Fu has evolved in popular culture, it was initially only seen in books and comics. Martial arts shows and movies have become very popular over the years with the rise of stars such as Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. 

When Bruce Lee came on to the Hollywood scene, he paved the way for martial arts in popular culture. The influence of Chinese Kung Fu helped to quicken the tempo of on screen fighting and slowed down the rhythm of daily exercise. These fighting sequences we see in the movies have been adapted around the world, for example, fights in Hong Kong movies usually have faster fighting scenes with shorter pauses and more elaborate staging.

There have been many films that have become a global success such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden dragon. There is more hand to hand combat sequences, even individual movements in films such as the matrix have reminiscent of Kung Fu. This film was choreographed by Yuen Woo- Ping who is an ace kung Fu choreographer.

Here are popular 5 Kung Fu stances:

  1. Horsestance – this is one of the main stances, the legs should be further than shoulder wide apart. Your body needs to be bent until you reach a 90 degrees angle; it’s like your sitting on an imaginary chair. In action theatre, you will be taught this to show discipline.
  2. Bow stance – for this stance you will need to move your body to one side. The front leg will stay in a higher angle than before and the toes will point forward. Keep your hips low and back leg and upper body straight.
  3. Lower stance – For this you need to go into a very wide horsestance but will put all your weight onto one leg. You will need to squat down as low as possible. This is usually used to avoid high attacks, sweeps and knee, groin and ankle attacks.
  4. Cat Stance – this is best for kicking attacks. You must pit all the weight onto the back leg with the front leg just slightly touching the ground like a cat paw. The stance should be low to a 90 degree angle.
  5. Crossed stance – this is a bit tricky to do; you must put one leg behind and twist down until you are kind of sitting on your back leg.

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Interested in Kung Fu? Want to see an action theatre near you? Check out Soul of Shaolin live in London theatre. Book your tickets for this martial arts show now!