Hips

Hips

Postby Audi » Sun Mar 18, 2001 1:00 am

Should the hips remain relatively level throughout the form? I have noticed that as I have tried to lengthen my steps, I have developed a habit of spiraling my hips to increase my forward reach.

Audi
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Postby Michael » Sun Mar 18, 2001 5:16 pm

Audi, good question. Some say that it is the head that should not rise. In trying to take longer steps one must lower the other positions also---or so i have been taught. I think if one hip rises the other must lower before they even out again. This keeps the head at the same level and you do not actually rise up. If something goes up, something must go down....But what the Yang family actually teaches on this i would be interested in hearing. This is another question which i will plague my poor teacher with.

This (the hip that rises, not the head) is important in a hand technique that is used straight ahead and down with a step. Sinking in the supporting leg and even more in the hip(to level them) at the same time delivers twice the power. Throw in waist and you have even more. Though this type of technique is not obvious in the set. In application, due to the actions of the opponent, this can be useful. I'd have to experiment more, but in actions like turn and chop with fist this may apply.
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Postby Audi » Sun Mar 18, 2001 5:29 pm

Michael,

Thanks for your reply. I have heard that what I do is actually advocated as an expression of silk reeling energy and "rotating the dan tian." I can see how it might be helpful, but am leery about mixing and matching practices without knowing what I am doing. Hence, I posted my question in this forum to see what the official Yang Style position on this was without getting answers oriented toward other styles.

By the way I agree completely that moving the hips in this fashion means that as one moves down, the other must rotate up.

As I have looked on the video tape of the Yang's, it is hard to see what they are doing because of their uniforms. Even if I could observe it, I am not sure if I could be sure about what they are doing internally.

Do you keep your hips level in performing your Yang Style form?

Audi
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Postby Michael » Sun Mar 18, 2001 7:48 pm

Audi, yes i do for the most part train to keep the hips level throughout My Yang family set. That is what I have been taught--and I may have misunderstood part of this teaching.
In completion of technique (a postures "end") the hips are always level as we know. I do not know if it is mandatory in ALL transition. For the most part it seems to adventageous to do so, except in a situation like the one I described earlier.

To raise a hip could seriously affect your root some of the time(opposite hip dropping at he same time of course) leaving one more vulnerable. I will focus on this in my practice later in the day.

I also do not wish to introduce anything inappropriate into my practice and it's structure, thereby possibly lessening it's effectiveness(as i indicated in my last post on leaning).

I would be very interested in what Jerry or Yang Jun, or others have to say about this.



[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 03-18-2001).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Mar 19, 2001 2:05 am

Audi,

It's my understanding that the hips should stay level throughout, or at least you should strive toward that. I don't think it is a good idea to allow the hips to go out of level in order to stretch for a longer stance. I think in general you will find it more comfortable, more powerful, and easier to transition to the next move if you keep them level pretty much all the time. I will ask Yang Jun to speak about this, but it will probably be a couple of weeks before I can give you his reply.

On a somewhat related topic, a lot of people try to have a very long stance in order to allow their form to go lower. Beware of this. It's important to be able to pick up the feet nimbly. If you cheat and go long, it might be at the expense of nimbleness in picking up the feet.

One point I have noticed recently, a corollary to the empty step weighting question, is that many people have problems with 'low form' (snake creeps down) because they have too much weight on the back foot. If you leave plenty of weight on the front and don't withdraw so far, it will work better and you can go low comfortably. Look carefully at the drawing on the top of each page of the bulletin board. The center of Yang Chengfu's torso is well in front of his back foot (and even in the drawing you can see that his hips are level). I have made it a rule lately for the low form to stick with the principles, trying for correctness, not lowness, and just go as low as is comfortable. On the first round this is seldom very low for me. On the second round, lower. On the third round I am relaxed and extended and it becomes quite low.

Take care,

Jerry
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Postby Michael » Mon Mar 19, 2001 4:46 am

Jerry your words confirm what I have been taught about the level hips. You are right about the comfort in movement once the strength and stability is achieved.

i also would agree with what you say concerning the deeper stance. But why one chooses to practice a deeper stance is important. If it is to develop leg strength it has value (it is better than squats), but it is not the way to consistently perform the set. Jerry, your concerns about movement are right on target.

And thank you Jerry for answering part of the next question I was thinking of posting. I have been wondering if it was more important to achieve the "depth" in Snake creeps down with it's resulting large lean and the heavily weighted rear leg that occurs for many of us, or to keep a little bit more upright and not go down as far, having the weight a little bit farther forward--just as in the above picture. Most practitioners and teachers i have seen seemed to be mostly concerned with getting as low as possible. I always felt a little less stable and less able to adjust as smoothly down that low--not to mention protecting my knee.

Thanks


[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 03-18-2001).]
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