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Zhàn Zhuāng: A POWERFUL Method for Martial Arts and Health

 Zhàn Zhuāng: A POWERFUL Method for Martial Arts and Health

What is Zhàn Zhuāng 站樁?

It is the concept of standing in a particular stance and adhering to certain principles.

Zhàn Zhuāng is an ancient health practice from China. There was a an integration of these methods in Traditional Chinese Martial Arts with the creation of various forms. Regardless of form, the principles of Zhàn Zhuāng are usually the same.

This post, we will go in depth on discussing essential points, so that people may practice this on their own.

A good book to read on this practice, is the book titled, Zhan Zhuang: The Art of Nourishing Life”-Dr. Yu Nian Yong Yu.

Disclaimer:

The author and deadlyduels.com, including any associates. ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE in any manner whatsoever for any injury or negative effects, which may occur through following the instructions and advice, contained herein.

It is recommended that before you engage in any treatment or exercise program, you consult your medical professional to determine whether you should undertake this course of practice.

Essential Points of Zhàn Zhuāng 站樁::

Top of body

  • Place the top of the tongue up, gently touching the top of the mouth behind the top teeth.
  • Imagine the top of the head has a string and there is a slight pull. Simultaneously keep the nape of your neck straight and the chin is neither too tucked in nor sticking out. It is in between the two extremes.
  • Next is to “sink the chest”-this means relaxing or dropping the centre point area between your chest or the sternum area. You drop or relax it down by a few millimetres and this will then slightly raise and round the upper back.
Middle of the body
  • Tuck in the coccyx as if you about to sit and therefore your buttocks should not stick out.
  • Relax the hips and waist and let go of any tension in the muscles by relaxing the tendons, sinews, or ligaments. Relax all the joints.
  • Place the feet a shoulder width apart-within the length of the shoulders and not wider than the shoulders.
Lower body
  • The feet are straight and slightly face inwards, with the knees bent and slightly face each other. This allows the hips and waist to relax.
  • The weight distribution is equal on both feet, from the heel to the ball of each foot.
  • Place your hands to the side with the middle fingers touching the centre of the thigh and the elbows are slightly bent relaxing the shoulders and wrists for no tensions to be held. This posture is known as Wuji (no extremity).
  • First revise your body structure and then your mind, so with stress and everyday life, your thoughts will be scattered, and you will be thinking of many things. Acknowledge your thoughts and whatever may arise during the exercise and let them go, your worries etc and this may contribute to you feeling tension. Therefore, refer to adjusting your body structure.
  • So, you regulate your body and then your mind.
  • Next is regulating your breath, for this exercise you breath below the lower abdomen, what this means is your intent (mind regulation) should be below you belly button. And when you inhale gently allow this to expand. And when you exhale allow the area that has expanded to gently contract. Should it expand slightly it fine, do not force it. With time it gets bigger (the expansion). Keep your intent in that area and then further below into the ground as you breath.
  • The next posture is known as “Chen Bao” or hugging the tree, you raise your hands from the Wuji posture, and as if you are hugging somebody.
  • All the joints of your hands are softened and facing each other, the inside of your hands face the centre of your sternum. Your elbows are rounded and facing down, to relax the shoulders. You maintain the same shape whether in the Chen Bao or Wuji posture (a rounded shape).
  • With the eyes you can close it or keep them open, lowering the eyes to gaze at a 45 angle.
  • Relax your thumbs and do not have them sticking out. The reason is to open an acupoint known as “He Gu” tiger’s mouth, it is located between the thumb and the forefinger. Some lineages have the thumbs up.

VIDEO OF Zhàn Zhuāng

  Zhàn Zhuāng: A POWERFUL Method for Martial Arts and Health

Benefits of Zhàn Zhuāng 站樁 for Martial Arts and Health:

For martial arts, Zhàn Zhuāng will encourage more harmonious motion. And this is the co-ordination of the lower body and upper body moving as one. It will improve things like your striking or issuing of power. It aids in understanding the concept of liù hé 六合, six harmonies or combinations.

Zhàn Zhuāng: A POWERFUL Method for Martial Arts and Health

Benefits of Zhàn Zhuāng 站樁 for Martial Arts and Health:

For martial arts, Zhàn Zhuāng will encourage more harmonious motion. And as a result there is a co-ordination of the lower body and upper body moving as one. So this will improve your striking and issuing of power. And this harmonisation aids in understanding the concept of liù hé 六合, six harmonies or combinations.

In terms of health, it has many benefits. The fusion of the mind and the body aspect. And in simple terms Zhàn Zhuāng literally over time keeps one grounded. The released tension from the muscles and joints makes one more flexible and elastic. This is where the martial and health aspect combine.

Follow me on my journey of 100 days of Zhàn Zhuāng here in the secret forum! 

 Zhàn Zhuāng 站樁 Conclusion:

When you feel empty, calm and focused from the Wuji posture you may go into the Chen Bao posture. And also known as “Hun Yuan” smooth and rounded.

Through out this exercise you weirdly feel tension build up and especially in the hugging of the tree posture. In the beginning try and hold the posture (Chen Bao) for at least a minute. And gradually build it up, if the tension is unbearable then go back to the Wuji posture.

And this standing meditation allows you to combine the main joints of the feet, knees and hips-waist area with the hands, elbows and shoulders. As a result, the feet pair with the hands, elbows with the knees and the hips-waist with the shoulders.

So, the three main joints of below direct or command the above three. And martially this results in better coordination of movement, improving in efficacy and effectiveness and much more.

So for health, one gradually feels more relaxed and literally grounded. And thus improving blood flow and this is allowing for the letting go of tension. If you are a fighter this exercise will improve your performance over time. And if you are an everyday person its benefits will improve your daily life.

However, like any exercise it may harm you and if not done properly and if you suffer from high blood pressure, do not sit too low.

Written by Narcisse Sadi, Tudi (student) of Dr Jeff Lan, certified (by the International Health Qigong Federation) 1stDuan Health Qi Gong and certified (by Dr Jeff Lan) 1st Duan Yang Style (Cheng Man Ching lineage) Tai Chi Chuan Instructor.

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