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Zhan Zhuang (站樁)


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#17 Green Tiger

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:32 AM

Green Tiger...
I am sorry, I did not make myself clear. When I say do ZZ with the knees bend at 15 degree, it has to be done for weeks or months before the next increment to 20 degree and so far. That was what I meant by progressive sequence.

You see we stand on our feet with the knee in a straight position all the time. They cannot take the stress if we bend our knees all the sudden. In order for the knees to take the stress, we must work them in slowly by standing with the knees bend at the lowest degree without hurting or damaging the tissues of the knees.

The purpose of Zhan Zhuang is to strengthen the legs muscles and the knee caps. The knee caps hold all the upper body weight while the lower legs is acting like a tree root to lock them to the ground to hold the body in place. I would like to go into more details about Zhan Zhuang in the following posts. However, I still love to hear more of your interesting ideas and questions to test my basic knowledge about ZZ.

PS...
I know you are taken up Tai Ji. Did your teacher tell you to bend your knees all the time while you're do the movements. Actually, when you bend your knees while moving, you were doing dynamic ZZ instead of static ZZ.


ChiDragon,

When standing freely and doing the tai chi form, I am still at about the 15 degree mark. And that's after three years of good training! I have been dealing with a back and knee issue that I sustained previously from a car accident, though, so my progress has been somewhat slow.

I've found that, in addition to standing freely like a post, it helps me to stand against a wall. I usually try to slowly slide my back down the wall and get into deeper knee bends, then feel for a while--press my back against the wall, and when I feel comfortable at one level I see if I can drop a little lower. I totally agree that you should not rush the progress. Pain and discomfort are signs that something is wrong with the alignment.
You may learn internal martial arts for health, but for fighting it's a little more difficult.
 
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#18 ChiDragon

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:49 PM

Green Tiger....

May I ask you when you slide your back down against the wall and get into deeper knee bends, did you move your feet forward too, so, the lower legs do not bend...??? In other words, are your ankles perpendicular to your feet...???
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#19 Green Tiger

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:17 PM

Green Tiger....

May I ask you when you slide your back down against the wall and get into deeper knee bends, did you move your feet forward too, so, the lower legs do not bend...??? In other words, are your ankles perpendicular to your feet...???


Yes, I adjust my feet as I reposition. I try to gauge it by the big toes, but I don't think that's an especially accurate measurement. I also try to FEEL the ankle, looking for comfort and stability.
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#20 ChiDragon

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:31 AM

It was recommended, in Zhan Zhuang for beginners, not to have the knees pass the toes. It's better to stay in between the toes and the ankle. It is best to have the lower leg perpendicular to the ankle. The reason for that was when the knee bends, only stress was placed on the upper part of the knee cap and less stress on the lower. Therefore, the practitioner will feel less pain. The most painful situation was when the knees were passed the toes mark. Hence, the upper and lower parts of the knees are pulling each other causing a very stressful pain.
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#21 ChiDragon

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 01:29 PM

Let's discuss some of the fine details on ZZ from a point of view with a novice. With the body standing straight up vertically, imagining that there is a vertical plane cut through the body from the head to the ankles. Now, let's the upper leg bend 15 degree with the Vertical, what will happen if the knees did not lean forward...??? In the event, the buttock tends to lower to the ground and to body weight was shifting behind the vertical plane and causing the body to be off balance and fall to the ground. It's important to know that by leaning the knees forward, in front of the plane, will counterbalance the weight behind the plane to prevent the body from falling off.

Have you ever thought of the weight of the lower legs are much lighter than the total weight of the upper legs and the body....??? The weights of the lower legs are not suffice to counterbalance the weight of the upper body. It was a force exerted by the muscles of the lower leg acting through the feet into the ground to hold the whole body in place. In physics, it was known as taken the movement about a point.

Please keep in mind the force exerted by the lower legs. It is the key to understand Zhan Zhuang.
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#22 mYTHmAKER

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 02:21 PM

Let's discuss some of the fine details on ZZ from a point of view with a novice. With the body standing straight up vertically, imagining that there is a vertical plane cut through the body from the head to the ankles. Now, let's the upper leg bend 15 degree with the Vertical, what will happen if the knees did not lean forward...??? In the event, the buttock tends to lower to the ground and to body weight was shifting behind the vertical plane and causing the body to be off balance and fall to the ground. It's important to know that by leaning the knees forward, in front of the plane, will counterbalance the weight behind the plane to prevent the body from falling off.

Have you ever thought of the weight of the lower legs are much lighter than the total weight of the upper legs and the body....??? The weights of the lower legs are not suffice to counterbalance the weight of the upper body. It was a force exerted by the muscles of the lower leg acting through the feet into the ground to hold the whole body in place. In physics, it was known as taken the movement about a point.

Please keep in mind the force exerted by the lower legs. It is the key to understand Zhan Zhuang.


At some point in your practice you should be able to stand facing a wall (feet shoulder width apart - more advanced feet together) with your feet one inch from the wall and squat all the way to the floor and come up
without falling over. :) BTW this is not Zhan Zhuang. So in Zhan Zhuang one should not extend the knees forward or be unbalanced.
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#23 ChiDragon

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 02:26 PM

Are you talking about a novice....??? Please read carefully.... ;)
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#24 ChiDragon

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 02:51 PM

At some point in your practice you should be able to stand facing a wall (feet shoulder width apart - more advanced feet together) with your feet one inch from the wall and squat all the way to the floor and come up
without falling over. :) BTW this is not Zhan Zhuang. So in Zhan Zhuang one should not extend the knees forward or be unbalanced.


Just for my curiosity, if the feet are not touching the wall, why bother to stand one inch away from the wall...??? It sounds to me one can stand anywhere to accomplish what you were describing. If you say the toes has to touch the wall, then I can understand the wall has to be there..... ;)
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#25 mYTHmAKER

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 03:12 PM

Just for my curiosity, if the feet are not touching the wall, why bother to stand one inch away from the wall...??? It sounds to me one can stand anywhere to accomplish what you were describing. If you say the toes has to touch the wall, then I can understand the wall has to be there..... ;)


Did you try it?
I should have added that your nose touches the wall and stays in contact with it all the way down.
The purpose of the wall is to limit the forward movement of your knees.
You can also do it with a plumb line keeping your nose aligned as you squat and not allowing the plumb line to move forward/
I was making it easy - better to do it with feet touching the wall. :)

Edited by mYTHmAKER, 27 May 2012 - 03:12 PM.

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#26 spiraltao

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 05:09 PM

OPINIONS ON THIS?



In regards to how the bottom of the foot shuld lay on the ground in "proper" ZZ practice, according to how I understand "The Way of Power" Master Lam Kam Chuen (in my summary) that the more advanced one gets the more the weight should shift to the front "triangle" of the foot. Also, one is to begin with a triangle formed from the ankle to the big toe to the mid part of the heel is optimal.

He also states the more one works on the "small triangle" (on the ball of the foot-the shen), it unlocks the secrets to Da Cheng Chuan.


Interesting that Sifu Lao Xie Matsuo stresses staying on the ball of the foot to maximize speed and raise vibrational frequency in baguazhang.

Edited by jaysahnztao, 27 May 2012 - 05:10 PM.

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#27 ChiDragon

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 06:07 PM

OPINIONS ON THIS?



In regards to how the bottom of the foot shuld lay on the ground in "proper" ZZ practice, according to how I understand "The Way of Power" Master Lam Kam Chuen (in my summary) that (1) the more advanced one gets the more the weight should shift to the front "triangle" of the foot. Also, (2) one is to begin with a triangle formed from the ankle to the big toe to the mid part of the heel is optimal.


(1) More weight toward the front is for a novice.
(2) That is for an intermediate.

It is harder to balance oneself if one was to shift more weights to the rear or the lower legs are perpendicular to the ankles. In other words, the farther the knees move toward the ankle, the more force has to be exerted by the lower legs and the feet to anchor the body to the ground. The force exerted by the lower legs and feet was known as Fa Jin. Thus it is the Jin that was holding the whole body in place. Indeed, the purpose of ZZ was to build up the muscle tone mostly for the lower legs and feet to Fa Jin. The Fa Jin is equivalent to adding more weight to the lower legs and feet to counteract the weight of the upper body.
靜觀其變 以靜制動
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Handle adversity with calmness

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