Hello, I wanted to start a thread to discuss an issue that I haven't found much information on:
the issue of vertical versus horizontal power. Like many martial arts enthusiasts, I was very much
attracted to the idea of "transcendent strength", "Huanyuan Li", or "Peng" that eastern martial arts,
particularly the so called internal arts, speak of as there goal in training. Like many, once I started to train I was very much
disappointed by the lack of such achievement in myself as well as most teachers I've met. I say most because
I have experienced strength which seems disproportionate to the size of the person wielding it, namely in the master Chen Zhonghua:

So to get to my point. It seems very few people in the martial arts are determined to use vertical power to deal with horizontal situations.
What does that mean? It means when you do a squat to lift up a heavy box, you are using the power you have to move vertically (down and then up)
to lift the heavy box. When you are pushing a car that has failed to start, you adjust your alignment in order to push with your legs through your arms
into the car. The adjustment is so that your bodies vertical power (ability to move down and up) can be applied to a horizontal conflict (your hands meet the car by moving horizontally in space).

Recently I saw this video of Haf■ˇr J˙lÝus Bj÷rnsson, walking with a log on his shoulders that weights over 1,000 pounds:

So we know, that the human body can have tremendous power in its vertical orientation. If there
was ever a mysterious and forgotten skill in the world of martial arts, it is the method of applying
vertical power to overcome horizontal conflicts. Thankfully it is really very simple and nearly every traditional form
contains all the necessary movements.

My advice is this: treat your stances as squats, dropping, rising. Drop like your going to sit on the ground (don't worry about your back bending forward, its natural)
rise to stand up. Your stances without moving horizontally in space should just be squats in the normal exercise sense. Two leg or one leg, stances should be squats. Stepping
method should be a normal step with a squat integrated. A slight squat or a deep squat, but still essentially a squat. Hand methods should not interfere with your squatting action.
once contact is made through the horizontal movement of the hand or body in space, the normally vertical power of rising from the squat can be applied diagonally through the contact

I hope this is some help to all of you out there who feel confused as to what traditional eastern martial arts (particularly the so called internal arts of China)
were trying to train when they invented all those strange postures. They only wanted to train vertical power (squats), but they wanted to be able to apply
that power to conflicts that arise horizontally ( conflicts with something around you, not above you or on your shoulders like Bj÷rnsson's log).