View Full Version : Stance Rooting

04-15-2000, 12:57 PM
Does anyone have any information or pointers on the theory of "rooting" in stance training? I've seen in Wing Chun and Hung Gar, creating immovable stances. How can one practice that? Please help......

-A fighter with no foundation is an inefficient fighter

Paul Skrypichayko
04-15-2000, 01:22 PM
I cannot perform rooting myself, but I have a vague idea of what is envolved.

The muscle power is almost no factor at all in this. The main thing is that the channels of your body are open, and you can absorb the "earth" energy and the "cosmic" energy, while rooting your energy into the ground. For this you must increase the electric capacity of your body's meridians and channels. You must be able to generate good internal energy, and you must learn how to send it all over your body, and finally oustide of your body, into the ground.

Good luck learning this through the internet. I would recommend finding a master who can do at least some basic rooting, and learn from him.

This might enhance your interest, but the best rooting I have ever heard about was from one master who practiced publicly in a park in Xian, China. The main training he did was qi cultivation through stance training. (the stance is not like horse stance, but more like a relaxed stance with your feet shoulder width apart, also called, Yee Ji stance). When he displayed his skill, 20 people could not move him.

04-15-2000, 03:32 PM
I would agree that learning on your own is not the best route to travel. However, rooting has more to do with proper body alignment and structure than anything else. Think of you body as a chain and you must link all of the pieces together to form on piece. However, this is not doen on a completely straight line. There is some infor out there on some Neija sites and you can also check on the Internal thread for greater detail.

I think you may missunderstand some of the Wing Chun concepts. You may develope a strong stance and root but the object of Wing Chun is never to resist force. If my opponenet gives me too much energy I owuld rather move out of the way. Root is important but not with the goal of being "immovable".

You may want to check out the following links for some more info relavent to Wing Chun. The auther is Robert Chu and he has a reputation for developing good root with his students. Click on columns and choose Wandering Knights



Paul Skrypichayko
04-15-2000, 08:37 PM
Sihing, I think you are talking more about foundation, as opposed to the art of rooting, or immobility.

A good foundation is more important, and much more realistic than aquiring a qigong skill like rooting.

04-15-2000, 10:16 PM
Hi Paaul,

Well some Wing Chun people would refer to a strong foundation as their root. The goal being to be able to pass force down to the ground through the use of proper body alignment/structure. Sifu Chu has written an article wherein he describes some structure tests to measure your ability to "root". The goal being able to transmit force from a solid grounding and to be able to absorb an opponets energy without losing your own structure. This is how I am viewing the object of "rooting" as it applies to Wing Chun. Of course others may term it differently.

I agree that it is better to have a firm foundation and I rather like mobility as opposed to rootedness. I used to do everything from a "rooted stance" but found my root was not all it was cracked up to be. Now I am concentrating on the mobility aspects and find that the two together are quite nice. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif



bean curd
04-16-2000, 02:00 PM
as stated above the principle is internal and not with external intent.

when cultivating chi you must sink the energy(jing) and to do this, it must go to the dantien.
when you sink your energy, you must open the hips and ensure that they are relaxed, but must have intent. this is one of the most important and critical points of chi development.

most people, when they sink the jing only go to two levels and they are:
1. the dantien, 2. the ground.
however too fully get the effect of correct chi cultivation you must root your self into the ground.

when using methods or body, the energy must be sunk and all activity must be from the inside, and the outside must look calm, this is why it is said to be like water, from the surface there is no emotion, but underneath there is movement.

when this is performed correctly, all energy will be transmitted when required to the appropriate movements, in any movement in body or method.

the main sequence must be
1. relax the body
2. sink the energy into the dantien
3. the whole body must be relaxed and calm
4. the whole body must be involved in the sinking and the body should be pushing the mountain.
5. there must be zhong ding (equilibrium), this comes from the center of the head (bai hue) travels through the spine, leaves the zhong ming and becomes rooted into the ground at a center point between the feet.

from this, internal energy will be cultivated. when you then have to use methods, the energy level will be higher and the outcome will be in you're favour.

rooting is a cultivation of jing and when used with methods, is regarded as cultivated and not raw, which usually involves li jing.

rooting is in concept, very different from foundation, as stated above, however if the chi and jing is cultivated, it makes the players ability more advanced, than just using foundation methods

the main differance between foundation and rooting is that foundation is external and focuses on pi(flesh), gu (bones), and jin (muscles), where rooting develops jing (internal essance), shen (spirit/mind)and chi(energy).

when combined together the outcome is in favour of the cultured player.

hope this has helped


[This message has been edited by bean curd (edited 04-17-2000).]

Paul Skrypichayko
03-29-2001, 08:52 AM
Please post your views on the advantages and disadvantages on stability (especially through rooting skill) and mobility (especially through proper kung fu footwork).

How do you think these concepts apply to different styles and body types? What are your methods for training these aspects of kung fu?

This isn't a right or wrong topic, it's just to see what kind of ideas are out there, so throw in what you've got please. =)

03-29-2001, 05:53 PM
As I see it, there are no disadvantages to having stability and mobility. In fact, in my opinion that is what separates gung fu from the rest of the horde. The trick being, can both occur at the same time, and if so, then the task at hand is being able to effect a stable and mobile stance or movement. I touched on this topic on my website explaining how we do things. It should give you a good idea:

We emphasize the importance of having the beginner student develop a strong and well-structured stance with a low center of gravity. It is a traditional approach towards training, but remains relevant for Today’s practitioner. If you compare stance work to that of constructing a container to hold and transport water, it begins to make common and well reasoned sense. Build a paper container and the water would leak, as paper is too flimsy. You would fail to successfully contain the water. If you were to use concrete, then the container becomes too immutable and limits its effectiveness. The water would be contained, but in a limited and less practical manner. Too much of one is too little of another. That is why training in stance work should teach the student to build a structure or container that is both flexible and practical. The stance needs to become adaptable and mobile yet solid and grounded. Thus, the importance of proper form and development is stressed in practise and application.

The next phase of stance training becomes mobility. This is an essential piece, which enables the practitioner to apply the value of perfecting a more traditional stance. Emphasis is placed on footwork and transitioning.

We generate our power by opening and closing of the hips in and out of stance, as a result effective footwork and transition become fundamental. Now the practitioner can begin to work on the dynamics of stance work, such as bridging (closing the distance between you and your opponent), speed, distancing, direction, and commitment. Part I integrates with Part II. It is a systemic approach to achieving continuous competency. In the beginning, a student will experience less mobility, but maintain strength of movement through proper form application. As the student advances, so too does their ability to maneuver. Again, keeping in mind that too much of one is too little of another.

Execution of technique is third part of the beginner’s equation. It is important for the practitioner to become proficient with our various strikes and blocks. This becomes evident when the long arm (full arm extension) strikes are taught, as the various motions generate a great amount of power. This ties in quite nicely with stance work, as it is the function of one’s stance that must contain the power generated by the legs, the hips, and the upper torso. Our stance becomes the container to hold and transport our power, as was mentioned earlier using the example of building a container to hold water.

To further illustrate the importance of developing a functional stance with a low center of gravity, one needs only look to the element of Yin Yang. The stance becomes a study and practise in Yin, as movement and power becomes the Yang aspect of study. What is most associated with these elements, but balance? To have too much of one will mean too little of the other. This translates
into the common practise in other martial arts of adopting higher stances for greater mobility. There isn’t a balance, but more of an imbalance towards one aspect over another aspect. It is hard, long work to develop a good stance, and even harder work to be able to use it. We believe in teaching it right the first time around and allowing the practitioner the time and opportunity to make it work. This is one reason why kung fu is so much more involved than many other martial arts out there.

When everything is put together, the practitioner of Bak Hsing Fut Gar becomes a highly mobile fighter that is able to realise a powerful, fast and aggressive line of attack.