The Eight Stances are the foundation of Shyun Style Eight Step Preying Mantis Kung Fu. Stance training begins at the onset of a student's introduction to Preying Mantis, gets very detailed at the Yellow Sash level, and continues throughout the entire development of a student's skill.
Shown here, Grandmaster James Shyun demonstrates the final postures from the Eight Step Preying Mantis sequence of the Eight Stances.
"Ride Horse Stance"
The Foundation Stance of Kung Fu, executed in Preying Mantis with the feet double-shoulder-width apart and parallel. The body is centered and lowered with the back straight. The hands are chambered at the hip to open the chest.
"Climb Mountain Stance"
Sometimes called the Bow-and-Arrow stance, this stance is held with 70% of the body weight on the front leg, 30% on the back. The back leg is held straight but flexible, the front leg flexed and deeply rooted. The left arm is held in a high block, the right arm extended in a straight punch to the right.
"Tiger Head Stance"
This stance has the full body weight on the back leg, with the forward leg weightless and resting on the heel. The toe is pointed upwards in preparation for a hooking kick or sweep. Hands are held ready in the protecting hands form.
"Praying Mantis Stance"
The signature Praying Mantis stance is executed with the full body weight on the rear leg. The front leg is flexed forward with the toe pointing towards or resting lightly on the ground. The hands are in a forward and guard position using the traditional Mantis Hook hand formation.
|Crossing Leg Stance
"Cross Legged Stance"
This powerful stance exemplifies the Spiral Energy of Mantis Kung Fu. The forward leg is turned outwards with the rear leg flexing perpendicular to the front. The body turns to the rear, with the hands presented in a block and guard palm position.
"Sit the Belly Stance"
Sometimes referred to as the Ready Stance, this stance is characterized by a square, double-weighted body position. Both legs are flexed and deeply rooted. Hands are presented with an uppercut punch and center-gate block.
"Boulder Falling Stance"
This unique and highly adaptable stance drops the entire body into an extremely low position useful for evading attack or following through with throwing techniques. The right hook-hand extends away from the body, while the left closely guards the throat.
|Single Leg Stance
"Cold Chicken Stance"
This stance exemplifies the concept of Yin and Yang. The body is held straight and high with the arms and legs blocking in the gentle curve of the Taiji symbol.