Horse-Riding Stance

Horse-Riding Stance


Whenever I walk, I feel that my steps are stable and light. I understand the key purpose for stance training is not for having powerful leg muscle, but I think it can help a little bit in other sports.

-- Jason, Malaysia


Your comment that your steps are “stable and light”, which of course is true, is most interesting. Many people may be honestly confused. Due to their dualistic thinking, they believe, erraneously, that if one is stable he would not be light, and vice versa, which is what they experience in daily life.

Then, how is it possible that we can be both “stable and light”, which is a manifestation of yin-yang harmony? Please note that we are stable and light at the same time, not that we can be stable at one time and light at another. The answer is chi. Similarly, in combat we can be powerful and fast at the same time. Most martial artists who use muscular strength will find that if they are fast they lack power, and if they are powerful they lack speed.

You are right to say that a key purpose of stance training is not for developing big leg muscles. But our leg muscles, despite not being big, can be very powerful. They are powerful not because of the flesh in the muscles but because of the chi in the muscles.

This reminds me of an interesting joke. According to science, butterflies are not supposed to fly because their wings are too flinsy to support their body weight. Yet butterflies can fly. Why? Because butterflies do not know science.

Similarly, according to science, we are not supposed to stand on our feet because our feet are too small to support our body weight. But, of course, we can stand on our feet. Why? Science does not have the answer. Scientists cannot give the same answers as for butterflies because we do know science, though not as much as the scientists.

Do you know why? The answer is chi. It is chi in our body that supports us, not our bones and muscles, just as it is the water in a hydrolic pump that supports a heavy truck, not the pieces of iron that makes up the pump.

Reproduced from February 2009 Part 3 in Selection of Question-Answer Series


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