Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Bow Stance

The Bow Stance (gong bu), is useful for attack and defence. It's also great for developing muscle strength and endurance as 70% of your weight falls on your front leg. Your quadriceps definitely will feel it if you've never done it before.

In Combat

Personally, I do it just for strengthening my legs, but you can practice punching with it as it was designed, or use it for other attacks.

Sifu Wong Kiew Kit provides a series of videos and lessons on how to oppose a boxer's stance with the bow stance at He looks so in control of what's going on over the boxer too.

Sifu again uses several stances including the horse stance to counter a boxer's jab in

Method to doing the Bow Stance

  • Start with feet together.
  • Step out on one foot to create a distance between the front and back foot. The longer the gap between feet, the lower the bow stance will be, and it's up to you how low or high you want your stance.
  • Turn the back foot outwards at about 45 degrees.
  • Make sure your back leg isn't locked. It should be slightly bent otherwise I find it may cause discomfort later on.
  • Now bend your right leg so that the knee is aligned over the heel of the front foot, not beyond it.
  • Make sure your torso is facing forwards but your neither leaning over or backwards.
  • It may feel like you need to twist the torso a little bit to face forward. 

Low Vs High Bow Stances

Artistically speaking, the lower stances tend to look more aesthetically pleasing, but they are also great for developing strength in the legs. That is not to say, that Tai Chi type bow stances which are high aren't also good for developing leg muscles. The tai chi bow stance is a lot gentler on the muscles but very effective nonetheless.

As usual, leave a comment or contact me through with any questions.

Thanks for reading.

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Other Websites to Help With Stance Training

Stances in Tai Chi- comprehensive list of stances
Physical Principles of Ch'uan-shu - as to not injure yourself doing the bow stance

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