GOLDEN BRIDGE AND OTHER ZHAN ZHUANG METHODS
Some instructors do their horse stances lower to the ground and with their hands outstretched at shoulder level. What's the difference between your method and theirs?
These instructors are right. We at Shaolin Wahnam also perform the horse-riding stance with our hands outstretched. We call it “Lohan Carrying Water”.
In the basic Horse-Riding stance, the hands are held in fists at the waist on both sides. After performing this basic mode for some time (which can be a few weeks, months, or years depending on the standard aimed at), one may use alternative modes. “Lohan Carrying Water” is one of them.
Another is “Holding A Ball”, which is holding your two arms in a big circle like holding a big ball in front of your chest at your horse-riding stance. The “Three-Circle Stance”, widely used in Taijiquan, probably evolved from “Holding A Ball”. Yet another is “Lifting Water”, which is stretching your two arms gently in front while at the horse-riding stance, with your palms open and fingers pointing forward. “Lifting Water” is also performed at the goat-riding stance, and is an important part of the “Golden Bell” training. Again, the Taijiquan pattern “Lifting Water” may have evolved from this stance.
The most important variation of the horse-riding stance is the “Golden Bridge”, where you are at the horse-riding stance with your two arms outstretched in front and your hands holding the One-|Finger Zen hand-form. It is the most important force training method in Southern Shaolin Kungfu.
The different modes of the horse-riding stance give special effects. The basic stance focuses energy at the dan tian as well as builds energy at the body, arms and legs. “Carrying Water” develops powerful arms. “Lifting Water” focuses at the palms. “Holding Ball” enables the energy to circulate along the arms, as well as focus at the dan tian. “Golden Bridge” consolidates the energy all over the body.
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