Three-Circle Stance

Sifu Wong performing the Three-Circle Stance


I heard from my friends and also read from books that standing in the Three-Circle Stance and the Xingyi Sanzai Stance is crucial to developing chi and internal force.


Zhan zhuang, or stance training, is the most important single category of exercise for developing internal force. It can be safely said that all Taijiquan masters, all Xingyi masters, most Bagua masters, and many Shaolin masters obtained their internal force from zhan zhuang. Many Shaolin masters used other methods to develop internal force because Shaolin Kungfu is very rich in internal force training.

Different kungfu styles favour certain stances for zhan zhuang. In Taijiquan the most important stance for zhan zhuang is the Three-Circle Stance, so much so that it is sometimes called the Taiji Stance, though it is also used in other kungfu styles, including in Shaolin. The most important zhan zhuang method in Xingyi is the Sanzai or Three-Treasure Stance. Bagua masters use the formations of their eight fundamental palms for zhan zhuang.

In Shaolin Kungfu, the most important stance for developing internal force is the Horse-Riding Stance. There are many zhan zhuang stances in Shaolin Kungfu, the most popular of which is Golden Bridge. Besides zhan zhuang there are many other methods for internal force training in Shaolin Kungfu. One-Finger Shooting Zen and Sinew Metamorphosis are two famous examples.

Chi and internal force are closely related. Sometimes there two terms are used interchangeably. Technically speaking, chi is the ingredient; internal force is the product.


The Horse Stance

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