Friday, June 27, 2008

白鹤亮翅 - White Crane Spreads Its Wings

White Crane Spreads Its Wings - this form has 3 moves:
1. Step up and hold a ball
2. Shift weight to back and turn the body
3. Empty stance and sepearate hands

Those 3 moves only help you to memorize the sequencies and composed moves, once you feel you have mastered the move, the transition will be your focus. You shall try to make the moves flow through with smooth transition.

When you practice this form, common mistakes are: When standing in empty stance, the body either lean forward or lean back; buttocks goes out; chest goes out; the left leg too straight; the right knee is not inline with right toes; no empty and solid; double weighted on both feet; step between two feet is too far...

Advanced students shall understand the key practice method for this form is to entirely relax the shoulder and albow when you split the two arms, also coordinate splitting arm and emptying stance. The application (not mentioned here) of the form will be very helpful to train your mind, spirit and moves.

A good teacher will explain in detail where the force is, and how to apply the mind and spirit.

Here are a few key points:

For step up and hold the ball, slightly turn your body to left (this is called "Xu Jin", or make your waist tighten up so to prepare - accumulating the force to the right), the weight shifts to the left leg, your right leg steps up a half step, only use the front of right foot to touch the ground, the right foot becomes completely solid, your body weight shifts to the right leg. Your torso turns slightly to the right side, the left foot moves forward and touches ground with toes point down, and again torso turns slightly to the left side... (will continue...)

This White Crane Spreads Its Wings can also be practiced in still posting: To fully digest the details of this movement, it is better to just hold in still post position. Here is how you can practice; hold standing position of WCSW for more than 5 min or even longer, breathing - natural but deep... make slight move on your two arms that feel they are just two wings, forward and backward, you can start the move big then small, while you are doing that, try to get the feeling of this small move is causing the air around you waved...

Grand Master Chen ManQing's instruction for White Crane Spreads Its Wing:

"As you sit fully on the right leg, the left leg becomes empty, Now raise the left foot and place the toes off to the left-front side, at the same time, the right arm rises, the open right had moves up to protect the right side of the forehead, and drops, brushing past the knee to protect the groin, assisting next to the left hip joint."

Connected movements
In traditional form, White Crane Spreads Its Wing is started from Lift Hand, and transition into Brush knee and Push hand. However, in Simplified 24, the previous movement is Pat Wild Horse Maine.

Question to advanced students: What is the major difference when previous moment is Lift Hand? How do apply the right principle to make the connection absolutely right?