Do you have a root?

seasoned

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Yes, I feel this is a very good article, and holds the key to becoming very proficient in the arts. Sadly, stance drills and kata practice, in some cases, is being pushed aside, or ignored. These basic foundation drills are becoming less and less popular, because of the time and effort involved. Much more popular are the techniques of a given art instead of base development.
 

qwksilver61

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I'm a believer.....Siu nim Tau the seed....comprehension the root
My then Dei sihing Steve Brandon taught me well, and gave me a solid grounding....even persons with solid rooting at basic skill levels can be better than average fighters...if they stick to and trust the Wing Tsun principles.
To me, the core principles are the root.Two cents..............
 

KamonGuy2

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Root is very important. It teaches you to lower your base which is essential for takedown defence. It helps you feel the connection between the feet and arms. It helps build good movement in your feet. It helps make you solid when you need to be- including hitting power. It makes your legs better at kicking.

However, it is important to remember that once you have got to grips with the idea of basic stancework, you must evolve your footwork so that you aren't so rigid. It is easy to plough through fighters who plant their feet. As a wing chun fighter you want to be explosive and manouverable. Some master chunners have incredible stances (ie you couldn't push them back), but in a real fight they would get picked off by a boxer if they relied on that kind of footwork.

You must think of it like an elastic band - you stretch the muscles and plant them in a stance during your beginners training. Then as time gets on, you relax the structure and your movement is looser and more free
 

blindsage

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The goal from day one in Bagua is to learn how to have a root while constantly moving, quickly and with sudden changes. You can have both root and maneuveribility, but you have to train for it. Rooting is not being rigid and dropping your weight.
 

mook jong man

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Do me a favour if you ever come to Australia don't talk about " Rooting " lol because over here it has a sexual connotation.

We prefer to use the term stance , and in our lineage being in your stance means being sunk down and with a slight internal contraction activated to lock the upper and lower body together .

Each individual finds their own level at which to sink down this is done through the practice of the forms and the supplementary exercises like pivoting and chi sau .

They eventually find a happy medium between being too high in the stance and being too low. Being too high in the stance will result in loss of stability when deflecting heavy force and also a reduction in your own attacking force .

On the other hand being sunk down too low in the stance will compromise mobility and hinder the springy relaxed quality of the legs that is needed to close in and shut down an opponent fast.

There are no shortcuts to finding the correct level of sinking down in your stance and still retaining speedy footwork , it must be learned at a deep physiological level from hard training and practice of the forms.

Some exercises I have found helpfull in solo training are to be in my stance in front of a mirror and just practice moving as fast as I can in any direction whilst still maintaining my stance .

Also I practice synchronising my step forward with turning from Bong Sau to Tan Sau or vice versa or stepping forward while raising my Fook Sau and stepping back while dropping my Fook Sau , if you practice these drills with good coordination between the step and the movement of your elbow and whilst being in your stance it will do wonders for your ability to effect the stability of the opponent and collapse or penetrate his defences , especially in the movements of piercing through with your Tan Sau and off balancing them with your Bong Sau or Fook Sau .

Some other things you can do are pivoting , I know it can be boring but it really does help you to find your centre and should be practiced regularly , when Sigung Tsui first learned the Chum Kiu from Yip Man he would practice pivoting for something like four hours a day .

A couple of other things you can do are to stand in front of the mirror and raise your feet repeatedly off the ground about half a foot alternating left and right .

Keep an eye on your head to see if it stays at the same level , relax your thighs , maintain stance and try to minimise movement of the upper body .

You can also practice the stepping Bong Sau section from Chum Kiu in front of the mirror , look at your eyes as you step and visualise your eyes scribing a horizontal line across the mirror .

Make sure they are going straight across and not up and down it is important to minimise any up and down movement of the body as you step . Not only is bobbing up and down a waste of energy and means you are coming out of your stance it will ingrain a bad habit and signal your intentions to your opponent that you are stepping in to attack.

These are just a few things I used to do to work on my stance when I trained at home solo and whilst they don't replace some vigorous chi sau with an opponent or hitting the pads they are a valuable supplement and allows you to isolate and work on an integral part of Wing Chun which is the stance , the foundation from which everthing else is built on.
Hopefully some of you will find them useful.
 

geezer

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Do me a favour if you ever come to Australia don't talk about " Rooting " lol because over here it has a sexual connotation.

Boy, I'm glad to hear that. I was beginning to think that I was the only one that had a problem with the way this was worded!

Anyway, this whole balance thing is a particular problem of mine since I have a congenital bone fusion in both ankles, and the left one has even more limited motion do to traumatic arthritis from multiple fractures. The result is that I cannot sink down by bending my knees forward without my heels lifting up off the ground. Over the last 30 years, I've been to top specialists and confirmed my own experience that no amount of stretching and excercise will change this, except to inflame the joints and worsen the condition. So I have to develop stability without sinking deeply, and while standing on the ball of my left foot. With the help of an understanding instructor (not my old Sifu, LT!), I've found that being relaxed and elastic from your arms, though your shoulders, through your body, and down into your footwork is the key. When pressed or pulled, every part of your body absorbs the shock and flows with the energy. This even allows me (with my messed up ankles) to have adequate stability. Add to this the a normal range of joint motion and the ability to sink a bit, and a person can be very steady, whether at rest or in motion.
 
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Foundation is the key to everything. Its like the old adage, one cannot build on sand.


Do me a favour if you ever come to Australia don't talk about " Rooting " lol because over here it has a sexual connotation.

We prefer to use the term stance , and in our lineage being in your stance means being sunk down and with a slight internal contraction activated to lock the upper and lower body together .

Boy, I'm glad to hear that. I was beginning to think that I was the only one that had a problem with the way this was worded!

LOL! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought along those lines. Now let's talk about "Sticky Hands". :angel:
 

oxy

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It's very important to remember that: if you're too rooted, you're rooted.
 

mook jong man

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Boy, I'm glad to hear that. I was beginning to think that I was the only one that had a problem with the way this was worded!

Anyway, this whole balance thing is a particular problem of mine since I have a congenital bone fusion in both ankles, and the left one has even more limited motion do to traumatic arthritis from multiple fractures. The result is that I cannot sink down by bending my knees forward without my heels lifting up off the ground. Over the last 30 years, I've been to top specialists and confirmed my own experience that no amount of stretching and excercise will change this, except to inflame the joints and worsen the condition. So I have to develop stability without sinking deeply, and while standing on the ball of my left foot. With the help of an understanding instructor (not my old Sifu, LT!), I've found that being relaxed and elastic from your arms, though your shoulders, through your body, and down into your footwork is the key. When pressed or pulled, every part of your body absorbs the shock and flows with the energy. This even allows me (with my messed up ankles) to have adequate stability. Add to this the a normal range of joint motion and the ability to sink a bit, and a person can be very steady, whether at rest or in motion.

Yep we all have limitations , mine is two crappy knees from over enthusiastic kicking in the air when I was younger , sounds like there's crushed glass in there sometimes . But it looks like you have found a work around for yours , your body has learnt to compensate in other areas to absorb force.

Don't forget there is Wing Chun guys who can have a rock solid stance on one foot , and you've still got one and half feet that you can work with . The funny thing about my knees is that they get worse when I don't train and get very creaky , daily training seems to keep the joints some what lubricated. But I will probably have to end up having some type of cartilage operation in the future.
 

sparky12

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Not being a WC practioner would you please explain the difference between chi sao and sticky hand techniques taught in most styles of kung fu? I agree that stance work is extremely important in developing your rooting as well as moving drills in stance and sticky hand drills as long as they are not choreographed. Thanks for the thoughts.
Regards, Don
 

naneek

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i enjoyed reading your article futsaowingchun, please keep writing in the future as you seem able to communicate your ideas well and seem to be very knowledgeable. thanks
 
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futsaowingchun

futsaowingchun

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The goal from day one in Bagua is to learn how to have a root while constantly moving, quickly and with sudden changes. You can have both root and maneuveribility, but you have to train for it. Rooting is not being rigid and dropping your weight.

I would agree rooting is not being rigid,but I belive it's easier for a beginner to learn how to root in a static position then learning how to move while still being rooted. That's how I learned anyway. Dropping your weight can add to your root but it is not rooting in and of it's self. I know Bagua has the 3 basins I'm sure that might have something to do with lowering your center to deeping your root.
 
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