Basic Shaolin gong fu stances.

Modern day stances: Click to open:


“Eighteen Lohan" exercises…

  • Ma bu dan bien: Horse stance with two punches. Sideways feet together horse, step out, turn 180 degrees with high sweeping kick, and open arms out, bring together as vertical blocks or grabs, end in low horse stance, arms then come down and separate as horizontal with fists together, elbows out to sides, then bilaterally extend outward straight.
  • Gong bu xie xing: Bow stance with two punches. Sideways feet together horse, step out, turn 180 degrees with high sweeping kick, and open arms out, bring together as vertical blocks or grabs, end in low horse stance, arms then come down and separate as horizontal with fists together, elbows out to sides, then twist upper body towards direction of travel with one fist as a backfist swinging to the rear with fist curved in towards radius, the other fist functions as a front two knuckle punch to opponent who is at the direction of travel, and ends also curved a little toward the radius.
  • Pu bu qie zhang: Low stance kick strike. Sideways feet together horse, step out, turn 180 degrees with sliding of foot on ground ending as a high raised knee, same side hand in shuto at opposite neck, or block, other hand in horse position, lower into a low squat as the raised knee becomes straight out, shuto comes down towards foot of straightened out leg.  End by raising into a gongbu position with shuto becoming an upward strike
  • Xu bu ge zhang: Cat stance block. Forward feet together horse, step forward and sideways into a soft cat stance with bent leg twisted slightly so heel of foot is lateral, knife hand of one sweeps outside of other and ends across body pointing at other’s elbow, the heel of the other knife hand comes close to center of chest, and twists out and over the other hand as a forward strike.  Tip of third finger should be at height of nose.  Xie bu chong quan: Turning bow stance punch. Sideways feet together horse, step out, left arm across body in block, swing left arm out to left and behind as you twist counterclockwise on legs, as you crouch and twist, left arm pulls in and right punches to 6 o’clock.
  • Ji xing bu: Seven star stance (chicken stance). Start in feet together horse, advance left foot (to step on opponents foot) while you downward swing right chicken wrist (to catch the kick of opponent), bring right hand far behind you in upward chicken wrist as you perform forward sweeping right kick (to kick opponent in back of leg he is standing upon) with right knife hand strike to opponent’s chest.  Right elbow should be above right knee, end with right foot pointing downward at left knee, lean forward with chest, right elbow over right knee, right knife hand strike out, left chicken wrist far behind you.  
  • Pi tui: Side horse, left elbow strike, drop left elbow as left leg snap kicks up, left elbow raised again, step forward with left leg, raise right elbow, drop right elbow as right leg snap kicks up. 
  • Tan tui: Snap kick. Face forward, semi-squat with knees bent, and small instep kicks as you move forward.  
  • Dang pi jiao: Snap kick with strike. Step forward with right, right high instep kick, touch with outward right palm down spear hand; alternate  
  • Ce chuai tui: Side kick. Side horse stance, keep feet planted, twist counterclockwise into monkey block (right arm straight down in fist, left fist up at head, look left), get up slightly and side kick to forward; alternate.  
  • Hou deng tui: Back kick. Side horse stance, turn 180 counterclockwise down into crouch, right hand blocking face, left hand to ground by left heel (to throw dirt), side kick with left, alternate. Turn towards direction of back
  • Wai bai jiao: Outside kick. Face forward, right reverse crescent kick, kick hands above head  
  • Li he jiao: Inside kick. Side horse, left arm across body with palm block to right, reach out to left with left to grab strike, turn counterclockwise with high right crescent kick, end in flamingo stance with right knee up, right fist straight down, left fist up at left side of head.
  • Er qi jiao: Jump snap kick. Face forward, turn left forty five degrees with right arm swinging in a circle down to right fist down, left fist up at face, (monkey position), with right foot slightly forward; rise up to low horse squat with both arms at sides, in deep squat; jump up with right high instep kick and right palm down spear hand strike, striking instep of foot; land, twist to right ninety degrees circling left arm down into monkey position and continue.  
  • Xuan fung jiao: Tornado kick. Face forward in horse feet together, step forward with right, then left, with concurrent circular blocks with hands, step forward with right into side horse, bilateral spear hands up to right with right body twist; swing both arms as you twist and jump counterclockwise bringing left knee up as high as possible, kicking with right foot as you twirl around; end in side horse with both arms up to right in preparation for next kick.  
  • Teng kong wai bai jiao: Lotus kick. Opposite facing direction side horse, bilateral spear hands on top of one another to left, twist body to right bringing both arms to position behind you palms up; putting weight on planted right leg jump forward bringing left knee up as high as possible; twist clockwise in air with right kick towards left position; land in side horse with bilateral spear hands towards left.
  • Hou sao tui: Back sweep. Face forward horse with feet together; raise both arms up and cross over head with tigers claws, raise right knee high; step forward with right, then left into side horse stance, then as you strike forward move into left gongbu with left knee bent, right leg straight, bilateral palm strikes to forward; crouch down using hands for support as you perform (iron broom) a clockwise right heel sweep 360 degrees, end in side horse (mabu) with right high but downward chicken strike to right, move to left gongbu with high palm strike to left; continue by bringing feet together to horse.  
  • Qian sao tui: Front sweep. Side horse, block and strike to right (right hand circles out to strike, left hand circles to palm block by body as you bring left foot to right with right toes down); twist left ninety degrees facing forward both arms swung back behind you; jump forward as you slap palm of one hand against back of other in front of you; land in pubu with right knee bent, left leg straight out in direction of opponent; switch weight over to left leg with left leg bent and right leg straight out, circle right leg counterclockwise, under left leg as you rest on hands, all the way around to left pubu again; get up into original strike and block position with right toes down.   

Other basic maneuvers:

  • Xiezi bai wei: Scorpion sweep with the tail. Sideways feet together horse facing left, right palm block to left, twist clockwise 360 degrees as you circle right hand clockwise to grab opponent’s strike, concurrently circle right foot clockwise to block or grab opponents kick, end in flamingo stance facing left with right foot up at left knee toes down, right palm at right knee facing left, with left upwards shuto block above head.  End by stepping down into sideways horse opposite from original, facing left.
  • Zheng deng tui zhang: Heel kick with palm strike. Face forward, ball kick with opposite and simultaneous knife hand strike.
  • Gong bu chong quan: Bow stance punch. Side horse, left hand to left, grabs, pulls back to side position as you move into gong bu position facing left, with right punch towards left. Right foot moves next to left, staying crouched, right hand stays out as punch as you step into ma bu. Right hand grabs, pulls back, as you lean into gong bu with left punch. Continue and alternate.