The correct position of the rider (ma bu)

In martial arts (kung fu and not only) there are several versions of the “horse stance” (ma bu), the one that we are going to describe has much in common with that of Shaolin but to avoid confusion (discussions and overlaps) we only correlate it to 6DKF.

The advantages of this stance are varied, both in terms of training, both in terms of struggle:

  • It gives us great stability and balance (rooting)
  • It allows us to (gradually) strengthen our body
  • It teach us patience (we must be able to held the pose for more than an hour)
  • It teach us to maintain a low posture (useful in various situations of struggle)
  • It allows us to quickly recover the balance even after more and more full body spins (we will discuss this in detail later)

Now let’s see how to take the correct rider stance in 6DKF:

  • Let’s imagine being on a horse saddle
  • Let’s widen our legs sideways
  • The feet should be parallel to each other (well-planted on the ground and perpendicular to the torso)
  • The feet should be distant from each other at least 2 times the width of our shoulders (excluding arms)
  • We have to position the thighs so that they are parallel to the ground
  • The knees are bent at 90 and are directed towards the outside
  • It must be possible to put a bowl on our thighs without spilling its content
  • We have to bend our arms and move them to the hips
  • We have to close our fists and rotate them upwards
  • The shoulders are wide open
  • The back, the neck and the head are well straight (they all stay on one straight line)
  • We have to imagine that our head is hanging by a thread at its center point
  • The pelvis is facing up (the belly rotate upward)
  • The buttocks are tightened (that’s where we need to flow much of the effort)
  • The whole body is arranged in a symmetrical and fully balanced manner
  • There are also other positions of the arms (we will see them gradually depending on the needs)

At first it will be painful and difficult to maintain this pose even for a few seconds, let’s try to proceed gradually in order to accustom our bodies day by day.

The first few times we can support the legs putting our hands on the thighs (to better distribute the effort). A good idea is to try to eat and / or meditate in this position, so that we can:

  • Do not be bored by the practice
  • Forget the (initial) feeling of pain
  • Transforming a hurting position in a rest position
  • Do not waste our precious time

When we improve we can start holding (in hand, on the shoulders, forearms, or thighs) weight gradually bigger (more about this shortly).

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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