The Bear

This movement is for Da Cheng Chuan practitioners who have reached a reasonably high level of accomplishment. Outwardly, the movement appears to be very slight. However, it requires a great deal of bodily control and considerable inner strength. Its power in combat is immense.

When this movement is practiced properly, the person moves forward like a bear rearing up on its hind legs ready to brush away anything in its path.

Stand with your feet facing forwards and shoulder width apart. Spread your weight evenly over both feet. Take a small step forwards with one foot, no more than 5 cm (2 in). Lift and place your foot so that the sole is always parallel to the ground. It feels as if the entire movement comes from the back of your leg. Take care not to shift your weight from one side to the other as you move.

TIIE BEAR

This movement is normally accompanied by the arm position featured in Opening Outwards (page 14).

Your arms are fully relaxed, with your hands opening outwards in front of your head. Your fingers are spread apart like the claws of a bear.

As you move forwards, making small steps, the center line of your body remains stable. This is unlike normal walking: there is no lateral shifting of the body weight. Once you start to understand the inner mechanics of this movement, try to synchronize your breathing with it. Breathe out with each forward step.

The Five Signs of Practice

Wheti you took at a person mho is a Ahan Ahuang practitioner, you can mien their development according to the hive Signs. Tirst is the person V Form. Hi is refers to their posture: are they holding themselves in the correct positions:} Second is the person's Mind, Are they present and paying attention to their practice or tire they literally "absentwinded"? Third is the person's Po\.ver. Is there dynamism in the u'ay they stand? I'ourth is Unctgy. Is there a setise that energy is emanating from them, I the an aura? Fifth is the Spirit. Does the person manifest the quality of being tin antenna raised between the /iw powers of liarth and Heaven. Alt these should rome together.

Professor Yu Yong Nian

Your training is a gradual process of development. It never ends. There is no limit to it. In conventional physical exercise, there is always some limit imposed by the human body. But in Zhan Zhuang, we continue to train our body, mind and spirit as a unity.

Daily practice is the key. The framework charts on these pages will help you. Remember that the foundation at all levels is the standing practice of Zhan Zhuang. Add movement training only after your daily standing practice.

It is always best to train under the guidance of a qualified instructor. If this is not possible, follow the instructions in this book with great care. It is extremely important not to rush your training or to push yourself beyond your own natural endurance. Always remember the words of Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai:

Keep on practicing like this with perseverance th e skill will come to you of itself

THE FIVE

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