The Rooster

Many movements in the Chinese martial arts are drawn from close observation of nature. This step resembles the motion of a rooster as it places its feet deliberately and powerfully on the ground. It is an energizing exercise in itself and is used in the martial application of Da Cheng Chuan to conquer the ground from an opponent.

Start with your feet together, knees bent, weight on one foot. Extend your arms fully to the sides, palms facing away from you, fingers up. Move your free foot forwards in an arc out to the diagonal. Keep the sole of your foot parallel to the ground and a centimeter (half an inch) off it.

Place your foot flat on the ground and slowly lean over it until your weight is fully forwards. Breathe out as you do this.

As you practice The Rooster. the orientation of your upper body changes with each step. You move from diagonal to diagonal. First you face towards one diagonal and lean forwards over your front foot in that direction. Then, when you are ready to begin the next step, your hips turn so that you are facing the other diagonal before you step forwards.

Bring your rear foot slowly up to your front foot. Move it so that the sole remains parallel to the ground and a centimeter (half an inch) off it. Your body straightens up as you rest the ball of the foot on the ground beside your other foot. Breathe in as you straighten up. Then continue with the next step of The Rooster.

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