You are on page 1of 5

Grand Master Yu Yong Nian:

Fundamentals in Yi Quan(Yi Chuan) Healing and Combat Theory- Training levels with
Zhan Zhuang.
Yi Quan(Yi Chuan) Grand Master Yu Yong Nian By capturing the essence of Zhan Zhuang
you will gain unpreceeding martial abilities, or regain a tremendous healing vitality for those
suffering of illness.
Yi Quan(Yi Chuan) Grand Master Yu Yong Nian is among the last living disciple of The
Creator of Yi Quan(Yi Chuan) Wang Xian Zhai, he reveals in this article the very core of his
sixty years of practice of Yi Quan(Yi Chuan). In exclusivity Grand Master Yu Yong Nian, with
scientific references, presents the fundamental difference between mental education and pure
physical education in Chinese Martial Arts from which depends the highest level of achievement
in Martial Arts.
I Introduction:
When I first met G.M. Yu Yong Nian, I was very impressed by his humbleness beside his large
notoriety and his world renowned contribution to develop Yi Quan(Yi Chuan) and Zhan Zhuang
(Pole Standing). However beside his advanced age, 84, he looks younger than his age, and
always discuss with great mind vivacity. When he performed YiQuan(Yi Chuan) demonstration,
his movements confirmed a great deal of power and beauty. Later on when with other practiced
pushing hands with him, everyone including the heaviest (approaching hundred kilos) was easily
defeated. Marking of his natural kindness, nobody was ever injured or pushed on the wall as it
may happen with other Yi Quan Masters who wanted to show their effectiveness in combat in a
first meeting.
Once he asked another visitor who practiced Tai Chi for several years to demonstrate a punching
Fali (Issuing explosive force). As a result he said: You are using only a small part of your all
body power while you are issuing force, you are only using your arm to punch.
In some other occasions he likes to ask someone to perform a sprinter just starting to run from
his starting blocks on the very beginning of a racing, then ask him: What part of your body is
involved. The inevitable answer is: The foot.
II Importance of Zhan Zhuang in Yi Quan(Yi Chuan) training
G.M.YYN often refers to compare human with the tree or any construction: first consolidate the
roots of the foundation then you can grow up your branches.
In continuation of his legendary Master Wang Xian Zhai, he places Zhan Zhuang as the core of
Yi Quan(Yi Chuan) training, from Zhan Zhuang but also remain omnipresent in mud stepping
footwork (mo tsa bu) testing force exercises (shili), but also pushing hands and issuing explosive
force (fali) characterizing Yi Quan(Yi Chuan) training program.
In the same concern than other traditional Chinese martial arts, health is the necessary condition
to built up further fighting abilities. However while many martial arts styles or healing methods
includes multiple Qi Gong exercises to condition the student body, Yi Quan(Yi Chuan) most
important basis is Zhan Zhuang (Pole standing).
III Modern science to enlighten the
pertinence of Yi Quan(Yi Chuan)

III.1 Motor/sensor in neuroscience:
In neuroscience, a homunculus is
described as a motor/sensory model of the
body (Ref Fig. A) in which the size of
each body part is in proportion to the
surface area dedicated to that part by the
brain. The larger the surface area (as
required for the hands), the larger they
appear in the model. This is represented in
figure A.
From this motor/sensory Chart, we can
easy see that the upper part of the human
body being especially hands and head are
concerned by the major part of this chart
as a result we can understand that human
being is naturally less skilled in using his
upper limbs compared with his lower
limbs. In Figure B is represented a man
according to the proportion of surface
attributed in the Motor/sensor chart of the
human cortex, also called Homunculus
by scientists.
III.2 Gathering and storing power
Comparison between the legs and the
III.3 Increasing your sensor/motor
By combining the appropriate education
of your mind and your body, you can
therefore reach a level even unconsciously
you will mobilize all your fighting
resources in real combat situation.
There is real example where old man
approaching the 80s used to practice
mainly Zhan Zhuang, without
incorporating any martial application or
techniques, one day return home after his
daily practice in the morning, a youngster
riding a bike hit him in the back. As a
result the young find himself projected

Figure A: Human left cortex motor/sensory Chart

several meters backward with his bicycle
badly damaged, while the old without any
wound return amazed himself by his own

Figure B: Homunculus

IV Two different body mind education approaches in Chinese Martial Arts
In the Chinese history, famous Philosophers such as Lao Tseu or Guan Tseu have already
mention the importance of distinguishing two general methods of Mental/Physical education
which can be applied also applied beyond martial arts scope.
As you can see on Fig. B, I classify all Chinese Martial Arts and even all fighting systems into
two categories, with the references of Lao Tseu, Guan Tzeu , Wang Xian Zhai and my own
- Lian Quan literally Practicing fist, where the body especially the hand prevails, and
characterized by Taolus (codified chained movements), Shaolin or Tai Chi belong to this
- Wei Dao literally Search for the way, where the mind prevailed, and has the specificity of
having no Taolu, Da Cheng Quan belong to this second category. We will call later Object
To go in depth in terms of physical and mental training, we can then distinguish two kinds of
body kinetics which will condition your method of training in martial arts:
- First auto-kinetic movement: where speed, power and time are the main parameters.
Here displacement movement is the necessary condition, applied in martial arts: it is the
necessity of practicing Taolu (codified chained movements)
- Second auto-kinetic movement: where angle (between you limbs and your trunk), mind
concentration and time are the main parameters.
Here stillness movement is the necessary condition: applied in martial arts that is the necessity in
practicing Zhan Zhuang (pole standing).
V Da Cheng Quan Zhan Zhuang Object Research Program summary
This program summary covers the complete range of body mind training from lying exercises up
to free fighting with weapons.
Da Cheng Quan Pole Standing Object Research Summary
1. Lying Exercise Suitable for weak and insomnia
2. Sitting Exercise Suitable for weak as complementary exercise to the standing posture
3. Standing Exercise
3.1 Standing posture Suitable for weak
3.2 Standing basic posture Suitable for common, sick and person on a diet
3.3 Standing 4 limbs posture Suitable for stronger and athlete to contract and relax their
resting muscles, second auto kinetic movement to improve their performance
4. Walking Exercise Based on mud stepping and as preparation for dynamic exercises
5. Object research(Contraction/Relaxation Method)
5.1 Partial body contraction and relaxation exercise
5.2 Muscle tight pulling while contraction and relaxation exercise
5.3 Muscle lifting up while contraction and relaxation exercise
5.4 Forceful contraction and relaxation exercise
5.5 Exploding contraction and relaxation exercise
6. Force Testing Exercise
6.1 Partial body force testing exercise
6.2 Entire body force testing exercise
6.3 Exploding force testing exercise
7. Voice Testing Exercise
7.1 Voice testing exercise combined with force testing exercise
7.2 Voice testing exercise with uncommon voice sound
8. Pushing Hands
8.1 One hand pushing hands
8.2 Two hands pushing hands
8.3 Determined pushing hands position
8.4 Changing posture pushing hands
9. Combat Exercise
9.1 Bare hand combat exercise
9.2 Weapon combat exercise

As a continuation of this introductive article, the next article of Grand Master Yu Yong Nian will
discuss about specific muscles training in Da Cheng Chuan, complementary to Zhan Zhuang
Pole Standing