[I:http://martialarts.surrey-sussex.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/AlCase0.jpg]The Instructor stood in the Horse Stance for the whole lesson. The students listening, also in the straddle stance, were sweating and even dropping in pain. Sensei smiled with every student that dropped down to the mat.
Was he cruel? Nope. It was just good training, and a sensei that practiced what he preached.
Of course, I wanted to know the secret of how he was making it look so easy. How could he stand in that stance for such a long period of time, fresh as a breeze, not even thinking about the incredible pain that had to be shooting through his legs. I mean,the pain was running through my legs, why was he immune?
The Horse Stance is one of the basic stances of many martial arts. It is known as Mabu in the Chinese oriented Martial systems, and as Kiba Dachi in the Japanese fighting styles. There are many legends concerning where Horse Stance Training originated.
Some say it was developed for close combat while actually riding horses in battle. Others say it was developed for fighting sideways in rice paddies. The truth is nowhere near these romantic rumors.
The truth is that the Horse Stance was developed to enable students to better grip the ground. This idea of gripping the ground is called ‘rooting.’ In my martial arts system, which has a more scientific approach, we call it ‘grounding.’ Regardless of what you call it, gripping the ground is critical to fighting, and to the accomplishment of the real martial arts.
The body is nothing more than a machine, and a machine must be fastened to something if it is going to work. A motor must be fixed to something, a car engine must have motor mounts, even a helicopter is ‘fixed’ to the air by the little ‘side propellor’ on the tail. In the martial arts the Horse Stance fixes the body to the earth.
Once the body is attached to the earth it is able to move faster and quicker, for it will have a surer launch. And, it will be better able to hold to the earth, which will enable a person to better defeat attacks while not losing his position. Ultimately, however, the real secret here is that the body/motor, once fastened to the earth through the Horse Stance, will create energy, and that energy is what we call Chi Power, and the growth and use of this chi power is the secret of the martial arts.