Què de lóng

Assad

Jingang
Here are three pictures of this position:

- one performed nowadays by a student of Wang Xian



- one by Yang Wenjing, student of Chen Zhao Kui



- and lastly, by Chen Fake



I have hard time believing this extreme position could be healthy for knees and ankles. But maybe because I started the practice too late. Or maybe this was dedicated to an elite.

What are your thoughts about this position ?
 

Marc

Qinglong
Definitely bad for the knees long term. From my understanding, going that low is less about function, than about performance. Even genuine gongfu people will occasionally make a move look great for photographs, and to some degree flexibility is impressive...
 

angryclown

Jingang
Whether or not it's bad for the knees largely depends on an individual's hip anatomy. Very broadly speaking, that leg shape is more compatible with the anatomy of those with Asian ancestry as compared to, say, Celtic anatomy.

Here's some reading if you're into that sort of thing: https://www.otpbooks.com/stuart-mcgill-hip-anatomy/

The application I was shown catches the opponent's leg between the calf and thigh of the practitioner's rear leg as they drop (not sink, actually drop) all the way to the ground. It's meant to wreck the hip and/or knee of the opponent.
 

Marin

Lao Tou
Staff member
The application I was shown catches the opponent's leg between the calf and thigh of the practitioner's rear leg as they drop (not sink, actually drop) all the way to the ground. It's meant to wreck the hip and/or knee of the opponent.
Interesting idea-
 

Marin

Lao Tou
Staff member
Definitely bad for the knees long term. From my understanding, going that low is less about function, than about performance. Even genuine gongfu people will occasionally make a move look great for photographs, and to some degree flexibility is impressive...
This is correct.
The way I was taught by CY we never go that low, never. In fact our approach would be criticized as not attractive enough in appearance I believe. Not only should it not be that low, but it should not break the rules of alignment and structure. The applications I understand for this have nothing to do with that extreme depth of the move, dropping significantly down is good enough.
 

Assad

Jingang
The applications I understand for this have nothing to do with that extreme depth of the move, dropping significantly down is good enough.
Let me take an example from my past practices. About high kicks. There were some in the forms, but the aim was not to use them "as it is", I mean they were not intended to be used to kick someone in the head. The applications were much lower, for instance it could be to sweep the leg for a throw. Working high was just to develop athletic skills I would say, as in French we have a saying: "who can do more can do less".

My question would be to know whether this could be in the same logic or as Marc stated, only about performance.
 

Marin

Lao Tou
Staff member
Let me take an example from my past practices. About high kicks. There were some in the forms, but the aim was not to use them "as it is", I mean they were not intended to be used to kick someone in the head. The applications were much lower, for instance it could be to sweep the leg for a throw. Working high was just to develop athletic skills I would say, as in French we have a saying: "who can do more can do less".

My question would be to know whether this could be in the same logic or as Marc stated, only about performance.
Yes that is some of it at least. Applications for this move as I know them relate to the quick drop and lunge aspect. it really does not matter how low one drops, but more about how fast they drop and how they hold their weight. There are aspects of the approach that can use that folding weighted leg-knee but that is really not necessary and to train that folding is pretty much age and condition dependent. Additionally if you DO train that folding the knee to the ground on a regular basis the joints may become injured such that the application is then unavailable.

In time and with perspective one has to come to an understanding about the functionality of application vs the culture of athletic celebration. Quite often these two things while existing at the same time in practice and performance can be at conflicting purposes and results.
 
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