Learn how to do the Yee Ji Kim Yeung Ma aka Adduction Stance from Sifu Alex Richter in this Howcast Wing Chun video.
The frontal stance in Wing Chun Kung Fu is traditionally known, or traditionally called, the Yee Ji Kim Yeung Ma in Cantonese, and basically this means the character two goat clamping stance. Now, what character two means, it means the Chinese character two, which is comprised of a short bar on top and the longer parallel bar on the bottom. The reason why they call it this is because the position of your feet, if you were to connect the two dots between the toes and the dots between the heels, you would have one short line and one longer line here, which looks like the Chinese number two. But also, if you look at the stance from the front, and you connect the knees with one line, and you connect the feet with one line, you would have a longer parallel line at the feet, a shorter one at the knees, which also looks like the character two.
So the Chinese often use their writing system to show people what things are supposed to look like. If something is supposed to look like a cross, they will call it a character ten, because the Chinese character for ten is actually a cross. So they often use this kind of convention to explain things.
So when you set the frontal stance, which we normally use in the formal training for the form, for Chi Sau drills and so on, we don’t necessarily use it in actual combat. We would set it like this. We would bring our hands straight up to the side. Then you’re going to bend the knees. You should bend the knees far enough that you can no longer see your feet if you were to look down. Then you’re going to rotate, not from the knees and not from the feet, but from the hips. They’re going to rotate out like this, keeping your heels together at least 60 degrees or 45 degrees, depending on your level of hip flexibility. Then from there, you’re going to take the take the toes as pivots, and you’re going to use the hips to bring the knees in like this. Okay.
Once you’ve done this, all that’s left to do is to tilt your pelvis slightly forward. It’s very important not to exaggerate this. Some Wing Chun people tilt the pelvis so far forward that their upper body starts to lean back. We, of course, want to avoid this. One of the ideas in the frontal stance is to keep your posture absolutely upright, as if someone is pulling your spine up from the end, and this can’t be achieved if you’re slouching backwards like this.
So while the hips are forward, you want to keep the waist tucked in and your posture absolutely straight. While your knees are kind of pulling towards each other, especially if you’re a beginner, you’re going to feel after a while that your legs are going to shake. This is totally normal. This is part of the Kung Fu training. This is part of your basic stance training. So while you’re practicing this Siu Nim Tau form, while you’re practicing your basic drills and Chi Sau and all this kind of stuff, you’re going to feel it a little bit. The more the practice, the easier it’ll get. But when you’re practicing this stance, try to really practice it in a concentrated way. Don’t allow yourself to kind of slack up.
When you’re doing anything, punching, moving, whatever, it’s very important to keep this mid section here stable. When you watch a lot of people punch, you’ll often see that the mid section will kind of start to rock and move like this, and that’s a lack of stability. What we want to do is we want to keep the gluts tight, the hips slightly forward, everything in here tight, so when you’re punching, when you’re moving, when you’ve doing Chi Sau, this should be relatively stable. Only when I turn, only when I step forward, am I actually going to move my stance, but while I’m in this stance here, no matter how I’m moving my upper body, this should be relatively stable, at least at first. The more advanced you become, the more we kind of take these training wheels off. But very important when you practice, keep it very solid, keep it very stable.
For practical fighting, you can be much more relaxed, much more mobile. It’s not necessary to train your knee pressure in front of your opponent. When you’re fighting, you need mobility. When you’re training, we need to train stability.