Flying Crane Posture - An Examination:
Humbly examining the stance in question: Please refer to the image found at:
I openly and honestly concede that there are probably a few areas I could improve in. This is but one of the pursuits of those involved in the martial arts. After all, nobody's perfect are they?
There are some physical issues and problems ( a lower bad back which causes me grief from time to time to name but one) that forces me to compensate for but it is a work in progress .... again nobody's perfect and I'll be the first to admit it. But this is half the battle. To work, to strive forward is the constant aim nof ALL Martial artists.
Let’s look closely at the Feihe Jugong (Flying Crane Crossed-Leg Stance). An eminent foe for people in this so-called “Modern Society” is stress. Used as a Chi-Gung posture this stance can be used to relieve tension and stress. This is accomplished as the posture; held for a period of time, will relieve the heaviness in the chest region due to stress. As the excess energy travels away from the centre to the hands it is dispersed through the middle and the ring and small fingers as well (Try the posture in a relaxed manner to relieve stress in a fashion to Taiji’s Chi-Gung practices)
That said, let’s focus on how to use this same posture martially as well. This enigmatic posture transmit’s the Yin Fire Element into the hands to disperse into the adversary with devastating effects.
The twisted stance actually focuses the energy rising (Yin) to a stronger degree, transmitting this energy up from the Bubbling Well Point/Gushing Spring (“Yangquan” - K1) and out to the hands. The energy rises to the chest (CV-17, “Shanzong” - Penetrating Odor) and via the outstretched arms, is channeled out to the Laogong point (Labor’s Palace - PC8) and the last three fingers of the hands (Try the posture for your own self investigation).
In a martial sense the striking hands would best be aimed at Fire or Metal related points. Again studying the posture we see the hands are positioned at head to neck levels and as such are the intended targets are mapped out in this dermatone. Sighting a few of these points for the sake of brevity, include the ST-5 (Daiyang - Big Welcome), ST-9 (Renying - Man’s Welcome), GB-4 (Hanyan - Satisfying Jaw) and GB-14 (Yangbai - Yang White).
Before you say “some of those art Earth points” … I must add that you are correct, yet these are also intersections of other energies and availability as well. The ST-5 is a crossing of the Large Intestine and Stomach Meridians and therefore takes on Metal characteristics as well. The downward hand maps out the angle and direction to affect with a this point with a strike downward and to the side, using Yin fire in the palm and palm-edge to intensify the strike.
ST-9 relates to the heart when accessed downward … Using the last three fingers (all of which a re Fire, Pericardium, Triple Warmer, Heart), we can see the energetic, angle of attack and weapon in posture. Pulling the opponent into the attack with the rear wing hand will take the opponent off balance as the rapid twist of the hips creates torque that has more strength than straight on pulling. This will also pull the one side out of play while simultaneously forwarding the attack.
An attack or penetrative strike to the “Man Welcome’s point (ST-9) as reflected within the Bronze Man Statue of the Bubishi is but one of the available strikes which this technique affords.
In addition an attack to GB-14 (Yangbai - Yang White) in the depression of the superciliary ridge will have devastating effects. This point is the intersection of the Stomach and Yang linking channels. A strike here can result on knockout or even death.
An aspect of the stance is within its Ground-Reaction-Force and Body-Energy-Meridian- Alignment. The stance is centred as the person twists to take up the position. One is also “grounded” by using the opponents body. What you have to remember is that we are talking about combat and not some outward exhibition designed to impress 10 year old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans!.
This technique is high in the White Crane “Body-Change” and “Change-Body” Principles with the defender taking a step to the side thus taking the practitioner off-line from the opponents incoming force, limiting the reaction time of the opponent and allowing the practitioner to deliver a life-protection response in a devastating manner. The twisted stance is to be done as that strike is deployed on target feeding increased Yin energy into the selected target.
Twisted leg stances such as this not only consolidate energy transfer but may also be used to trap the opponents leg. When trapping the leg many points may be activated weakening the other corresponding points in the body. One such response would involve the Bladder and Stomach meridians on the lower body attacked to set up a palm strike to CV-12 (Zongwan - Middle Cavity) or CV-14 (Juque - Great Palace). According to the 5 Element theory of traditional Chinese medicine, the Earth controls the Water which in turn controls the Fire. CV-14 is not only a Yin Fire point but also the alarm point of the Heart. The hands held in posture at Chest level indicates the angle, direction and dermantone of the body that is targeted. This is a very serious attach at minimum able to cause arrhythmia of the heart resulting in a knockout or possible death.
This is but a few applications of this so called “posture” whose practicality lies not within its “performance” but its actual application.