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Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma
Question: Does one use the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma as a fighting stance?
Master Ho: It's not necessary; use a natural fighting stance.
Question: What's the best way to check your stance to know the correct distance between your feet?
Master Ho: The stance is based on one's body height. A tall person has a wider stance; a shorter person's would be smaller.
Question: Why are the toes inward in our stance?
Master Ho: If your toes point inward, when you practice turning or changing angles--it is easier. If your toes point outward--turning is inhibited.
Question: Should the spine be held straight?
Master Ho: Generally, your spine has got to be straight. If not, when you turn you'll swing your center out. If it's straight, when turning, everything is centered.
Question: When you practice the basic stance, are you developing energy by doing it?
Master Ho: The stance helps you to find your center of gravity. When you know how to feel your center, then you know how to move your body. As for internal energy--no matter what, if you are standing here, you already have internal energy. When you raise your hand you also have internal energy.
Question: What's the main purpose of Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma?
Master Ho: The main purpose of Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma is to practice your stance, to find your center of gravity and to balance yourself. When you have the ability to find the center, then when you fight, you can stand in any position. When an external force comes toward you, that's the time to use your balance--that's when your stance comes into place. If you can't control your balance, it doesn't matter how good your hands are; an external force coming in will knock you down.
Question: When you practice a long first form--say a half an hour or so--and you start to shake, does this mean youare weak or are you in the wrong position?
Master Ho: If you shake that means you can't find your center of gravity. You're using the wrong muscles.
Question: Is there any differences or improvements that you see in the forms since you've come to the United States?
Master Ho: The principles are the same but maybe the teaching methods are different. The foundation is the same but people teach differently.
Question: How significant is the knee position and is there natural tension somewhere along that area? If you're tense, is that wrong?
Master Ho: If the muscles are tight then it's wrong. It should be natural, natural tension. Any motion, as long asit's natural, is fine. Don't tighten up.
Question: A question about the hip--you don't lock the hip then?
Master Ho: The hip isn't held inward and tight. Just stabilize the hip and motion.
Question: About the center of gravity, usually this is indicated by a vertical plane. Is there a horizontal plane for the center of gravity and does it go down?
Master Ho: The vertical center of gravity should be straight in a vertical position. Whenever you move forward the whole vertical line should move as one unit.
Question: I notice that other systems seem to utilize wider stances. Can Wing Chun be practiced with a wider stance?
Master Ho: If your stance is too wide then you lose your flexibility to move. If it's too narrow then you can't move quickenough. The best position is your own natural position as based on Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma. Wing Chun doesn't use a wide stance, you lose mobility with a wider stance.
Question: How wide should the stance be?
Master Ho: The width of the stance is based upon your shoulder width. Also, in this stance your weight should be evenlydistributed.
Question: To move, one must raise the stance; correct? Does one's height remain the same?
Master Ho: When moving don't bounce your stance. Keep the height even and try to stay stabilized.
Question: How do you know exactly how to sink the weight? For example, how far do you sink?
Master Ho: Sink to the point that you feel natural and flexible. Sink enough but don't sink too much.
Question: Could you explain a little about basic pyramids and how they relate to the stance?
Master Ho: The pyramid stance is based on balance. If an external force comes in, it's dissolved accordingly. However, that's just talking about the stance, when you use the hands--they should be utilized with the structure.
Question: About the weight distribution, if the weight is evenly distributed on the feet and a burning sensation isfelt on the bottom of the foot, how does this relate to the directweight upon the heels?
Master Ho: The weight is distributed upon the whole foot. If you feel heat then that's a good sign for that means you'vefound your center of gravity. Later, that feeling will go away--thatis, when you learn to control better. But that's a good start. Also, both feet should be equal; if you feel burning, then you should feel it equally on both feet.
Question: Does it matter if you practice with bare feet? Or is it better to practice with shoes on?
Master Ho: If you practice with bare feet you'll feel your toes grab the ground better.
Question: Should you always practice a long first form?
Master Ho: It depends upon your energy level. If you feel bad that day, then you shouldn't do it too long. For example,if you try to study a book and you don't have the energy, it won'tgo to your mind well. Thus, it depends on your energy.
Question: So, unless your basic foundation or balance is good, anything you build on top of that is weak; correct?
Master Ho: Right.
Question: Is there a best time to practice Siu Lim Tau. For instance, before or after practice?
Master Ho: When you practice Siu Lim Tau, the best time is before you're tired. This way you can find your center easier.
Question: Again, about practicing barefooted, is it true that it's best to practice this way?
Master Ho: It doesn't matter. Practice many ways, for in a fight you'll be wearing shoes. But bare feet are better.
Question: Do you ever sink your weight more for certain techniques?
Master Ho: Don't emphasize sinking all the time. Just try to dissolve the incoming force. You may have to brace or sinkat that moment. But don't sink all the time.
Question: Could you elaborate on the natural curvature of the spine; as opposed to what was said about the spine being straight?
Master Ho: It should be natural, naturally straight.
Question: Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma isn't a fighting stance, correct? What happens in a real fight? What stance do we use?
Master Ho: Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma is the foundation of all stances. When you practice, you use this stance to develop balance. But when you fight for real, you use mobile stances.
Question: How does the shoulder relate to overall balance?
Master Ho: The shoulders should be straight down; pull them down equally. If your spine's straight then your shoulderswill be down.
I found it interesting too Tony!
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