8 Basic Stances

All Styles



Shaolin Chuan


8 Basic Stances



8 Basic Stances

Empty Stance

  1. Empty Stance ~ Xu Bu ~ 100/0 Weight Distribution

  2. Description: Start from Ready Position/Ready Stance.

    OPENING MOVEMENT:  First, open the right fist to make a Shaolin Palm and drop the hand to your side. Next, circle the right palm up, now push the palm down and at the same time, open the left fist and make a Shaolin Palm and thrust the palm up inside of the right arm.  The wrists of the two palms should cross in front of the heart.  Now, continue the left palm up and the right palm pushes down.  At a full extension, drop the top palm 45° to the left and the bottom palm lifts up to 45° behind to the rear.  Still continue, let the left palm pull back and form a hook as the right hand circles up to a temple block from behind and you step forward with the left toes and you sink down on the right leg.     

    Now, take a half step forward with the left foot, toes turned out 45°, bring the left palm to the waist and thrust up and push down with the right palm so they cross at the heart.  Continue both hands so the right palm pulls back and forms a hook and the left palm lifts up to a temple block, and toe kick with the right foot.  Holding the hands in their positions, drop the right leg so the toes lightly touch the ground into an Empty Stance. 

    To repeat, start over by taking a half step forward and reverse the sides.  

  3. Note:  Be sure your front foot has NO weight on it when the toes touch the ground.  Also, this should be done going forward and backward.     

  4. Variations:  Inside Empty Stance



  1. Unicorn Stance ~ Qi Lin Bu ~ 90/10 Weight Distribution

  2. Description: Start from Ready Position/Ready Stance.

    Leap forward with the left foot while sinking down so your thigh is parallel to the ground and punch, fist eye up, with the right at waist level.  As you leap, bring you back leg up so your toes balance your stance and your right lower leg is parallel to the floor.  If your knee is just above the ground you will be in the correction position.  To repeat, just leap forward and continue by reversing the sides.  

  3. Note:  At no time should your knee touch the ground and once you sink down your should not rise your head level.     


Rooster Stance

  1. Tiger Stance ~ Fu Hu Bu ~ 80/20 Weight Distribution

  2. Description:  Start from Ready Position/Ready Stance.

    Open the right fist and form a Willow Leaf Palm.  Thrust the palm across the stomach to the left and circle it up to a temple block in a clockwise circle.  When the right palm reaches the temple block position, step to the right, twice your shoulder width, and sink your body weight onto your right leg (toes turned out 30-45°), at the same time, fist the right hand and pull across to a right temple block and bring the left arm to the side and pull across the waist, fist heart up, to the center of the body.  

    To repeat, circle the temple block down to the waist fisted and open the left hand to a Willow Leaf Palm and circle up to a temple block, then pull with both hands and shift the body to the left side all at the same time.   

  3. Note:  You are not supposed to raise you head level once you sink down into your tiger stance.  Also, keep both of your feet flat on the ground.  

  4. Variations:  Low, Sunken, or Lazy Rooster.

  5. History:  As the story goes, during the Song Dynasty, 960-1280 A.D., a famous hero named Wu Song was suddenly attacked in the jungle by a huge tiger.  As the tiger leapt at him, Wu Song drew his only weapon, a small dagger, and bent low to avoid the leaping tiger.  While the tiger was hurling over him, Wu Song stabbed the tiger in the belly and killed it, thus Taming The Tiger.  


Feet Only

Hands Only

Lotus Stance

  1. Lotus Stance ~ Zuo Pan Bu ~ 90/10 Weight Distribution

  2. Description:  Start from Ready Position/Ready Stance.

    Drop both fist, heart forward, and circle the arms up to 45°.  Now, leap to the left, step behind with the right foot and sink down on both legs so your left thigh is parallel to ground and your right knee about 1 inch off the floor, your leg at a 45° angle, and your knee just behind the front heel.  As you sink down, circle the left fist to a temple block and punch the fist to the left waist, as if you were going to punch your own kidney. 

    To repeat, drop the hands, leap to the left and reverse the directions.  

  3. Note:  Once you have sunk down on the first Lotus Stance, you should not raise your head level.  Also don't allow your rear knee to touch the ground at any time.  

  4. Variations:  High Lotus, Fox Step, Sitting Lotus, Lying Lotus