Rabbit - is it a static hold or dynamic movement???
Originally Posted by W. Rabbit
Any chance you've got access to a video of it if its dynamic? Looks like a good one to inflict upon some friends who play rugby.
It's a static exercise used as conditioning and a template for later, more challenging dynamic exercises. The static hold can be done with the hands forward or reversed through the legs. The challenge is to learn to breathe properly through the initial discomfort, while learning to relax and let the muscles, ligaments, and tendons do their work properly.
Originally Posted by MikeD81
New students find doing this for a minute very challenging, so you work your way up. Proper body alignment is important and learned over time, leading to a stronger, more stable position. It's common for new people to just have to break the pose to relieve the lactic acid discomfort in their quads etc. Advanced students can actually meditate in this position for 5+ minutes.
This is Hung Ga grandmaster Lam Sai Wing performing both forward and reverse Golden tortoise as part of the 7 Golden Passages (chut gum muen), a "warmup" qi gong routine.
Some traditional Hung ga instructors would line their students up in a row in this position, and walk across their backs to test their strength. Not done so much nowadays as I imagine the risk is too high of hurting someone's back.
The Shaolin-derived and Daoist-derived qi gong exercises actually include a lot of different "Squat-like" exercises with dynamic lower and upper body movement. This is one example from the 8 Brocade exercises.
The older name for these kinds of pseudo-gymnastics is "Dao Yin", "guided stretching", or Yang Sheng ("life nourishing").
This is a modern reconstruction of the 44 movements of "Daoyin Tu" ("exercise chart") from 168 BC.
Hey look what I found, Jake doing the Drawing the Bow exercise.
There are a lot of variations of the 8 brocades but they generally contain the same basic movements. The static exercises like Golden Tortoise help build the foundation for the dynamic exercises in other sets, like Drawing the Bow.
The more traditional Shaolin forms look more like this.
Notice the sequence difference of the Drawing the Bow in Jake's set (#4/8), and the Shaolin Temple Europe version (#2/8). It shows how the sets can change over time depending on the instructor/lineage. In most versions I've seen (including the Tang Fong Hung ga version) the exercise is in the #2 position of the 8.
It'd be interesting to know if this is how Shaolin Do teaches the Brocades, because it would seem to indicate yet another conflict between "canonical" Shaolin methods and Shaolin Do methods.