Image credit: Ryan Ng/SportSG
Although wushu may seem difficult, given the large amounts of flexibility, strength, and training necessary to perfect the fanciful leaps and flips, there are a few basic moves that beginners may try out.
Ma bu (horse stance)
The horse stance is a basic stance used in almost all wushu routines. It provides the balance and firm base from which you can execute more complicated moves. To begin, stand with your feet apart, slightly wider than your shoulders. Lower your knees into a sitting position, as if you were straddling a horse. Ensure that your upper body posture is straight but not tensed.
Gong bu (bow stance)
Stand in a forward lunge position, with one foot in front of another in a straight line. Turn your back foot out slightly, with your toes pointing outwards. Ensure that both heels remain on the ground. Lower yourself by bending your front leg by about 90 degrees, and extend your back leg. Pull your upper body straight and tall, and look straight ahead.
Xie bu (rest stance)
Cross your right foot over your left and sit comfortably on your left knee, ensuring that there is no space between both legs. Keep your balance and try not to fall over. As you lower your body, lift your left heel off the ground. Turn your head towards the left while keeping your upper body pulled straight and your chin upright. Place your fists on your hips but make sure that your elbows are tucked in, and that your wrists face the ceiling.
Ce chuai tui (side kick)
Stand upright with your hands by your waist and your wrists facing the ceiling. Make fists and tuck your elbows close to your body. Placing one foot slightly behind the other, bend a little to gain some preparatory momentum. Using this force, kick the leg that is at the back up sideways - as high as you can go. This kick should be a controlled one; do so first by raising your knee up to your hip, then extending the lower part of the leg straight up.
Tan tui (sharp kick)
While standing upright, extend your right arm straight out in front of your chest, and flex your hand at the wrist so that your fingers are facing the ceiling. Your left hand should be clenched in a fist and, with the elbow tucked inwards and wrists facing the ceiling, place it at your hips. Take a step with your left foot as you raise your right knee up in front of you to reach your hip. In one fluid and powerful burst, kick the lower part of your right leg out, straightening it. Your entire right leg should now be parallel to the ground. During the kick, your arms should also be moving - simply move the right arm to assume the left arm’s original position, and vice versa.
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