Why is "Instant Kungfu" an oxymoron?
Because "Kungfu" means a skill developed with much time and effort.
This is an "instant" lesson -- but to understand it fully will take time and practice.
Keep breathing: don't hold your breath!
Breathe out on extensions and power moves. Inhale on
transitions and absorbing movements.
Keep the hips tucked in and the lower back as
straight as possible: don't arch (hyper-extend) the
lower back or bend over forwards.
Concentrate on the movement, focus on its application.
Kungfu is not just calisthenics. You cannot
just "walk-through" the forms and expect to gain the full benefits of mind-body integration.
The Tan-tui (literally "springing" or "snapping" leg) fist form series has been used for centuries as a basic training tool. Outwardly, it has the appearance of an "external", or hard style, where the power is generated by obvious lunges, dropping, and twisting of the waist. The kicks are low and hard in the first sets, but get higher and more acrobatic in the later sets. The basic Tantui forms teach important principles and skills. The student who can perform the first several sets well has learned how to put full body power behind a single arm punch. How to shift weight from leg to leg, how to twist smoothly between the basic horse and front stances, and the importance of yin and yang: high and low stances, back and forth movement, must all be absorbed. Three distinct types of kicks, and several different hand forms are used as well. The movements of Tantui have both striking and throwing applications.
Salute: From a relaxed ready position, the left hand arcs up and over the head in front of the body, in a standing palm position. The right hand comes up, "threads the needle", and punches straight out to the side (standing fist).
One: On the count of "One" drop straight down into a horse stance, as the right hand forms a fist at the side of the waist and the left fist swings out in front of the body in a flat hammer-fist.
Two: The body rotates 90 deg. to the left, the right fist punches straight out as the left fist pulls smartly back to the waist. To accomplish this change of stance, from Horse stance to Bow & Arrow (Front stance), the left foot pivots forward on the HEEL, as the right foot pivots back on the BALL of the foot. This simultaneously lowers, lengthens, and widens the stance. With slight shifting, your feet should now be almost a shoulder width apart, and both facing to the left.
Three: Punch forward with the left fist, smartly retracting the right to the waist. Simultaneously, kick straight up and out with the right foot. Pause a fraction of a second.
One: Drop the right foot straight down, and pivot on the ball of the left foot to drop into a solid Horse stance and deliver a strong punch with the right hand. This completes one cycle.
The second cycle is exactly the same, but mirrored on the other side of the body. The third cycle is the same as the first, and ends by drawing the left foot up as the right hand "threads the needle" out to the right. The next Tantui form can then
proceed in the opposite direction.