Posture Energy, and Flow

Posture Energy, and Flow


Posture is essential.  This doesn’t refer to just when executing technique, but throughout the day in all you do.  Posture is the proper positioning of the head, shoulders and hips so that they are balanced.  You can think of 3 basketballs stacked on top of each other.


In the beginning of sil lim tao you draw back your fits to your chest and then tuck your hips as you sink into your stance, but instead of sinking into your stance, you just tuck your hip.. This alignment is the everyday posture you want to maintain in a relaxed state.  Head up, shoulders back, hips tucked.


Maintain this position when walking. You should be relaxed and have a calm quiet and pleasant energy around you. You do not want to walk around tense with negative energy.


This everyday posture is the same posture used when executing techniques.  The body is back and not leaning forward creating distance between you and your opponent. This posture also increases your speed for both footwork and overall technique. So as you practice posture for the everyday posture you also practice posture for techniques since the head, shoulder, and hip positions are the same.


When transitioning from everyday stance into a ready stance, you sink into your stance and apply a slight dynamic tension though out the body. The arms come up into a ready stand with the same forward moving dynamic tension.  This is not to say that you are stiff.  The stance is dynamic and involves both tense and relaxed states for both speed and effectiveness of technique and movement.

Forward Tension

Try this exercise:


From a tan sao position –


First Way:

  1. keep your wrist in place so that it does not move from its current location
  2. Transition into bon sao by just raising your elbow keeping you wrist in the same place throughout the movement
  3. Do this back an forth a few times and take notice how that movement feels


  1. Relax


Second Way:

  1. Go back into tan sao
  2. This time, instead of keeping your wrist in place the entire time apply a forward motion to the elbow and wrist –As you transition to bon sao, your elbow and wrist show move back slightly before it moves back forward. As you transition between the 2, maintain this forward motion.  if you are doing this correctly, you will be making a “C” like motion in the air with your elbow.


Although the techniques being done are the same, you can feel that the second way yields more power.  It is this forward motion that we need to maintain during attack as well as defense. This forward motion will prevent your arms from collapsing in when pressure is applied against it. This is the same forward tension that is used during chi sao



Try to incorporate this in all your moves

why is fook sao important and done 3x in sil lim tao?

one of the reasons why fook sao is important is because it teaches you proper hand / arm / elbow ending position / angles (not location) for tarn sao (lifting arms)

why is tarn sao important? Besides being a block and strike at the same time, tarn sao puts you in a position where you have you multiple options for what attack you want to do next.

as mentioned before practicing the fook sao places your hand in the proper ending position when performing tarn sao.  So instead of having a straight arm when doing tarn sao by finishing tarn sao in the extended fook sao position, the ending position makes for easy transitioning (being that the elbow is at its proper 135 degree angle and the hand is bent at the wrist at a 45 degree angle ) from tarn to tan sao or tarn sao to completing huen sao to jut sao for example. By applying correct footwork (POCI) and being able to transition to either tan sao or heun sao, tarn sao give you options to go to the inside or the outside and that is the treasure

 here’s an example.  a right tarn sao can be done on the attackers right arm where you can transition to tan sao for an inside attack or that tarn sao can transition to a huen sao where you would put yourself in the position for an outside attack  – correct footing (POCI) will need to be applied