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Starting Xing Yi Part 4: Stepping like a chicken?!

Welcome back to our ongoing series: Starting Xing Yi. Here we are learning the building blocks of the movement pi chuan, the metal element fist of Xing Yi Quan. If you need a brief overview or the art see here, for the hand movements of pi chuan here and the basic stance of san ti here. Today we press on and learn the footwork of pi chuan, the not very excitingly named: chicken step

Step like a Chicken

So this is a moderately complex piece of footwork and it needs to be broken down.

Step 0: Assume the san ti stance (see article 3 here), then forget about the hands. We are here to work on the feet today. Drop them or stick them on your hips for now.

Step 1: Take a small darting step forward. Sometimes called an arrow step. Here the front foot move first and then the second is pulled along after. The feet do not really come up, but don't slide along the ground. Feel like your feet are a javelin that are landing in the ground.

Step 2: The chicken step. Stay low and shift your weight to the front leg. Let your rear leg come off the ground and hang in the air. Now pull that leg up so it hangs next to your other foot, as though you could draw in the sand with your toe. This is why it is called a chicken step as you are standing like a chicken would if it was scratching the ground.

Step 3: Drive your hanging leg forward so that it is going to land in the san ti posture but don't stop just there. Push with the rear leg and take another arrow step. Again feel like your legs are a spear landing in the ground.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 on the other side.

Start slowly and keep it broken down. Don't rush this but eventually you want to link it up so that it starts to look like this:

Have fun and good luck with your chicken steps! BKAAAAH!!!!! (a chicken noise...maybe)

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