This article is a translation from the French book, Dacheng quan, L’art ultime de combat by Guo Guizhi (Paris: Arkanorum, 2001) pp. 37-38. Guo studied Da Cheng Quan with Dr. Yu Yong Nian, Wang Xiang Zhai and Chang Ze Lang in 1957. In 1963 he began to train with Master Yao Zong Xun. Later he went on to teach and promote the art of Da Cheng Quan in Europe.
Effects of Training in Zhan Zhuang
Provided that practitioners train Zhan Zhuang correctly, in a comfortable and regular manner without trying to take shortcuts, and without artifice, the effects of training will unfold correctly and will naturally appear. Because each person’s physical condition and inspiration are different, we present the following phenomena:
- Beginners sense various sensations of aching and pain in their arms and legs or pressure in the chest. These are normal sensation and are considered a necessary step that beginners must pass through. Ignore them and when they arise just take a short break and start again, but make sure the chest is relaxed.
- One becomes nervous and uncomfortable. In this case, don’t try too hard and open the eyes and rest the hands. Take a break or walk a bit. Begin again when you feel calm.
- If the breathing is not good, take a large deep breath. Try to inhale and fill the chest, then lift the neck, relax the body, and shift gently right and left, as you release the air. Repeat this two or three times and one will relax, or stop, adjust your position and start again.
- If you fall asleep, this is normal. After two or three weeks as one becomes stronger, this phenomenon disappears.
- Some beginners shift too much during training. This is not good. Delicately shifting left and right will not upset your training, but if you do it too much it can cause negative effects. In such a situation you must your Spirit must exercise control.
- Some reactions are very strange, for example moving on all fours or rolling on the ground. These are defects which must be corrected
- If the secretion of saliva becomes stronger during training, this is a good and you should swallow it gently.
- The body feels as though insects are walking on it, the muscles jump and tremble, the intestines make noise, hiccups, the bones make noise, etc. These phenomena are normal. Let them pass naturally.
- Certain illnesses cause special sensations. For example, aching, tingling, pain and warmth in the legs for people who have rheumatism, are positive effects. Continue to train without paying attention to these sensations.
- Normally after training for a certain period, one begins to have sensations of swelling and warmth in the hands as if the hands and feet swell and the fingers tremble. The armpits perspire and the interior of the body is warm, etc. as if having receiving acupuncture. The body is at ease. These are normal experiences and show that progress is being made.