The following was written as a response
on the yahoo [Bagua] list.
Subject: Re: [Bagua] Re: Dragon Shape Baguazhang
Date: 11/15/2004 5:33 PM
From: "Dave A. Anselmi"
C J wrote:
> The only problem I would see with that is my runed knees (NO acl in one, and severly torn meniscus in the other) not to mention having them both broken at the ankles in a motorcycle crash some years ago...
> I suppose though, you can always modify and adapt the form to your limitations and focus on your advantages...
> what do you all think of that???
3 "Knee Rules" that work for me (adapted from Peter Ralston) are:
1) point knees with toes
2. weight goes into heels
3. knee is a hinge, not a 'universal joint'
This means the common guideline: "don't extend knee past the toe" isn't necessarily right, & can either (a) limit your movement unnecessarily, or (b) allow knee-strain/damage to occur anyway.
Draw a straight line for each foot, like a 'railroad track', which includes the 2 points of the big toe & the heel point. Your knee should move back/forth along that line, on *top* of that line, neither 'caving-in' or 'twisting-out'. Caving-in (knee falls inside the line, between the feet) usually means the pelvis isn't relaxed (correspondingly, often the butt also falls outside the feet). Twisting-out (knee falls outside the line) usually means the weight isn't in your heels.
The knees ideally shouldn't ever have any pressure on them: the weight/force goes down the spine, 'pointed' by the sacrum thru the knees into the heels & down into the ground. Ie, the 'pressure end-point' should be in the ground, not at the knee... which allows the force to cleanly transfer from hand/limb into the ground (& vice versa). If you feel pressure/strain right-below the kneecap, that usually means your weight is going past your toes; pressure/strain above the kneecap means weight is falling behind the heels. Pressure/strain on right or left means you're caving-in or twisting-out. Until your knees start relaxing & filling with awareness, you'll often notice this kind of pressure/feedback only hours later...
You can do all this & do twisty stuff like Fu Style just fine; I've been doing it for years.
'luck, Dave A.
Copyright: Dave A. Anselmi, 2004