One of the first things a prospective student will learn is the Character two stance (pictured above). This awkward-looking stance (also referred to as yee-chi-kim-yeung-ma or IRAS) is the foundation that allows the Wing Tsun practitioner to increase his or her strength, necessary for balance and stability. In Wing Tsun, we believe that the body needs to be like a tree: Flexible and yielding at the top, and strong and stable at the trunk. In order to get the most out of your time in the Character Two stance, be mindful and follow these tips:
- Keep your knees and toes in line, do not squeeze the knees too tight.
- The knees are not to be more than two fists distance from each other. If they are it may be because your feet are too far apart. Too close and your stance may be too narrow.
- Maintain up-right body. Avoid leaning your shoulders back or sticking your rear-end out.
- Get comfortable with the discomfort. You want to “feel the burn” in the legs, resist the temptation to stand tall in the position.
When starting Wing Tsun training, many students are surprised by the amount of leg strength they acquire by simply practicing the character two position. This as well as the other footwork drills make Wing Tsun a great choice for someone looking to increase strength and balance.