Last year, I came wrote a short article on Meihua Post training. My dear readers may recall that I toyed with the idea of planting posts in the backyard. In the end, I decided my neighbors already think I'm crazy, and may not need any further evidence. Not to mention the gas and electric companies have used the best parts of my backyard for underground lines, and digging through them is not how I want to ruin a weekend.
So I went to the idea of a portible unit as described by "Yao Sing" on the Kung Fu Magazine forums. His folding post stands seemed like just what I would want. I can set it up outside, or in the garage, and then fold it out of the way when done. I could even elect to wear a shirt when I use it, as I'm not quite to his level of performance. ;)
Last year was a little rough from a personal standpoint, so the project was tossed onto the pile of things that I'd like to eventually get to. Last week, however, I was inspired to dabble in PVC for an unrelated project. After finishing that, I decided to use some leftover PVC and a little free time to put together this project. The only problem: no dimensions are available for the stand, so I had to guess a little. In my head, I saw the total length of the posts to be about the length of my front stance, and the distance from one corner to the other to be about a horse stance.
Last night, I picked up all of the extra pieces from the big box hardware store (sticker shock... those connector pieces add up to around $90) and started cutting, swearing, cutting, swearing until I achieved victory.
These are the posts, in all their glory. The first battle has been won. I connected them using 2 foot long pieces of 2" wide PVC. This, as it turns out, was way too long. A 48" front stance may not sound too bad, and on the ground it isn't. However, what I failed to add to my calculations was that the joining pieces would add another 11" of distance between the posts. For me, that takes it out of Front Stance territory, and more into Front Split territory. That's a whole other project!
Aside from that, standing on the posts in a good horse stance made for a challenge. Different muscles work harder at keeping you stable and balanced. It was a lot of fun, and I can see how one gets very good at weight shifting when moving between posts.
Still thinking that a 48" stance was manageable, I cut off 6" from both pieces, so that the longest distance between posts was 48". Let me tell you something. If you're safely on the ground, reaching into a long front stance is easy. When you're standing on a 4 inch pole 2 feet from the ground and you need to put your other foot on a 4 inch wide pole 4 feet away... Oh, also, there's another pole halfway there, so if you miss, the middle pole catches you in the goodies.
That means, my connecting poles need to be closer to 12" in length. I wanted to cut them down, but by this point, I was "le tired." So this battle will wait another night. The next phase of the project involves PVC cement and making sure the pieces stay nice and tight. Once everything cures, I look forward to getting on the posts and practicing a bit and then torturing my students.
In the meantime, here's a fun link to some more things you can do once you get up on the posts.