Balance and Stability:

Keeping it simple Balance is maintaining equilibrium when motionless against nothing but the Force of Gravity.

Balance is motionless, if we are moving it is more accurate to talk about Stability.

Stability is maintaining or regaining Balance against outside forces, including forces created by ourselves, as in our own movement.

Balance is motionless and Stability is maintaining or regaining Balance, therefore Stability is about remaining or becoming still.

Some confusion arises because frequently Stability is referred to as either Static Balance or Dynamic Balance, especially if we include coordination, in this context :

Static Balance refers to the ability to maintain the body’s centre of mass within its base of support, as in standing still.

Dynamic Balance refers to the ability to move the centre of mass outside the body’s base of support, while maintaining postural control as in moving.

Balance and Coordination.

 Dynamic Balance is the ability to stay upright or maintain control of body movement, and Coordination is the ability to move two or more body parts under this control, smoothly and efficiently.

As always the best approach is to do your own research and form your own opinion.

Three important principals of Balance / Stability.

  1. A broader base of support {wider feet} increases stability.
  2. Keeping the line of gravity central inside the support base increases stability.
  3. A lower centre of gravity increases stability.

From a Wing Chun perspective, the lower stances / positions of the Chum Kiu and Baat Cham do are more Stable than the higher stance / position of the First Form {S.L.T}.

Getting back to the previous statement that “Balance is motionless and Stability is maintaining or regaining Balance”, it is more useful to think that Stability is about remaining or becoming still, we can see that the movements activated through the various Wing Chun Forms are not so much about moving to or from an opponent but rather moving from one position of equilibrium to another, moving to a new position of Stability, they are about stopping.

This is an important factor in power production and in keeping with the Conservation of Momentum Theory.

If we use the Chum Kiu Form as our testing ground the cycle of movements should go from being still {Static Balance} through the sequence or movement of choice, for instance the lateral shifting with Dai Sau and Bong sau {Dynamic Balance} culminating in stillness at the completion of the sequence or movement {back to Static Balance}.

The movement of the arms adds extra complexity to maintaining Balance by introducing new vectors but the main take away for the arms is in developing coordination of the upper and lower body, the action should fill the same time period, both stopping and starting,  as the movement of the legs and waist. 

If one moves they all move if one stops they all stop.

The Wing Chun Forms are subtle and use minimal movement deliberately, because of this it can be difficult to observe the movements in detail, it is often easier and more effective to have stand alone exercises to study this, once we are familiar with the connections between Balance, Stability, Coordination and Movement the understanding can be transposed onto the various Forms.





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