By Athos Antoniades
Athos describes the Penge Hinge fighting stance.
As humans are not natural fighters we must adopt a fighting stance which would release the Wild animal within, by entering the Reptilian Brain before the fight has even begun, and, as the Reptile Brain is also the doorway to the subconscious our fighting will be at a No-Mind subconscious reflex level with Reptile aggression, speed, power and perfect timing rather than anger.
In Kenpo Taiji we use the Penge/Hinge Power stance as our fighting stance. In this stance we centre ourselves by having the mind aspect of sinking everything down, the Chi to the Dan Tien and physical weight down to the centre of gravity point on the feet. This will give us perfect physical balance and to ensure internal balance between Yin and Yang we must not be double weighted. This is obvious in the legs, but in the hands we achieve internal balance by ensuring that they are not both Yin or both Yang. The Peng hand is always Yin and the Hinge hand Yang.
In this stance we will gain Internal Stillness, becoming present as our awareness becomes the space for what is happening to us here and now, able to become formless and react and adapt to any attack at a `No-Mind` subconscious reflex level, with maximum efficiency. We would be in the most stable position to deal with any attack, as by being centred within, we would automatically align ourselves with our opponents centre, able to pre-empt and intercept his attack.
Turning the heel of the front foot out in this stance will activate the Reptilian brain by causing the coccyx to tuck under, the chin to tuck in and back of the head to rise as we go in at the waist, giving us a vertical spine, therefore allowing the chi to sink to the Dan Tien and rise as Jing up to Gb20 entering the Reptilian brain and subconscious.
Turning the heel out will also create torque between the waist and hips as the hips stay exactly where they are, but the waist and Sacrum turn. This causes the Pelvic Kwa to constantly open and close internally (AA to show) generating energy which squeezes up through the sacrum and out if the attacking weapon. The mind centres on the sacrum, which is where all waist power comes from. In this stance the body is sprung and the Backbone loaded ,ready to explode its potential power with an explosive Fa-Jing shake of the waist.
The shoulders become rounded and our hands fall into the Penge/Hinge position, opening up the back kwa by going in at the waist and taking us into the Bridge Back Position, increasing energy flow, leading to C` back and further enhancing the Reptilian Brain. The arms are so totally lose that a Fa-Jing shake will force the power of the waist, which is generated by the constant opening and closing of the Pelvic Kwa,up the sacrum and out of the hand onto the target. Pushing out our front heel also locks the hips into a V shape up into the Pelvis, giving us complete control over what our legs and balance are doing. This causes some tension between the legs allowing us to change instinctively at any moment to any given situation.
The posture enables us to direct his energy down to the post leg grounding it. For this to happen the lower body must be structurally sound, we must have a loose top (YIN) and solid base (YANG).In addition our ability to ensure that his force is rooted to the ground through the Post leg instead of going directly through us and defeating us is greatly enhanced by using our scapulae, going in at the waist and tensing the Dan Tien raising our Jing to raise his centre making him unstable and easier to defeat.
Our Penge hand is Yin, as is the top part of our body, and is initially our feeling hand sensing where his centre is, which then, turns into our attacking hand. We would never attack first but wait for him to attack, and as he does we use Yin force to gather his energy and ground it down our post leg, instead of allowing him to attack our centre, which is what would happen if we met Yang with Yang. This will cause him to feel groundless momentarily giving us plenty of time to counter with a Rapid succession of strikes.
If our Penge hand was Yang shaped the full force of his attack will be concentrated at the wrist and into our centre. However, making our wrist Yin shaped concentrates his energy at our wrist enabling us to control his energy, and also, activates our power band around our shoulders, neutralising the impact of his physical attack by dispersing it. The Hinge hand is always Yang initially, being our initial attacking hand.
In this innocent looking stance we would not aggravate the situation as we would do in a Karate or Boxing stance, but are fully protected as nothing can come into us, and ,the full ferocity of the Reptilian Brain is poised to erupt at any moment.
Our back will be arched like any wild animal as our backbone is loaded with potential Yang energy, not only our own but also his, which we would gather in this posture as he makes contact with our Peng hand. As he attacks we attack first, releasing this adverse stored energy into our attackers dim-mak points, using a violent Fa-jing shake of the waist.
Fa-jing is the power of the Reptilian Brain,as it is the same energy generated by the Opening and Closing of the Pelvic Kwa, forced up the back by the Sacrum to enter the Reptilian rain which is released into the attacker as one of these opening and closing shakes culminates into a full Fa-jing attack.
For Penge Hinge to work we must maintain our posture and centering so that we can pre-empt and intercept his attack the moment he initiates it. By remaining centred we would be able to do this as we would have aligned our centre with his at an internal level ,effectively becoming one with him. Another requirement is that we must rush in and attack him the very instant he initiates his attack, as he would have committed to his attack it would then be too difficult for him to change direction by us rushing him.
We will also optimise our positioning by stepping in at a 45 degree angle ,taking control of his centre, either on the inside ,but preferably on the outside, which is safer. Unless we do this we would be defeated, but, as we will be in Reptile Brain Mode, this will be our natural reaction.
By strictly adhering to this system of fighting, there is absolutely no way we can lose any fight because the very instant he comes within our striking range we will attack with the full ferocity of the Reptilian Brain. It is imperative that we maintain our Penge Hinge power stance as we move in to attack as otherwise we would lose power. Keeping the front heel turned out will squeeze waist power up through the sacrum throughout the fight. Maintaining these stance will also replenish the body with any energy used in our attack, and also re-load the backbone, ready to go again.
As we rush in to attack by pre-empting and intercepting his attack ,our timing will be perfect as in Reptile mode we will be using Eagle vision, we will therefore lock on to his energy and become one with him. As he moves –we move, as he attacks, we attack first. Also, by rushing him as he initiates his attack, we will upset his switches by doing the opposite to what his pre-conditioned logical mind has been programmed to expect, which is to step back and defend, effectively remaining Yin to his Yang.
By ending up in his face instead of retreating, or cowering in fear, momentarily upsets his train of thought, effectively stopping him in his tracks and giving us the opportunity to attack him with a rapid succession of strikes. Instead of a passive human, he is confronted by an aggressive wild animal in full Reptile mode. It is important to always follow through with a rapid succession of strikes once we have committed to an attack. Otherwise if we stop and start we will give him the opportunity to attack us again as we exhaust our own energy and re-start with a new energy.
We can conclude that by maintaining our well structured stance, remaining centred and balanced in our Penge Hinge stance everything else will just follow in a fight.