Zhan Zhuang – Stand like a tree

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Even the cat can do it! (Source:

Standing and maintaining postures has long been an eastern martial arts practice. In the west, medical studies are now showing that standing does have a positive health impact and many companies, for example, now offer standing workspaces.

The martial art form of standing in set forms has roots in the Daoist traditions and the series of classes we are introducing you to today are by Master Lam Kam Chuen.  The classes are of a practice called Zhan Zhuang (pronounced jang jong) and this series was originally made and broadcast by the BBC several years ago.

What is Zhan Zhuang?

Zhan Zhuang, (pronounced jang jong) translates as standing like a post but is more often described as standing like a tree. According to Wiki:

Zhan Zhuang is a training method often practiced by students of neijia (internal kung fu), such as Yiquan, Xing Yi QuanBagua Zhang and Taiji Quan. Zhan zhuang is sometimes translated as standing-on-stakestanding qigongstanding like a treepost-standingpile-standing. It is commonly mistakenly called a form of ‘Qi Gong‘, but is in fact different to other Qi Gong methods in its orientation.

Don’t be fooled into thinking – ‘Oh standing, easy peasy!’. Believe it or not standing and holding a pose is quite a tough workout!

Nathan Wright, who took up Zhan Zhuang to help deal with his MS, found the practise very beneficial. He says:

If you want to think you have to sweat to exercise, and standing still is not hard, simply try working your way up to 20 minutes in this first position. You may well sweat then. You will definitely start to question how you could be so dismissive of it to begin with.


So get up, stand up and take part!!!

Days 1 & 2