‘Wu Long Pan Da’ translates to English as ‘Dancing Dragon’ – not a dancing Panda, as some people expect! This movement is a fundamental Shaolin Kung Fu basic and it becomes a foundational movement of all beginner Shaolin Kung Fu students. This is because many Kung Fu routines and combinations involve Wu Long Panda. But anyone can learn Wu Long Pan Da and it actually has many benefits when done correctly.
- Flexibility – The rotation of the arms loosens tension in the shoulders.
- Co-ordination – This is the main benefit of Wu Long Pan Da. You should learn to perform Wu Long Pan Da in both directions. In doing so, you are practising your co-ordination skills, as your brain needs to work out how to perform opposing movements one after another. Watch the video to get some ideas.
- Mobility – When performing this movement, aside from moving your arms, you actually move your waist as well. As your arms rotate like a wheel at either side of your body, you are shifting your feed and twisting your waist.
- Strength – Once performing a rotation, you squat down into a ‘Pu Bu’ stance, this involves squatting down on one leg while keeping the other straight and both feet flat on the floor. Both squatting into this position and coming up from it increases the strength in your legs. As Wu Long Pan Da is performed on both your left and right side, both legs receive equal work out.
- Speed – This movement is a great way to perform speed training. Once you’ve mastered the movements, the aim is to perform one set after another with speed. This is particularly challenging as your body needs to be relaxed enough to flow freely but tense enough to move quickly.
Fancy giving it a go?! Here’s our Step-by-Step guide:
- Stand in a clear space. Place your feet parallel at ¾ of a metre apart and your feet flat. Hold your arms out straight at your shoulders with your wrists flexed and fingers together.
- RIGHT WU LONG PAN DA: Tuck your left hand into your to your right shoulder, hold it there. Swing your right arm down and up and hold it facing it the left of your body. Your arm has performed 180° Pivot your feet so that your body is turned to the right as well.
- Raise your right arm 90° so it is above your head. Here move your left arm down from your shoulder and point it to the floor. Your both arms should now be aligned making one straight line.
- Think that your right hand is leading the line. Level your arms 90° to align them with your shoulders. Now continue to turn your right hand down and make a full circle to the right. Make sure to pivot your feet so your body can turn towards the right.
- As you complete the whole circle to the right shift your feet out wider and begin to lower your body to squat on your left leg, keep the right leg straight and both feet should be flat on the floor. Squat as low as you can in to ‘Pu Bu’ position but keep your back straight. As you lower your body, slap your right hand on the floor, or if you can reach your right foot that would be better.
- Hold this Pu Bu position with your right hand touching the floor or your foot. Your left arm should be angled slightly higher than your right arm in this position. Hold this position for a few seconds.
- LEFT SIDE WU LONG PANDA: To complete the left side Wu Long Pan Da, stand up to the original position and repeat the instructions again but swap to the opposing side.