Chinese Stone Lock training and conditioning

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by slipthejab, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    The mention of the stonecutter brought to mind a favorite little parable of mine:

    - ancient Chinese parable as retold in Benjamin Hoff's, The Tao of Pooh.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  2. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Here is an image of a abandoned stone lock that only had the cryptic yet poetic title written for it:


    Stone Lock is whisper quiet master, who had Kongwuyouli

    Attached Files:

  3. Patrick Smith

    Patrick Smith Tustom Cuser Uitle

    This is incredible, Slip! Thank you for posting! :)

    Your research skills and knowledge are very impressive.
  4. Northwind

    Northwind Valued Member

    This is right up my alley. I've always heard about stone locks & seen a vid or two, but this thread as collection of images, vids, articles, etc. is extremely smart & well done. Kudos!
  5. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Here's an interesting one... the anatomy of a stone lock:

    1) lock spring (锁簧)

    2) lock head (锁头)

    3) lock tail (锁尾)

    4) lock side (锁面)

    5) lock back (锁背)

    6) head (头面)

    7) tail surfaces (尾面)

    8) left surface (左面)

    9) right surface (右面)

    Attached Files:

  6. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Much like a lot of academia I suspect... it comes down to being able to pull existing information that is out and put it in a context that is easily accessible and easy to digest. At least for subject matter such as this. It's not physics for the most part so there isn't the same amount of necessary complexity involved - except for perhaps the language issue.... that makes my job much easier.

    So in a sense it's being able to source the information... translate a bit of it.. put it in context and then make it available. So research in a sense but probably not research of a high order. :p

    The fun part is being able to dig in and just find stuff - that I live in China makes it a fair bit easier. Sometimes the language totally stumps me so that is a challenge. Drawing connections or lateral linkages like the 'Stonecutter's Parable' and making that work with the thread is also quite fun.
  7. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Yes I was much in the same position. It really got me to thinking... surely there must be plenty of it still out there. The key was really lateral thinking. I'm excited because I have reams of information to now go out and get several stone locks and start to play with the movements and try to emulate what they're doing in the videos. That's where the fun begins!

    To be honest... I've asked skads of Chinese people about this - both Kung Fu practitioners, builders and everyone else and they either look at you like your nuts or suggest Kettlebells or just haven't got a clue where to look. Much of that I put down to being in Hong Kong. In mainland China I suspect there is a bit more knowledge of the training/sport/subject.
  8. Northwind

    Northwind Valued Member

    I hear you on that. In my line of northern shaolin we've got tons of crazy exercises - body-weight, kettle-bells, medicine ball, and various other toys...

    Yet zero stone locks.

    If there's an entrepreneurial mind on here, they might very well take this to the bank, so to speak (if there's enough interest of course).
  9. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Here's a Chinese man that's rocking out a balance/strength move with a rather large stone lock. Hmm... something tells me this is not nearly as easy as he's making it look!
    There appears to be different regional styles in stone lock throwing. I'll see if I can come up with something towards that end soon!

    Attached Files:

  10. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    Great find slip. Very interesting stuff.
    I often see various types of weight training in old chinese martial arts, which is why I always dismissed those masters that said that weight training was 'bad' for your kungfu or taiji.

    Of all the research I've done I've never come across stone lock training before. Great compound movements to build up a strong core!
  11. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Yes, in China I've always found in general people are quite robust and usually have a very good sense of their physicality. Manual labor is common all across China and I've not doubt that any Kung Fu practitioner worth his salt would have gotten in a fair amount of physically strenuous conditioning. Most of the whole new age, soft as marshmallows CMA that we see I've always thought of as primarily a modern aberration. Especially in CMA's like Tai Chi where it seems a very large portion of it has become more of a slow-motion, limited-range-of-motion Yogaesque dance and less of an actual martial art. I've no doubt that the Tai Chi masters of antiquity placed great importance on physical strength and conditioning.

    Yes exactly. Most of the movements are dynamic compound movements. Sometimes they end in an isometric hold. Very interesting. The would hammer your core both as a mover and as a stabilizer for sure. If you watch the early clips I posted of Wang Wenyong's men using them you'll see it's definitely a full body movement for almost every single drill.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  12. jmd161

    jmd161 Hak Fu Mun

    Here's a different stone loc usage for you...

    [ame=""]YouTube- Video_011010_001.3g2[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube- Alex stone locs vid.3g2[/ame]
  13. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Nice! Yes those were on my list of variations to post! (now they're not :p )
    I'd like to track down where those come from. Are they a modern variation? It appears they have rope handles - or at least they're flexible. So their dynamic will be a lot different than a traditional stone lock - I'm curious what his drills are aimed at.
  14. 19thlohan

    19thlohan Beast and the Broadsword

    They came from his girl freind. When he's not training she uses them to carry around her make up other things.
  15. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    LOL! :D
    Yeah even with momentum they look decidedly on the lite side.
  16. jmd161

    jmd161 Hak Fu Mun

    He's 15 yrs old and they're 10 lbs... they're used to condition the arms for striking and blocking. No matter how lite they may appear I assure you most here can not do what he's doing! The locs are designed to strike your forearm with every punch it's not as easy as it looks.
  17. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Relax a bit... I don't think anyone is actually putting the guy down. He's putting up what he's working on so he gets props for that. I'm always up for people actually putting what they're doing on vid for others to see. He's leading by example and that always gets credit in my book.

    Since you seem to have the inside info on this (You train the same style/school as the fella in the vids?):

    1) What are they made out of? Stone? (an idea what type? Granite/Bluestone/Sandstone?)

    2) What are the handles fashioned out of? Rope?

    3) Are they as traditional the other type of stone lock?

    4) If so... What province do they originate in?

    5) What styles in particular use them?

    6) Do you know the Chinese characters (either simplified or traditional is fine) for the item?

    In my research so far it's the first time I'd come across them. They certainly don't seem to be anywhere near as prevalent as the traditional stone lock if my research is anything to go by. Though... it wouldn't be the first time that an obscure form of conditioning has fallen out of favor in the modern age. Which was the reason I had them on my list of things to post in this thread initially.

    As for the striking of the forearm... I don't think it's going to be all that much different than that amount you'd take from an ill placed Kettlebell movement eg. if your timing and shoot-thru are off on a KB snatch... especially on a non-standard diameter KB. As for no one here being able to do what he's doing... I'm pretty sure that won't be the case honestly. Not to take anything away from his efforts. Not at all.

    However I'm entirely willing to back that up. f you can provide the info on their construction/materials I'll either make a set or get some made here in Hong Kong and I'll post up a video. It doesn't look all that challenging even given that they're 10lbs with momentum. Though... I've been wrong before.

    If I'm dead wrong and it turns out to be insanely hard then I'll eat my words. :p
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  18. jmd161

    jmd161 Hak Fu Mun

    I'm the guy filming him...

    Sorry, I do get a bit frustrated when looking for good discussion and people add worthless/unneeded sarcasm or the like...

    Concrete ready mix

    The traditional ones used by my sifu had rope these have a handle which kinda spins... they're a modern version made by one of my training brothers.

    I can't speak for other styles but they are in our style.

    I can't say I truly know that answer... our sigung was from Panyu, Canton and the style originated in Canton as well to my knowledge. Our sigung added techniques and drills from other styles he learned.

    I've heard of some Hung Kuen families using them but I can't confirm that. I know we use them in Hak Fu Mun (Black Tiger)

    I'd have to get my sifu to write that for you as I can not write Chinese characters.

    I don't know if they've fell out of favor or if it's just one of those things Black Tiger does differently. We seem to have the only Grinder Dummy in existence as well... many have asked for the plans to make a Grinder dummy though.

    The loc's he's using are lighter for him! He's 15 and just starting arm conditioning. So he doesn't need to use 20 or 30 lb loc's because he need to get the technique right first without injuring himself in the process.

    The momentum is the tricky part... if you use the wrong motion the concrete will cut open your arm! The momentum is a lot harder than it looks... you have to punch outward and up this forces the loc up and out which produces the momentum... to keep it going is the snap of the loc striking the forearm which causes that snapping looking motion. The concrete slamming into the forearm is not a good feeling.

    A few pics...


    Grinder Dummy concrete and metal...

    More loc's...

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  19. Northwind

    Northwind Valued Member


    Thanks for sharing this interesting variation from your system! :)
  20. jmd161

    jmd161 Hak Fu Mun

    No problem!

    I'm always interested in beneficial discussion.:)

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