The Ma Gong or stance training is one of the most important practices for a new student. It is very important that a new student develop a strong foundation. Without a good foundation the student's Kung Fu will be weak, like building a house on shifting sand. Smooth shifting from one stance to the other, holding each posture and making sure each stance is performed correctly are a must for a beginning student. Some of the major stances used in Hung Gar are: Say Ping Ma (Four Level Horse), Gee Ng Ma (Forward/Bow & Arrow), Diu Ma (Empty), Kou Ma (Scissors) are used in this Ma Gong drill. It is important that the new student is able to perform these stances with a good understanding of how they can also be used to throw an opponent off balance and break his foundation.
There is much more to stances training then meets the eye. A deep understanding of their use makes a Hung Gar Player a much more effective fighter, using such footwork as the Kai Lin Bow, which is a crossing over of the Kou Ma, as well as leg locks. The use of different stances as weapons is very effective, without a good foundation other techniques used are weak. So it is of the utmost importance that the stances are well understood and trained well. Ma Gong is also used as a leg conditioner, as well as building strong muscles in the legs, which gives the player an advantage in both fighting and performing sets. Walking the stance out (heel-toe-heel-toe) is used to stretch and condition the tendons and ligaments in the legs. Hung Gar players are well known for their long stringent training of stances. Placing great emphasis on a very strong foundation.