The Application of the Six Harmonies in Sanda

The six harmonies describe the harmony in which certain body parts move according to each other. The six harmonies are:

Back and Shoulder

Shoulder and Elbow

Elbow and Hand

Waist and Hip

Hip and Knee

Knee and Foot

In application, one’s movement emanates from the back, the back moves the shoulder, the shoulder moves the elbow and the elbow moves the hand. When executing leg applications, the waist moves the hip, the hip moves the knee, the knee moves the foot. This is the order of force development.

The harmonies can be applied separately (e.g.: knee moves foot) or as a whole (as described above).

However when one is fighting an opponent, one should apply them as a whole. One has to be calm and relaxed and at the same time highly focused. Breathing needs to be even and natural.  This way one is enabled to achieve the unity of cognition and emotion as well as the unity of thought and movement. The calm mind sees the next step clearly. Clear thoughts induce the fitting reaction to the opponent”s action.

There are more different combinations of the six harmonies:

Shoulders and Hips 

The harmony between these two will achieve a good stance and posture. One should not lean to the front nor to the back. The weight rests in the center. Firm yet flexible, in motion yet balanced.

Elbow and Knee

The harmony of these two will achieve good coordination when moving back and forth. Limbs extend and draw back naturally.

Hand and Foot

The harmony of these two achieves the possibility of many changes in one’s movements and therefore increases one’s agility.

The force development when applying the six harmonies always takes place from the inside to the outside.

Master Yu Bin – translation by Felix