USING TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS IN SPARRING

Shaolin Kung Combat Application

Participants enjoy themselves using combat sequences in their sparring


In Combat Sequences 1 to 4 shown in the video series here the focus is on developing basic combat skills like right spacing, right timing, fluid movements, energy flow and mental clarity. In Combat Sequences 5 to 8 shown in the video series here, the focus is on expanding the repertoire of combat techniques.

Sparring skills are further developed. At this stage of our sparring methodology, while the movements are not predetermined, they are also not totally free. Control is gradually released, and course participants are given appropriate guidelines so they can effectively apply kungfu skills, techniques and tactics in attack and defence spontaneously. Bu the end of this stage of training, participants can effectively handle any hand attacks.

A question commonly asked is whether the participants can still be as effective if their opponents use other martial art techniques or fight randomly. The answer is yes.

Unless these opponents are very skillful, fighting them would be technically easier than fighting those who use kungfu techniques. The reason is actually straight-forward. Kungfu techniques are relatively more sophisticated, and kungfu practitioners consider factors like tactical planning, breath control and safe coverage that most other martial artists may take for granted. But this does not mean a kungfu practitioner will necessarily win in a fight. If the opponents are faster or more powerful, for example, they can beat the kungfu exponent despite their lesser techniques and tactics.

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Shaolin Kung Combat Application Sequence 5: Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley

This is Combat Sequence 5 performed by Andy and James. Note that here Andy uses the right leg mode to attack, using the pattern called “Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley”. Andy also uses the right hand mode of “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave” to defend against James' counter-attack. This sequence is also called “Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley”, named after the first pattern of the sequence. It introduces the tactic of “pressing attack”.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Application Sequence 6: Dark Dragon Draws Water

This is Combat Sequence 6, and is called “Dark Dragon Draws Water”, named after the pattern where the initiator uses his left palm to strike an opponent's ribs. The counter against this attack is functionally beautifully and its effect comes from the rotation of the waist, and not moving the hands. It deflects the attack, not blocks it, then counter-strikes often before the opponent is aware of it.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Applying Sequence-Continuatuin in Sparring

With an enlarged repertoire of techniques, the participants have more variety in the application of the sequence-continuation method. Peter, for example, starts with Sequence 6 and continues with Sequence 5.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Sequence 7: Chop the Hua Mountain

This is Sequence 7, and is called “Chop the Hua Mountain”. The chopping attack should be flexible, with the arm acting like a chain rather than a rod. The counter is marvelous. If executed skillfully, it intercepts the chop and strikes the attacker before his attack has completed its course.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Skills are More Important then Techniques

The participants employ the method of sequence continuation in their sparring, and are spontaneous and effective in their movements. They are, however, not as fluid or effective as when they use the earlier Sequences 1 to 4 which are simpler. This is because as they have just learnt these new sequences, they are more skillful in the earlier sequences, highlighting a point that many kungfu students any not realize, i.e. skills generally contribute more to combat efficiency than techniques. But with more practice they will be equally skillful in the later techniques.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Attacking in a Coherent, Concerted Manner

Alex uses Sequence 5 to attack James, who responds accordingly. Then Alex continues with Sequence 1, after which Alex continues with Sequence 2, which is modified to Sequence 3. Could you also find out what sequences the other participants use in their sequence continuation method. In today's sparring when people usually fight randomly, if you attack your opponent in a coherent, concerted manner like this, unless he is also well trained in using kungfu for sparring, it is more likely he would be quite helpless.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Sequence Sparring and Random Sparring

The course participants are quite effective in their sparring, which is not pre-arranged. Would they still be effective if their opponents do not use kungfu patterns for fighting? Would they still be effective if their opponents fight randomly. Of course. Sequence sparring, as shown in the video clips here, is at least two levels above random sparring. Unless their opponents are very skillful despite their lack of techniques and tactics, sequence sparring where you employ the best available techniques and tactics, is certainly superior to random sparring where there is no conscious effort to use techniques and tactics.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Sequence 8: Horizontally Sweep a Thousand Armies

The course participants are practicing Sequence 8, which is called “Horizontally Sweeping a Thousand Armies”. You make a move to tempt your opponent to respond. When he counter-attacks with a punch or extend his hand giving you some target, you chop his arm with a “Single Knife”, and immediately chop his neck with a “Horizontal Sweep”. This is an example of employing tactics and the relevant techniques to implement the tactics. This is superior to random fighting where a fighter makes movements on the spur of the moment or out of expediencies.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Techniques and Tactics embedded in Patterns and Sequences

What would you do if a skillful and informed opponent applies such tactics and techniques on you, and you may not have studied such tactics or techniques? Just respond the way you have been trained! As mentioned above, kungfu patterns summarize some of the best techniques, and combat sequences summarize some of the best tactics past masters accumulated over many centuries from direct fighting experiences. The exchanges shown in this video clip, for example, incorporate some amazing techniques and tactics.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Depth of Shaolin Tactics and Techniques

Let us briefly examine a short encounter to see the depth of Shaolin techniques and tactics. The first time Andy sweeps at Padriag's neck, Padraig retreats his body to avoid and simultaneously brush the sweep away using “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave” This is an application of good tactics and techniques. Had he blocks the sweep, as someone fighting randomly is likely to do, Andy's sweep might have fractured his hand or arm. Now he has opened Andy for a possible counter-strike. Interestingly, Padraig might not know about these tactics and techniques. His response is spontaneous due to his kungfu training. From his look, he might even think he made a mistake. He “corrected his mistake” in the second move where he intercepts, not blocks, Andy's sweep. This is an even better move; it fractures Andy's arm or dislocates his elbow in just one move.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Tempting an Opponent to Expose Himself

Let us again briefly examine the encounter between Max and Eugene. Eugene is mainly using Sequences 5 and 6, with two patterns from Sequence 7 when the situation requires them. But these sequences and patterns have been integrated so well by Eugene that they just flow spontaneously according to the situations at hand. Yet they embed profound techniques and tactics. The tiger-claws and thrust punches in combination, for example, are excellent techniques to “open”, “close” or “press” an opponent. The thrust punch with an open chest is a good tactic to tempt an opponent to counter-attack so that he exposes his ribs for your Dragon Dragon palm to break.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Overcoming Two Major Problems of Free Sparring

This and the three following video clips show the participants sparring spontaneously without predetermined movements. They have overcome the two major problems facing kungfu practitioners attempting free sparring, namely what patterns to use next in attack, and how to respond correctly and spontaneously to an opponent's attacks.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences The Secrets of Combat Sequence Training

How do the participants overcome the two major problems of free sparring? In other words, how does one use kungfu techniques to attack an opponent without hesitating to think what techniques to use? And how does one use kungfu techniques to respond correctly and spontaneously to non-predetermined attacks? The secrets lie in combat sequence training. Do you know the answers?
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Can You be Effective against an Opponent using Non-Kungfu Forms?

Would the participants be able to respond correctly and spontaneous if an opponent does not use kungfu forms? In the video clip, for example, would Max still be able to respond effectively to Alex's attacks, and vice versa, if Alex throws his body forward to punch as in Boxing instead of using a Bow-Arrow Stance? The answer is yes, although initially Max would need some practice to adjust himself to the new visual impact. With some practice, it would be easier for Max to respond to a Boxing-like attack because it will lack the advantages that a kungfu technique has. Why, then, most kungfu practitioners cannot spar effectively against Boxers? The answer is not because kungfu techniques are ineffective for combat but because most kungfu practitioners have never learnt and practiced using kungfu for combat.
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Shaolin Kung Combat Sequences Can You Handle Other Forms of Attack?

The participants can spar well against different types of hand strikes. But can they be effective against kicks and other forms of attacks? At this stage of training, the answer is no, because they have not been trained to do so yet. So far the training is focused on strikes. As striking is by far the most commonly used mode of attack, this will form a good foundation upon which other forms of attack will be trained in subsequent stages. Kicks will be dealt with in the next stage.
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You can view all the videos above by clicking the picture or the caption below

Using Techniques and Tactics in Kungfu Sparring from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.



Fundamental Shaolin Kungfu Training Programme of Shaolin Wahnam

1. Stances: the Foundation for Internal Force and Combat Efficiency
2. Footwork Secrets for Health, Efficiency and Elegance
3. Moving into a Same Direction using Different Ways to Gain Advantages
4. Picture-Perfect Forms and Flowing Movements
5. From Random Fighting to Patterns, and from Patterns to Sequences and Sets

6. One-Step Sparring to Develop Combat Skills
7. From Pre-Arranged Sparring to Guided Sparring
8. Using Techniques and Tactics in Sparring

9. The Five Basic Kicks
10. The Secrets of Side Kicks and Continuous Cannons
11. How You may Defeat Opponents Experienced in Random Free Sparring
12. How Would a Fragile Girl Counter a Powerful Sweeping Kick from a Muay Thai Fighter?

13. Shaolin Felling Techniques and their Defences
14. Safety First Before Executing Felling Techniques

15. From Combat Sequences to Free Sparring
16. Sixteen Combat Sequences and Five Kungfu Sets
17. Surprise your Attacker with a Counter-Attack

18. Working out Ways to Fight a Boxer
19. Effective Tactics and Techniques against Boxers
20. From Gross Outline to Fine Details
21. Exploiting Advantage to Clinch Victory
22. Variety of Kungfu Techniques against Boxers
23. Analysis of Techniques Used against Boxers
24. Using Shaolin Kunfu against Boxing in Free Sparring

25. Effective Shaolin Tactics and Techniques against Kick-Boxing
26. Shaolin Kungfu against Kick-Boxing in Free Sparring

27. How to Handle a Karate Exponent
28. How to Handle a Taekwondo Exponent
29. How to Handle a Wrestling Exponent

30. Understanding the Typical Attacks of Muay Thai Fighters
31. Grandmaster Ho's Secrets in Countering Muay Thai Fighters
32. First Avoid Defeat, Then Secure Victory
33. Counteroing the Elbow and Knee Attacks of Muay Thai Fighters

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