APPLYING COMBAT SEQUENCES IN SPARRING

By the courtesy of Ogingo Videography, Sabah, Malaysia.

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Jamie Robson demonstrate a combat sequence during the Sabah Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course of March 2007

We in Shaolin Wahnam believe that kungfu can be used for fighting.

Those who are not connected with kungfu today will find this statement ridiculous. It is as ridiculous as saying that we believe food can be eaten or a swimmer can swim!

But the kungfu situation today is really ridiculous. So many kungfu and wushu (which is a Chinese term for kungfu) practitioners do not believe that kungfu can be used for fighting that saying it can be used for fighting is actually in a minority. And to actually use kungfu for sparring or fighting is in a very rare minority.

Some world known kungfu (including Taijiquan) masters even explicitly say that kungfu cannot be used for fighting! Many use Kick-Boxing, Karate or other martial arts in their sparring practice, though some of them still call it kungfu.

What they choose to use is of course their right and prerogative, but we in Shaolin Wahnam are dedicated to preserve the martial aspect of kungfu. We are able to use kungfu for sparring and fighting because we still have an effective sparring methodology and are willing to share it with those who are deserving and want to benefit from it.

One can use kungfu for fighting only if he has followed a sparring methodology using kungfu forms. If he only practices kungfu forms in solo, he will fight haphazardly.

An essential aspect of our sparring methodology is combat sequences. The video clips below show how participants at the Sabah Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course of March 2007 applied the first four combat sequences in their sparring.

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Linking Patterns into Sequences

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Having learnt one-step sparring or miscellaneous techniques, participants progress to sequence sparring. Instead of attacking with a pattern at a time, the attacker links various attack patterns into an attack sequence. Here the three attack pattern of “Black Tiger Steals Heart” are executed continuous as one smooth sequence, which is also called “Black Tiger Steals Heart”.

The size of the video clip is 1.11 MB.

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Continuing a Sequence with One more Attack

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

After attacking with one sequence, the initiator adds one more attack. Here, after three patterns of “Black Tiger”, the initiator continues with a “Poisonous Snake”, making four attack patterns in this sequence. In our sparring methodology, we take out the first of the four attack patterns, thus leaving two Black Tigers and one Poisonous Snake to form the second combat sequence, which we name “Poisonous Snake Shoot Venom”.

The size of the video clip is 1.23 MB.

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Sequence Performed as if One Smooth Pattern

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Here Sifu Jamie applies Sequence 2, “Poisonous Snake Shoots Venom”, in his attack. The whole sequence of three attack patterns and three defence patterns is performed smoothly as if they were one continuous pattern.

The size of the video clip is 0.53 MB.

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Two Important Secrets Shown Here

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

This video clip reveals two secrets many martial artists may not know but may be fatal to them in real combat. The first secret is footwork adjustment. Notice that Grandmaster Wong pulls back his front leg before moving forward with his back leg. Without this footwork adjustment, you would be too close to your opponent to be safe. The second secret is coverage. Notice that Grandmaster Wong not only closes Sifu Jamie's left hand but also his right hand before attacking with a low punch to Sifu Jamie's ribs. This is the principle of “one against two”.

The size of the video clip is 0.53 MB.

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Top, Middle and Bottom Strikes

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Jamie demonstrates Combat Sequence 3, which is called “Precious Duck Swims through Lotus”. This sequence incorporates top, middle and bottom strikes. Grandmaster Wong explains that as Sifu Jamie's leading hand is too close for safety, it is advisable to retreat and disengage from the encounter. Alternatively, if you are skillful, you may continue with an appropriate counter, like breaking the opponent's arm as shown in the video.

The size of the video clip is 1.73 MB.

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Variation from a Combat Sequence

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong shows a variation in Sequence 3. Before your opponent attacks you after he has swept at your low punch, you can circulate your hand around his sweep to avoid it and immediately swing a horn punch at his temple. You can see Sifu Jamie hiding a smile here. Why? Grandmaster Wong has given him some free offers. Sifu Jamie may pretend to fall backward and kick at Grandmaster Wong's groin, or he may jab a snake palm into Grandmaster Wong's ribs. But, as shown here, he chooses to execute a palm strike using the pattern “White Horse Returns Head”. Interestingly, Grandmaster Wong moves away. One wonders whether this is accidental, or he senses Sifu Jamie's attack. It is more interesting that right at the start of the video when Grandmaster Wong actually intends to explain the variation, he still manages to defend against Sifu Jamie's attack when it is not expected. This shows the beneficial effect of systematic training.

The size of the video clip is 1.52 MB.

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Retreating a Step when in Difficulty

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong highlights some finer points in Combat Sequence 4, “Hang a Golden Star at a Corner”. It is important to cover the opponent's hand to prevent his counter-strike. It is important to step forward for correct spacing, but be careful to prevent the opponent from kicking at your groin. In this way you press into an opponent, making it apparently impossible for him to escape. What could he do? He can merely move back a step. The same principle is applicable to daily life. If situations seem impossible, just move back a step.

The size of the video clip is 2.01 MB.

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The Importance of the Guard Hand

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong emphasizes the importance of the guard hand when you make a close-range attack, as in this case of “Hang a Golden Star”. Without the guard hand, it would be easy for an opponent to cause serious damage in a counter-attack. But if you are ready with a guard hand, there are many possibilities you can use if he counter-attacks. Grandmaster Wong shows some examples.

The size of the video clip is 1.90 MB.

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One Hand Against Two Hands

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong is having some fun using the tactic of “one against two”, i.e. using one hand to tame two hands of an opponent. With the opponent so controlled, you may strike him easily — if he does not know how to counter. Here, Sifu Jamie is very patient. He lets Grandmaster Wong have his say, then he turns the table and grips Grandmaster Wong's arm. Luckily Grandmaster Wong also knows how to counter this attack.

The size of the video clip is 1.81 MB.

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Reinforcing Skills to Become Second-Nature

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Jamie go over Combat Sequence 4 slowly to show the teaching points mentioned. Take note of the correct spacing and correct timing. It is very important to cover your opponent before attacking him so that you are safe from his surprised counter-attacks. These points should be reinforced in your practice that they become second-nature skills.

The size of the video clip is 1.03 MB.

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We wish to thank Mr Godfery Kissey of Ogingo Videography, Penampang, Sabah, Malaysia for kindly provideing us with the videos. (Godfery is also a member of our Shaolin Wahnam Family.) His telephone number is 60-88-731788, and e-mail address is godfery@pc.jaring.my .


You can view all the videos here

LINKS

Review of the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course in Sabah in March 2007

Click here for an Overview of the entire course

  1. The Basics of Shaolin Kungfu Training
  2. Fundamental Combat Skills
  3. Defeat you Hand to your Opponent, Victory you Create Yourself
  4. Avoiding Disadvantages and Seeking Advantages
  5. Basic Principles and Tactics of Combat
  6. Skills derived from Sparring can be Rewardingly used in Daily Life
  7. Some Secrets in Practicing Genuine Kungfu
  8. Various Ways to Move into an Opponent

  9. Applying Combat Sequences in Sparring
  10. Linking Sequences to be More Combat Efficient
  11. The Secrets of Continuous Cannons
  12. The Mechanics of Continuation
  13. Marvelous Techniques Beget Marvelous Techniques
  14. Perfecting Forms and Developing Force
  15. Applying Tactics in Combat
  16. Objectives of Form Training in Solo

  17. Being Fluent in Kicking Techniques before Applying them in Combat
  18. Using Tactics in Kicking Attacks and Defences
  19. Different Levels of Sophistication in Sparring and Fighting
  20. The Legacy of Uncle Righteousness: Secret of Continuous Cannons and their Counters
  21. Benefiting from the Experiences and Teachings of Past Masters

  22. Poetic Patterns Can be Very Deadly
  23. Moving Back One Step when in Diffiuclt Situations
  24. Linking Sequences to Form a Kungfu Set
  25. Felling Techniques in Kungfu are Different from Judo and Wrestling
  26. Butterfly Palms and Hiding Flowers are Excellent in Countering Felling and Gripping Attacks
  27. Let Mercy Flow from the Hands

  28. Benefits of Solo Set Practice — Combat Sequences 13 to 16
  29. From Pre-Choice Sequences to Free Sparring
  30. Applying Shaolin Patterns Correctly and Spontaneously in Free Sparring
  31. Shaolin Kungfu against Boxing and Kick-Boxing
  32. Shaolin Counters against Wrestling Shoots
  33. The Secret of Grandmaster Ho Fatt Nam
  34. Why Shaolin Kungfu is Technically Faster than Boxing
  35. Shaolin Techniques, Tactics and Strategies against Boxing
  36. Revealing Secrets of Past Taijiquan Masters
  37. Overwhelming Opponents with Just One Pattern
  38. Poetry and Elegance in Effective Combat

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