LET MERCY FLOW FROM THE HANDS

By the courtesy of Ogingo Videography, Sabah, Malaysia.

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong could have broken the opponent's spine with an over-the-shoulder throw, but he lets mercy flow from his hands and just rolls the opponent across his hips

One often thinks of Judo and Wrestling when talking about throws and other felling techniques. But what many people may not realize is that Judo and Wrestling are sports protected by safety rules. If one forgets this in a real fight where no holds bar, it can be dangerous. Moving in to grab an opponent to prepare for a Judo throw or Wrestling take-down expose the exponent to deadly counter-strikes.

As genuine, traditional kungfu is trained for real fighting and not just for sport, a kungfu exponent must always ensure safety first before attempting to execute any felling or other attacks. On the other hand, while we are prepared for an opponent's deadly attacks, we avoid hurting our opponents as best as we can. This is enshrined in the saying “sau ha lau cheng”, which means “let mercy flow from the hand”.

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Being Maimed Even Before the Throw

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong shows some serious mistakes some martial artists make when attempting an over-the-shoulder throw, or any throw. The opponent's free hand can gore the eyes, tear the throat or grip the groin. These are deadly strikes and gripping attacks.

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How would You Prevent these Deadly Counter-Attacks?

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

The danger of not covering an opponent when attempting a throw is now shown from another angle. The opponent could dislocate your neck, choke you or apply other deadly locks. How would you prevent these deadly counter-attacks when you wish to throw your opponent over the shoulder?

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Locking an Opponent's Arms

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

You could lock the opponent's arms before throwing him over the shoulder. This could also dislocate his elbow. Grandmaster Wong warns that an over-the-shoulder throw, executed with the pattern “Farmer Hoes Rice Field” may break the opponent's backbone resulting in paralysis — something that we do not want to happen even to our opponent. But why are the participants in the video laughing? Obviously it is not for breaking an opponent's backbone.

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Let Mercy Flow from the Hands

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong has locked Sifu Jamie's arms, and is about to throw him over the shoulder. Is Sifu Jamie;s backbone going to be broken? No, Grandmaster Wong lets mercy flow from his hands. He changes his over-the-shoulder throw to a round-the-hip throw, letting Sifu Jamie just rolls over. And as a follow-up, instead of striking the opponent's head, Grandmaster Wong merely touches his cheek.

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Rolling Over to Neutralize a Shoulder Throw

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Now Sifu Jamie has his turn. He locks Grandmaster Wong arms and is about to throw him over the shoulder. Will he dislocate the opponent's elbow and break the opponent's spine? No. Grandmaster Wong turns his arm to neutralize the pressure on his elbow. He explains that if he hasn't done this, his elbow would be dislocated or arm broken. Then following the momentum of the throw, he rolls over, thus neutralizing the throw, lifts Sifu Jamie's arms and executes a side kick at Sifu Jamie.

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Save Emperor with Single Whip

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

The roles are now reverse. Grandmaster Wong attempts to throw Sifu Jamie over the shoulder. Sifu Jamie rolls over and executes a side kick. Grandmaster Wong retreats to a Riding-Dragon Step, which is a variation of the Bow-Arrow Stance, to avoid the kick and simultaneously strikes the kicking leg using “Save Emperor with Single Whip”. Sifu Jamie moves away. Grandmaster Wong moves in with a palm strike, and Sifu Jamie threads away using “Golden Dragon Plays with Water”.

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Riding-Dragon Step

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

In Shaolin Wahnam, the Bow-Arrow Stance is performed with both feet in line. But in this variation of the Bow-Arrow Stance, called Riding-Dragon Step, two feet are far apart. Why is this so. It is because this gives the best advantage for the combat situation in question. If the feet are in line as in a normal Bow-Arrow Stance, the practitioner would be unable to strike the kicking leg. It is called a “step” instead of a “stance” because the poise is transitional; a “stance” indicate a more permanent poise.

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Fierce Tiger Pushes Mountain

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Another felling technique is pushing. In another Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course in Sungai Petani, Sifu Ronan gave Grandmaster Wong such a good push that the latter fell back more than twenty feet to tumble over. The push here is from the back leg, not from the shoulders. This pattern is called “Fierce Tiger Pushes Mountain”. It is important to cover the opponent's hands when pushing to prevent possible counter-strikes.

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Counter-Attacking with a Thrust Kick

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Jamie reverse roles in the demonstration. Sifu Jamie gives Grandmaster Wong a push, employing “Fierce Tiger Pushes Mountain”. Following the momentum of the push, Grandmaster Wong retreats a small step and executes a thrust kick at the attacker using the pattern “White Horse Presents Hoof”.

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Striking the Kicking Leg with Single Whip

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Grandmaster attempts to push Sifu Jamie to fall over. Sifu Jamie retreats a small step to neutralize the push, and counters with a thrust kick. Grandmaster Wong brings his front leg to a T-Step to avoid the kick and simultaneously strikes the kicking leg with a Single Whip. Grandmaster Wong explains it does not matter much whether the opponent kicks with his left leg or right leg.

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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 .


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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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