IT IS HEARTENING TO SEE SO MANY PEOPLE USING KUNGFU IN FREE SPARRING

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Participants at the Special Shaolin Kungfu Course enjoying free sparring using Shaolin forms

A few people have expressed to me how heartening they felt when they saw so many of our Shaolin Wahnam Family members use typical Shaolin and Taijiquan patterns in free sparring. The sparring shown in the videos below, however, is not totally free. The combatants are asked to use Sequences 1 to 12 as their base, which means they cannot use felling and gripping techniques which are found in later combat sequences.

What is even more heartening is that while injuries and aggression are typical occurrences in most other free sparring sessions, we develop wholesome qualities in our free sparring practice. Indeed much of the strong bond of brotherhood (and sisterhood) among family members is nurtured during sparring practice, as was the case amongst traditional kungfu exponents in the past.

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Helping One Another in Sparring Practice

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Helping one another is a hallmark in our sparring session, and it contributes greatly to building strong and warm feelings amongst our family members. This video clip captures Sifu Anthony Korahais helping his sijat (student of a younger kungfu brother), Peter, in improving his spacing, which is a very important aspect in sparring.

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Lowing Level to Help Junior Sparring Partners

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Helping a junior member is not just restricted to correcting mistakes. More significantly it involves purposely lowering your own sparring level to provide opportunities and guide your juniors to develop skills and practice techniques. Here Sifu Anthony Korahais is helping his sijat, Nicholas, in this way by feeding him appropriate practice opportunities at his pace.

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Developing Wholesome Qualities in Sparring Practice

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Nicholas almost strikes Sifu Anthony's eye, but Sifu Anthony skillfully threads the strike away just in time. He gives Nicholas some advice. Though we do not know what transpires between them, Nicholas' gentle pat on Sifu Anthony's arm shows Nicholas appreciates it. Such occasions in sparring build strong bonds amongst our family members, as well as develop wholesome personal qualities, which we value more than just combat efficiency.

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Rare Opportunity to Hone Skills

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Junior members obviously benefit much from sparring with seniors who slow down to help them. But will the seniors benefit from sparring with those much below their level? Yes, they benefit a lot. Among other benefits, they have a rare opportunity to hone their skills. When someone is much below their level in sparring, the seniors have a rare opportunity to observe how an opponent moves, as well as at what point in time and space they would counter his moves (though they may not do so in the sparring so as to allow the juniors continue at their pace).

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Developing Control in Free Sparring

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Dr Damian is forcing George back in his attack, although George is much bigger in size. Dr Damian can accomplish this not just because he has good techniques, but more importantly he has good internal force which renders George's superior size redundant. Dr Damian also has good control skills. Notice his tiger-claw stops just short of George's face.

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Assessing Levels of Combat Competency

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Being able to assess the level of combat competency of opponents is an important aspect in our higher combat training. This video clip gives us an opportunity to do so. In the first pair, Steve and Sifu Rolland are of similar level. In the same pair, Molly and Eugene Butterworth are also of similar level. But it is obvious to the initiated that Steve and Sifu Rolland are of a higher level in sparring competency than Molly and Eugene. It is also interesting to note that Dr Damian is smiling broadly at the end of the sparring session. Obviously he and the others are having fun.

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Why are All the Attacks and Defences Similar?

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If you pay some attention, you may notice that all the combatants are using similar patterns not only in their defence but also in their attack. Some critics may say that this cannot lead to combat efficiency; the opponents will know what your attacks and defences are. Such thinking is flawed. Do you know why?

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Employing the Best Patterns for the Situations

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The attacks and defences are similar because they are trained to do so. In other words, they are trained to spontaneously use Shaolin patterns in sparring. But why do they use these Shaolin patterns and not other Shaolin patterns? It is because these patterns give them the best advantages in their situations. If Sifu Anthony were to move back instead of intercepting Daniel's whirlwind kick, for example, he would miss some advantages. Here, Sifu Anthony could strike Daniel before Daniel has recovered from his kicking attack.

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Other Martial Artists also Spar in Predictable Ways

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What the critics mentioned above do not realize is that other martial artists and free-style fighters also spar in some recognizable and predictable patterns. If you raise your hand, for example, many of them would instinctively bounce back. Because their range of techniques is narrow than that in Shaolin Kungfu, their choices are more limited, and therefore it is easier to predict their reaction. Many people do not know how to exploit such prediction.

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You can view all the videos above by clicking the picture or the caption below

It's Heartening to see so Many People Using Kungfu in Free Sparring from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.

LINKS

How to Think and Act as a Master

Click here for an Overview of the entire course

  1. Returning to the Basics
  2. Form, Force, Flow and Element of Threat
  3. Reviewing the Basic Combat Sequences
  4. Devising Strategies Using Combat Sequences
  5. Applying Strategies for Effective Combat
  6. Free Sparring with Prescribed Conditions
  7. Combat Sequences to Train Spontaneous Attacks and Responses
  8. Using Strategies and Tactics in Attack and Defence
  9. It is Heartening to see so Many People Using Kungfu in Free Sparring
  10. Felling and Gripping Techniques in Shaolin Kungfu
  1. How Sequence Training and Chi Flow Enhance Combat Efficiency
  2. The Tiger-Crane Set — Manifesting the Hard and the Soft in Shaolin Kungfu
  3. The Dragon-Tiger Set — Crystallization of Two Wahnam Traditions
  4. The Dragon-Form Set — Demonstrating that Softness Can be Very Powerful
  5. Shaolin Monkey Set — Symbolizing Spiritual Path from Cheekiness to Enlightenment
  6. Shaolin Five-Animal Set — Gist of Shaolin Forms and Essence
  7. Shaolin Pakua Set Set — An Exclusive Set Fit for Kings and Generals
  8. Combat Application pf Pakua — Sharing Secrets for Combat Efficiency
  9. Beginning to Learn some Monkey Tricks
  10. Refining Techniques in Combat
  1. Some Examples of High level Combat
  2. Collective Effort for Greater Benefits
  3. Can Sophisticated Kungfu Techniques be Used in Combat?
  4. Skills are usually More Important than Techniques
  5. One-Finger Shooting Zen — the Treasure of Shaolin Wahnam
  6. Raising Levels of Techniques and Tactics in Combat
  7. Bringing Combat Skills to More Sophisticated Levels
  8. Monkey Techniques are Flowing and Agile but can be Very Devastating
  9. Flowing with the Opponent's Momentum
  10. Beware of the Monkey Tricks
  1. Marvelous Techniques Beget Marvelous Techniques
  2. How to Raise your Level of Combat
  3. How you can Defeat your Opponents
  4. Employing Sophisticated Kungfu Techniques to Enhance Combat Efficiency
  5. Systematic Training is Essential for Combat Efficiency
  6. Raising Combat Efficiency from Basic to Advanced Levels
  7. Kungfu Philosophy and Swaying Willows
  8. Hands Pave the Way, Kicks to Clinch Victory
  9. Six Harmonies of the Double Tiger Claws
  10. The Amazement and Effectiveness of Monkey Kicks
  1. A Bag Full of Monkey Tricks
  2. Gentle and Flowing, yet Very Powerful
  3. Can your Responses still be Correct and Spontaneous in Real Fights?
  4. Incorporating Kicks into Combat Sequences
  5. Elaborate Patterns to Meet Complex Combat Situations
  6. The Benefits of Understanding and Applying Kungfu Philosophy
  7. Our Kungfu is a Training of Energy and Mind
  8. Ensuring Own Safety when Felling Opponents
  9. The Beauty and Profundity of Shaolin Felling Techniques
  10. Felling Techniques of the Dragon and the Monkey
  1. Felling an Opponent Without him Realizing What has Happened
  2. Pattern Analysis of the Tiger-Crane Set
  3. Tiger Patterns for Chin-Na, Against Kicks and Countering the Shoot
  4. Pattern Analysis of the Dragon-Tiger Set
  5. Revealing the Secret Tactic of Leak Hand
  6. From the Level of Techniques to the Levels of Tactics and Strategies
  7. Pattern Analysis of the Dragon-Form Set
  8. Effective Techniques for Fighting on the Ground
  9. Pattern Analysis of the Monkey Set
  10. Soft Techniques and Internal Force in Monkey Kungfu
  1. Interesting Monkey Patterns that are Deadly for Combat
  2. Pattern Analysis of the Pakua Set
  3. Pattern Analysis of the Five-Animal Set
  4. Variety of Techniques in Shaolin Five Animals
  5. Investigating the Combat Applications of Some Patterns
  6. Similar Patterns but Different Applications
  7. Effective Counters against Kicks, Grips and Knee Jabs
  8. Secrets of Skyward Cannon Punch in Continuous Attack
  9. Cannon Punch Towards Sky and Fierce Tiger Crouching on Ground
  10. Flowing Monkey Techniques against Powerful Tiger Claws
  1. Sophisticated Grips and Sophisticated Counters
  2. Breaking an Opponent's Elbow and Wrist
  3. Neutralizing Wrist Lock and the Three Harmonies
  4. Advanced Chin-Na Techniques and Counters
  5. Two Stories about Kicks
  6. How to Respond to Attacks Spontaneously and Correctly
  7. Can Beautiful Patterns and Flowing Movements be Effective in Combat?
  8. Linking Combat Sequences into a Set
  9. From Pre-Arranged Sparring to Combat Efficiency
  10. Crystalization of Combat Techniques from Past Masters
  1. Hei Sai or the Spirit of Energy
  2. Manifesting the Energy and Spirit of your Form
  3. Manifesting the Spirit of the Form
  4. Kungfu Practice is not just Physical Training but also Spiritual Cultivation
  5. Fluidity of Form, Energy and Spirit
  6. Shaolin Kungfu is Chi Kung and Meditation
  7. Revealing the Secrets of Shaolin Masters
  8. The Profundity of Shaolin Combat Application
  9. It is Easy to Fight against Boxers
  10. Avoiding a Boxer's Strong Points and Attacking his Weaknesses
  1. Some Effective Tactics against Boxers
  2. The Strategy of Not Allowing an Opponent to Escape
  3. The Strategy of Letting Trick Manifesting Trick
  4. The Strategies of Interception and of Striking Form
  5. Standardized Routines of Kick-Boxing Attacks
  6. Some Effective Counters to Kick-Boxing Attacks
  7. Felling a Kick-Boxer when he Kicks
  8. The Secrets of Two Tigers Subdue Dragon
  9. Shaolin Counters against Kick-Boxing and Karate
  10. Some Important Combat Philosophy and Principles
  1. It is Relatively Easy to Handle Karate Attacks
  2. Good Spacing When Executing Kicks
  3. A Variety of Taekwondo Kicks
  4. Effective Shaolin Counters against Taikwondo Kicks
  5. Trapping Legs and Subduing Opponents
  6. Making Expedient Changes to Surprised Attacks
  7. The Legacy of Sigung Ho Fatt Nam — Planting Willow in Front of Camp
  8. Having Fun in Throws and their Counters
  9. Sharing the Secret of Move Stance Change Step
  10. Some Unorthodox Felling Techniques Not Commonly Seen
  1. Felling Opponents with your Stances!
  2. Beware of Monkeys; they are Expert at Plucking Peaches
  3. Sophisticated Footwork and Leg Techniques of Monkeys and Gorillas
  4. Wrestling Throws are Found in Shaolin Kungfu Too
  5. Real Fighting is Different from Martial Sports
  6. Who Says there is no Ground-Fighting in Shaolin Kungfu
  7. An Incredible Secret of One-Finger Zen
  8. Understanding Muay Thai Fighting Strategies and Techniques
  9. Various Strategies to Counter Muay Thai Fighters
  10. Responding to Muay Thai Attacks Spontaneously and Correctly
  1. Avoiding Opponent's Strength and Attacking his Weakness
  2. Effective Ways to Counter Sweeping Kicks
  3. Effective Counters against Knee and Elbow Strikes
  4. Crouching Tiger against Grab Neck Elbow Strike
  5. Shaolin Kungfu for Combat Efficiency, Good Health and Spiritual Development

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