Shaolin application

Course Participants employing Combat Sequences in Sparring

Let us start with an inspiring story. This story occurred at the historic Summer Camp at Camponovo, Spain organized by Sifu Adalia in 2000 where many of our certified Taijiquan instructors like Sifu Rama, Sifu Jeffrey and Sifu Attilio had their first lessons with Shaolin Wahnam. Most of the course participants then might not know of this story because it happened quietly.

Douglas, Grandmaster Wong's most senior disciple in Europe, came with a kungfu master who had been teaching for more than 20 years with emphasis on free sparring. This master asked Grandmaster Wong if he could teach him Golden Bell. Grandmaster Wong replied, “No, first of all you have to learn from me as an ordinary student.”

Douglas then explained that he and the master intended to spend some time practicing sparring using kungfu patterns, and asked Grandmaster Wong if he could give them some advice. Grandmaster Wong explained that this required systematic training and could not be achieved in just one lesson. Nevertheless, he said that if they would spar before him, he could give them some advice.

Douglas had little or no free sparring experience before but he had tremendous internal force, having trained “zhang zhuang” everyday without fail for more than two years. So, despite his rich free sparring experience, the kungfu master had no advantage over Douglas. But Douglas too had no advantage over him.

Grandmaster Wong advised Douglas to use his combat sequences. “Just use any of the combat sequences you have learnt from me.” Douglas frankly answered, “I haven't practiced them. I can't remember any!”

As the kungfu master was already panting heavily for breath, Grandmaster Wong told them to have a break. He took Douglas out and showed him the former Combat Sequence 6, which is now Combat Sequence 10 in the basic Shaolin Kungfu programme. Douglas went over the sequence a few times.

When they resumed free sparring a few minutes later, without a single exception every time Douglas applied the sequence he pressed the kungfu master to a wall.

Why can't even those with much experience in free sparring defend against such pressing attacks? The reason is actually straight-forward though not many people may realize it as it involves some advanced combat philosophy. When you employ a combat sequence in your pressing attacks, you fight at the sequence level, which is two levels above the random level usually employed by most fighters in free sparring. As an analogy, if you are at level 3 in a university course, you are better than someone at level 1 although he may have spent many years repeating level 1.

Although your opponent has spent many years free sparring, he has been doing so at the random level. If you punch and kick him randomly, he will beat you easily as he has been used to this type of fighting. But if you use a pressing tactic with appropriate techniques, he will be quite helpless. He simply does not know what to do. He has never been trained to handle such a situation. But you must not only know the techniques; you must have the necessary skills, especially internal force.

Then, why do most kungfu practitioners cannot match those who free spar frequently? The kungfu practitioners do not know how to apply a pressing tactic with appropriate techniques. Many of them do not even know how to punch and kick randomly! They only know how to perform kungfu forms in solo, albeit beautifully.

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“Shaolin Pressing Attacks with Thrust Kicks

Grandmaster Wong demonstrates how to press into an opponent using “Black Tiger Steals Heart” and “Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley” followed by “White Horse Presents Hoof”. This sequence is a development of Combat Sequence 9 where you tempt an opponent to counter-attack. If he hesitates, you follow up with a thrust kick.
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“Shaolin Combat Sequence 10: White Horse Presents Hoof

Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Ronan demonstrate Combat Sequence 10, “White Horse Presents Hoof”. This was the sequence Douglas applied on the kungfu master mentioned above. Practice this sequence 50 times a day for six months. Then, if you attack your opponents by going over and over this sequence, with appropriate modifications when necessary, most of them may not know how to respond!
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“Shaolin Pressing Attacks in One Smooth Flow

This is the initiator's or attack mode of the sequence. This is the one you use against an opponent. The patterns should be performed continuous in one smooth flow.
The size of the video clip is 930 kb.
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“Shaolin Intercepting with Beauty Looks at Mirror

This is the responder's or defence mode of Combat Sequence 10. It incorporates the technique, “Beauty Looks at Mirror”, for intercepting the pressing attacks of the initiator's or attack mode.
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“Shaolin Importance of Timing and Spacing

Here Grandmaster Wong demonstrates in detail how to intercept a pressing attack. He purposely chooses a big, tall person, Roeland of Neitherland, as the attacker to highlight that size and muscular strength are not crucial factors.
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You can also view all the videos here

“Shaolin Interception Possible at Various Points

Grandmaster Wong shows that interception can be implemented at various points. You may, for example, tempt your opponent to press in, then intercept and counter-strike to surprise him
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“Shaolin Intercepting Pressing Attacks with Tiger-Claws

In the first encounter James presses in with “Black Tiger” and “Fierce Tiger”. Grandmaster Wong is pressed against a wall. In the second encounter Grandmaster Wong intercepts James' pressing attack using a tiger-claw instead of a mirror-hand, and counter-strike. With this experience, James is smarter in the third encounter and is able to avoid the counter-strike, but Grandmaster Wong being more experienced moves in with another strike that connects despite James swallowing to avoid.
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“Shaolin Learning the Intricacies from a Qualified Instructor

This video clip shows from another angle how Grandmaster Wong intercepts James' pressing attack. If James has rushed in too closely, Grandmaster Wong would “retreat to strike”. Of course, students would have to learn the intricacies of pressing attacks personally from a qualified instructor before they can apply them effectively.
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“Shaolin Deflecting, not Blocking, an Opponent's Momentum

Skills are more important than techniques in intercepting, especially when an opponent is very strong. Notice that intercepting is not blocking, and not meeting force with force. You deflect and break off an opponent's momentum to a side at the right time, using minimum force against maximum strength.
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“Shaolin Leaning, Threading and Striking in One Smooth Flow

The techniques used in the intercepting tactic are quite simple but the skills are sophisticated. They consist of “leaning”, “threading” and “striking” in one smooth flow, implemented by the patterns “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave”, again “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave” or “Golden Dragon Plays with Water”, and “Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley” or “Black Tiger Steals Heart”.
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“Shaolin A Deadly Double Attack at Eye and Groin

There are, of course, many other combat functions of the combination of “lean-thread-strike”. Besides intercepting a pressing attack, it can also be effectively used to “open” an opponent and strike him, as shown in this video clip. But Sifu Ronan responds with a beautiful counter, simultaneously striking Grandmaster Wong's eye and groin with one move in the pattern named “Yellow Bird Plays with Water”. How would you block at attack aimed at your eye and groin at the same tiem?
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“Shaolin No Defence Direct Counter

There is no need to block the double attack. Just step back and strike the attacking leg using the tactic of “no defence direct counter”. “No defence” is a misnomer; by retreating a step Grandmaster Wong has avoided both attacks, and counter-attack at the same time. Sifu Ronan moves back his leg, guards Grandmaster Wong's hand, and follows up with a finger thrust to the throat.
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“Shaolin Combat Sequence 11: Yellow Bird Hops up Branch

Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Ronan demonstrate Combat Sequence 11, “Yellow Bird Hops up Branch”. This sequence incorporates the deadly organ-seeking kick.
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“Shaolin Helping One Another in Sparring

Participants put into practice what they have learnt. The sparring here is not predetermined, nor is it free. It is guided. They use the combat sequences as guidance, but may not follow the routine exactly. It is heartening to note that they help one another in their sparring.
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“Shaolin Fluid Movements and Spontaneous Responses

In their sparring whether the movements are not pre-arranged though they are also not completely free as they follow certain guidelines, the combatants can use kungfu techniques correctly and spontaneously. This is due to systematic training where they started with total control but the control is gradually released. Eventually they will be able to spar freely without any contol.
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You can view all the videos above by clicking the picture or the caption below

How You may Defeat Opponents Experienced in Random Free 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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