BASIC PRINCIPLES AND TACTICS OF COMBAT
Firstly we ensure we do not give away disadvantages of ourselves to our opponents. Next we exploit the opponent's disadvantages if any. If no advantages are present, we create them. There are various principles and tactics to help us realize these three fundamental steps in combat.
Before we attack we must have four modes of preparation. We prepare ourselves guided by six harmonies, access our opponents, seek or create an opening, and move in swiftly with adequate safety. We ask the way, closing or opening the opponent's defence. And our attack is made with three arrivals.
In our defence we ensure right timing and right spacing. We use minimum force against maximum strength, employing techniques like leaning and threading. We lead an opponent's attack to futility, and counter-strike before he can recover, or we directly counter without first defending.
The video clips below illustrate some of these combat principles and tactics learnt and practiced at the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course in Sabah in March 2007.
Changing Spacing Without Moving Feet
Grandmaster Wong floats Sifu Jamie's guard-hand and attacks the latter with “Precious Duck Swims Through Lotus”. In this situation, Grandmaster Wong has spaced himself so that Sifu Jamie could not strike him with his other hand. But without moving his feet, Sifu Jamie can change the spacing by just turning his waist.
No Defence Direct Counter
Grandmaster Wong moves in to attack Sifu Jamie using “Precious Duck Swims Through Lotus”. Sifu Jamie counter-attacks with the pattern “False-Leg Hand Sweep”. This is the tactic of “no defence direct counter”.
Importance of Guard-Hand
Grandmaster Wong attacks Sifu Jamie with the pattern “Hang a Golden Star”. Notice that Grandmaster Wong guards against a possible kick by Sifu Jamie, and his guard-hand guards against Sifu Jamie's front hand, otherwise Sifu Jamie can easily counter with a reverse Tiger-Claw.
Intercepting a Side Attack
A good counter against a side attack is to intercept it. Here Grandmaster Wong employs the pattern “Immortal Emerges from Cave” to intercept Sifu Jamie's “Hand a Golden Star”. Notice that it is not a block. Blocking a powerful horn-punch may result in the defender's arm being broken, but intercepting it may break the attacker's arm,
Moving too Fast or too Far Away
A common mistake among many students is to move too fast and too far away as soon as an opponent attacks. This will give away disadvantages to a skillful opponent who may exploit them to defeat you. Reversely, if your opponent offers you such disadvantages of himself, use them to defeat him.
Breaking an Opponent's Arm
Grandmaster Wong illustrates how you may break an opponent's arm using the interception technique. Timing and correct angling are important. If his attack has passed you, then brush it away.
Threading and Guarding an Opponent's Front Hand
How would you attack your opponent with a left horn-punch when you start from the “Lohan Asks the Way”? Thread with your right hand, guard his hand, then strike him with your left hand.
Defending against an Opponent's Left Horn-Punch
Your opponent has tamed your front right hand and attacks you with a left horn-punch. How could you defend against it when your front hand has been tamed? Simple. Just move back a step, and your front hand would be released. If the horn-punch has passed you, brush it away instead of intercepting it.
The Element of Threat
Instructors help students to refine their performance. Paul's attack, for example, has no threat, which is an important element in an attack. By improving on spacing, Sifu Wong Chun Nga shows how Paul could threaten Alejandro in his attack.
Review of the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course in Sabah in March 2007
- Overview 1 : The Fundamentals
- Overview 2 : The 16 Combat Sequences
- Overview 3 : Are They Performing Kungfu Dance?
- The Basics of Shaolin Kungfu Training
- Fundamental Combat Skills
- Defeat you Hand to your Opponent, Victory you Create Yourself
- Avoiding Disadvantages and Seeking Advantages
- Basic Principles and Tactics of Combat
- Skills derived from Sparring can be Rewardingly used in Daily Life
- Some Secrets in Practicing Genuine Kungfu
Various Ways to Move into an Opponent
- Applying Combat Sequences in Sparring
- Linking Sequences to be More Combat Efficient
- The Secrets of Continuous Cannons
- The Mechanics of Continuation
- Marvelous Techniques Beget Marvelous Techniques
- Perfecting Forms and Developing Force
- Applying Tactics in Combat
Objectives of Form Training in Solo
- Being Fluent in Kicking Techniques before Applying them in Combat
- Using Tactics in Kicking Attacks and Defences
- Different Levels of Sophistication in Sparring and Fighting
- The Legacy of Uncle Righteousness: Secret of Continuous Cannons and their Counters
Benefiting from the Experiences and Teachings of Past Masters
- Poetic Patterns Can be Very Deadly
- Moving Back One Step when in Diffiuclt Situations
- Linking Sequences to Form a Kungfu Set
- Felling Techniques in Kungfu are Different from Judo and Wrestling
- Butterfly Palms and Hiding Flowers are Excellent in Countering Felling and Gripping Attacks
Let Mercy Flow from the Hands
- Benefits of Solo Set Practice — Combat Sequences 13 to 16
- From Pre-Choice Sequences to Free Sparring
- Applying Shaolin Patterns Correctly and Spontaneously in Free Sparring
- Shaolin Kungfu against Boxing and Kick-Boxing
- Shaolin Counters against Wrestling Shoots
- The Secret of Grandmaster Ho Fatt Nam
- Why Shaolin Kungfu is Technically Faster than Boxing
- Shaolin Techniques, Tactics and Strategies against Boxing
- Revealing Secrets of Past Taijiquan Masters
- Overwhelming Opponents with Just One Pattern
- Poetry and Elegance in Effective Combat