MOVING BACK ONE STEP WHEN IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS
A Shaolin Wahnam kungfu student knows the defence against any attacks. This statement may sound boastful to other people, but it is true. Nevertheless, this does not necessarily mean that he can actually defend any attacks. He may know the defence techniques, but if he lacks the skills he would still be unsuccessful.
To help students recapitulate, an important aim of the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course like this one is to provide students with the necessary skills and techniques against all possible attacks. Attacks can come in countless ways but they can be generalized into four categories, namely striking, kicking, felling and gripping.
Each category of attacks can further be classified into archetypes. Strikes and kicks can be classified into top, middle, bottom and sides. Felling can be forward or backward, and grips can be one-handed or two-handed. Once you can defend against the archetypical attack and understand its underlying philosophy, you can defend against all other attacks of the same types. For example, once you can defend against a typical middle-level strike, you can defend against all other middle-level strikes even when the hand form and the stance have been changed. This is a smart way of learning; learning each defence against countless attacks one at a time is a water-buffalo way.
This video series shows attacks and counters forming Combat Sequence 12, which is named “Naughty Monkey Kicks at Tree”. It introduces the deadly whirlwind kick. Its “soft” defence, using the pattern “Taming Tiger with String of Beads”, can be used against any kicks. This video series also recapitulates the important principle of “moving back one step when in difficult situationS”, which is very useful in combat as well as in real life.
If you practice this counter-attack, called “Chop the Hua Mountain”, 50 times a day everyday for six months until you have become very fluent in it, you can defeat any ordinary opponent who moves in to attack you with a typical strike. But Ben is not an ordinary opponent, he is a Shaolin Wahnam student, and a Shaolin Wahnam student knows how to defend against any attack. If he can't, despite his knowing, it is due to his lack of skills.
Ben traps Grandmaster Wong in a seemingly helpless situation and attacks with “Chop the Hua Mountain”. “In case of a seemingly helpless situation, move back one step” advises an important tenet. By moving back a small step from the Bow-Arrow Stance to a False-Leg Stance, Grandmaster Wong not only escapes the seemingly helpless situation but also executes a counter-attack with a whirlwind kick in a pattern called “Naughty Monkey Kicks at Tree”.
The attacks and defences shown in the previous video clip are now repeated in one smooth flow. The whirlwind kick is a deadly kick, as it aims at an opponent's ribs, liver or kidneys which may cause fatal injuries. Hence, you must use it with great care — even against real opponents. We value life, our own as well as others'. We do not hurt, unless absolutely necessary.
What would you do if your hand is being held and you could not “thread” it away as shown in the previous video clip? Move back into a False-Leg Stance to avoid the chopping attack, and simultaneously circulate your held arm to release the opponent's grip. Then “close” him and execute the whirlwind kick.
You can counter a whirlwind kick using interception with the pattern “Bar the Big Boss”. Notice that this interception technique is not a head-on block, not meeting a powerful horizontal sweep horizontally, but coming down vertically. Indeed, the more powerful the sweeping kick, the more damage the opponent will sustain. You must of course have reasonable force to execute this relatively “hard” counter.
Immediately after the interception, you can execute a low punch at your opponent's dan tian. As this is a close attack, you must be ready if the opponent counter-attack, especially at your head. Ben rightly chooses “safety first”, retreating his kicking leg and defending with a vertical block, also using the pattern “Bar the Big Boss”.
Instead of using a “hard” defence against the powerful whirlwind kick as shown in the previous video clips, you may use a “soft” one employing the pattern "Taming Tiger with String of Beads". Without moving your legs away, but adjusting your foot positions), shift your body slantingly back to avoid the sweeping kick. As the kick passes, immediately shift forward again to strike the opponent, taking care to cover the opponent's possible attacks with his legs, hands or other parts of his body.
The attacks and counters are now repeated in a smooth flowing sequence. Instead of using a level fist and a side-way Horse-Riding Stance in the pattern “Precious Duck Swims through Lotus” to strike an opponent's dan tian, you can use a leopard fist and a slanting Bow-Arrow Stance in the pattern “Golden Leopard Speeds through Jungle” to strike the opponent's ribs. The best hand forms and stances are chosen for the combat situations in question.
Beginning students often forget to adjust their foot positions when shifting from a forward Bow-Arrow Stance to a backward Bow-Arrow Stance, as in the pattern “Taming Tiger with String of Beads”, resulting in bad balance. Suppose you are facing north. Both your feet should point towards north-west when you are in a right Bow-Arrow Stance. When you shift your body slantingly backward, to avoid a kick for example, both your feet should now point towards south-west. When you shift forward again to counter-attack, your feet should turn towards north-west again.
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