POETRY AND ELEGANCE IN EFFECTIVE COMBAT
Taijiquan is often regarded as a scholar's martial art. It is gentle and graceful, and its patterns are poetically named, like “White Crane Flaps Wings”, “Jade Girl Threads Shuttle” and “Push Open Window to Look at Moon”. But it is highly combat efficient.
A Taijiquan exponent needs not be rough and tough, yet he can be powerful and deadly if he wants to, but he usually spares his opponent from injury. The secret of accomplishing this yin-yang harmony of being gentle yet powerful, being elegant yet combat efficient, lies in the cultivation of chi and the application of internal force.
The video series here gives some examples of poetically named patterns applied elegantly and effectively in serious combat.
What can “Needle at Sea Bottom” be used for? One effective application is to counter the deadly organ-seeking kick. You dislocate the opponent's ankle or break his leg as his kick is spent.
Another application of “Needle at Sea Bottom” is to release a grip on your arm when the grip is just applied on you. If the grip has been established, you can release it with a small circular movement of your hand before you bring it sharply down.
A participant asks how a certain Taijiquan movement can be used for combat. This movement is not found in most styles of Taijiquan, and is similar to “Black Tiger Guards Door” in Shaolin Kungfu. It can be used to fell an opponent who tries to grasp you.
The movement to fell an opponent is shown in slow motion so that participants can see the fine points involved. Rotating the waist to follow the momentum of the opponent is important.
How is the pattern “Jade Girl Threads Shuttle” used in combat? As an opponent attacks, float his attack with one hand and simultaneously strike him with the other hand. If an opponent holds your arm, you can release it by floating, and strike him with the other hand at the same time.
Here is a common mistake students make when applying “Jade Girl Threads Shuttle”. It is not a block but a floating technique. When an opponent chops down on you, if you block the chop, your arm may be fractured. You should float it, preferably at his elbow, and simultaneously strike him with the other palm.
“White Crane Flaps Wings” is as elegant as it is deadly. If an opponent grips your two hands, you can release the double grips and kick at his groin at the same time. If he attacks you with a strike, you deflect the strike with one hand, strike him with the other hand, and kick him below.
You apply “White Crane Flaps Wings” on an opponent, who also counters with “White Crane Flaps Wings”. Yet, you respond with “White Crane Flaps Wings” too, striking your opponent's leg as he kicks. The third “White Crane” is a variation, using the False-Leg Stance instead of the Single-Leg Stance.
Isn't it fantastic to find so many applications of “White Crane Flaps Wings” when many people who practice only external forms think that this pattern is only for show? As your opponent executes a knee strike using “Jade Girl Kicks Shuttle”, you can respond with a deadly “White Crane Flaps Wings”.
“Grasping Sparrow's Tail” can be used against all types of attack. This video clip shows the “peng” or “ward off” technique against a middle strike. Body-movement is important in neutralizing an opponent's force. In Wahnam Taijiquan this part of “Grasping Sparrow's Tail” is called “Immortal Waves Sleeves”.
When an opponent holds both your hands, you can release the hold with the “lu” or “roll back” technique, follow with a strike using “li” or “press forward”. These two parts of “Grasping Sparrow's Tail” are known in Wahnam Taijiquan as “Double Dragons Play with Pearl” and “Push Boat According to Flow”.
The two movements in the previous video clip can be reduced to one to release your both hands from being held, followed by an arm strike to your opponent while covering his hands to prevent him from counter-attacking. This is the “li” or “press forward” technique, and the pattern is known as “Push Boat According to Flow”.
When an opponent holds your waist or legs as in the shoot, you can fell him using the “cheng” or “sink” technique. In our school this pattern is called “Black Bear Sinks Hips”.
The “an” technique, which actually means “place on” in the sense of being in contact although it is often referred to as “push”, is useful for “closing” or “taming” an opponent, making it difficult for him to attack. In our school this pattern is called “Push Open Window to Look at Moon”.
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