Secrecy in Kung Fu Today/ arrogance in MA's

Tony Dismukes

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Does this clip show the CMA principle, "手不空回 One should not pull his punching hand back empty"?

I have a couple of issues with this clip.

The first, as Gerry notes, is distance. Your initial swing misses your partner by over a foot without him doing anything to defend. Likewise his counter-swing would miss you if you weren't coming to meet it. At the moment he starts his swing you are well out of range.

The second is speed and timing. You partner starts his swing just a moment after you start yours and you can see at the moment your hand is at the top of your first swing his fist is at the bottom of his swing. Then in the time it takes him to complete his rotation to the top of his swing your fist has finished its downward swing, changed direction in a figure-eight loop and come all the way back up and out. In other words, your fist has travelled twice as far as his has in the same time. I don't like any technique which depends on the idea that you can move twice as fast as your opponent.

The thing is, something like this technique could potentially work with realistic distancing and timing. Perhaps you throw a hook at his head, he bobs and weaves underneath, you continue the arc of your strike back around into a backhand, but he's coming back with a slightly late counter-hook of his own, and due to some accident of timing and footwork your back hand strike intercepts his arm rather than his head, so you turn that into an arm wrap. However the change in distancing and timing will make it feel significantly different from the way you are practicing it. Also once you apply realistic distancing and timing then it becomes an occasional opportunistic technique that you go with when it falls into your lap, not something you can drill for consistent application against a competent fighter.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Also once you apply realistic distancing and timing then it becomes an occasional opportunistic technique that you go with when it falls into your lap, not something you can drill for consistent application against a competent fighter.
I think this is true of a lot of the techiniques I know. And it seems like some styles are built around this - they train controls and movement that is supposed to make the techniques available. I find this most believable when the system contains fundamentals to back this up, like good basic striking offense/defense to control distance and position while waiting for those other techniques to be available.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I think this is true of a lot of the techiniques I know. And it seems like some styles are built around this - they train controls and movement that is supposed to make the techniques available. I find this most believable when the system contains fundamentals to back this up, like good basic striking offense/defense to control distance and position while waiting for those other techniques to be available.
Hmm. I’m interested. Not being a jerk here, can you define good fundamentals and good basic striking offense/defense to control distance and position? I’m wondering what that means to you? I would like Tony to weigh in also.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I have a couple of issues with this clip.

The first, as Gerry notes, is distance. Your initial swing misses your partner by over a foot without him doing anything to defend. Likewise his counter-swing would miss you if you weren't coming to meet it. At the moment he starts his swing you are well out of range.

The second is speed and timing. You partner starts his swing just a moment after you start yours and you can see at the moment your hand is at the top of your first swing his fist is at the bottom of his swing. Then in the time it takes him to complete his rotation to the top of his swing your fist has finished its downward swing, changed direction in a figure-eight loop and come all the way back up and out. In other words, your fist has travelled twice as far as his has in the same time. I don't like any technique which depends on the idea that you can move twice as fast as your opponent.

The thing is, something like this technique could potentially work with realistic distancing and timing. Perhaps you throw a hook at his head, he bobs and weaves underneath, you continue the arc of your strike back around into a backhand, but he's coming back with a slightly late counter-hook of his own, and due to some accident of timing and footwork your back hand strike intercepts his arm rather than his head, so you turn that into an arm wrap. However the change in distancing and timing will make it feel significantly different from the way you are practicing it. Also once you apply realistic distancing and timing then it becomes an occasional opportunistic technique that you go with when it falls into your lap, not something you can drill for consistent application against a competent fighter.
Would you please add your opinion to the question i asked Gerry?
 

Gerry Seymour

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Hmm. I’m interested. Not being a jerk here, can you define good fundamentals and good basic striking offense/defense to control distance and position? I’m wondering what that means to you? I would like Tony to weigh in also.
"Fundamentals" is my shorthand for "things that work routinely". So, for instance, much of the Classical curriculum of my primary art (Nihon Goshin Aikido) is very situational and works nicely when it's available, but isn't available often against someone with decent training. But if the system is taught (as NGA should be) with some Judo-type grappling basics and decent striking basics (traditionally Shotokan and Goju, but more western in my curriculum), the practitioner can control the situation in a lot of ways. That control makes the Classical techniques (more accurately, applications of their principles) more likely to be availble. If I can't stop someone from overwhelming me with punches because they have a decent guard and good structure, my aiki body movement doesn't change that. If I can stop them from overwhelming me (or even overwhelm them in counter), then I can put that aiki body movement to work.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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"Fundamentals" is my shorthand for "things that work routinely". So, for instance, much of the Classical curriculum of my primary art (Nihon Goshin Aikido) is very situational and works nicely when it's available, but isn't available often against someone with decent training. But if the system is taught (as NGA should be) with some Judo-type grappling basics and decent striking basics (traditionally Shotokan and Goju, but more western in my curriculum), the practitioner can control the situation in a lot of ways. That control makes the Classical techniques (more accurately, applications of their principles) more likely to be availble. If I can't stop someone from overwhelming me with punches because they have a decent guard and good structure, my aiki body movement doesn't change that. If I can stop them from overwhelming me (or even overwhelm them in counter), then I can put that aiki body movement to work.
Okay thank you! That is informative. Now I understand what you meant more clearly.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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The first, as Gerry notes, is distance. Your initial swing misses your partner by over a foot without him doing anything to defend.
The distance is close enough for my arm to make contact with my opponent's arm.

That circular punch is not intend to hit on my opponent's head but try to make arm contact. It's like the insect's whiskers used to sense the space in front.

When you move your arms in circles, you either hit something, or you don't. If you hit something, you grab-pull. If you don't, you either move your arms the same way, or you reverse your arms moving direction and try again.

insect_whiskers.jpg


In the following clip, both persons move arms in circle from a far distance. The intention is to sense the space in front of them.

https://i.postimg.cc/Z5SGW8sm/Chang-double-spears.gif
 
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Flying Crane

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The distance is close enough for my arm to make contact with my opponent's arm.

That circular punch is not intend to hit on my opponent's head but try to make arm contact. It's like the insect's whiskers used to sense the space in front.

When you move your arms in circles, you either hit something, or you don't. If you hit something, you grab-pull. If you don't, you either move your arms the same way, or you reverse your arms moving direction and try again.

View attachment 27719

In the following clip, both persons move arms in circle from a far distance. The intention is to sense the space in front of them.

https://i.postimg.cc/Z5SGW8sm/Chang-double-spears.gif
I guess in my opinion, what might be more useful would be to strike the hand/wrist/forearm/elbow. You have a good point: you don’t need to be within striking range of the torso or face in order to strike him effectively. If you are within reach of his arms you can beat the hell out of those, with great effect. It seems to me that striking to the arms is more direct and quickly effective, with less chance of a large-scale failure like what might happen with a more complex advance and trap with intention of setting up something else. If you just hit the arms, and you miss or are less effective than you intended, you still have your distance and aren’t wrapped up in a potentially dangerous or compromised position.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I believe we may have a different definitions about hand skill.

1. To some people, hand skill mean fist meet head.
2. To others, hand skill mean arm meets arm.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I guess in my opinion, what might be more useful would be to strike the hand/wrist/forearm/elbow. You have a good point: you don’t need to be within striking range of the torso or face in order to strike him effectively. If you are within reach of his arms you can beat the hell out of those, with great effect. It seems to me that striking to the arms is more direct and quickly effective, with less chance of a large-scale failure like what might happen with a more complex advance and trap with intention of setting up something else. If you just hit the arms, and you miss or are less effective than you intended, you still have your distance and aren’t wrapped up in a potentially dangerous or compromised position.
That's the anti-missile strategy that I like. Your opponent attacks your head, you attack his punching arm. You don't allow your opponent's over sea missile to pass your coastline.

https://i.postimg.cc/vBDVs6WF/my-hook-3.gif
 
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dvcochran

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I have a couple of issues with this clip.

The first, as Gerry notes, is distance. Your initial swing misses your partner by over a foot without him doing anything to defend. Likewise his counter-swing would miss you if you weren't coming to meet it. At the moment he starts his swing you are well out of range.

The second is speed and timing. You partner starts his swing just a moment after you start yours and you can see at the moment your hand is at the top of your first swing his fist is at the bottom of his swing. Then in the time it takes him to complete his rotation to the top of his swing your fist has finished its downward swing, changed direction in a figure-eight loop and come all the way back up and out. In other words, your fist has travelled twice as far as his has in the same time. I don't like any technique which depends on the idea that you can move twice as fast as your opponent.

The thing is, something like this technique could potentially work with realistic distancing and timing. Perhaps you throw a hook at his head, he bobs and weaves underneath, you continue the arc of your strike back around into a backhand, but he's coming back with a slightly late counter-hook of his own, and due to some accident of timing and footwork your back hand strike intercepts his arm rather than his head, so you turn that into an arm wrap. However the change in distancing and timing will make it feel significantly different from the way you are practicing it. Also once you apply realistic distancing and timing then it becomes an occasional opportunistic technique that you go with when it falls into your lap, not something you can drill for consistent application against a competent fighter.
Agree. That was essentially poor choreography in the video.
 

Gerry Seymour

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The distance is close enough for my arm to make contact with my opponent's arm.

That circular punch is not intend to hit on my opponent's head but try to make arm contact. It's like the insect's whiskers used to sense the space in front.

When you move your arms in circles, you either hit something, or you don't. If you hit something, you grab-pull. If you don't, you either move your arms the same way, or you reverse your arms moving direction and try again.

View attachment 27719

In the following clip, both persons move arms in circle from a far distance. The intention is to sense the space in front of them.

https://i.postimg.cc/Z5SGW8sm/Chang-double-spears.gif
Okay, I guess I don't understand at all what your point is, then. I thought you were making a point about something that was actually a punch, meant to do damage, being able to morph into something else. From the clip, and your explanation here, that just looks like you used a punching motion to clear the arm. That's pretty routine, and exists in boxing.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I believe we may have a different definitions about hand skill.

1. To some people, hand skill mean fist meet head.
2. To others, hand skill mean arm meets arm.
I think the confusion comes from a difference in how we use the term "punch". To me, a punch is using a fist to attempt to damage a target. So a fist being used to clear an arm isn't a punch. It's still a hand skill (not a term I use, but I'm okay with it), but not a punch.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I think the confusion comes from a difference in how we use the term "punch". To me, a punch is using a fist to attempt to damage a target. So a fist being used to clear an arm isn't a punch. It's still a hand skill (not a term I use, but I'm okay with it), but not a punch.
If I use my arm to punch your arm, will you call that a punch? When you punch me, if I use my punch to knock down your punch. My punch may not damage your arm, but it may destroy your punch.

It won't be fair to say that your punch is a punch, but my punch is not a punch.

https://i.postimg.cc/vBDVs6WF/my-hook-3.gif
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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a punch, meant to do damage,
A punch can be used to set up other thing (such as a clinch). In order to achieve a true integration of the striking art and the grappling art, I believe we have to change that definition.

A grappler can wait for his opponent to punch him, so he can move in and take his opponent down. But this approach is too conservative. If a grappler tries to use punches to set up his clinch, his punch may not have enough knock down power because he wants to conserve his power for his take down.

When a grappler throws his punch, his goal may not be to damage his opponent's body but to set up for his take down.
 
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Gerry Seymour

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If I use my arm to punch your arm, will you call that a punch? When you punch me, if I use my punch to knock down your punch. My punch may not damage your arm, but it may destroy your punch.

It won't be fair to say that your punch is a punch, but my punch is not a punch.

https://i.postimg.cc/vBDVs6WF/my-hook-3.gif
If you are punching an arm, sure. But if you’re just intersecting it (not actually punching it), then it’s not a punch. The latter is what that clip looks like to me - a deflection or block.
 

Gerry Seymour

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A punch can be used to set up other thing (such as a clinch). In order to achieve a true integration of the striking art and the grappling art, I believe we have to change that definition.

A grappler can wait for his opponent to punch him, so he can move in and take his opponent down. But this approach is too conservative. If a grappler tries to use punches to set up his clinch, his punch may not have enough knock down power because he wants to conserve his power for his take down.

When a grappler throws his punch, his goal may not be to damage his opponent's body but to set up for his take down.
A punch doesn’t have to knock down to do damage, but you make a valid point. Is a diversionary punch still a punch? I’d say yes, because it is specifically meant to look as much like a punch as possible, to fool the opponent. But a block, pull, or push would not be a punch.
 
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