the Chinese Swings

Flying Crane

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The Chinese Swings is what we in the Tracy kenpo lineage call a certain movement found in Twisting Staves in 1st Brown, as well as in Panther set and Wong's 18 Hands set. I do not know if it is found in other lineages of kenpo that trace thru Mr. Parker or Mr. Chow, but I certainly welcome people from those lineages to jump into the discussion if they have something to add.

Basically, it is a double strike technique using a full-body pivot from a reverse bow to a forward bow. As you pivot, the lead hand whips in a horizontal arc with a backfist, followed by the rear hand whipping in a similar horizontal arc with a forward knuckle raking fist or possibly a hammerfist if you turn the palm up. It is very useful if you are surrounded by several people, as you can simply step in different directions to unload the strike at whoever is closest, moving to the next, then the next and soforth.

It's important to keep the arms and shoulders relaxed while you are doing this strike, as the power comes from the body's pivot and the whipping of the arms, not from physical muscular power. In fact, if you tense the arms while doing this and you try to "muscle" your way thru it, you are actually decreasing your effectiveness.

It is important to train this technique on focus mits or a heavy bag or other striking surface of some kind. It takes a little bit of practice to learn to relax into the swing and allow the power to manifest, as well as get the hands used to striking properly, especially with the foreknuckle raking punch. But in my experience, from White Crane training, it really did not take long to figure it out and become comfortable with it. While I feel contact training is EXTREMELY important to properly develop the technique, it does develop quickly as long as you do so.

We've been working on this a bit lately, and I find it very interesting for one big reason: this kind of whipping power is the foundation upon which Chinese systems such as Choy Li Fut and Tibetan White Crane are built. So this technique, while a bit different from what I have trained in Tibetan White Crane, is similar enough to be very familiar. This kind of technique, when done correctly, can hit like a sledgehammer and can be blindingly fast. Years ago, I spoke with a man from a Tibetan White Crane school, who told me that he watched a friend of his use a similar whipping puch on a guy on the street. The strike landed on the side of the guy's jaw, and literally pulled the jaw from it's hinge and moved the entire mandible to the other side of the guy's face. I can only expect it was accompanied by a lot of bone breakage and serious damage to the soft tissue and joint of the jaw, but he didn't stick around long enough to find out the details.

I am pretty intrigued that our lineage of kenpo has chosen to include these kinds of techniques. Since I've studied White Crane, I've always felt these methods were tremendously powerful, and I'm glad to realize they have a place in kenpo.
 

Xue Sheng

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You will find something similar in Changchuan (Long Fist) as well but is was more of a straight charge that used a combination of Alternating arms and back fists and hammer fists
 
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Flying Crane

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You will find something similar in Changchuan (Long Fist) as well but is was more of a straight charge that used a combination of Alternating arms and back fists and hammer fists


yup, i expect this kind of thing is common to a number of Chinese systems, not just the two I listed above. Those are just the two I have experience with, or have witnessed enough to recognize it.
 

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Although I have never used Chinese Swings in a real confrontation, I have used them in go kumite. When overrun, I simply stepped to 6 with a crossover, spun, and then cleared the area with the strikes. I have also been dropped with those strikes once. I do not allow blind strikes during jyu kumite.

Jim
 

KenpoDave

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yup, i expect this kind of thing is common to a number of Chinese systems, not just the two I listed above. Those are just the two I have experience with, or have witnessed enough to recognize it.

It is also found in Okinawan/Japanese karate. It is similar in concept and application to the "Drum Technique" of Karate Kid II.

We actually apply it first in Slicing Dragon, though the strict "Chinese Swing" is not taught until Turning the Handle in Blue.
 
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Flying Crane

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We actually apply it first in Slicing Dragon, though the strict "Chinese Swing" is not taught until Turning the Handle in Blue.

good point, I hand't thought of these. I think their application is a bit different, but similar concept.
 

kidswarrior

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Hope I'm not stepping on my...self here, as I've never used the Tracy/EPAK terminology, but it sounds a lot like the double down 'block' in kung fu san soo. Both hands come around in a semi-windmill pattern, with body weight shifting as you step, or simply dropping if there's no time/space to step. The block uses open hands to catch whatever they land on (arms, shoulder, neck, etc.), which is generally enough for a takedown (or at least turning him so his back's to you). Closing the hands into hammer fists=the kind of damage described by the Tibetan White Crane practitioner.
 
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Flying Crane

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Hope I'm not stepping on my...self here, as I've never used the Tracy/EPAK terminology, but it sounds a lot like the double down 'block' in kung fu san soo. Both hands come around in a semi-windmill pattern, with body weight shifting as you step, or simply dropping if there's no time/space to step. The block uses open hands to catch whatever they land on (arms, shoulder, neck, etc.), which is generally enough for a takedown (or at least turning him so his back's to you). Closing the hands into hammer fists=the kind of damage described by the Tibetan White Crane practitioner.

well, I'm not quite catching on to what you are describing, but I guess a simple way of putting it is the use of a full body pivot to generate the power, that whips thru the limbs that are kept relatively relaxed. This would be in contrast to a more "obvious" way of generating power, thru muscular strength. I think my examples (for those who are familiar with them) really show in a clear way how this is done. Dave's examples are somewhat different technically, but they still work on the same idea.

So I suspect you may be describing another similar thing, I am just having trouble envisioning it.

I wouldn't be surprised to find this in the Japanese and Okinawan, and even other systems as well. I don't have the experience with them to know. But I think that certain Chinese methods really focus on this approach more than other arts do.
 

kidswarrior

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Chinese swing - in Shanghai

EDIT
Sorry I could no longer resist, and I really did try
Yes! That's it! You truly are a CMA guy. :D

Flying Crane said:
well, I'm not quite catching on to what you are describing, but I guess a simple way of putting it is the use of a full body pivot to generate the power, that whips thru the limbs that are kept relatively relaxed. This would be in contrast to a more "obvious" way of generating power, thru muscular strength.
Exactly. My GM calls this 'body fighting'.

I think that certain Chinese methods really focus on this approach more than other arts do.
Can't speak for any CMA but kfss, but that's where I learned it. Definitely didn't see this concept in my exposure to Shaolin Kempo (my experience there was the muscular strength variety you mentioned).
 
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Flying Crane

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As I am thinking more about this, I am realizing that this technique is found in many more of the Self Defense Techs in the Tracy curriculum. Sowing the Seeds, and one of the variations in Miss of the Leap come to mind. I am sure if I systematically dug thru the entire curriculum, I would find more. They may not be the full "Chinese Swings", but they would have the essential idea and a variant on the application. Even Double Spear, variant D has a modified version of it. Reversing Wind has it, and Dance of the Dragon finishes with it, strikes going downward.

It's kind of funny how one night's work on one specific thing suddenly makes your eyes open up and you go "ah-ha!" and pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.
 

Xue Sheng

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As I am thinking more about this, I am realizing that this technique is found in many more of the Self Defense Techs in the Tracy curriculum. Sowing the Seeds, and one of the variations in Miss of the Leap come to mind. I am sure if I systematically dug thru the entire curriculum, I would find more. They may not be the full "Chinese Swings", but they would have the essential idea and a variant on the application. Even Double Spear, variant D has a modified version of it. Reversing Wind has it, and Dance of the Dragon finishes with it, strikes going downward.

It's kind of funny how one night's work on one specific thing suddenly makes your eyes open up and you go "ah-ha!" and pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.

I don't know what it was but something in that post made me think of 2 things

Chen double Dao form

Chen SuYang with double broadswords

Tong Bei

Tong Bei Quan (the very fist part in this one)

baiyuan tongbei quan

This double fist (Chinese swing) is in a whole lot of CMA styles
 
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Flying Crane

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I don't know what it was but something in that post made me think of 2 things

Chen double Dao form

Chen SuYang with double broadswords

Tong Bei

Tong Bei Quan (the very fist part in this one)

baiyuan tongbei quan

This double fist (Chinese swing) is in a whole lot of CMA styles

Yes, I can see the principle in action here. The actual application is different, but the underlying method is very similar. I would be surprised if anyone who has spent a number of years in the Chinese systems didn't recognize it.
 

KenpoDave

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As I am thinking more about this, I am realizing that this technique is found in many more of the Self Defense Techs in the Tracy curriculum. Sowing the Seeds, and one of the variations in Miss of the Leap come to mind. I am sure if I systematically dug thru the entire curriculum, I would find more. They may not be the full "Chinese Swings", but they would have the essential idea and a variant on the application. Even Double Spear, variant D has a modified version of it. Reversing Wind has it, and Dance of the Dragon finishes with it, strikes going downward.

It is all over the system.

When you are ready for more fun, do the opening movement of Guarding the Wall and then start looking for the hundreds of other places you will find it!

It's kind of funny how one night's work on one specific thing suddenly makes your eyes open up and you go "ah-ha!" and pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.

Isn't that cool?
 

kidswarrior

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I don't know what it was but something in that post made me think of 2 things

Chen double Dao form

Chen SuYang with double broadswords

Tong Bei

Tong Bei Quan (the very fist part in this one)

baiyuan tongbei quan

This double fist (Chinese swing) is in a whole lot of CMA styles
Don't have time to check em all right now, but the last one has a series of three of the stop hits (blocks/strikes) I call double down windmills clearly delineated at about 31-35 seconds. They are smaller circles than I would practice in forms, but probably about what the reality would be for combat (so, to the extent this guy is truly envisioning an opponent, they're right in line with my CMA experience).
 

kidswarrior

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Tong Bei

Tong Bei Quan (the very fist part in this one)
This one seems a little different from the last one to me, in that the swings are separate, not two arms swinging together. Don't know if that's what you all actually are talking about and I'm odd man out, but that's not as prevalent in my personal experience as the double arms rolling (windmilling) in tandem.

Not that it matters, as long as it works. It's all fun to dig around in. :)

BTW, anyone notice a similarity in the second part of the second clip in the foot movement directions to Pinan 1? OK, maybe I'm waaay out there, but still, pattern looks slightly familiar.

Oh, and I just saw this is the Tracy Kenpo sub-thread. My apologies for intruding and showing my ignorance. :D (It's been fun, though :asian:).
 

Xue Sheng

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This one seems a little different from the last one to me, in that the swings are separate, not two arms swinging together. Don't know if that's what you all actually are talking about and I'm odd man out, but that's not as prevalent in my personal experience as the double arms rolling (windmilling) in tandem.

It is a bit different, kind of a variation on the theme if you will.

The windmill I think you are talking about is not exactly what I learned in my Long Fist days, it would be more of a combination of what you see in the first part of the Tong Bei clip with the windmill kind of thing. Hard to explain easy to show. Or at least it was, it would take me a couple of tries these days to show it to anyone correctly :)

But I have seen a windmill type strike done in White Crane before but I have never trained White Crane. It is a bit different, kind of a variation on the theme if you will.

As for Tracy Kenpo, and White Crane for that matter, those are best answered by Flying Crane.
 
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Flying Crane

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This one seems a little different from the last one to me, in that the swings are separate, not two arms swinging together. Don't know if that's what you all actually are talking about and I'm odd man out, but that's not as prevalent in my personal experience as the double arms rolling (windmilling) in tandem.

actually, in the technique as we use it in Tracys, they are separate. They both come off the same body rotation, but the arms swing out one after the other, but separate.

Oh, and I just saw this is the Tracy Kenpo sub-thread. My apologies for intruding and showing my ignorance. :D (It's been fun, though :asian:).


not a problem, of course. As I stated in the opening thread, I don't know if other kenpo lineages use this, so I welcome anyone with something to add, including those outside kenpo altogether.
 

kidswarrior

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actually, in the technique as we use it in Tracys, they are separate. They both come off the same body rotation, but the arms swing out one after the other, but separate.
Yeah, I saw that repeated in the clips. Didn't learn that specifically in my CMA experience. But now that I think about it, can *see* it in various techs and forms we've learned. Think I'll work on extruding this a bit. :)
 
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