FROM COMBAT SEQUENCES TO FREE SPARRING
Course participants of the regional Shaolin Kungfu course in Portugal in February 2007, including some beginners, were able to apply kungfu patterns for free sparring after just a few days of training. The instructional material was the Eight Simplified Combat Sequences, which form the Shaolin set Single Tiger Emerges from Cave. Similar courses were held in Andorra, Switzerland and Finland.
The video series, recorded at random and released here without editing, are meant to help course participants review their lessons as well as to provide reference material for other Shaolin Wahnam members. Others who wish to use kungfu patterns for combat may find useful material in these videos. While it is unrealistic for them to be able to use kungfu for sparring by merely viewing the videos, the guidelines and examples therein may hopefully be useful to them in their own training.
A huge problem facing Chinese martial arts today is that most practitioners cannot apply their kungfu techniques for combat. There are two aspects to this problem. One, many of them only practice kungfu forms without any combat application. Two, those who practice combat application use other martial art techniques instead of kungfu techniques for sparring. We in Shaolin Wahnam believe that as we practice kungfu, we should use kungfu techniques in sparring or actual fighting. These video series show our sparring methodology.
Shaolin Kungfu is rich in kicks and throws though many martial artists may not realize it. Shaolin kicks are purposely inconspicuous. A Shaolin practitioner usually plans some preliminary movements to prepare for his kicking attacks. As throws are normally not combat-ending by themselves, it is necessary to follow up with a decisive strike to put the opponent out of action. Some throws, however, are combat-ending. This video series also introduces the use of addition, subtraction and modification in combat application.
A common question many people have is how practicing combat sequences which are pre-arranged can lead to efficiency in free sparring where attacks come at random. If one merely practices pre-arranged combat sequences, he may not be efficient in free sparring. There are many steps in between, and these steps mark the progression from full control in combat sequences to no control in free sparring. Various methods are employed to accomplish these objectives, such as “pre-choice”, “self-choice”, “surprised counters”, “continuity”, “external change” and “internal change”. The operation uses “subtraction and addition” involving patterns and sequences.
How would you defend against a strike and a kick coming at you at the same time? What would you do if your hands are immobilized, you cannot move back as you are being held, and a chopping attack is coming at your head? Or how would you escape if your opponent grips your arm and simultaneously press hard on your elbow to dislocate it? In kungfu there are no attacks where there are no counters. You will learn these formidable attacks and their beautiful counters in this video series.
Records indicate that practitioners of great kungfu in the past were relaxed and graceful in combat, happy and peace-loving in daily life — and certainly not rough, angry and belligerent. It is heartening that our Shaolin Wahnam members exhibit these qualities of great kungfu practitioners. It is also significant that after training and sparring for many hours, our Shaolin Wahnam practitioners are not tired or panting for breath! More significantly, we enjoy our training and sparring where we build camaraderie and help one another. But, notwithstanding this, is our training methodology effective for combat? Of course it is, otherwise we would not waste our time training this way.
From Combat Sequences to Free Sparring
- Training Combat Sequences to Prepare for Free Sparring
- Counters against Kicks and Throws
- Systematic and Gradual Progression to Free Sparring
- Some Formidable Attacks and their Beautiful Counters
- Gentle and Elegant, yet Forceful and Combat Effective