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The Tactic of Chase, Cover and Strike

It is quite shocking that today many kungfu practitioners, even including some masters, think that kungfu patterns cannot be used for fighting! At best, they think that even if one uses kungfu patterns for fighting, they are not as effective as Boxing or Kick-Boxing. Hence, it is common today that kungfu practitioners may perform kungfu patterns beautifully in solo, but when they have to spar or fight, they discard their kungfu and bounce about using Boxing or Kick-Boxing.

The fact is that kungfu patterns are exceedingly effective for combat. In fact that is why they have been evolved into what they are today from centuries of actual fighting. If all other factors were equal, kungfu techniques are far superior to Boxing or Kick-Boxing techniques for combat.

This does not mean that a kungfu practitioner will surely beat a Boxer or Kick-Boxer in fighting. This is because other factors are not equal. Even when the kungfu practitioner has superior techniques, if a Boxer or Kick-Boxer is faster or more forceful, for example, the kungfu practitioner would be beaten?

Indeed, in the real world today, most kungfu practitioners are usually beaten by Boxers and Kick-Boxers. Worse, most kungfu practitioners inevitably throw away the kungfu they may have practiced for years and imitate Boxers and Kick-Boxers in their sparring and fighting.

Why? There are two major reasons. One, most kungfu practitioners today have never learnt how to use kungfu for combat. This group includes some kungfu practitioners who may be formidable fighters using other martial techniques. Two, most of those who have learnt kungfu combat application have not spent sufficient time to develop the skills to use kungfu combat application effectively. They may, for example, know how to counter Boxers' or Kick-Boxers' attacks if the attacks are acted out slowly, but if the same attacks are to be executed fast and forcefully, they would lack the skills to implement what they know.

At the regional Shaolin Kungfu course in Frankfurt in June 2008, some secrets of how to handle Boxers and Kick-Boxers in combat are explained. The kungfu techniques chosen are simple, and are quite easy to learn. If you practice them well for a few months, you can develop the necessary skills to apply these kungfu techniques in sparring. Today, almost irrespective of what styles of kungfu or other martial arts they practice, many people inevitably bounce about like Boxers or Kick-Boxers when they spar. Hence, if you can apply these simple kungfu techniques skillfully, you can find yourself effective in handling many sparring partners, and most significant of all, you may derive the satisfaction of

Please note that the kungfu techniques chosen here are not of a high-level. They are basic kungfu techniques any kungfu practitioners should know. Later when you are skillful, if you use more sophisticated techniques like kicks and throws, your opponents will find it more difficult to spar against you.

Please click the pictures or their captions to view the videos

The Secret of Asking the Way

First, go over a short sequence of two or three punching attacks. Your punches must be preceded with “asking the way”. Here, “asking the way” is used to “open” or “close” your opponent. This is the first most important secret. If you fail to so this, you are likely to find your opponent raining punches on you.

The following video clip provides an example. The patterns used are “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave”, “Black Tiger Steals Heart”, “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave” and “Fierce Tiger Speeds through Valley”. Repeat this sequence a few times.

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An Attack Sequence

An example of how to apply your prepared attack sequence on a Boxer is given in the video clip below. All the movements are spontaneous.

Here, Christian applies a prepared attack sequence on Sifu Roland. Christian's attack patterns are slightly modified from the one shown above, but the principles are the same. Instead of “Fierce Tiger” he uses “Precious Duck”. He also adds “Poisonous Snake”. In fact he is using Distilled Sequence 1.

Notice that Christian successfully prevents Sifu Roland from raining punches on him. The secret is in applying “asking the way” skillfully.

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Distilled Sequence 1

Preventing from Being Hit

A big problem many people face is being hit while moving in to attack, with the result that today sparring has become a free exchange of punches and kicks. How to avoid being hit by a Boxer is shown in the video clips below. We shall first focus on punches; how to avoid being kicked by a Kick-Boxer will be dealt with later.

Here is an excellent example to show the importance of stances in both attack and defence. As the Boxer attacks, the exponent sinks back his Bow-Arrow Stance and closes the Boxer's hands to counter-attack. The movements are purposely slowed down to show the techniques more clearly. The long range of the Bow-Arrow Stance is exploited. Without using the stance, the defence and counter would not be effective.

If the Boxer bounces away, the exponent closes in quickly to strike the Boxer. The exponent is technically faster than the Boxer. He needs to make only one move with his longer Box-Arrow Stance when the Boxer has to make two movements.

It is important to cover the Boxer when you move in to strike him. Otherwise he will rain punches on your face, as demonstrated in the third video clip.

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Closing an Opponent Chasing after an Opponent Striking an Opponent

Chase, Close and Strike

When you close a Boxer to strike him, he is likely to bounce away. You must close in, leaving him no gap to strike back at you. The kungfu stances are very effective in this. You can cover in one step the space the Boxer covers in a few steps.

If he escapes your coverage and attempts to strike you, you need not, and should not, move back your legs. You can avoid his strikes, then cover his hands by sinking back onto your Box-Arrow Stance. Immediately you can move your stance forward, without moving your legs, to strike him.

This tactic of “Chase, Close and Strike” is very effective against a Boxer.

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In the same way, when you shoot in from a poise pattern to attack a Boxer, you should “ask the way”. Don't make the common mistake of what many people make by throwing your body forward to be an easy targer.

Irrespective of whether you cover only one step or many steps, your moving in to attack follows the same principles — the difference is only in the number of steps you cover. At the final step when you and your opponent are within striking distance, your weight is on your back leg, you ask the way, and rotate your waist to attack.

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Moving in to Attack Effective against Boxers

This method works very well. Course participants apply this methody very well against sparring partners posing as Boxers. You may like to try it.

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Shaolin Kungfu against Boxing

You can view all the above video clips here by clicking the picture or the caption below

How You Can Apply Shaolin Kungfu against Boxing from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.


Selection from Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course in Frankfurt of June 2008

Click here for an Overview of the entire course

  1. Applying Shaolin Kungfu against other Martial Arts
  2. Applying the Tactic of Chase, Cover and Strike against Boxers
  3. Effective Shaolin Techniques and Tactics against Kick-Boxing
  4. Intercepting Fast Punches and Striking Kicking Legs
  5. Shaolin Counters against Sweeping Kicks and Knee Jabs
  6. Handling Kick-Boxers and Muay Thai Fighters
  7. Counters against Knee Strikes, Elbow Strikes and Elbow Dislocations
  8. Effective Ways to Handle Boxers
  9. Counters against Kick-Boxing and Wrestling Attacks
  10. The Eight Distilled Combat Sequences

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