EXPERIENCING THE PROCESS OF COMPOSING A KUNGFU SET -- OVERVIEW
Combat Application Set Against Boxing — Sun Moon Manifest Glory
First there were kungfu patterns, which were the crystallization of actual fighting movements. Suitable patterns were linked in some meaningful ways to form sequences, and sequences linked to form sets. The composition of these sequences and sets was guided by certain combat considerations.
One major consideration was to arrange suitable patterns into appropriate sequences to meet certain categories of opponents. Participants of the Special Shaolin Kungfu Course of September 2005 in Malaysia had the opportunity to relive, albeit in a highly abbreviated manner, such a process in kungfu development. The result is the “Sun Moon Manifest Glory Set”, devised for counters against Boxers.
“Sun Moon Manifest Glory” is the collective effort of all the participants, who have benefited much from this developmental process, particularly in combat philosophy, tactics and techniques.
The name “Sun Moon Manifest Glory” is chosen for the set because it is the most representative pattern in the set. This pattern comes closest to the typical stance and movements Boxers use in fighting.
The set comprises of the combat sequences the participants have worked out earlier to counter typical Boxing attacks. Each participant takes turn to imitate typical Boxing attacks and his training partner demonstrates the kungfu counters against them, while comments are made on the strength or weakness of their choices.
The video clips in this series show some of these lessons where the “Sun Moon Manifest Glory” set was composed by participants to the Special Shaolin Kungfu Course of September 2005. The video clips are meant as a review for the participants as well as source material for other Shaolin Wahnam members to understand some processes involved in the composition of a kungfu set. The sequences can be viewed separately at Sharing Some Secrets in Counters Against a Boxer's Attacks.
Amongst kungfu patterns, “Sun Moon Manifest Glory” comes closest to the stance Boxers adopt when sparring. Innes begins the set with Boxing moves, which are stylized into kungfu forms. Sifu Markus provides the counters against these movements, using the tactic of “Sound East Strike West”, and the technique “Low Stance Arrow Punch” with the pattern “Precious Duck Swim through Lotus”.
A Boxer attacks with four continuous punches, and a kungfu exponent responds with Golden Dragon, Single Tiger and finally with a thrust kick using “White Horse Presents Hoof”, followed by a Tiger-Claw into the Boxer's face. In the next sequence the Boxer attacks with a jab and two hooks. The kungfu exponent “threads” the jab, intercepts the first hook and deflects the second hook and simultaneously counter attacks with “Double Bows Tame Tiger”.
After some explanation, it was decided to change “Precious Duck Swims through Lotus” in the defence sequence to “White Horse Turns Head” as shown in this video clip. Amongst other advantages, “White Horse” provides better control of the Boxer's movement as well as easier application of internal force.
This video clip shows Sequence 3 and the attack part of Sequence 4. In Sequence 3 the Boxer initiates with a left jab, followed by a right hook and a left hook. The kungfu exponent responds with “Golden Dragon Plays with Water”, “Immortal Emerges from Cave” and “Double Bows Tame Tiger”. In Sequence 4 the Boxer attacks with three hooks, moving his body to his right in the third hook which is similar to the kungfu pattern “Hang a Golden Star at a Corner”.
The kungfu part of Sequence 4 is shown in this video clip. The kungfu exponent brushes aside the Boxer's right and left hooks, close in on the Boxer and counters with a whirlwind kick. As the Boxer moves to his right side to execute another hook, the kungfu exponent “tames” the attack and counters with a palm strike, using the pattern Green Dragon Rushes at Face”.
Sequences 1 to 4 are reviewed, and Sequence 5 is introduced. The Boxer attacks with continuous punches, and the kungfu exponent threads away the punches and counters with “White Horse Presents Hoof”.
The participants practice Sequences 1 to 5. They are 1. White Horse Turns Head, 2. Golden Dragon Plays with Water, 3. Double Bows Tames Tiger, 4. Green Dragon Rushes at Face, and 5. White Horse Presents Hoof”.
It is impressive that the participants have just learnt the sequences about an hour ago, hence, there may be some minor difference of forms shown by the participants. This is alright as the forms will be stylized and finalized later.
Three combat sequences are added. Throws are introduced. Actually there is much laughter in this session, but due to some technical faults the laughter did not come out in the video.
Kungfu exponents demonstrate how to keep a Boxer at bay while striking him. A good stance and appropriate body-work are necessary. How to counter a Boxer's hug is also shown.
Simon, an assistant instructor of Shaolin Wahnam England, demonstrates some sequences just learnt, Striking a Boxer's arms followed by kicks is an excellent way to counter a Boxer. It applies the tactic of “If there is form, strike the form; if there is no form, chase the shadow.”
Jamie goes over all the sequences learnt. He just learned all these movements less than an hour ago. Participants could learn fast not only because of their mental clarity and good memory, which are benefits from our kungfu training, but also because of their sound foundation in basic patterns, stances and footwork, which is an important part of our methodology.
These movements may not be meaningful to other martial artists not familiar with their combat functions, but to the initiated these movements are effective counters against Boxers. We can also anticipate that some critics may criticize the hesitancy or uncertainty of some participants. This video clip shows without any editing a part of our training process where in about 3 hours these participants successfully learn and more significantly are able to perform effectively counters against Boxers what many martial artists will be happy to learn in 3 years.
More combat sequences are added. Again, the combat functions of the movements may be meaningful only to the initiated. If we wish to be combat efficient in our kungfu, the combat sequences shown in these video clips are very useful. We may or may not beat a Boxer, but these combat sequences will enable us to fight as a kungfu practitioner.
Lessons from the Special Shaolin Kungfu Course of September 2005
- Part 1 - Initiating and Responding to Attacks
- Part 2 - Secrets in Counters against Boxer's Attacks
- Part 3 - Process of Composing a Kungfu Set
- Part 4 - Combat Sequences from Specialized Sets
- Part 5 - Refining Combat Sequences of Specialized Sets
- Part 6 - Making Variations to Meet Changing Combat Situations
- Part 7 - Bringing out the Beauty of Shaolin Kungfu in Combat
- Part 8 - From Pattern-Sets to Sequence-Sets
- Part 9 — Sparring at the Haphazard, Technique and Sequence Levels
- Part 10 — Improving Techniques and Flow in Free Sparring
- Part 11 — Free Sparring using Kungfu Skills and Techniques
- Part 12 — The Flowing Water Staff and its Application