Originally posted by Dr X
So have you learnt some Chinese styles?
It would be more honest to say that I was taught techniques taken from various styles rather than styles in their entirety. Most of the techniques we
used were conservative in movement - compact would be a better term. While we did practice some high kicking - most were aimed below the solar plexus.
Standard type stuff using heel, ball of foot, instep, outside of foot and spearfoot.
Stances were varied depending on the style of opponent. With Eagle Claw moves we tended to use wide and low footwork. With other animal style moves
like snake we tended to use narrower taller stances. For fighting a sport or tournament trained opponents cat stances and positioning/fighting offset
from the opponents centreline was advantageous.
Then sometimes we'd combine mmoves from 2 different styles into one moves - e.g. a monkey fist to the teeth flicked over into a dragon claw clasping
the lower lip with the index and middle fingers inside the lower lip and the thumb clamped up under the chin. This was a stun and hold technique -
only to be followed by ripping the lip downward if the opponent wasn't subdued by the pain - in which case the nerve damage should be enough to
render them unconcious.
We'd practice spear finger techniques (on gravel filled bags), designed to penetrate skin and muscle combined with clawing, gripping and ripping -
e.g. grabbing hold of a floating rib is very effective in crowd situations when you don't want to draw attention to what you are doing - it's quite
a paralysing hold and since it tends to spasm the diaphragm, the subject is usually unable to utter a sound.
Similarly for hand techniques to throat, clavicles, abdomen, groin etc.
Locks and holds were mainly from the Eagle Claw style.
Blocks were considered strikes and the intent was to break bones with the block.
Much of the training was conditioning for getting struck.
Many of the moves I don't know the names for or what style they may have originated from.
Then there were styles in which your state of mind dictated what you did. e.g. mind like the moon was an evasive style of hand movements where
movements were crescent shaped - it was usually coupled with cat and L stances since they were quite effective for getting you off the centreline of
sport style opponents. Most of them can't generate much power off their centreline. Another mindset was stone giant.
You can see from the couple of examples given above that this was most definitely not a sport or tournament oriented training. Some have made much of
the value of full contact training, however I think you'll agree that would be very dangerous considering the techniques we were using.
So in the Tai Chi tradition, training under the "slow is fast" philosophy was implemented for much of the practice. You'ld gradually work it up to
Fight Psychology was thrown in - how to influence your opponents state of mind with subtle and not so subtle actions or non-actions.
Our objective was to disable the opponent within 1-3 seconds - not fight them. Important for fighting groups. Survival stuff.
Technique was not as important as integration of mind and body. The common theme after learning to meditate, sense and circulate chi, was to reach
physical exhaustion - where your mind gives orders and your body protests. A very inefficient state of affairs as much energy is lost fighting this
internal battle. You push on through and then your co-ordintation leaves you. If you manage to get through that by accepting the discomfort instead of
resisting it, you enter a kind of dissociative state. Co-ordination returns but the discomfort becomes diminished - you're still aware of it, but it
doesn't sap your energy and doesn't distract you. The world seems to slow down and movements become relaxed and effortless. . . . my teacher
would say that this is when the real training began
[edit on 25-6-2008 by News Junkie]