Chaotic Fury 亂截

The Chaotic Fury is not a “technique”, but, rather, a concept that is ingrained in the Mantis system. I use the term “Chaotic Fury” here to better translate what the concept conveys. In Chinese, and according to different lineages, it can be called in many slightly different variations, such as “Chaotic Sever” (亂截) , “Chaotic Strikes” (亂打), “Chaotic Connect” (亂接), or the “Interdiction” (攔截), which is also a form. None of them is more correct than the other, as they are just different way to express the same concept. The Six Harmonies Mantis tradition uses mnemonic in the form of limericks to pass down its tenets, and one of the limericks states, I paraphrase, “[To] chaotically sever the central gate and go through it like a ditch, cutting against the wind and throw yourself right inside (i.e. how you open the central line)”, that is why I took “Chaotic Sever” (亂截) and reinterpret it into “Chaotic Fury”.

The Chaotic Fury, as stated above, is a central tenet in the Mantis system. It is chaotic, as it goes without a fathomable pattern, so unfathomable that even the one who is executing it does not know exactly what they are doing. It is this way, because, in order to go through the central gate, which is the opponent’s main defence, one would have to open it up first and in order to open it one would have to gain initiative first. While at the same time, the defending side enjoys a geometric advantage, because in order to attack, the offensive side has to step into the range of the defence, and that means the reaction time of the defence is shorter.

Therefore, the question posed to the offensive side is how could he overcome that advantage. If, for example, the offensive side initiated a strike, encountered the defence, and as a result pulled back his punch, then he would be worse off than the initial state, as he just wasted his energy and set back to square one.

There are many ways to overcome this geometrical challenge; movements such as feint and element of surprise could potentially lure the defence in making a mistake. If the defence caught on, however, the offence would still be set back to square one.

Our system likes to go for a more certain way, and that is where the concept of Chaotic Fury comes in. The offending side enjoys a strategic advantage as the defending side has to react to the first contact. Therefore, when we attack, we expect the defence to be able to mount a successful initial defence, but instead of pulling back, we follow and use the momentum the defence is giving to launch cycles and cycles of attacks immediately. Whatever the defence is going to do, be it deflecting or counter attacking, he would be opening himself up due to his movements. The point of contest here is not whether the offence can hit the defence in the first instance, but how either side can gain the initiative by slipping into each other’s gate just a beat ahead.

Since the offensive side is following the momentum of the defence and exploiting whatever openings that be, he can only improvise right at the spot, and that is why the actions can appear to be without pattern, and it cannot be repeated due to actions and reactions being different next time. Therefore, it is “chaotic”. Yet, it is not devoid of logic, as the defence is still reacting following a certain pattern and the laws of physics. It is very much like jazz, where the musician is going to play a range of notes following the general melody, but at the same time reacting to the specific notes other players are giving him.

Sun Tzu summed it up best, “Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array may be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat” (Chapter 5, Sun Tzu).

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