雙封 Double Closures

六合螳螂拳套路鍛煉的是身體的柔勁,又稱為“軟螳螂”,所以在套路演練裏很少有發出明顯剛勁的時候。六合螳螂的軟是在梅花螳螂剛的基礎上再進一步。梅花螳螂是以剛的打擊爲主,同時利用身體的柔勁去帶動身體的運動,使得動作連貫一氣呵成。梅花螳螂運動起來要有藕斷絲連的感覺,柔勁就是以充滿張力的“絲”去調動身體各部進行剛猛的打擊。六合螳螂則是利用同樣的原理去製造出不一樣、倒置的效果。它是以柔勁的運動爲主,以柔的絲包裹著剛勁去製造龐大的壓力。這稱為“棉裏裹鐡”。

打個比喻說,梅花螳螂像是火箭升空一樣,我們可以看到引力拉著航空器的作用,但更明顯的是火箭各部分離“抛”出去進入軌道的時候。六合螳螂則是像一個星球進入重力井而撞向另一個星球一樣,力量是與引力一起形成一個整體。六合螳螂與梅花螳螂,與其説是螳螂拳的兩個支流,更不如說是同一個系統中對勁的不同詮釋方法。六合螳螂對勁的理解比梅花螳螂更深刻,是在梅花螳螂的基礎上鑽研,所以學習六合螳螂前必先要學會梅花螳螂的柔。

梅花螳螂套路重視技巧演練與技巧的連貫性。六合螳螂技巧其實都很簡單,重點在於身法、勁度和控制。像這裏的“雙封”,演練的主要是雙封這個概念、粘黏的勁和充滿壓力的身法。六合螳螂看似簡單緩慢,但要滿足它暗剛的勁度與身法的要求,它卻比疾速的梅花螳螂要困難得多。

The forms in the Six Harmonies Mantis are designed to train the soft power, and that is why it is called the “soft Mantis” and rarely shows ostensible power. The soft power of the Six Harmonies is a progression from the hardness of the Plum Blossom Mantis. The main theme of the Plum Blossom Mantis is striking hard and fast, while using softness to make the movements flow fluidly. The Plum Blossom Mantis uses softness like the silk in the lotus root; it has to have soft tissues connected to all the hard strikes and with tension. The Six Harmonies Mantis follows the same principle but with different and seemingly reversing effect. Its main theme is the softness, and it is using the soft silk to wrap around around its hardness to create an incredible amount of force. We call this “iron wrapped inside cotton”, or “hidden stiffness”.

To use an analogy, the Plum Blossom Mantis is like a rocket lifting off. While we can see the effect of gravity pulling on the rocket, the more obvious picture is when the parts of the rocket detach from the main body and the payload being thrown into orbit. The Six Harmonies Mantis is more like a planet wanders into the gravity well of another planet and crashes into it along with the gravitational pull and all the mass combined. The Plum Blossom and the Six Harmonies, instead of being treated like two distinct styles of the Mantis system, should be better seen as different interpretations of force and momentum of the same system. In this sense, the Six Harmonies is deeper than the Plum Blossom in its understanding of forces, and this understanding is based on the foundation built by the Plum Blossom. That is why one must understand the softness of the Plum Blossom and do it will before moving onto Six Harmonies.

The Plum Blossom emphasizes more on the techniques and the connectiveness of them. In contrast, the techniques in Six Harmonies are very simple, because its emphasis is on the body movement, the momentum, and the exertion of control. Take the “Double Closures” here for example, its main points are the idea of the closures, the stickiness, and using the pressure created by the body movements. The Six Harmonies looks slow and simple, but it is actually a lot more difficult than the hard and fast Plum Blossom, if one is to fulfill its demanding requirements on the hidden power.

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