Author: altonhc

Class Note No. 4

Student kept resisting hard so the intended moves did not work, and I had to improvize instead. Since he was resisting hard, the stiffness allowed him to defend a couple moves, while at the same time created openings elsewhere. As a result, he got hit a lot, up and down, left and right.

That’s to show the essence of the combat art is not just hitting people fast and hard and with what, but the ability to contorl the flow of the action by adapting faster. This requires a way to acquire information and make timely decisions to not just take the initiative, but to take the initiative away from the opponent.

There is also no pulling back. That’s one central tenent of the Mantis Style.

 

 

Seal, Binding Throw 掛印捆摔

This is a compound technique with two disticnt phases. A “combo” would be a combination of moves on within the same movement range, say, punching or kicking range, but a compound is a combination of two or more techniques across the spectrum, for example, move from striking to grappling range.

First initiate with Seal, if the opponent fail to defend, it will then be just a hit. Should the opponent deflect the incoming Seal by pushing your arm towards his inside line, you can then cut to and bind the inside of his arm and perform a Binging Throw. Other techniqies can also be used depending on your arm’s position and if the opponent resists your throw. The binding throw is very similar to the Cracking Whip, min. (小摔鞭) in wrestling; the difference being the holding position of the opponent’s arm.

We can learn improvisation by practising compound techniqes as they emphasise on body movement and awareness across the range instead of just trying to strike standing on the same spot.

 

 

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…

A Bit of History on Chinese Wrestling

Two people prepared to wrestle. Ink sketch found in Mogao Caves No.17. Dunhuang.

Chinese wrestling depicted in an ink-sketch (~9th c.) found in the Mogao Caves No.17, stored in the British Museum (as told by some Chinese articles).

Chinese wrestling has many names. Modern nomenclature follows Ming and Qing convention and uses the term Shuāi Jiāo (摔跤 lit. throws and trips). It was also called Jué Dǐ (角抵 lit. antlers butting ). Xiāng Pū (相撲 lit. pounce against each other) was the more popular name in the older days. Here you guessed it, they are the same characters used for sumo (相撲).

Xiāng Pū back in Tang and Song’s (~7th-13th c.) time was a very popular sport and form of entertainment. They used to host the wrestling games at temples during major festivals, with the matches dedicated to some deities, and the wrestlers would go and compete from all over the country. The novel Water Margins describes a wrestling match dedicated to the deified Mt. Tai.

Winners of the matches would gain lavish match prizes sponsored by businesses and artisans, country-wide recognition, and massive following. The sport was so popular and well-developed that, like football back in that time, wrestlers were organised into clubs governed by wrestlers societies. To make the sport even more enticing, there was also a women “division”, for the lack of a better term, and they were competing half-naked. Women wrestling was so hot that the Emperor was caught watching it and subsequently scolded by one of his minsters (the Emperor could been participated in the organisation of it even, but the details are not very clear).

Many of the traditions are still followed by Sumo in Japan today. Sadly, the tradition of women wrestling is discontinued.