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.
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.
The important thing to take away here is that the techniques aren’t the most significant factor; it is the mentality and the ability to follow and connect that allow the practitioner to perform effectively and efficiently.
We are continuing our current theme of initial engagement then proceed to wrestling or grappling immediately.
This is a very fundamental concept to be instilled, as it helps the students understand why it is important to connect to the opponent and how to move across different measures.
If we only learn how to strike or wrestle, it would be very easy to be stuck when the opponent moves in and out of that particular measure, and you would be open for a counter. Connectivity helps us shorten our action cycle and keep the action flowing to maintain the initiative.
Our traditional manuscript describes the technique of Phantom Arrow (鬼箭手, guǐ jiàn shǒu, lit. ghost arrow hand) as follow: “I, standing with right foot forward, initiate an attack with my right arm. The opponent, standing with his right foot forward, uses his right hand to ladle my right arm. He then takes a left step and…
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The technique Zhāi Guā (摘瓜) literally means plucking a melon from the ground, with the melon being the opponent’s head. This is an interesting move not because it is particularly effective, which it is, but for the clever ways of guiding away the opponent’s guard and arriving at the position to with body movement. The trick…
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The Off-Helmet (摘盔) technique is a Plum Blossom close-quarter move that gives multiple options in ending the fight. When you engage your opponent with your right and he tries to parry with his left from inside towards outside, follow his movement with your right, maintain contact with his arm, draw a half circle in the way…
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The Three Punches (三捶) is better understood as the one of the core principles of the Six Harmonies branch of the Mantis school of martial arts, instead of one single move set. The idea behind is not simply throwing three punches together, but to use the movements to maintain body composure and control, create tension, and draw…
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