Two ERH Figs 273284

FORM : Take a half-step with your left foot to the left oblique and toe-out. Now step forward with your right foot as your right hand, palm up, slices horizontally right to left and your left hand, palm down, pulls back to your left side in a near-fist. Toe-out with your right foot and go forward with your left foot and palm in the same way. Extend your hands over your head and pull down to your right foot as your left foot slides back on its toes in front of your right. As your left foot goes forward, push with both hands. FUNCTION : Your opponent has his left foot forward and jabs with his left fist. Deflect the strike from outside with your left, secure a

hold, and carry it to the left toward your left side. At the same time, step up with your right foot (by this time it should not be necessary to tell you to toe-out with the left foot) and, swinging your right hand palm up, strike his side. He takes his right foot back and strikes with his right hand, which you deflect from outside with your right hand. Pull toward your right side as you toe-out with your right foot and go forward with your left hand and foot. Next, both hands reach up, grasp his right, and pull him sharply down toward your right foot. When he resists by rising, step forward with your left foot and push his midriff with both hands.

20. INWARD LEG HANGING (LI) (Figs. 285-299) FORM: Toe-out with your left foot as you stab toward the left oblique with your right palm, pulling your left hand back to your left side in a fist. Now pull your right hand to your right side in a

fist as your right foot dashes forward (Fig. 287). Put your right foot down toed-out, and stab toward the right oblique with your left palm. Pulling your left hand toward your left side, twirl to the right on your right foot, kicking (in passing) with your left. Con-

tinue the 270° turn and end in a crouch, your arms close together. Next, rise on your left foot and, as your arms open (your right hammering forward), kick with your right heel. FUNCTION : Your opponent has his left foot forward and strikes with his right fist. Cross from outside with your right forearm, grasp, and pull him toward your right side as your right foot dashes forward to hit his lower tibia (or, alternatively, strike his knee-cap with either a toe-sole double impact stomp or simply a toe, Fig. 295). As you put your right foot down, he strikes with his left fist

which you cross with your left from outside. Securing his left arm, pull it toward your left side as you spin to the right on your right foot. The spin will take your left toes against the very sensitive inner surface of his knee-cap. Following through, complete your spin in a semi-squat. He steps forward with his right foot and raises his right fist. Rising, heel-kick his lower abdomen with your right foot and hammer either his head or his striking arm (whichever is most accessible) with your right arm. Although Pa-kua has some leg maneuvers (in Chang Chun-feng's method, 8 out of 64 basic postures were devoted to legs), it tends to downplay them. Leg techniques are only effective if (1) kept low, (2) done as a counter, and (3) done onlywhen opponent's posture is broken. Even on two feet, man is essentially unstable. In kicking—because you stand on one leg—you add to this instability. It is mitigated somewhat if your kick is kept low and done only against an unbalanced opponent. Figures 300 and 301 show these requirements met in a kick which is near the height limit for safety. Here you are countering, seizing, pulling, and attacking. In this posture he has no return. The great prize here—the kidney: for no other reason should you go so high.

C. AFTERTHOUGHTS AND EXAMINATION Eighteen Exercises and 20 Forms and Functions have been described and illustrated. How should they be practiced and learned? First, read the text, study it, sweat on it. This book was not meant to grace cork-lined studies; it is a workbook. So work with it! To learn this method I practiced in a casket factory, grocery store, and wherever else I could, under men who knew little Mandarin. I knew no Taiwanese, and so we were reduced to grunts. And still, I emerged with a fair hunk of the system. You have but the trouble of reading the text, comparing what you read with the photographs, and putting it to use.

Because the Exercises are independent actions done in many repetitions, they are not linked. Do them daily and in the doing learn the basics and perfect your character by overcoming the boredom forever dogging our days. The Forms are different; they are amenable to linkage, and this will make them easier to do. First off, though, learn all the Forms before practicing the uses. Do the Forms: (1) correctly, (2) speedily, and (3) lightly. Power will come as the bodily components merge into one and the movement makes the best use of that one. Don't force the exercise; better too light than too heavy. If you use strength instead of ch 'i, * the vital force fashioning our existence, your movements will be ponderous and slow.

Learn the 20 Forms on both sides; that is, alternatively do them with your left foot forward and then, reversely, with your right foot forward. For example, do Form 1, which ends with your right palm thrusting forward over your right leg. Bring your left foot forward half the distance to your right, toe-out your right foot, depress with your right hand and do the posture from the right side. Left-right-left-right-left with Form 1 will suffice in one direc

* See page 122 for further discussion of ch'i.

tion. Then you must turn and do Form 2. To make the turn (because you ended Form 1 with a left-side action, the right hand and foot ahead), simply turn leftward and come back whence you started with the five actions of Form 2, left, right, left, right, left.

When you have learned both sides of all 20 Forms, link them. In the linkage, do four Forms one way, turn, and do four Forms the other way. Whichever foot is forward do the Form from that side. For example, Form 1 finishes with your right foot advanced, so go into the right side of Form 2, which finishes with the right foot advanced, requiring you to do the right side of Form 3. This Form concludes with your left foot forward, so do Form 4 from the left side. Form 4 ends with your right foot forward, so turn leftward and begin Form 5, going the other way, from the left side. Do four Forms each way, and five times along the walk will let you do all 20 in under 3 minutes. In making a turn, if your right foot is advanced, turn leftward so your left foot is ahead. If your left foot is ahead, turn back rightward so your right foot is forward.

The following table shows the 20 Forms divided in five links and the side from which each is begun.

Link

Link

Link

Link

Link

1

2

3

4

5

1. Left

5. Left

9. Right

13. Left

17. Right

2. Right

6. Right

10. Left

14. Right

18. Left

3. Right

7. Left

11. Right

15. Left

19. Left

4. Left

8. Right

12. Right

16. Right

20. Left

When you have linked the 20 Forms and can run through them smoothly and correctly in the five links, begin practicing the uses. Here especially, work for speed and use the push—not the strike. If you can push your partner easily, think how much more punishing it would be were you striking. To practice the strikes use aux iliary equipment: a heavy bag, a punching post (the Japanese makiwara), or your partner's shoulders. Using the shoulder as a punching bag, however, is not without its dangers. It was Hung I-hsiang's delight—particularly on those nights when wine had been imbibed—to "illustrate" punches on my shoulders. A recurrent bursitis has resided there since. This digression is useful only as it pertains to pain. Regular practice will raise your pain threshold. Irrespective of this, your practice should always be focused on correct technique done speedily and gracefully. To end this section and to fix the vitals of the method solidly in your mind, try to answer the following questions.

1. When and why must one toe-out?

2. Should one try to develop a very speedy and high kick ?

3. Look at Form 1. At what stage could your head be used with good effect?

4. See Figs. 302-303. Which is better in the final action of the Forms, to stay extended or to follow-step with the rear foot half the distance to the front foot?

5. Look at Figs. 304 through 307. Can you figure out the function of this Form ? If you score well (and it is tough), you are well on your way to creating your own hua. Beyond that, the ulti-

mate good is to dispense entirely with method. Absorb the principles, learn the tactics, and then forget all. This sounds paradoxical and is merely bait for the next section.

ANSWERS

1. You must toe-out the lead foot when you intend to step over and off it. Test yourself: keep your toes straight and stand on one leg. Now toe-out and stand. Stability is enhanced greatly by this move. An additional point: when kicking, always toe-out. Otherwise you will wobble.

2. No, unless he plays football.

3. As you bring your right foot forward on its toes while depressing his right hand with your left, fake with your head toward his head. This will cause him to jerk his head back, opening his body for your strike-push.

4. See Figs. 302-303. Either is correct. Initially, it is best to stay extended so as not to shortchange the technique. Later, use the follow-step. In order to link one technique with another the follow-step must be used.

5. See Figs. 304-307. Catch his striking left fist from outside with your left and use your right arm in a lock-strike against his left elbow. Then hammer-strike with your right fist as your right foot comes forward on its toes. He deflects your hammer with his right arm. Turn your right arm counterclockwise under and out, grabbing his right elbow. As you go forward with your right foot, palm with your left hand under your right.

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