How to manage the contacts with the opponents
During a fight (both on offense and on defense terms), from the way we choose to relate to the opponents we can:
- Consume more or less energy
- Reach our targets with greater or less difficulty
- Risk more or less to suffer direct / collateral damage
- Be more or less fast
- Be more or less powerful
- Be more or less predictable
- Be more or less protected
With the same training, determination to fight, physical training (etc.), the method we choose to face the happenings of the combat can make a big difference. From this, it is easy to understand how fundamental could be to adopt the correct way of dealing with our opponents.
While much of the other martial arts indicate a single approach, 6 Dragons Kung Fu, given its predilection for modularity (read 6DKF: what does it teach?), chooses to do not have a single type of approach.
Solid, liquid and fluid contacts
In 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s free body combat (weapons will be discussed later) there are several types of “interactions” with the opponents and they are divided in:
- Solid – Those (mostly) involving strength and resistance (structure, muscular force, etc.)
- Liquid – Those (mostly) involving balance and spatial intelligence (relaxation, dynamic balance, elasticity, etc.)
- Fluid – Those that do not involve (primary) the contact as a way to act (deception, inconsistency, etc.)
In every single instant, the perfect 6DKF practitioner must be strategically able to:
- Suddenly change his “state” (from solid to liquid, from fluid to solid, from fluid to liquid, etc.)
- Adopt more than one state at a time (fluid lower and upper limbs, fluid left and right arm, etc.)
- Alter his state both instinctively both voluntarily (defensive terms, for a tactical purpose, etc.)
- Hide the true nature of his state until the last moment (before an attack, a defense, a tactile stimulation, etc.)
But what does it mean to assume a fluid, liquid or solid state in concrete?
The combined use (and consistent with the situation) of these connections with the ambient and with our opponents allow us to have a very wide range of possibilities as well as the full capability to adapt ourselves to weaknesses and strengths of our opponents.
A note by Master Kongling – I remember a funny situation happened during a Mei Hua Quan lesson: I was performing a form and the instructor wanted to control if I had the right level of tension after a punch: to check my stance he has suddenly grabbed my fist and so, taken by surprise, I have instinctively changed my state from solid to fluid making him falling. A big error from my end, a small mistake from a teacher and a friend (which with its sense of humor has immediately been able to play down).
The solid interactions
Strong as the mountain, rigid as the rock, powerful as the earthquake…
The solid contacts include actions like:
- Hit and tackle
- Lock and subdue
- Push and pull
The liquid interactions
Adaptable as the water, elastic as the weaves, powerful as the seaquake…
The liquid contacts include actions like:
- Leaning on and semi-leaning on
- Channel and bounce
The fluid interactions
Elusive as the air, fast as the wind, powerful as the hurricane…
The fluid contacts include instead actions like:
- Light touch
- Attract and repel
- Body deceiving
How to gain a good state transformation capability
There are two forced steps to obtain control over this advanced skill:
- The first is to possess it instinctively – Trough our fundamental technical training (read )
- The second is to possess it tactically – Trough quick reasoning development, focused sparring and personal study
This is one of the last skills that will bloom in the practitioner and without following the correct path is almost impossible to obtain a level of effectiveness that can be used in combat.
A few conclusive thoughts:
- It is not mandatory to force states transformations in each combat (as for every other tactic / technique / strategy), they have to to be implemented when their application can be useful
- This is not an approach good for beginner-intermediate level practitioners, to try to force its use when body and mind are not ready can be damage a correct martial evolution
In the next article of this series, we will have a deeper look at these 3 types of interaction in 6DKF (read The 6DKF’s Solid Contacts).
- The 10 principles of Tai Chi – A brief explanation of 10 core concepts of Tai Chi (Taiji)
- 4 Tips to effectively apply any fighting technique – The key point to effectively apply a fighting technique
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- What is your favorite approach with the opponents?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.