When to use a hidden guard stance
As we have already mentioned (read The signals that precede an attack: introduction), in a real situation, our opponents always try to do not let us understand what they really want to do.
Until they are in close contact with us (a distance often less than our forearm, read Ideal distance from the opponent during a fight) they will hide their intentions:
- Gain time
If we keep a normal posture at a so close distance, intercepting opponent’s blows is very difficult even for a good practitioner (human reaction time is limited):
- We have a small space to move
- We have not enough time to see the attack coming
- We have no time to effectively react
Guard stance is fundamental
Ideally, the best thing to do is to raise any type of guard but, sometimes, it is better and smarter to avoid to show that:
- We are seriously ready to fight (raising the escalation of violence)
- We are taking the situation seriously (we fear for our safety)
Raise the guard, in essence, it’s a bad signal that can easily be interpreted as “we are going to fight” (eventually turning a simple verbal quarrel into something really dangerous).
The 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s hidden guards
6 Dragons Kung Fu has (among others), a few guards that respond both to the immediate need to protect us, both to the need to limit the violence escalation. Thes are just little tricks but they can save our lives.
Let’s see now how to take our first hidden guard:
- Let’s relax our entire body (especially arms and shoulders)
- Let’s close our fists letting out the thumb
- Let’s fold our arms and bring our fists at the height of our chest (the hand is in a vertical position)
- We have to give the idea of wanting to put our thumbs under our arms, in a natural way
- Our thumbs, in reality, must never go under the arms (neither before nor after)
- The thumbs must be folded and propped to the index finger (on the top of the hand)
- Externally it will seem that the thumbs are tucked well, in practice, they are just resting on the chest
- We can choose to have parry-ready or fist-closed hands (see the photo)
- About legs let’s simply do a step back, with one foot and in a natural way (more about this later)
A few considerations:
- The deception lies in the fact of taking a pose rather common
- Actually, we find ourselves with hands ready to attack / divert / channel / etc.
- With this “secret” stance we are able to cover the face, to load strong punches, to push away, to grab wrists, etc.
- In most cases, the first attack will be to the ribs or, most probably to the face
- This guard is vaguely similar to the Wing Chun stance
- The trick covers that little time lag that can connect our reflexes to an effective reaction (instead of a possible immediate knock out)
- In case of attack, in addition to this, we also have to step back and / or to rotate the torso (gaining some other time / space)
- Let’s be sure that our thumbs are completely relaxed (if they are stretched the explosive reaction movement risks to damage them)
- As for any other kind of technique the secret guards must be abundantly trained and tested before the real moments of need
In the next article of this series, we will see other types of hidden guard stances.
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.