Dragon Motion: the swirling movements

Swirling movements

Many of the 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s fighting movements (not all, read for example The best way to hit first) follow “swirling trajectories”; this choice (as for a lot of other oriental styles of combat) is not for artistic purposes, the idea is to reach a higher level of body control, useful to:

  • Gain power in time / space where normally it is not possible
  • Gain speed in small areas of interaction
  • Gain momentum to economize effort and do not waste energy
  • Gain unpredictability, hiding the real power and trajectory of our blows
  • Gain space, using them to move our body (read Mobility and balance through the upper limbs)

The Dragon Motion is not our way of fighting, it’s just one of the resources that a practitioner can use in case of opportunity / need.

Note from Master Kongling – Fighting always using the same tactic, technique, pace or strategy is generally wrong. The fact of having available more methods to use our body (some very rigid, some more harmonic, etc.) gives us an extra option to be able to prevail over our opponents (eg. by catching them by surprise and abruptly changing the way we fight, even in the middle of a struggle).

What is the Dragon Motion?

Essentially, the Dragon Motion (used both with weapons, both with the free body) draws in the air something like a vortex of italics “e” letters (see the photo).

The advantages of this type of movement are multiple, once accustomed our body to follow this type of trajectories we can in fact:

  • Surprise our opponent with unexpected direction changes
  • Channel more easily and instinctively the opponent’s movements
  • Hide the real direction in which we want to propagate power (our or the opponent’s one)
  • Use even small spaces to charge powerful circular / spiral harmonic motion

An effective use of the Dragon Motion, however, requires considerable training and especially a highly developed spatial intelligence (read The most important skill in combat).

In particular, it should be emphasized that, in absence of these points, this technique risks to be completely ineffective:

  • Space management – Circular movements are always longer than the straight ones; we must learn to calculate instinctively the right spaces / situations where is reasonable to load the shots in a circular way
  • Self-control – Ample movements are riskier; we need to be both relaxed and focused on the scenario element’s interactions (active, passive, from inert things, etc.)
  • Precision – A long movement, if not well performed, can lose its momentum; we need to train ourselves to collect the maximum power from the swirl without losses (this is the result of a long time training)
  • Muscle chain – If our body moves without coordination we will lose all the loading force; we must ensure that our entire body always follows / exalts the motion and especially that it does not hinder it (read Use the body power: the muscle chain)

Let’s repeat again that the Dragon Motion is not (and must not be) the only way in which we load our strokes but in a lot of fight situations, it can be an optimal choice (even only one time in a confrontation).

In the next article of this series, we will continue the discussion and we will also see a few exercises to start to develop this advanced skill (read The Dragon Motion: a first insight and 4 exercises).

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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