Lesson 5 – How to defend yourself

A brief summary

Let’s recap what you have learned in this course in relation to the combat preparation:

What we have seen so far is not the combat system of the 6 Dragons Kung Fu but it is the path that you have to follow to:

  • Understand what will come next
  • Do not overload yourself with too complex notions (for now)
  • Do not get unprepared for the psychophysical challenges of the next chapters

I want to emphasize that, if there is something that you did not understand (and above all that you have not trained):

  • Do not continue reading and above all do not start any kind of sparring (if you are a beginner you are absolutely not prepared)
  • Go back and carefully study the previous lessons (ask questions in the comments if necessary)
  • Find the time to train consistently by performing the proposed exercises (every day, it does not matter how many time)

6DKF (and martial arts in general) achieve their effectiveness only through hard and intelligent conditioning, in all other cases (watching videos, imagining, reading, etc.) we remain in the field of dream / fantasy.

Your first defensive technique

Also in this case it is worth the speech made for the other techniques learned in this chapter: for now, we are not thinking in terms of personal defense, we are only preparing the foundation to start building the “palace” of your martial preparation.

For educational purposes we will see a classic parry technique ideal, for example, against a direct punch:

  • Guard stance – We start from the guard stance described in lesson 5.2 (it does not matter what our advanced leg is, for simplicity let’s imagine it is the left one)
  • The attack – The opponent reaches the shooting distance and throws a direct punch toward our nose (let’s imagine a right-hand fist similar to the one described in lesson 5.3)
  • Exit the trajectory – The first thing to do is to exit the trajectory of attack (everything else is “relatively” secondary); while you are dodging, as always, the guard remains high
  • Body direction – It is possible to go both to the right (inside) and to the left (outside) but for a beginner, the second choice is a must (it makes you “safe” from any subsequent attacks)
  • Body movement – First moves the advanced foot, then all the rest of the body follows it (in sync); this is not forcibly the only (or the best) thing to do but it is one of the most useful
  • The rotation of the torso – The entire torso must rotate in direction of the fist (to the right in this case); this gives our parry the correct amount of power to oppose to the incoming fist (otherwise the arm’s strength could be not enough)
  • The parry arm – We can start with both the right arm or the left (depending on what we want to do later) but for a beginner, it is more reasonable to be from the side closest to the opposing limb (in this case the right)
  • The parry movement – Simultaneously and keeping the cover, the nearest forearm (the right) moves in direction of the fist (to the right) and impacts the opponent’s forearm (preferably not on the hand, it is the most dangerous part)
  • The second arm movement – The left hand opens (if it is not already) and following the current body motion (to the right), goes to push the opponent’s attacking arm
  • The push direction – While our first (right) arm pushes only in direction of the opponent’s arm (to the right), the second (left) arm also pushes in the downward direction (to open a space for an eventual counterattack, with the right hand)

How to train the defense

If you have not yet found a training partner (read 5 effective ways to find a training partner) for now, you can replace the attack of a human arm with:

  • The doors of an old wardrobe
  • A rubber tube (at shoulder height)
  • The branch of a tree
  • A Wing Chun wooden dummy

Remember, if a non-reactive target (read Convert into training targets “each” kind of object) can be a good alternative at a very early stage of the study, as we go along, a person with whom to train will become increasingly indispensable (for drills, sparring, etc.). If you practice 6DKF for health, fitness and wellness you can easily follow the entire course individually (it can be a choice) but if you want to learn to fight you have to fight (read Why martial arts do not work: 5 reasons).

If instead you already have a person willing to share your passion for Kung Fu but you are a beginner (you or your partners), remember not to exaggerate, the risk of getting hurt (without experience, patience and conditioning) is always lurking.

Training tips

Training the mechanics of the parry we mentioned, it is important to:

  • Practice symmetrically (both attacking arms, guard stances and, if you want to try, both defending arms) keeping the percentage of the use of the right side balanced with the left one (it is very important)
  • Perform even large but well-defined movements (only when the basic trajectory is absorbed by the muscle memory you can begin to make it smaller)
  • Go slowly but be harmonious, our movements must be consequential, speed must come from precision and fluidity, not from muscular effort
  • During the exit do not try to move the head first and then the feet (it is a very common error); if you want to move the whole body (and not just to dodge with the head) you must first move the feet
  • As soon as you start the parry with your arms, beware the guard’s tension in favor of the maximum relaxation (this will grant you access to your maximum speed in the future)
  • Concentrate stiffness and tension only in the moment of impact with the opponent’s limb (even if in training you do not notice it, during a fight the attacks arrive with great power and to stop / deviate them it is necessary a remarkable conditioning)
  • Do not use your hands to grab the opponent’s arm, it is useless if you do not plan a projection or a constriction (etc.), it slows down your action
  • Do not think that you know this type of movements after trying them 10 times, it is ridiculous
  • In this phase, I suggest you repeat this defense sequence (alternating the arms) at least 100 times per training session (obviously this is also valid for previous mentioned punches and kicks)

In-depth articles

<< Lesson 5.4IndexLesson 5.6 >>

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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