. . . you will find the continuation of the Shaolin 72 Fist Kung Fu Training Program. This level extends and builds on the First 72 Fist Kung Fu page of 8 Fists. It is evident that these fists build on that what you have learned in the 1st level and thus we will not duplicate the already long an involved explanations by repeating techniques that were presented in Level 1. If you have landed on this page first please click here to start with the 1st Shaolin 72 Fist Level and all the background information needed to fully appreciate the style and techniques.
That which is easy, is rarely enjoyable to the dynamic person seeking growth. ~ Sijo Robert Z
In the first level we suggest a few 72 Fist Values you should follow to make the 72 Fists work for you but also to understand how we are presenting and explaining the way the Fists work best. We covered Protect the Centerline, Patient Reactive Pro-activity, Focus on Evasion and Manage Distancing, Understand Timing and Speed and Eliminate Fear. Now we add some addition Core Strategies that are very usefully for the right person in the right circumstance. We now cover Strategies for when things aren't going quite your way. So if you have tried to fend of the attacker but it has not worked or you are in a sparring match and your efforts are not yielding a usable success.
⇒Use Expectations - When you have been Sparring in a match or Defending yourself physically or verbally and you can't seem to get ahead you may want to set a trap. There are two distinct ways of doing this; one is surprising your attacker or opponent and another is by not surprising your attacker or opponent. One is by doing something unusual, the other is by recognizing what is expected and doing something other.
Surprising someone is not easy especially in a conflict situation as anyone attacking you will be aware that you want to surprise them. So what you do it become predictable for a short period and when your opponents thinks they have your measure you suddenly do something different. For example, you establish a pattern of evading back and to the right. You do this a few times, just long enough to notice that your opponent is ready for it and then you start the action as if repeating the same pattern, and change it at a crucial moment. In our example, you start going back to the left but change it into go forward and to the right! Establish a Pattern then break the Pattern when the time is right.
The principle can also be used with expectations. Often, attackers expect people to retreat from them. If that is clear you already have an expectation and you do not need to establish a pattern, you just need to not follow it. But this is a bit more difficult to judge correctly, especially when being attacked. Although if you are in a sparring situation and if you know yourself you will know what your preferences are for attack and defence. Experiment with reversing these, attack when you would defend or defend when you would attack. Try and see what happens if you are able to safely experiment!
"Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate." ~ Sun Tzu, The Art of War
⇒Run and Hit/Divide and Conquer - Everyone has heard of the cowards strategy of Hit and Run. But there is a very clever strategy with Run and Hit especially if there are multiple attackers and you have someone to protect and need to give them time to get away.
You start by running away and either you will be chased or you will not. If not, problem solved for now. But if they chase after you, you need to run in such a way that you allow the people chasing your to start separating their distance to you according to their running speed. You then allow the leading person to almost reach you at which time you side-step turn around and belt them solidly if possible and then you resume your running. Now either this person is now all fired up and has redoubled their efforts or you have slowed and discouraged them. It matters little as you start running again. Repeat as required to give yourself the opportunity to sperate several attackers and manage them one-by-one or they have to slow down to chase you as a group. Either way, you have improved your chances especially if you ran towards a Police Station, Crowded Area, Shop, Surveillance Cameras or some such.
In a Sparring Situation what you do is Counter Attack only when you are being seriously attacked; meaning you just evade the half-hearted attempts at scoring and when-ever your opponents really tries that is when you seek to score against them; not every time, and then you should be on your best game.
Choose the Battles you can win; and when required, Divide and Conquer when you have no other choice. ~ Sijo Robert Z
⇒Allow the Mighty to Defeat Themselves - There are some situations, some people, some events where you do not really have a chance at influencing or changing them. It's a bit like dealing with a force of nature, nothing can be done. Where this could be so with Nature and even large scale Events, humans usually are not invincible.
If you are up against a vastly superior power, an unbeatable force you may need to allow that force to wear itself out. Like dealing with a storm, eventually it will be over. it is just a matter of how well you weathered it. Yet, humans also run out of breath eventually, make mistakes, take unnecessary risks or get careless. If you are up against a force of nature, you need to wait for the moment where that force defeats themselves! We are not just talking about waiting for a mistake, no, we are talking about them running out of steam and this usually is announced by them making mistakes. Until that time you conserve energy and bide your time a bit like the famous Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman fight; where Muhammad Ali sat on the ropes until George Foreman was spent attacking Muhammad (The Rumble in the Jungle; rope-a-dope strategy). Until that time George Foreman was considered unbeatable!
That is one of the reasons Shaolin Academy Strategy emphasis defence and evasion. It is easy to win if you are the superior fighter, bigger, stronger, quicker. But in the real world it is the bigger, stronger, larger bully that will pick on the smaller, weaker person and then you need smart strategies backed by a few skills other than 'Smash' (unless you are the Hulk).
If you can't win, seek not to loose. ~ Sijo
⇒Change of Pace is as good as a Win - They say (and i haven't worked out who 'they' are) that a Change is as good as a Holiday. Well in a conflict situation, if you are on the back foot, a change is essential. But often we do not know what change we can make. To give yourself time, just change the pace of the fight, sparring match or argument. If possible give yourself some time and confuse the opponent for a while. See how they react and this may give you some ideas how to overcome them or simply evade. If you can't change the pace, change the rhythm!
Change brings opportunities. On the other hand, change can be confusing. ~ Michael Porter
⇒Know yourself; overcome the Enemy - It is the aim of a malicious attacker to intimidate you. Often, intimidation is a fairly common form of suppression; suppression of opinions, of will, of thought, of reason of most anything. It is not easy to overcome intimidation unless you are fairly sure of yourself. But even though some people present themselves as such, most or almost all persons have insecurity within themselves. The threat of violence, punishment or even unspecified consequences can cause us to focus on the threatened to the exclusion of the reasonable. Often, the unspecified threat, the undelivered violence, the unvoiced intimidation can cause us to imagine a threat far larger than really exists. At the time of this, unless you are prepared you may be totally at the behest of your angst's and fears. You need to have a safe place in your mind, a place that allows you to reconnect with who you are and the totality of your being within the context of the situation. And there is only one way of doing this; know yourself. getting to know yourself is a totally different thing and there are many ways to achieve this. For Shaolin it is Reflective Meditation or even just Meditation. Finding the inner peace, the inner you, the real you and being able to connect to this when a situation has you totally disconnected from your reality!
There are several types of meditation and not everyone is for everyone, but there is at least one for everyone. Have a look at meditation sites such as Meditation Techniques - "Get To Know You" Methods and see if you can connect to any of these work for you. An oh, they forgot one important meditation style, Connecting with God, Praying. This is just as valid as any other and many people believe superior to all.
"Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment." ~ Lao Tzu
⇒Know Yourself, Accept the Darkness - When we talk about knowing ourselves that means also accepting that, that is who we are at the moment. A very important part of that is acknowledging the Darkness Inside. If we do not, it will take control of us in times where we are unprepared. So, as much as you need to focus on the good and expand it within yourself, you need to acknowledge the Darkness and learn to manage it. Suppression is rarely good and often leads to an explosive result. management means you deal with it at an appropriate time and place. it is a bit like the caged fighting; if you have that violence within you, this is the place to let it out not on some hapless person in the street; that is unless you are a coward!?
Recognizing your Dark Side can be frightening but ignoring it will be devastating! ~ Sijo in an Instructor training session 1989
Yes, i know, many of these can be seen as simple life principles. But than life is a series of journeys with conflicts and challenges. Life is only interesting if it is interesting and usually this means conflict and challenges. Learning to deal with them is one thing, but having the right mindset and attitude to learn from these encounters to improve your life and skill is the winners way. Accept the difficult as the interesting part of life, deal with challenges as a welcome event and you will have an enjoyable life! It may take a bit of work to also see the wisdom of this in physical encounters.
Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. ~ Ronald Reagan
If you wish to see the materials beyond this point we must ask you to agree to the terms and conditions detailed in our Shaolin Academy Indemnity and Safety Information Form! Without agreeing to these you can not go beyond this point. If you are a Shaolin Kung Fu Academy Member, you have already agreed to these and can move down the page immediately (The Forms is identical to the one you signed when you became a member).
If you have come to this point without skipping too much than you probably have the patience and virtue to be successful with the online learning program. There is a lot of detail in Shaolin 72 Fists, just hitting a bag in a certain way will not do it. You need to really
Study the art and style of Shaolin 72 Fists. But enough, let's get down to the next part, understanding the Advantages and Limitations of the Shaolin Academy Cyber Kung Fu method.
It is the Law, the Rule of Law and Rules that allow us to be free;Imagine driving a car down a road if there were no street rules and laws; just imagine!
The send level of eight Routines is all about Variety remembering though to Keeping It Direct and Simple. We build on the core techniques of the first level, the Evasion Stepping, Sunrise Block, Stone Breaking Fist, Dragon Front Kick and the Double Palm Push; and add to these a set of new extremely interesting and useful Combinations and techniques. Anything you have neglected to correctly complete in the 1st level will multiply and cause you many more problems in this level. So, if there i anything that needs some extra attention, NOW would be the time to stop and work on it. ~ Sijo
Shaolin is a Lifestyle Art. Especially if you are preparing yourself for conflict management, have your body and mind ready. Stretching and Strengthening is not only for the body but also for the Mind and Spirit. But is the attitude of spending tiem preparing that is possibly just as important as the actual doing. So, Just Do It!
It is a well know way of really irritating someone by repeating what-ever they do or say. It is also a good strategy when you are very confident in your Kung Fu or when you do not know what to do. Reflecting back upon someone what they were trying to do to you, in this case the Roundhouse Punch and then also with the same hand you stoped them giving it back to them and then with the other hand too, thus twice as much as what they wanted to do, is a very effective way of communicating to the person to stop being a fool. Especially when you also enter their Centerline and not only push then back but follow this through with a Dragon Front Kick.
Now you would only do this type of counter if you really needed to tell the person to stop menacing you or there are more people with them and you wish to show the consequences of an attack upon you. It needs to be a serious circumstance defending using this Fist and method.
Conversely, if you seem not to be having a success, you can try Reflecting the attacks back onto the attacker but in Mirror Image. What he does with the right hand you do with the left after defending. often we are not prepared to receive what we dish out. In this case though, it would be to get a break from the attack and possibly withdraw unless you can land solid. If you are dealing with a vastly superior attacker, if you get a break, get out!
Sometimes we get stuck or in a rut and don't know what to do. Not only in sparring and defence but also in life. It is than a good idea to grab someone else's idea or way-of-doing-things and adapt it to you need and circumstance. It is a bit like the quotes included on this page. Sometimes they can better convey the message to you than a whole paragraph. So, learning to Reflect (in both senses of the action) on someone who is successful and doing what they do your way, is a clever tactic to overcome being in a rut or in a loosing situation. But remember, if you are trying something new, when it succeeds, don't be cocky, get out or get away.
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer. ~ Bruce Lee
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ~ Confucius
Slipping past an attack into the offside of an attacker is possibly the height of Defensive Elegance. In the one moment they are attacking you and in the next moment you are beside-behind them. This is possibly one of the best outcome short of not being attacked or being behind an attacker.
This fist is also best for close quarter situations where an attacker may try and grab you. The way you step into their off-side prevents this from happening. With the one-two-three Small Volcano Fist, Moon Fist and the Push or Kick, this routine is very compact and effective; but requires a bit more skill in positioning and timing. It also requires a bit more finesse in the use of your hips and for both Fists used.
If you can't avoid the situation and if you can't not-be-there, then, the next best thing is, to be where the attacker really can't do anything effectively to you, but you can be effective against them. It is a sort of double surprise situation; you are not there where they want you to be and you are there where they least wanted you to be then this is a beautiful tactic when you can make it work for you. It's a bit risky at first but if you learn well and follow the simple guide; Learn, Perfect, Make it Real than it will be real and effective for you!
Whoever can surprise well, must conquer.~ John Paul Jones
It is simply stupid to hit hard objects with your knuckles. It will create problems sooner or later as it promotes arthritis and other issues. It is important that the Shaolin 72 Fist training does not cause you any harm or long term damage. So for the times where you do need to defend yourself and you can only do so by counter-attacking the head, the Iron hand Strike is usually the best. Aside from giving you a better feel for the strike, i will not cause tears or rips in the skin and thus expose you to the attackers possibly contaminated blood. So, this is a key technique that is introduced into the 72 Fists as is the principle of Hitting hard areas with palms and soft areas with fists!
In this level you are also introduced to the Rotary Block Combination. It is a very usable combination when your hands are up in guard and your are being attacked. The Palm-Block to Outside Block combination is exceedingly clever it you get it right. As Shaolin never blocks with the back hand, this slight deflection with the palm, stepping forward using the back hand to reinforce and continue the block, allows you to safely be almost behind the attacker and well out of reach of most of their attacks. Spend a bit of time with this combination until it flows lie a turning wheel.
There are a few signs that you are doing a technique wrong or overdoing it. If you hand/fist/elbow/what-ever swells in any way after the workout, it is the 1st sign of Overuse Injury. The 2nd level is if this discomfort is there even when not training but disappears during warm-up. You are on a bad path if this is happening and you would be best seeking the advice of a professional who specializes in overuse injuries, ie. Chi Kung Master, Sports Physio or the like. usually a General Practicing Doctor will only be able to give you general Advice.
Causing Self Harm is a Sickness of the Spirit! ~ Sijo
The 'Karate Chop' was brought out into the open sometime in the 50's movies with such films as The Hand of Death. it was a time of experimentation for the movie industry trying new ideas like Space invasion, Blob Monsters and Evil Wizards. Although the Martial Art movies did not really catch on until the 60's the karate Chop stayed with us for ever. The Chinese were a bit more secretive in their Kung Fu. Initial Kung FU movies feature actors who just brawled or when it came to a better class, brawlers who tried to act. it wasn't until the 70's that some real kung fu was seen in some movies.
In Chinese Kung Fu there are two strikes that are similar to the Karate Chop; The Spade Hand Strike and the Sword Hand Strike. They are both hand-edge strike but have different functions. Where as the Spade Hand is a heavy strike targeting joints the Sword Hand targets only fingers and front of throat. We will be looking at both versions when we go beyond the 72 Fists Curriculum.
This starts with a modified Sunrise Block! This is the third of five version and a very unique, for merely secret and exceedingly interesting variation. In the standard Sunrise Block you raise your hand in a synchronized mirror image way. With the High-side Block version, this lifting is desynchronized seeking to capture either; one hand twice throwing it this way and that way or; capture/block two rapid succession punches and have them thrown against each other. Difficult to explain but have a close look at the Recording as it is explained and demonstrated to some detail.
The Spade Hand Strike in this form and detail is brilliant and benign. Although it attacks Sinew and Muscle, is is a Spirit attacking technique in as much that when properly applied, it causes vertigo in the attacker. It requires a small amount of precision in as it needs to strike at a 45 Degree angle onto the side of the attackers neck, fairly solidly. You actually want to hit the muscled side of the neck to have a good result with very little real damage. Although there is one caveat to this.
When this strike is correctly applied, the attacker will be disoriented and possibly unbalanced. it is best if at this time you stabilize them for a moment and help them sit down. Usually, this technique does not Steal the Spirit, meaning that it does not cause unconsciousness in the attacker and thus they normally do not fall over and hit their head. because of this we add a small modification to the High Side Block which introduces you to the first Claw technique.
When you are executing the Spade Hand with the one hand, your other hand, should be holding onto the attackers wrist, the one you blocked with the 2nd part of the High-Side Sunrise Block. Again, this is clearly shown on the Recording and some emphasis is placed on this safety aspect to this technique. As Shaolin we never want to do undue harm or damage and thus, we seek to minimize any possible consequence of our defensive actions. Understand please, if you scoff at this or find it full of what-ever, you do not understand Shaolin Kung Fu and it's intentions; and thus should not really be studying the 72 Fists. the style is not right for you and you are not right for the style!
Although it may be such a cliché yet it is true;
With power comes responsibility. No matter if this power is skill, might or knowledge, you need to use what you have and can in a way to add to the world not take away from it. You also need to be able to live with your actions as each actions raises or lowers your spirit. Each violent action lowers your spirit and even more if there is malicious intent in your mind or an absence of care. Please consider this well before you use any of these techniques.
The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete. ~ Lao Tzu
The Butterfly Palms come in many variants. One of the deadliest of these are the Undulating Palms. A very powerful and very lethal set of paired hand strikes with the aim to making internal organs explode. But the Butterfly Palms have nothing to do with the Undulating Palms although they may seem to look very similar!
Chinese Martial Arts has a wide range of Palm Strikes. Excessive use of the fist, aside from the obvious damage that it causes to the knuckles, it also causes obvious bruising on the knuckles as a testament that you were in an altercation. Thus, most every traditional Kung Fu style has some form or another of Palm Strikes, from the simple open hand through the iron Palm to the Undulating Palms. But there are styles of Kung Fu that specialize entirely on just Palm Strikes and one of these old styles is the Butterfly Palms.
The style is so called as it uses this Butterfly Palm, High-Low Block combination to great effect. It is the finishing move, the technique that is delivered once you have set up the attacker and understood their skill and intent. You wait of a particular move that the attacker like using, preferably a multi-strike combination for your body at which time instead of defending you reverse the flow opening of the attackers Centerline and delivering a double handed, Butterfly Palm Strike, usually only twice with a fifth technique to finish the opponent.
There are always two sides to every story and if you do not see a second side you are missing something. In a conflict there are two Centerline's (at least). That of the Attacker and that of the Defender. As the defender you need to
Protect your Centerline and optionally, preferably seek to dominate the Attackers Centerline. But, should the attacker be superior in strength, skill and /or speed, you need to continue to
Protect your Centerline but totally avoid the Attackers Centerline. You whole strategy is to cause a misalignment of Centerline's. Make the attacker work hard to try and
Line you up for the kill (not meaning kill as in death but as in the grand strike or kick). This is a real skill, to bait the attacker in such a way that they continuously
almost get you but never do. You make them work hard to seemingly put you in an end position but you are always ready and just slip away.
With this Strategy you have two ending scenarios. The Strategy of the Crane which allows the Superior Force to defeat itself by wearing it down, or the Panther Strategy which allows the Superior Force to have the upper-hand until they are overconfident, frustrated or tired at which time you make your move. in this case expose the Attackers Centerline (what you have been totally avoiding so far) and Strike, expose again and Strike and Finish!
So, if you are the better stylist Control the Attackers Centerline but if the Attacker seems to be better, Avoid the Attackers Centerline all the time, except once! By biding your time and keeping the attackers action off your Centerline, when you choose counterattack, it will be a total surprise, or as Sun Tzu writes;
The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him. Thus, the spot where we intend to fight (counter attack) must not be made known; for then the enemy will have to prepare against all possible attacks at several different points; and his forces being thus distributed in many directions, the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be proportionately few.~ Sun Tzu, Art of War, Weak Points and Strong (points 2 & 16).
There are a number of ways of delivering an Uppercut but there does not seem to be any Kung Fu style that specializes in it or even claims it to be a key or core technique. Yet there are several distinct Chinese Uppercuts, all of which you will encounter some way down the line in the 72 Fists;
Each of the other Uppercuts has a background except the humble Erupting Fist. So we look to Western Boxing to see possibly the best usage of this technique. And even there the Uppercut is seen as the "probably the most commonly abandoned punch in boxing as well as the most incorrectly thrown punch in boxing". So, it may be best to leave any preconceptions of the Uppercut you may have and look at this with fresh eyes; no history or expectations!
There are very few martial art styles that do not have some form of Uppercutting technique. The problem with uppercuts is that usually the opponents hands are in the way so it needs to be either a surprise (the person is unprepared), opportunistic or a developed counter attack. Discounting surprise attacks as not being a counter attack we are left with two possibilities;
Here we sort of combine both the strategies of Opportunity and Development by seeking a specific style of attack that see the aggressor punching you in the face. Your drop down under the attack whilst also using the upper block bar to clear the other hand if need be (or shove it aside) and using your feet to come up whilst delivering the Erupting Fist (and hence the name). Usually, you should not need to repeat this move, but to be sure to be sure, this routine follows up with another such move with the other side.
Your strength can only be developed on a solid foundation of Earth and through the Flexible and Strong Hips. Without these two, you use less than half your power and often even much less. The Power of the Earth (Chi) beneath you together with the Power of Air (Chi) is often neglected because we take it for granted. Settle your movements on the earth and synchronize the two opposing yet complementing powers of Earth (Gravity) and Air.
We all know that the world reside within borders or as some like to say, opposites; the light and the dark, the feminine and the masculine, the defined and the endless, the dark and the light; but it is the person who can combine the two who truly achieves the best of all worlds (options). ~ Sijo 1988, Instructor Seminar
The Chain Punch is also discounted by many Wing Chung practitioners although the Great master Yip Man used it with seemingly great success. When you look at the online accounts of Chain Punching, it is evident that many do not really understand the simple complexity of this punch, not the correct usage and execution. So if you have learned the Chain Punching method before, it is strongly suggested you start here with an open mind and no preconceptions. Keep a specific eye on the position of the Elbows when punching, angle of the fists and the limited application of the amount of punches delivered without repositioning!
Very little if almost nothing exists on this punching method. This is though not surprising as the Chinese were not very open with their special techniques. Because of this, we will credit the Great Master Yip Man as the person who popularized the punching method and Donnie Yen for demonstrating it's efficacy in the series of movies about Master Yip Man.
Blind repetition is what Einstein referred to when he said (loosely translated) that
It is a kind of madness to do the same thing and expect a different outcome. So also with the Chain Punching which in the Shaolin 72 Fist Style is limited to two, three or five repetitions after which you either withdraw or change position and/or targeting. It is important to understand that Persistence is not stubbornness. Stubbornness continue on the same path irrespective of result; Persistence is focused on the outcome and will change methods, strategies and direction to achieve the goal.
The key to the Chain Punch is Persistence not incessant stubbornness. Learn the technique and understand the value of repositioning and change. The next Fist routine will show you another way of being Flexibly Persistent!
Although only words, these words do describe human attributes. Persistence and Perseverance are positive attributes that suggest that the person is focused on the outcome of what they are trying to achieve. Stubbornness and Incessantness suggest a focus on the process and also suggest that the person is not willing to think about the results achieved. It is thus important that you see Chain Punching as a Persistent and Persevering Routine that never continues beyond 5 punches without some form of change, position, technique, rhythm, etc.
Persistent's looks at Forward whereas Stubbornness looks Backward. ~ Sijo about Succeeding
There is a cousin to the Archer Fist Punch and that is the Ginger Fist Strike. It will also appear a later level dedicated to the Speciality Fist Shapes of Kung Fu. Aside from this there is little to be found about this powerful and very usable punch. the person who i (Sijo) learned this from also called it
the Around the Guard Punch. It is demonstrated once in the recording. But aside from this, there is nothing to link it to anything other than my Chin Woo teacher. As the person did not speak much English, the translations were minimal. But one thing was easily translated, the movement of an Archer shooting a Bow.
It is a bit of a Chameleon, whereby it starts of looking as a Chain Punch and then changes to being an Archer Fist. So it's first uniqueness is it's ability to change from a series of different punch deliveries. We have only featured one of them here. The second uniqueness is the Chin Woo version where you are able to punch around a guard, your body going one way and the punch being delivered on the other side of the attackers guard.
If Change is as good as a Holiday then Surprise is as good as a Win! (~ Sijo on Simple Sparring Strategies 1987). >The power of the unusual, the surprising, the confounding can not be overstated in defence and martial arts. Do not rely on Surprise and be prepared for it. yet, a good surprise can rock the foundation of the attacker; their belief in themselves and their progress so far. Sometimes a surprise is enough to end an attack! But, again, as mentioned, do not count on it; but do use surprise to your advantage and be open to it being used against you!
How do you prepare for surprise? The same as you prepare for failure, experience and fall-back-strategies.
Predictability is to Success (in martial arts) as Boring is to Innovation; highly unlikely! ~ Sijo in a Sparring Seminar for the National Championship.
When conventional tactics are altered unexpectedly according to the situation, they take on the element of surprise and increase in strategic value. ~ Sun Bin, The Lost Art of War