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Developing Intuition through the Kick of Zhong Ji Fist

   
Back in the early '90's  I made my home in the changing room of a Taiwanese kung fu school. I was crazy for kung fu and trained every day morning and evening. Twice a month our shifu, Shi Zhengzhong, travelled to Hong Kong to train with the famous master of Grand Ultimate Praying Mantis Fist, Zhao Zhuxi (Shifu was crazy for kung fu too!).

At our school Shifu was teaching us Master Wang Juezhen's 'Zhong Ji Quan-Intermediate Fist.' Zhong Ji Quan is a Longfist form with a special characteristic.

 

The first half of the form is one side of a two person form and the second half of the form is the other side of the two person form.

Shi Zhengzhong with Master Wang Zhuezhen

(1911-1990)

Shi Zhengzhong with Master Zhao Zhuxi(1900-1991)

 

My illustration from two person Zhong Ji Quan

I was so amazed by Zhong Ji Quan's clever way of turning a solo form into two person drills that I illustrated the entire sequence.

Our Training Goal

When Shifu taught us the two person form he broke it down into three sections of two person drills. Just before Shifu was about to make his bi-monthly visit to Hong Kong to see Zhao Zhuxi he gave us a training goal; over the weekend while he was away we should train the first section of the two man form for 300 repetitions.

'If you train 300 times you'll be ready to learn section two of the two man form.' He gave us this goal knowing that just ten repetitions of this two man drill was enough to tire us out.

Mo Qi the Shared Intuition

Intuition shared between two people is called mo qi (mo chee), to know in your heart what your partner will do without saying it. It is a mutual knowledge shared between two people from one moment to the next, like a shared intuition.

When the skills developed through mo qi are applied to an opponent instead of a partner it can become your own personal intuition of the opponent's intentions,

'Whether he desires to advance or wants to retreat, yet he can do neither.'

Shi Zhengzhong developed our mo qi through the constant repetition of two person drills.

Though the moves of two person drills are prearranged, yet each repetition of two person techniques with your partner is bound to have slight variations. Tuning in to these slight variations develops one's mo qi. Forced in to so many repetitions forces you to economize your energy. Muscles must learn to relax at the proper moment and exert force only when needed, It forces you to generate power from your legs and turning of your waist. If your hands and feet are confused and in disarray your energy will be used up long before reaching the goal. By giving us the goal of three hundred repetitions Shifu was giving us the opportunity to develop our mo qi.

When Shifu returned from Hong Kong he taught us section two and I got a chance to train with my elder brother Xuzhi (Shu Jer). During the drill, as I chased him he always seemed too far away and when he chased me I couldn't escape him. I felt that Xuzhi began chasing me after my retreat yet reached me before I could defend.

'Set out after he does, yet arrive before him.'

I stopped to catch my breath,' Elder Brother, how is it that I seem to be working harder and moving faster than you yet I can neither reach you nor escape you?'

He smiled and said,' That's just the way it is.'

This is a skill not easily put into words. What I was experiencing were the result of his intuition. No matter how you look at it these skills are only developed through.

The Ambush Attack

The following photos help to explain how section two of Zhong Ji Quan develops the ambush technique.

Joan (blue) and Kristine (white) face off for the second section of Zhong Ji Quan

 

Joan starts by kicking Kristine.

 

Joan uses the forward momentum of her kick to finish with a punch to the throat.

 

Kristine blocks and strikes

 

The solo posture, lifting punch.

 

Joan blocks with her left... and closes with her right hand.

 

Kristine makes an opening with her left and... Strikes with her right palm, but it is a ruse.

 

Setting Up the Ambush

 

The solo posture. This strike, is less powerful than a punch, but faster, Kristine uses it too infuriate Joan. In the following move Joan will chase Kristine as she runs away. This is setting up the ambush.

 

Joan hooks down and... sticks in the palm. To defend Kristine merely dodges her head out of the way.

 

Piercing Palm, Kristine skips away from Joan (not shown) in the solo form she holds this posture and...

turns left and follows with the pushing palm.

 

All followed by this toe kick.

 

In the two person drill there is no piercing palm move, Kristine suddenly spins left and kicks with this round kick.

Tempt Your Opponent with Bait

Best said by Sunzi over two thousand years ago.

One who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices something, that the enemy may snatch it.

By holding out bait, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him

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