Kicks Of Peng
While living in Taiwan I
usually finished work just before kung fu class started.
I actually lived in the changing room of the kung fu school
so rushing home after work meant rushing to the kung
fu school. I often got home just in time to join the evening kung fu class.
I would pay my respects to Shifu and my elders and quickly
the changing room, which was actually my bedroom, to tie on
my old black pants. With my kung fu quick change complete I
was outside and in the line of kicking students.
When training in Taiwan with
Shi Zhengzhong we spent almost an hour on walking the kicks.
Walking up and down the training area performing a kick with each step we took.
This method builds up a strong cardiovascular component in a
similar way that jogging or jumping rope does. With no
rest between each kick it is an essential aspect of training endurance and stamina.
the video page to see a kicking form of Peng Lai
Shifu performs a side kick on me. We took this
picture behind his house. In the distance you can
see the bushes arranged in the characters for our
city Tainan. Look how his foot on the ground lets
the hips open up to deliver maximum kicking
power. His left foot points away from the target.
Our body is covered in
vulnerable spots. If you get hit here you may lose the
fight, feel debilitating pain or fall down. There are the
obvious spots, such as the temple, neck, throat, groin or
kidney. But there is more to striking than just aiming for
the vulnerable spots.
As our bodies move our
vulnerable spots are
constantly transitioning from protected and defended to
undefended and available for attack. Each
time that you make an attack or defend yourself a new vulnerable spot opens up.
What is so special about the drills of mantis is that each
strike you perform is aimed at the opponent's vulnerable spot. Once you
make your attack in the drill, you yourself will have a
vulnerable spot or two open up on your own body. In other
words when you throw an attack it exposes a part of your
body to your opponent. That exposed part of your body that
you just created is where
the training drill dictates your opponent strikes you next.
The vulnerable spot of your
opponent is the target that you are aiming for. Kicks have a target and the
goal of performing the kick is to hit that target. The skill
is attained though the practice of two man kicking drills.
But what skill are we trying to develop? We wish to develop
the skill of firing off the attack at the opponent's
vulnerable spot when he is least able to protect it. There
are three things to know:
The strike to hit
Most important is
the development of the skill to attack when the
opponent is least able to defend themselves.
Anyone can try and hit you in
the solar plexus, but attempting that strike when the
opponent is not able to defend it is the subtle skill that
we wish to develop.
skill is developed in a step by step process:
Training of the solo kicks
Single kick two person drills
Multiple kick two person drills
Mixing up drills at random
During this training the kicks should be delivered on target
at speed and full power. This is one of the core
requirements. It is not good enough to have your partner
hold a pad for you to wail on. His distance is not right,
his body position is not right. The skill of hitting at the
right moment is not being trained.
Instead, the opponent
has to block the kick with his body. Wearing padding
is ok if it hurts too much, but ideally the goal is
to train the body, through the practice of kao da,
to absorb the strikes.
The Art of Kicks
Within the skill of kicking
your opponent the distance or range is of
the highest importance. How close or far you are to your opponent.
The drills I show here are a great way for teaching the
student how to train with the proper distance. These are not
the initial or introductory drills, but they give an insight
into where the training takes you.
One of the drills that Shifu
taught us was a progression with the uprooting kick. This
drill was taught after we had learned the kao da drills for
the uprooting kick and sidekick.
We start off by making
solid contact with the right arms. If the contact is
not solid then this technique won't work very well.
Black Pants uses his
left hand to grab the right hand of White Pants. As
this happens Black delivers the left uprooting kick.
White defends by
lifting his right leg.
Black keeps moving
around from the momentum of his uprooting kick.
White does a side kick
to the ribs of black which black blocks with a low
Black continues the
spin for a smashing back fist which which white
White takes advantage
the situation by throwing a front kick.
Black moves back and
drops his body while slamming his forearms into the
White and black block
their punches with punches and begin on the other
side of the body.
These quaint drawings were
made by me after learning the drills for the sake of
remembering what I had learned and keeping a record of the
precious knowledge that had been imparted to me.
At the time I had no idea that
one day there would be something called the internet where
these ideas could be shared[