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bu jiao bu jia yao shou 12 zhuoMantis of No Blocking No Defending

One of the special methods of Mantis Boxing is its method of attacking and striking that does not utilize any type of block or defense.

The underlying concept is very simple, just dodge his attack and simultaneously attack him when he attacks you. Though it is simple, developing the skill is not.

Once when Shifu had taught us some advanced  methods of mantis attacking my kung fu brothers and I joked about how our mantis advanced methods of counter attack only can qualify as the introductory kicking method of Taekwondo.

This is the skill of counter attacking without blocking. It comes from that portion of Mantis known as 'No Block No Defense Essential Hands 12 Methods.'

The Usual Way

In most sparring methods the instructor points out the target and how the technique works, The students, armed with this knowledge, are turned loose on each other with nothing but luck and possibly inborn natural skill to apply the technique. To succeed, it must be applied at the precise moment in time when the weapon is in range of target as well as the opponent suddenly finding themselves in a position impossible to defend.

On the rare occasion of success the attacking student feels joy while the student of poor defense can do nothing but admire their opponents luck and skill as they get hit.

Vulnerable to Attack

There is a moment in time when the opponent has expended their energy on a futile attack.

That moment in time is when they themselves become vulnerable to their opponent. This is why it is so common to see people unwilling to commit themselves to their attack, they fear that moment of vulnerability.

But it is that very moment in time that you must grasp.

To get the skittish opponent willing to commit to an attack you yourself must commit fully to your attack.

Applying Long to Short

Kao da means to lean and strike. It is a method used to teach short strikes. In the case of a long range move like the sidekick it is required to learn how to apply short strike techniques against long range techniques, and so the long range sidekick is included in the short range kao da.

Side Kick Kao Da

In my shifu's method moving from blocking the attack methodology to no block attacking requires the student to pass through the kao da stage. Like most essential aspects, it begins with a very basic and simple routine.

xia kao

Jeff and I do bottom pound arms.



shang kao

Jeff and I do upper pound arms. These two moves are how all kao da begin.

As I begin the following move it is important to keep his right forearm attached to my right forearm for as long as possible.

bian chuai

I leap forward planting a right side kick in his ribs.



ce chuai-xia dangJeff leaps backwards as I am leaping forward and blocks downward against my sidekick.



As the energy of the sidekick is expended we swing a right back fist at each other.


Repeating the Drill

I repeat my sidekick attack two more times. On my third sidekick and back fist combination Jeff doesn't give me a chance to apply a fourth side kick, instead he immediately counters with three leaping sidekicks of his own.

ce chui

He leaps into me with his sidekick and attacks me in the exact same manner I just attacked him repeating for a total of three times before I return at him with three more sidekicks of my own.

By practicing back and forth in this way we learn to grasp onto that subtle moment in time when to launch a counter attack as well as learning how to fully commit to our own attacks.

Once this is grasped we no longer have to block the opponents forceful strikes, instead we can dance right on the edge of the opponents targeting range.

The First of the 12 No Defense Techniques

first defeatThe first technique in the list of 12 is very simple. Jeff punches at me, as he does so I dodge and kick him.

Here is what it says.

Regardless of whether he attacks my upper, middle, left or right gate I use the tortoise flipper sidekick as the first defeat.

This kick can be applied regardless of what foot he leads with. In this example, we both lead with the right.

yu beiWe stand in the on guard position.



ji touJeff attacks my head.



tai tuiAs Jeff attacks my head I lift my right leg as I lean back.



ce chuaiAll three pictures pass in the same instant, as he attacks I lift my right leg for a sidekick to his ribs.


To understand the concept is easy. To pull it off successfully requires a proper training method. This can be found within the basic kao da for side kicks.

Once the student grasps the main idea, teaching other 'no block no defense' methods becomes easier.

After we started training shifu told us that once he had been yelled at by his shifu for nailing his kung fu brother too hard. Their master had been afraid that the other student might suffer from some internal injuries. After that when shifu trained this kick in his free fighting they put on the only type of safety equipment that was available to them at the time. They went to the nearby fishing area and put on life preservers[

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