Taijiquan’s push hands (推手), Wing Chun Kyuhn’s sticking hands (黐手), or Baguazhang’s Rou Shou (柔手); these things are clearly Chinese martial arts. But what about clinching, hand fighting, pummeling, wrestling? These are the things Nak Muay (Muay Thai boxers), wrestlers and MMA fighters do; surely they have no relationship to Chinese martial arts? Chinese martial arts require technique, skill, sensitivity, some would even say “qi” (?) while these other things? Perhaps often, language is the barrier and it is all just lost in translation?
We must cross the bridge (橋) to close the distance. Then we attack the arms, to open the doors (開門) and enter the in door area (內部門). At times, we must be flexible (柔). Other times we must be hard (剛). We must be continuous (連環). We must listen (聽) to respond. At times we yield (產). Other times we must attack (捅). Whatever you chose to call this, these are the essential principles.
Chinese martial arts people are usually very familiar with the “bridge arm”, but usually see it as the elaborately shaped movements in their hand forms.
Parrying and absorbing punches to set up the neck ties, under hooks, over hooks and clinches used in Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is just as much “bridging” and “crossing the bridge”.
Chinese martial artists are used to seeing a posture in a hand set….
… and then (maybe) learning its application.
They frequently don’t even know the exact same technique exists in a foreign martial art like Judo or in western wrestling.
One strength of Chinese martial arts was that they found various practice skills (Gung) to improve the techniques in application. But over the years, often the Gung was preserved but not the application!
As I have said before, often people are obsessed with the outward shape, and forget the intention. Or they simply want to believe what they do is unique, perhaps so unique as to be the “secret” of their teacher and their teacher only!
My personal belief, we should focus on the PRINCIPLES… they are universal.
MORE TO COME…..