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In the earlier modules we learned about the use of strikes. However, strikes by themselves are basically useless unless your opponent cooperates by standing still and letting you hit him without resistance.
Otherwise, you can assume that no opponent will allow you to hit him so easily. You can expect the opponent to move, to block and to hit back.
In short, knowing how to strike is only one part of the story. To be able to use the strikes successfully you must be able to not allow yourself to get hit as you are trying to hit.
In order to do so you must pay attention to the following basic factors :-
a) Instinctive guard posture
When you throw a strike the opponent may try to hit back in the same instance. The opponent may also hit after blocking or evading.
To avoid getting hit by the opponent you would need to be either have a defensive shield up at all times or at least be able to marshal a defense into place in a split second.
Below is a picture of a simple guard posture that most people can take too easily without a lot of thinking. This is not the guard we normally use in Pok Khek but nevertheless, it has its usefulness so we shall use it here.
To form the basic guard posture follow the steps below :-
You can verify if you set up the basic guard posture properly by checking to see if you can turn your body easily and put body weight behind your strikes.
An example is shown in the video above where the ability to rotate the body to throw two Fong Chui and two Chau Chui is checked. Note – a Fong Chui is basically a Yum Chui but performed with a vertical fist.
b) Distance control
Since Yum Chui, Sao Chui and Chau Chui are long range strikes you must be able to control the range in which they work.
For example, if you move too close to the opponent then your long range strikes will not work. Of course, over the long term you should learn different techniques and tactics for different ranges.
As such, your ability to use the Leung Yi Bo is of paramount importance in that the footwork allows you to control and adjust the distance to allow the strikes to be effective.
In the video I am illustrating the correct range to deliver an abbreviated and shortened Sao Chui by focusing on how to use the proper range through the control of the movement arc. The strike was done at a slower pace as it was for the purpose of teaching.
In the first instance the arc of the Sao Chui was cut short after impact. As such, though the force can allow me to spin the opponent’s head around it did not move him significantly.
In the second example I stood closer but the striking arc is too short hence the force is not strong.
The arc used in the third instance enabled a greater range of movement hence the power issued is greater allowing me to spin the opponent’s head and knocked him back.
c) Position, position, position
This refers to where and how you are standing at any moment in time relative to your opponent.
Why is position important to us. Let’s take a look at the video below :-
In the first scenario after I cleared the way I would launch a Yum Chui. If my opponent were to step straight back then chances are the Yum Chui would land.
However, sometimes my opponent may choose to step to my left side. If he managed to get there I would be exposed to his attacks because at that moment in time my left side is my blind side.
Fortunately, he has to step to position himself at my blind side and I could counter faster by not having to step. So I used a backfist to spoil his game. If I do the backfist properly I might be able to hit the side of his face instead of just blocking his way.
In the second scenario, my opponent managed to get to my blind side since he was able to quickly intercept my left Yum Chui strike. In this scenario he would stand a high chance of winning since he has the position.
In the third scenario my opponent reacted a bit too fast and I quickly changed my Yum Chui to a backfist to jam his intercepting arm. If he attempts to push my left arm away I can grab and pull it to my left side.
My pulling response caused my opponent to lose his balance and exposed his entire left side. Because I am holding his left arm he is unable to use it to block and when he is pulled off balance he ended up blocking his right arm with his body.
By studying different scenarios we learn about the importance of position in attack and defense.