Hung Ga’s “Secret of Four Arrivals” (Sei Dou Ji Bei), mentioned in the Grand Master Lam Sai Wing’s preface to his “Taming the Tiger in Gung Pattern” book (full translation available here), belong to the most important concepts of our art and Chinese martial arts in general.
Because many practioners either do not know the “Four Arrivals” at all, or do not understand them properly, I have decided to write a four part series, explaining the concepts, true meaning and their practical application one by one.
Part one is dedicated to Sam Dou, “Heart Arrival”.
Grand Master Lam Sai Wing writes:
“Heart Arrival”: Self-control of your action and defense.
(Sam Dou: Jak Chou Sau Yau Jyu)
“Heart Arrival” means awareness, readiness, clear objective, focus, determination, correct mindset, courage (heart!) and self control – core reality-based self-defense principles that we cover in our PHK Intro Kit: Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Martial Arts.
What are your skills and abilities? What are you going to do? And how far are you willing to go? Sam Dou means both keeping the calm mind, emotions under control (all these are meaning of Chinese term Sam, “Heart”), the ability to switch to controlled aggression, and to do what is necessary, without any hesitation. Strike with speed, accuracy, power, hardness and ruthlessness!
The Chinese characters Chou Sau also mean “personal integrity”. Master Sun writes in his Art of War:
“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”
Sam Dou is “knowing yourself”.
We will examine “Knowing the enemy” and the situation in the interpretation of the second “Arrival”.
Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun
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