I was training in Hong Kong’s Lam Gwun under the guidance of my Si Baak, Simon Lam Chun Chung, brother of my Sifu. We were discussing application of various Hung Ga techniques as well as fighting strategy and of course, training methodology.
I learned that day a lot, but one “secret” advice he gave me has influenced me and our Practical Hung Kyun training a lot. I asked him: “Si Baak, what would you recommend for fighting? What is the most important thing, neglected in training? Any tips“?
My Si Baak has replied: „Pavel, that is simple. Develop a Heavy Hand, knockout punch.”
Simple, isn’t it? „One Strike Must Kill“ (Yat Kyun Bit Saat in Cantonese) is indeed one of the most quoted proverbs in the martial arts world – and one of the most criticized and misunderstood.
Does it mean we train to rely on just one strike?
Of course not. Complementary principle to to „one strike kill“ is called Lin Waan, „Continuous“ [Attack]. Lin Waan Kau Da, Lin Waan Jin Cheui, Lin Waan Po Paai… Take your pick (and I mean it, pick one drill it over and over).
If the first strike does not knock out the opponent, we follow with barrage of strikes, stepping in, pushing the opponent to his heels (well, we usually do that anyway, just to make sure… ). However, as Peter Constardine says: “Your first shot should end it. That’s your free shot, but you pay for every other one after that.” In the context of “One Strike” philosophy, very important message.
“One strike” philosophy is about:
- Having the capacity to knock out the opponent with „One Strike“
Practicing techniques and set sis important part of Hung Ga Kyun training, but folks, you have to hit stuff – focus mitts, sandbags, wallbags, and you have to hit often and hard, with „One Strike, One Kill“ mentality. Make sure you do not use boxing gloves (all the time).
Do you hit stuff regularly? Do you have the capacity to knock out somebody with single strike? Learn how to develop a KO strike in our PKH Intro Kit.
- Being able to set up the „One Strike“ correctly
Deception, artifice, feint, or as Hung Ga Kyun calls it „Shadow Hand“ (Ying Sau) or „Empty Attack“ setting up the „Real Attack“ (Heui/Sat concept).
Same thing as above – it has to be practiced, trained and drilled again and again and again. Knowing is not enough. Again, covered in great detail in our PHK Intro Kit.
- Spirit: Training Morale and Fighting Mentality
Do not just strike the air or sandbag recklessly, but diligently work on developing your (your!) „One Strike“. Focus – power from the ground, hips, stepping in, BOOM!
Correct power generation, alignement and mechanics is the key to success. Practical Hung Kyun utilizes whole series of simple drills, which can almost instantly add 20%-50% to your striking power.
Work on your “One Strike”.
Follow the game plan: Avoid, escape, verbally de-escalate, you know the dril.
If needed, strike pre-emptively. But when you strike, make sure you hit freaking hard, and when there is no more threat, run.
(Did I already say that you need to practice?)
Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun
Learn how to develop a KO punch on plus Wong Fei Hung’s top boxing combination in our PHK Intro Kit: Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Martial Arts
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