Hung Ga’s “Four Secret Arrivals”, as transmitted by the late Grand Master Lam Sai Wing. Final number four, i.e. “Feet Arrival” (Geuk Dou).
As we saw in the 3rd installment, the third “Arrival” were “Hands” (Sau Dou). At first I thought – maybe the order is wrong: I should first step to be close enough to hit him, and then hit him. But then it hit me (pun intended) – no… not really!
Of course the Juk Dou is about correct distance, but the order of the “Four Arrivals” (Sei Dou) IS significant.
Feet Arrival: To Fight and Strike Fast and Quick.
(Juk Dou Jak Bok Gik Faai Jit)
Chinese saying goes: “Glass Head, Cotton Body, Iron Bridge Hands.” What does it mean? More than one thing, but we will emphasize one of them: Warrior’s shield or spear go first – be it “Feint”, Ying Sau, “Asking Hand”, Man Sau, “Taming Hand”, Fuk Sau, or an attack – not the warrior’s head or body. And yet, this is one of the most common mistakes I see in sparring and even in set practice.
Why is that? Hung Ga students try to emphasize the body/stance turning (Jyun Ma) and forget that their head/body is actually exposed. Moreover, many Hung Kyun techniques use a complementary power generation concept called Lok Ma, ie “Falling Stance”, which helps you to get all your bodyweight behind the punch. Chinese maxim says: “Body follows the hand, waist and stance move together”.
So called “falling step” was later popularized by Jack Dempsey and later Bruce Lee. Different strikes require different type of power generation (eg. uppercut, Tung Tin Cheui vs. overhand, Kap Cheui), and we at Practical Hung Kyun make absolutely sure we do it correctly. So or so, definitely don’t enter with your head first!
Two more points: First – many people think that Hung Kyun is all about low, immovable stances, but in real fighting, Hung Kyun is slow. Yet Grand Master Lam Sai Wing emphazises quick footwork and speed! There is a time for wider, solid stance, but agile and nimble footwork is very important aspect of training and of course fighting. Stances, footwork, basic strikes – all covered in our PHK Intro Kit: Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Martial Arts.
Second – notice that Grand Master Lam Sai Wing again emphazises attacking, hitting, striking – so far nothing has been said about (self) defense – “if he does this I do this, if he does that, then I… “. No, our Hung Kyun self-protection game plan is very different than the martial arts/self-defense romantics would like it to see. We will cover it in some of the following articles.
Study the “Four Arrivals”, apply them in your training, and be always at least one step (sic!) ahead the opponent.
Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun
PS: The full English translation of the Lam Sai Wing’s text can be found in the Taming the Tiger Manual, translated by Viktor Nordgren. Recommended reading!
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