Friday, 30 November 2012


Punches and Kicks

  • The basic kung fu punch begins at the waist. The fingers are loosely clenched and the elbow slides against the ribcage. The hand shoots out with a snap, and the fingers clench just as the fist hits the target. A forward kick begins from the ground and travels straight up under the opponent's chin or into the groin. The knee is held straight, and the standing leg is firmly planted to ensure power and balance. Crescent kicks can begin from the inside or the outside. The inside crescent kick begins outside the fighter's stance and hooks inward, using the foot's inside edge as the striking tool. The outside crescent kick begins inside the fighter's stance and travels outward, striking with the foot's outside edge.

Animal Techniques

  • Kung fu incorporates "animal" techniques, which mimic the movements of animals when they evade and attack. As noted by Inside Kung-Fu, the crane's "beak" technique involves pointing the fingers to quickly "peck" at the opponent's throat and eyes. Dragon movements use circular motions to set up explosive attacks, often with claw hands as weapons. Panther techniques are designed to slink with graceful footwork and confuse the opponent before striking. Tiger techniques include big movements, like sweeping paws, intended to disrupt the opponent's rhythm.


  • Tye's Kung Fu cites several strategies that a fighter must use to set up his strikes. Baiting means showing openings to encourage the attacker to strike in specific ways, thus setting up a counterattack. Pre-empting means intercepting the attacker's strike before it is fully executed. Yielding means allowing the attacker to present his power and then evading in a way that the attacker's own power throws him off balance and sets him up for a counterstrike.
    If you can afford one, purchase a punching dummy or bag. Practicing with a target helps you to increase your power as well as to improve your targeting ability. Your body--arms, legs, hands, knees and feet--need to be accustomed to hitting a target, otherwise you might hurt yourself using self-defense in a real situation.

  • Visualize scenarios that require you to use self-defense techniques. How are you attacked? How do you defend yourself? What targets--for example, the attacker's temple, nose, throat, solar plexus, or knees--are available to you? Imagine the scene in as much detail as possible without becoming frightened or paranoid. This visualization practice helps you to prepare for a potential attack so that you don't freeze up if an attack occurs.

  • Shadowbox. Pretend you are being attacked and defend yourself against your invisible attacker. Practice putting combinations of punches, elbow jabs and kicks together. Remember that a good defense combination includes only two or three moves--no more. Attack vulnerable targets on the attacker's body. Try to be as realistic as possible when creating your combinations. If you discover a combination that feels easy and natural, practice it repeatedly so your muscles "memorize" the moves. In addition, continue trying new defense moves and combinations.
  • Exercise. Even though defending yourself in an attack should ideally only last a few seconds, fighting requires endurance and energy. You may also need to run from an attacker. Therefore, include strength-training, such as push-ups and sit-ups, and cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, in your daily self-defense training routine.

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