Came across this video of Grandmaster Tung Hu Ling doing push hands today. Have not seen it previously.
I recently read this about the dangers of going to the ground in a real fight on a forum :-
Rorion Gracie noted about fighting on the ground in the U.S.A.: “In Brazil we fight Mano et mano. Americans are like dogs, everyone, anyone will attack you. It’s not a safe choice. Because of this, we are changing our training to include more stand up.
I read the above a few days after seeing this video (warning – do not watch if you can’t stomach seeing an actual murder happening right before your eyes).
A long, long time ago I had wondered why 99% of the combat arts in China focused on standup rather than going to the ground. After all, its not like there are no arts that based their core strategy on taking an opponent to the ground. So why no greater attention to ground fighting?
When a gang fight happens in Asia it can be like a swarm descending on the victim too. They tend to rush in with pipes and machetes swinging. I don’t know about you but the ground is the last place I would want to be. If anything, I would use the techniques from my newly created Wing Chun form Mo Lum Jow (if you didn’t catch the joke its on one of my FB posting) first. Failing which I would do what some of my teachers advised in the past. Sorry but I am not going to say what the advice is.
I think if you try to reason this out with a grappler he will laugh at you before demonstrating how he can easily take you down in a 1-to-1 fight. And he will be correct in having this perception except in the real world it does not always happen this way. I am guessing that if 99% of the combat arts in China does not focus so much on ground fighting its probably because they have a long time ago reached this conclusion. We may think we are correct but can 99% Wongs really be wrong? Anyway, in a number of the traditional arts they do have what they term as ground fighting which is not the same as ground grappling. If you are curious as to what this is go research it.
“How did you do it?” – my student asked.
The reader might think my student was asking a question of a secret teaching, secret principle or secret fajing method. But he wasn’t.
During training we had strayed off our usual space and ended up near some round pillars. So there I was explaining how to recover from a push and demonstrating how to train the principle using Step Back Repulse Monkey when I got that question.
He was intrigued by how I knew when to stop stepping back and thus avoided running into the pillar behind me.
This was no big secret. Its just a matter of awareness. Its not always the case that everything in Tai Chi training needs to be a secret this or secret that. Sometimes its just something ordinary perceived as extraordinary by another person who does not understand what is happening. That’s all.