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Omnibus Edition

Tyler R. Rea

MasterPath Publications & Everything Wing Chun

This is the first publication of the Wing Chun Jook Wan Huen System, Omnibus Edition. First edition.
Published in 2020 by MasterPath Publications and Everything Wing Chun®.

ISBN: 9798615094262

© Copyright 2016-2020 Everything Wing Chun®, LLC.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
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Everything Wing Chun® and Wing Chun University® are registered trademarks of Everything Wing Chun, LLC.

The following books were combined into the omnibus edition:

1. Wing Chun Kung Fu Bamboo Ring: Martial Methods and Details of the Jook Wan Heun of Wing Chun (Volume 1). First
edition published in 2010. Second edition published in 2013.
2. Wing Chun Opium Pipe Staff (Bamboo Ring Wing Chun Kung Fu Volume 2). Published 2013.
3. Wing Chun Kung Fu Bamboo & Iron Ring Training (Bamboo Ring Wing Chun Kung Fu Volume 3). Published in 2013.
4. Inch Punch Power: Details and Training Methods. Published in 2013.

All books © copyright 2010-2020 Everything Wing Chun®, LLC.

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injury. The author, publisher and those individuals demonstrating their skills assume no responsibility for any injury, misuse or
damage resulting from the execution of the techniques and exercises presented here. Always train with safety under the guidance
of a qualified instructor. Consult your physician before using this or any exercise program

Risk of Physical Injuries: Bumps, bruises, scrapes, scratches and soreness are commonplace, and most students will encounter
this sort of minor injury in their training. More serious injuries are possible, including sprains, strains, twists, cramps, and injuries
of similar magnitude, and students can expect to encounter these injuries infrequently. It is always possible, if not training
properly or under supervision, for students to encounter serious injuries or death - especially if using sharp weapons (which we
do not endorse or recommend).

Liability: The techniques discussed and demonstrated within this book are being performed by healthy professionals and are
being shown solely for entertainment purposes. No one should attempt these techniques without personal instruction from a
qualified teacher. By purchasing this book you are affirming that you understand the above statement of risk (physical injuries),
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Title Page
About Tyler Rea
Rings: Bamboo Rings
Rings: Sifu Kwai's Eleven Link Sets
Rings: Sifu Choi's Standing Ring Exercises
Rings: Weighted & Brass Rings
Equipment: Weighted Pipes and Poles
Equipment: Weighted Club
Equipment: Training Dummies
Opium Pipe Staff: Intro & Stances
Opium Pipe Staff: Strikes/Attacks
Opium Pipe Staff: Techniques
Hand Weapons
Power: Knowledge & Details
Power: Development Exercises
Power: Energetics
Power: Generation
Wisdom: 36 Stratagems
Wisdom: Maxims & Poems
Wisdom: Martial Idioms
Mr. Tyler Rea has been a practitioner of the martial arts for over thirty years.
Mr. Rea began his martial training in 1983 with Kodokan Judo and Uechi
Ryu karate, and has since studied: Xingyiquan, Indonesian Pentjak Silat,
Wing Chun kung fu of both Ip Man and the Jook Wan Huen method, northern
Seven Star Mantis and Chu southern Praying Mantis methods.

As of 2005 he has also studied the rare southern system of Taixuquan, also
known as Look Jahng Kuen (six elbows) kung fu. Mr. Rea also writes
extensively on the subject of the martial arts. He produces training manuals,
posters, and also lectures and teaches throughout the United States of
In 2010 I wrote my first book describing the Jook Wan Heun (bamboo ring)
method of Wing Chun kung fu. This method of Wing Chun was introduced to
me in the late eighties by Sifu Edmund Kwai and his brother-in-law Sifu Lee
Bing Choi. It was my hope to present some of the basic curriculum taught to
me by Sifu (teacher) Kwai to shed greater light on this more obscure area of
Wing Chun training. The bamboo ring offers any martial art a very compact,
affordable and effective training aid to cultivate various martial skills.

The subject of this book are the various Wing Chun and southern mantis
training methods as taught to me by the late Sifu Lee Bing Choi. Sifu Choi
shared his knowledge of the bamboo ring and also details of the Hakka
boxing method of southern mantis insisting both had similar roots in the
past. Now for the reader more versed in southern mantis there are some
terms or references which differ with what is currently described in southern
mantis terminologies. Throughout sections covering southern mantis the
term/description of som bo jin (three step arrow), will be referred to by Sifu
Choi’s term of gom jin (golden scissor) or gom jin go ying fan kiu sao
(golden scissor spring bridge hands).
This is only meant to delineate and better describe the mechanical details
presented here as taught by Sifu Choi. In addition the material covering the
very broad range of Hakka boxing and thus southern mantis is in no way
meant to represent, endorse, advocate or diminish any branch of the art. As
an old martial boxing maxim states; “One forest has many trees”.
The material and exercises presented are for informational use only, any
errors of term or application are strictly the author’s.

he Jook Wan Huen (bamboo ring/hoop) is a training device developed

T in the early years of Wing Chun kung fu. Based on pictorial records and
statues, martial scholars believe that the ring was first used in religious
rituals before being applied to martial practices in temples throughout the
southern region. From temple training, the ring method was adopted by
various secret societies operating within the temples, each with its own name
and agenda.
Once political pressure from the Qing government against the temples
became too strong and the threat of aggression too great, many secret
societies fled, taking the ring method with them. For those secret societies
that were the early custodians of the Wing Chun system, the Jook Wan Heun
became an ideal way to train the evolving system, but also to train beginners
easily in the essential structural elements necessary for skillful Wing Chun
Groups such as the Red Flower Union, the Plum Blossom Opera, the Heaven
and Earth Guild, the White Lotus Society and most famously the Red Junk
Opera troupe were known for cultivating the jook wan methods. Martial
historians believe members of the nineteenth century group called the Red
Boat Opera company used the bamboo ring as a means of training the
emerging style of Wing Chun kung fu under the guise of a dramatic
performance implement.
Brightly colored and adorned on stage and wielded in dramatically
choreographed routines, the ring would go unnoticed. When training on
board their boats, the red junk members would often practice the ring method
in a seated position due to congestion on board, rough waters, or slippery
In private seclusion on board the junk the ring could be used to refine Wing
Chun boxing for a seated practitioner allowing training to go on unnoticed.
When the opera troupes disbanded, the methods of training jook wan
techniques began to change and become more diverse. When the method
moved to land the jook wan ma bo (stepping and footwork) began to expand
to encompass many important and diverse patterns. Prior to leaving the red
boats some of the most fundamental jook wan ma bo (stances and steps)
were: heun bo (circle step), ching cheong ma (forward brace step), hao
cheong ma (backward brace step), bik bo (jamming step), sei ping bo (four
side step) and cheun ma (shifting).
Some consider the practice of the Jook Wan Heun to be the final level of solo
training refinement in Wing Chun. While still others believe it to be a form
of lei sao (loose hands) training from a bygone era in the early days of Wing
Chun before the system became so heavily codified.
Regardless of these two perspectives, the Jook Wan Heun is one of the finest
and quickest methods to acquire and train the fundamentals of Wing Chun
structure. Often thought of as “Wing Chun’s portable dummy” the jook wan
gives the practitioner the ease and fun of training anywhere, anytime,
standing or seated.
This book is intended to present the fundamental training methods of the
Jook Wan Heun of Wing Chun kung fu. The material and training syllabus
presented are the combination of four of my teachers and one instructor of
Judo, who became aware of this method during his childhood in Hawaii.
The primary teacher and source of this material is
the late Sifu Edmund Kwai (Mo Kwai) 1933-1997.
His jook wan syllabus consists of the following:
● sup yat wan (eleven ring sets)
● jook wan da kuen (bamboo ring strike fist set)
● sup yat wan mor kiu (eleven link rubbing bridges)
● lao ruen quan (old man palm stick)
● bung zhaa quan (black moth pole)
● vagabond opium pipe set
This method dovetails naturally with most southern Chinese kung fu systems
but specifically renders structures most recognizable as belonging to Wing
For easier reading the Jook Wan Heun will be abbreviated to simply the JWR
throughout the rest of the book.
You can find my videos and courses of much of the JWR materials at (WCU) and/or (EWC). EWC also carries a great selection
of JWR (rings) to practice with. Buying a set of eight inch, ten inch and
twelve inch rings is a good place to start.
Bamboo Ring Circumference
One of the first things to establish before training is to select or construct a
JWR that is sized for your kiu (bridge arm). To begin your bridge arm is the
distance from your wrist to your elbow. This designates the surface area you
use to feel and redirect the attacker’s pressure. Between the wrist and elbow
make a non permanent mark to denote the mid line point on the forearm
[Figure A]
The circumference of your training ring may be the full length of your
forearm like the length of bot jom do (eight cut knives) or it may fall to just
before the mid forearm line [Figure B]. Make certain to never go below the
mid forearm line, to do so minimizes your training circumference to the ring
and trains a point of pivot rotation that will not affect the attacker [Figure C].
If your JWR circumference goes below the mid forearm line, it also makes it
nearly impossible for both bridge arms to smoothly transition between
positions with any measure of power. Training with a large ring (one that has
a circumference that goes beyond the wrist) is still acceptable and this trains
the deltoids, trapezius and latissimus muscles to coordinate rounding the back
and linking spine and stance through pelvic lift.
It was felt by my teachers that the JWR movements predated the widespread
use of a wooden dummy regimen. Practically all JWR exercises can be found
in the dummy sets of most Wing Chun branches, the primary ones being
kwan sao (bubbling hand), seung gan sao (double cutting hand), po pai jeung
(butterfly palm), tan da (open block and hit), pak da (slap block and hit) and
sot jeung (palm strike).
Over time as your movements become more natural, you can train each set
against lit candles, so that you can begin to monitor and see how your motion
affects a lit flame. You will be surprised that the more you practice it, you
can naturally do what is often considered a cliché training act of putting out
candles with your motion.

up yat wan (eleven link sets) are a series of five polarized, and five
S unpolarized arm positions with one outer-arm position known as lan wan
(barring set) for a total of eleven.
These ring sets may be combined with an almost limitless variety of footwork
allowing them to be trained in practically any system. Throughout the course
of this book certain basic training guidelines and cheviots will be presented
with each exercise to help maximize the initial stages of practice.
Within jook wan training there are two primary positions with which to use
the ring. One is called “unpolarized”. It is where both bridge arms face the
same direction, positioned parallel to each other within the ring. The other is
called “polarized”, where both hands are inserted within the ring in opposite
Kwan Sao
Within all the ring techniques presented, the fundamental or most crucial is
called kwan sao (rolling hands block), known in many branches of Wing
The detail that is important to remember about both these ring techniques as
well as most of the sup yat wan (eleven link sets) exercises is that each is a
combination of pairing single arm movements together to form a single
circuit of structured movement. For example, tan sao (palm up block) and
bong sao (wing arm) are the two primary transitions in one circular circuit of
motion. Whether moving in bong sao (wing arm) and then transitioning out
to tan sao (palm up block) or reversing the cycle of the circle.
With respect to kwan sao (rolling hands block) the arms moves in a circular
fashion, transitioning between bong sao (wing arm) and tan sao (palm up
block) alternating left and right sides of the center line.
Also every ring movement contains what is called loy cheun sao (inward
coiling hand) because in all the ring motions the rotation of the bridge arm is
essential for added power and ballistic rotation to your techniques.
So it is important that every arm motion not be dead or static, where you’re
chopping across the center line or chopping downward. There needs to be
rotation as well as contraction and expansion power in your arm. Again,
depending upon your branch, the names vary but the structures are essentially
the same.
All ring movements contain a cycle referred to as a “swallow and spit” cycle,
where you’re spitting the power force outward and forward. The reverse is
the swallow cycle, or absorption cycle. This will be highlighted later in the
unpolarized ring segments where you have wan tun sao (linked swallowing
hands) and wan tow sao (linked spitting hands)
All the ring motions are a compound movement series of two arm movement
actions. With respect to the kwan sao (bubbling hand), you are transitioning a
tan sao (palm up block) and bong sao (wing arm block) motion on both sides
of the body with both arms, but each being polarized in opposite references
of timing. For example, the transition of dai bong sao (low wing arm) to tan
sao (palm up block) here polarizes and reverses itself. This is again crucial to
understanding how the hands cycle to defend you.
The second, being loy cheun sao (inward coiling hand) and the lower gan sao
(cultivating hand) forming the structural foundation of seung gan sao (double
cultivating hand). Think of kwan sao (bubbling hand) and seung gan sao
(double cultivating hand) as two parents, and they create the entire variation
and proliferation of all JWR techniques as their children.
Kwan Sao Set 01
Kwan Sao Set 02
Double Cultivating Hand
When practicing seung gan sao (double cultivating hand) it’s important to
know that within the transition of the movement, the lower hand may perform
a jik choi (straight punch). When you transition and deal with an attacker
who comes at you with two hands and you deflect him off the center line, the
lower hand is the first striking hand, because it is both more difficult to
defend and more difficult to see within the scope of the technique because it
hides under the elbow.
The seung gan sao (double cultivating hand) movement is generally found in
the biu jee (thrusting fingers) form and wooden dummy set of most Wing
Chun branches. Although seung gan sao (double cultivating hand) is most
often translated as double “cultivating” hands. It is more accurately described
as double cleaving hands, the way a plow cleaves the soil.
This description highlights the importance of seung gan sao (double
cultivating hands) to displace the attackers movement while moving forward.
Seung gan sao (double cultivating hands) on a basic level is the reversed
movement of kwan sao (bubbling hand) and, as such, the low gan sao
(cultivating hand) has elements of gwat sao (sweeping hand).
Many ancient Chinese boxing manuals say that the fist that hides under the
elbow is the one that carries death’s seal. So when you apply the motion of
loy kwan sao (inward bubbling hand) or seung gan sao (double cultivating
hand), be aware that you have a jik choi (straight punch) at your disposal
within the transition. This also replicates the structural transitions of sot jeung
(killing palm) motion.
Again you’ll see that many of these movements are variations on a theme but
a very important theme that runs throughout the whole course of the
structured movements of the JWR.
Double Cultivating Hands
Double Cultivating Hand And Shift
Killing Palms
Now within the eleven sets, there is one palm technique, known as sot jeung
(killing palm). My teacher, Edmund Kwai, referred to it as the “devil gate
palm” and “devil guardian palm” because sot jeung (killing palm) is a
transitional technique and transitional attack position that can be applied
between all of the ring techniques.
It is like the crossroads or the intersection point of all of the techniques. For
example, when posing kwan sao (bubbling hand), immediately you can
deflect and move into the sot jeung (killing palm) technique. Sot jeung is
considered a variation of po pai jeung, but again out of the polarized ring
Sot jeung, without the ring, is composed of a dai wong jeung (lower spade
palm) and a fak sao (hacking arm). This motion can be used with the
“phoenix eye punch”, the ger nah choi (ginger fist punch) as well It can be
used with any specialty hand fist that you wish to use within it.
Sot jeung, within the unpolarized ring position is considered a much simpler
expression of the technique then when the hands are in the polarized ring
position and resembles the po pai jeung (butterfly palm) technique. Strike
attacks naturally flow from the left and right sides defending left and right
Pressing Rotating Palms
Gum fan jeung (pressing continuous palm) is a motion sequence which
replicates many motions that utilize the tan sao (palm up hand) portion of the
kwan sao (bubbling hand) ring set to perform backhand line attacks. Within
some schools of Wing Chun, backhand line attacks are frowned upon and
they fall under a terminology category called gwa choi (hanging punch).
Sometimes called fan cup choi (overturning punch) and then within some
schools of southern mantis gao choi (thunder punch).
But regardless of the branch that one is familiar with, out of the kwan sao
(bubbling hand) motion, the fan gum jeung (suppressing palm) is this
sequence, where you’re taking the upper tan hand and it is transitioning to
perform a gum (pinning) motion, past the bridge arm, near the elbow, wiping
and suppressing while the bong sao (wing arm) transitions upward into the
tan kiu (dispersing bridge).
In this instance, we’re using it as a backhand line attack. This is very crucial
and often overlooked because within the scope of an actual fight, successful
techniques boil down to those that, at their heart, are very gross motor
movements. Therefore it’s essential that your line of attack intersect all
possible lines of attack that come at you.
When attacked, the angle and type of attack is unknown. It’s essential that
your motion intersect all possible angles along the centerline. Just as a
fisherman when fishing uses a net to fish a large area within the body of
water, you don’t want to fish within the space of a bucket or dinner plate.
You want to cast a broad net so that you can catch as much as possible, so too
with an attacker.
When they launch an attack at you, you want to intersect their motion from
here and you want to do so with a movement that exemplifies a very
powerful outer circular circumference. All the bridge arm positions within
the JWR training, at their core are meant to replicate the outer circumference
of a circle and most importantly of a sphere. We take the structural template
of the ring from here and imagine that it is much larger, almost the size of a
hula hoop, that we are embracing from here.
You want your arm structure from shoulder to wrist to approximate one third
of a sphere or a circle so that you have roughly one hundred and thirty five
degree bend to your arm so the structural integrity is intact and with the use
of what is called jang dai lik (elbow sinking energy) you want that
circumference to be cast out at the attacker so that you intersect their force
and metaphorically, just like being put under the wheels of a bus, you want
that force to rip and tear them down to the ground and go forward so that you
can attack them.
Within the scope of fan gum jeung (suppressing palm), take your bong sao
(wing arm), press downward, making certain that you stay within the
circumference of the ring. Refrain from breaking contact with the ring. The
ring again is to articulate and guide your arms within the circular motion.
When you do so, try to refrain from training it quickly, again, you want every
part of the body to participate in this motion sequence.
You don’t want one part of the body to become prematurely excited or
prompted to move and break its sequence with all the other sections of the
body. Make certain that you train movements slowly and smoothly, staying
within the corrective structure of the ring/hoop, so that the timing of the
hands and the rotation, the cheun jing (rotating energy), is correct and
Palm Up Block
The fundamental techniques of tan da (palm up block) can also be found
within the JWR syllabus. It is trained in two primary ways. The first of which
is with the hands inserted in position two of unpolarized where one hand
touches the shoulder of the opposite side, initiates tan sao (palm up block)
and a jik choi (straight punch).
Then the ring transitions where you touch the opposite side shoulder,
transition and repeat tan da (palm up block). This is one way in which the
sequence is practiced, often with cheun ma (shifting) footwork or oy (inward)
and noi seen wai (outside line facing) footwork. It is fairly basic, effective
and I present it here because you will see it amongst other clans’
representation of the JWR.
It is also very effective when training with a much larger hoop so that you
can traverse through the four gates much easier with the ring, applying the
tan da (palm up block) technique. The one that I’d like to focus on here is in
the polarized position, just like within kwan sao (bubbling hand), we have the
child of kwan sao (bubbling hand), this variation of tan da (palm up block),
where the hand comes up and you punch forward in this fashion.
Where the tan sao (palm up hand) is obliquely referenced on the centerline
with the jik choi (straight punch) below. Again, they are staggered on the
centerline, allowing you to turn and cycle between the left and right side
horse stances with the tan da (palm up block) technique, displacing the attack
off the centerline in a very aggressive wedge-like fashion, which will be
shown in the applications. But again this replicates in some respects the
important details of why some systems like White Eyebrow Boxing have
their salute contrived the way they do.
Through this ring set, of tan da (palm up block) you can begin to
immediately experience and express the important body mechanics of what
are called the sei jing (four energies): float, sink, swallow, and spit to that
your ring motion will have that contract and expand quality necessary to the
discharge power in multiple directions.
When using it against an attacker’s punching arm, you’re using your tan da
(palm up block) to displace that arm and punch them in the flank. Refrain if
you can from heading for the face. It’s a somewhat odd habit in America
especially that applications reference punching a person in the face and head.
Whereas there’s a time for all applications in training, try to avoid that for the
simple respect that the human mouth is a very bacteria laden environment.
The most bacteria laden environment on the entire human body.
As such its important in a day and age when HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis are
commonplace that you not punch an attacker in the mouth. You are virtually
guaranteed to get your hand broken, but if you cut your hands on their teeth,
you will receive a very, very nasty wound that will become infected and
cause you some severe problems. So again, avoid the mouth for the sake of
your own personal hygiene and safety. In a more long term way, refrain from
punching a person straight in the face.
Please know I am not advocating a particular act of violence, but when you
have to use your self-defense techniques, try to reference your palm for the
face, that way you don’t break your hand. Now from the neck down, targets
are ideal for a closed fist, so you don’t injure your hand or wrist.
So in respect to the tan da (palm up block) technique, make sure you’re
aiming for any abdominal target below the shoulder, whether it’s centerline
referenced or flank referenced near an attacker’s latissimus dorsals doesn’t
matter. Just make sure you reference the attack low.
Other details about tan da (palm up block) that are important to note are that
the hand, the punching hand here, will rotate along the lower portion of the
ring’s circumference. Again, this pressure triggers the rest of the hoop to cue
the upper hand so that you’re receiving tactile sensitivity information to both
hands through the hoop and ring that relates reciprocally to rotational power.
So that as you’re hitting from here the punching hand as you’re rotating
through so that it then traverses downward along the opposite shoulder and
hip region, upward almost through the arm pit. If you can see the hand as it
descends through the armpit region it’s passing through your carotid zone
around your neck.
This is another wonderful facet of the ring training and it is that your arms are
treated like bone shields and these bone shields traverse bleeding zones
around the body providing back-up protection. Here with tan da (palm up
block) the lower hand is dropping downward to fall within the region of my
femoral artery near the pelvis. So we have carotid, brachial, femoral near the
From here, the hand descends, striking out, striking out, drops down, ascends
again to the neck, punching from here. So that you have built in form of
defense as your hands are transitioning and cycling to reload this attack.
Another aspect of what’s sometimes called lao jing (leaking force) is that
when the arm is twisting as I just pointed out and sinking down, this hand is
covering so that the hands are looping in a way that if you receive too much
force or pressure in your bridge arms, your hands can turn and spring forward
in almost exactly the same way as the siu nim tao (little idea) form when
people perform their double gan sao (cultivating hand) and their lower hand
will spring up to defend against trapping actions. That same mechanic is built
into this ring set.
So to the best of your ability practice the tan da (palm up block) ring
technique with this in mind. Train it slowly and smoothly. Try not to get
frustrated that the ring will force and confine your hands to stay within the
boundaries of your shoulders so that you don’t depart beyond at forty five
degree angle of line facing.
Palm Up Block With Turn
Butterfly Palms
Po pai jeung is practiced in ring position 2 (unpolarized). Begin with both
hands inserted parallel two each other in the ring. If standing with the right
leg forward, make sure the left hand covers on top of the right hand.
This makes sure that the right hand is deployed first and forward, Allowing it
to hook outward in the pao jeung (leopard palm) position. As with all the
JWR sets, each movement of the right or left arm is designed to serve as
back-up for the other at all times. This aspect is most evident in the po pai
jeung (butterfly palm) set but is a function of all.
The standard po pai jeung (butterfly palm) cycle found in most Wing Chun
clans’ Wooden Dummy set and introduces the student to the importance of
palm applications in the system. Po pai jeung (butterfly palm) is a movement
that expresses some of the highest skills of sticking and bridge arm adhesion.
Po pai jeung (butterfly palm) is designed to facilitate fast and flowing
trapping actions that bind the attackers bridge arm as well as skeletal fame
when coupled with the jamming attributes of the Wing Chun stance.
Po pai jeung (butterfly palm) comprises a majority of the palm applications
within the wooden dummy set, within some non-Ip Man branches over sixty
percent of the set is devoted to po pai jeung (butterfly palm). This level of
dual palm training is meant to enhance the coordinated use of the open hand
to deliver greater power to zones in and around the rib cage.
Po pai jeung (butterfly palm) is also meant to prepare the student for the use
of double weapons, in most branches the bot jom do (eight cut knives)
training stage to come. Po pai jeung (butterfly palm) applications highlight
the importance of safe non radial artery contact points when dealing with a
Phoenix Eye Punch
The fong an wan (phoenix eye) set develops center point and circumference
pivot rotation to alternate the application of the fong an choi (phoenix eye
punch) and the wu sao (guarding hand).

This hand is covered extensively later in the book (under “Hand Weapons”
and “Phoenix Eye Fist”), so we’ll just introduce a little extra info here.
The action of forward pressure in the punch may also be used in a chum kiu
(sinking bridge) fashion to suppress the attackers arm and then counter strike.
Keep the bridge arms in front of the body with the elbows down, being
stabilized by gravity (through relaxed trapezius and deltoid muscles) and
manifest what the Chinese call jang dai lik (elbow sinking power).
The method of central pivot rotation is of extreme importance when trying to
dissolve the aggressive pressure of an edged weapon attack. The alternating
and reciprocal application of non-radial contact points is a safety detail of
great benefit in moments when a sudden knife attack requires an instant
deflection that also serves as a strike. The preferred striking surface in the
fong an wan (phoenix eye) aside from the phoenix eye punch itself is the
inner forearm bone or ulna bone and bien choi (heel of the fist) strike.
Prior to the use of gloves in boxing, in the days of bare-knuckle matches,
both fighters’ hands were usually broken (to a greater or lesser extent) by the
second or third round. It is important to strike with the bone support inherent
in the position of the knuckle fold because this affords the best structural
support possible to the most fragile of the bones.
Thrusting Bridge
The biu kiu (thrusting bridge) is a ring set that focuses heavily on the
deployment of cheong kiu jing (long braced bridge power).
Biu kiu (thrusting bridge) contains many bridge arm methods generally seen
in systems like bak mei (White Eyebrow) and South Mantis, however the
JWR imposes the sao fot (hand techniques) calibration of the five pivots too
When practicing the movements make sure the tips of your fingers do not
exceed the height of your eyebrows, nor should they fall below the solar
plexus. The biu kiu (thrusting bridge) exercise should have the following
● The forearms need to maintain a position as parallel as possible to the
● Forearm rotation should be evident throughout the extension of the
Train this movement SLOWLY! The key mental focus is on unyielding
forward penetration driven from the spine rooted through the stance.
Thrusting Bridge Without Turn
Thrusting Bridge With Turn
Barring Arm
This exercise provides a way to train the stance pivot of Wing Chun while
holding the static posture of a double lan sao (barring hand) variation.
The structural detail or a relaxed trapezius muscle and rooted sunken elbows
are keys too uniting the backs spine power to the arms and deploying that
power beyond the body.
Probably the single most important reason to train with the JWR is due to the
point of rotation. In nature any display of power on a grand scale is due to
rotation power (windmills, tornadoes, whirlpools, planetary rotation,
planetary orbit, supernova collapses or expansion etc.) When using the JWR,
the hands, and specifically the wrists, are in constant contact with the inner
circumference of the ring, this causes the arms to rotate around an artificial
pivot point.
When the arms move in this way orbiting around this artificial pivot point
they have greater mass than they would if the axis of rotation ran through the
ulna and radial bone area - as well as greater deflection surface area. Through
the rise and fall of the elbow, the arms generate greater power through the
second most important element (the first being the change in pivot).
Enhanced expansion and contraction of the arms ability to generate power.
This is further amplified through the integrated use of the spine (lifting of
pelvis and rounding of the back’s scapula), this and adding the body’s mass
(through the stance rotation) more than potentially doubles the power
produced. In rare instances power is tripled.
Double fist technique naturally flows out of kwan sao (bubbling hand) and po
pai jeung (butterfly palm).
Rolling Hands
Look sao (rolling hands) is just as its name suggests. However this simple
and overlooked exercise contains many fine points. While developing the
practitioners ability to drill vorticular power down the centerline look sao
(rolling hands) also reinforces the one hundred and thirty five degree
deflection angle of the bridge arm, in conjunction with the transition between
bong sao (wing arm) and tan sao (palm up block) crucial to sticking hands
practice when not with a partner.
Rolling Hands 1
Rolling Hands 2
Linked Hands
Wan sao (linked hands) uses the structures of bong sao (wing arm) and tan
sao (palm up block) in three basic planes of movement to develop greater
power and structure with yin and yang power arcs of pressure.
The Five Basic Planes of Movement are:
● Vertical linear rising tan (palm up) or bong (wing arm) transition.
● Horizontal linear tan (palm up) or bong (wing arm) transition.
● Circular tan (palm up) to bong (wing arm) transition.
● Swallowing tan (palm up) to bong (wing arm) transition.
● Spitting tan (palm up) to bong (wing arm) transition.
Wan sao (linked hands) uniquely focuses on the unification of planes of
bridge arm movement with that of the body’s core torso mass. This
important ring set lays the foundation for the application of duan jing
(short/inch power) much sought after in the martial arts.
To the right a dai kwai jang (lower elbow strike) application from wan sao
(linked hands).
any of these exercises are the same as Sifu Edmund Kwai’s 11 Sup
M Yat Wan (eleven linked sets), but are presented here again to include
extra details and show the complete sets for each Sifu.
Note that the terminology used by Sifu Lee Bing Choi has been converted to
We will cover:
● Kwan Sao - Rotating Hands
● Dai Gum Jeung - Low Pinning Palm
● Dai Jik Choi - Low Straight Punch
● Seung Fong - Double Phoenix Eye
● Bong Lop Da - Wing Arm Grab
● Double Lop Da - Double Grabbing Palms

(above: footwork diagram to be covered later)

Rotating Hands / Kwan Sao

Known within most Wing Chun branches as kwan sao (bubbling hand),
cheun wan (turning loop) was the description given to this ring set by Sifu
Choi. It’s also the first polarized sup yat wan (11 linked sets) from Sifu
Edmond Kwai.
This particular ring set trains the alternating deployment of tan sao (palm up
block) and bong sao (wing arm) both high and low, right and left.
Photos 1-3:
Begin in your yee jee kim yeung ma (character two goat clamping stance) and
rotate toward your left gate while extending the tan sao (palm up block) and
bong sao (wing arm) of the cheun wan (turning loop) ring set.
Photo 4:
Allow the tan sao (palm up block) hand to turn over and descend to dai bong
sao (low wing block). This whirlpool like transition anchors the ballistic
generation of added power within Wing Chun ring training.
Photos 5-6:
Now polarized to the opposite gate, rotate toward your right while extending
the tan sao (palm up block) and bong sao (wing arm) of the cheun wan
(turning loop) ring set.
Low Pinning Palm
The dai gum jeung (low pinning palm) is generally found near the end of the
chum kiu (sinking bridge) form prior to the execution of the tai kuen (raising
punch). This ring set capitalizes heavily on the downward twisting rotation
of the body and stance to drive the palm. Contained within the static
positions of this ring set are the elbow strike of bik jang (jamming elbow) and
jeet kiu (intercepting bridge) as well as a potential arm and neck break to
name just a few.
Photos 1-2:
Begin to rotate your stance toward the left while allowing your lead guard
hand to descend and execute a gum sao (pressing hand) not going below the
Photo 3:
Whirlpool like transition reloads and cycles the hands to the sup jee seung tan
sao (crossed double opening hand) position.
Photos 4-8:
Begin to rotate your stance toward the right while allowing your lead guard
hand to descend and execute a gum sao (pressing hand) not going below the
Repeat steps alternating gates.
Low Straight Punch
Dai jik choi (low straight punch) is the cycled deployment of a jik choi
(straight punch) and wu sao (guarding hand) within the midline gate. This
ring set is much like the lin wan kuen (linked cycling punch) contained within
the whirlpool structure of the ring.
Photos 1-3:
Begin to rotate your stance toward the right while allowing your lead guard
hand from the sup jee seung tan sao (crossed double opening hand) position
to descend and execute a straight jik choi (straight punch) hit.
Photo 4-5:
Whirlpool like transition reloads and cycles the hands to the sup jee seung tan
sao (crossed double opening hand) position.
Photos 6:
Begin to rotate your stance toward the left while allowing your lead guard
hand from the sup jee seung tan sao (crossed double opening hand) position
to descend and execute a straight jik choi (straight punch) hit.
Repeat steps alternating gates.
Double Phoenix Eyes
Seung fong (double phoenix eye) an is the cycled deployment of two phoenix
eye strikes within the mid and low line gates. This ring set is much like the
seung gan sao (double cultivating hand) utilizing a yin and yang power arch
that channels ballistic rotation down the centerline.
The structural foundation of this type of movement pattern is found in the
wooden dummy and biu jee (thrusting fingers) set. Generally thought of as an
emergency or contingency structure it is taught among the gao gup jing sao
(nine emergency hands) of Wing Chun. This particular ring set was Sifu Lee
Bing Choi’s favorite to train, allowing a practitioner to quickly and safely get
very close to an attacker with back-up elbow strikes both high and low.
Photos 1-3:
Begin to rotate your stance toward the right while allowing your arms (while
posing double phoenix eye punches) to extend and arc forward to sheer the
centerline with double phoenix eye punches to strike.
Photo 4:
Whirlpool like transition reloads and cycles the hands.
Photos 5-6:
Begin to rotate your stance toward the left while allowing your arms (while
posing double phoenix eye punches) to extend and arc forward to sheer the
centerline with double phoenix eye punches to strike.
Repeat steps alternating gates.
Wing Arm Grab
The three count technique of bong lop da (wing arm / grab drill) is a standard
technique and lap sao (grabbing hand) action found in every Wing Chun

This movement effectively deploys a bong sao (wing arm) deflection and
bone shield, a lap sao (grabbing hand) deflect and detain movement from wu
sao (guarding hand) and a counter punch using the front flat of a fist or the
hammer edge known as bien choi (heel of the fist).
Because most familiar with Wing Chun are already versed in this movement
it will not be described in detail here.
Double Grasping Palms
The double grasping palms represents an un-polarized ring set that combines
the vice like power of two lap sao (grabbing hand) actions and two spade
palm strikes.
This was considered a variation on the sot jeung (killing palm). Called the
cow (the female domesticated ox), because the only real martial skills
associated with a cow is the grip of it’s mouth and the mass of it’s body. It is
by no means a flashy technique but it is very effective.
he personal practice of bamboo ring material differs notably between
T my two JWR teachers in the following way.

Although both taught me the training syllabus of the sup yat wan (eleven
linked sets), Sifu Choi trained an additional and personal set of exercises
using an tin wan (iron ring). Not to be confused with iron or brass forearm
rings, this is a heavy JWR. All exercises here use a six pound ring (approx
At the time I trained under Sifu Choi, he would practice with a one pound
steel ring, however I was told in his youth he trained with rings as heavy as
eight pounds and up to thirteen inches. Aside from his love of the martial arts
Sifu Choi was a fanatical mah jong player, often practicing with his ring in
between games. My teacher Edmund Kwai would jokingly call these times
mah jong. Whether eating, training martial arts, or mah jong, over the years I
rarely saw him without his iron ring.
My study of Wing Chun under Sifus Lee Bing Choi and Edmund Kwai were
the only ones to ever cover or advocate the seated training of Wing Chun
methods. Over the years I always expected other instructors and practitioners
to mention this method of practice but to date I have found none.

When Sifu Choi taught this method he would describe the spacial area around
the centerline plane as an analog of a baseball diamond.
He stated that a line running from your right hip to your right knee delineated
home base to first base. A corresponding line from left hip to left knee was,
home base to third base.
Your centerline plane from your nose to crotch extending out to infinity,
denoting home base to second base. Each bridge arm like a guard dog was to
defend it’s yard, left arm staying in the left yard and vice versa.
Sifu Choi explained that this dimension of training grew from the days when
martial arts were practiced aboard boats within the rivers and coastal regions
of China.

Seated, Weighted Ring Exercises:

1. Look Sao (rolling hands) - to build up strength.
2. Huen Wan Ging (circle ring energy) - a spring tension exercise.
3. Seung Gan Sao (double cultivating hand)
Look Sao
Look Sao (rolling hands): The following photos demonstrate the use of a
large six pound ring to train look sao (rolling hands). This practice is initially
meant to build up strength in the practitioner’s rolling arms cycle. Over time
to become accustomed to large heavy pressure from large training partners.
The heavier ring can heighten the awareness of vorticular oscillating pressure
in the rolling arms cycle.
Spring Tension Energy
Huen Wan Jing (circle ring energy): The photos here demonstrate the use of
a large six pound ring to practice a spring tension exercise called huen wan
jing (circle ring energy).
Seated Gan Sao
Seung Gan Sao (seated bubbling hands): The photos below demonstrate the
use of a large six pound ring to train seung gan sao (double bubbling hands).
Brass / Iron Forearm Rings
When opportunity and financial fortune smiles, it is highly recommended to
invest in a traditional set of brass forearm rings.
Generally a full set is ten rings (five for each forearm) in most martial
systems. This style of simple training aid provides a dynamic form of weight
resistance that doesn’t allow a practitioners training results to plateau and
then taper off over time.
This is due to the fact that each ring moves independently of the other in all
three vector planes of space as well as laterally up and down the forearm.
This provides a training workout that forces the practitioners body to
constantly adjust to the rings ever changing position during movements. This
constantly shifting load of weight creates perpetual muscle confusion, as well
as a higher caloric expenditure while the body constantly works to stabilize
movement while training.
An economic alternative for those who can not afford or find a traditional
brass ring, is to use hardware grade heavy chain. Simply purchase a length of
chain equal in length to your forearm from elbow to wrist or from fingertips
to shoulder. Loop the chain with a carabiner clip, wire, cord or other method
and then wrap the chain round your arm allowing the bundle to hang nearest
your elbow.
Another configuration is to use a very long length of looped chain. This
longer and thus heavier segment is wrapped figure eight style around both
arm, creating more dynamic resistance during practice. With regard to brass
ring training it is considered more advanced and taxing to a practitioner’s
training to move as slowly as possible so that the rings are silent and do not
chime as they move along the arm. It is often told to students that an
instructor is able to pick out of a group a student who is incorrectly training a
movement based upon the sound the rings make. In reality it is the student
who is able to train with the rings silently who requires no correction.

e will cover exercises for the weighted rolling pole and weighted pipe
W here, as well as construction of these devices.

Pipe Construction
First, here are two poles/pipes to construct. The “Rolling Pole” and the
“Weighted Pipe” - they are basically the same thing, the pole is just longer
(enough to sit across both of your arms).

A weight pipe or rolling bar is a type of training device used within the
Chinese martial arts. This type of training device provides a level of
interactive resistance training that strengthens and refines many fundamental
movements and power generating mechanics crucial to Chinese kung fu.
This simple and remarkable training device is normally found within the
southern boxing traditions, but was first introduced to me through I Chuan
(intention boxing).
This device is generally made for a student by the instructor but an item as
simple as a stick, staff or pole may be substituted. In the past a rolling pole
was made of bamboo or a hollowed section of wood, filled with small rocks,
sand or water for resistance.
The illustration shows a cut away so you can see the resistance material
within. The purpose of a resistance material such as small stones, sand,
copper/zinc BBs or water is not only to add an element of interactivity but to
fine tune small muscle movements generally suppressed my major muscle
For ease of construction and low cost:
1. Begin by purchasing the following materials:
a. A piece of PVC pipe.
i. Roughly the length of your forearm for the weighted pipe, and
maybe 1.5-2x that for the pole.
ii. Roughly no more than 3 fingers in width.
b. Two PVC end caps to fit your pipe.
c. A can of PVC adhesive sealing glue.
d. A package of zinc or copper BBs from a sporting goods store.
Small stones and sand can also be used.
2. Start construction by sealing one end of your PVC pipe with one of
the two end caps and adhesive sealing glue.
3. Next, fill only half your pipe with the BBs (sand or small stones).
4. Finally, seal the open end of the pipe with the remaining end cap and
allow the device to rest for thirty minutes to ensure the PVC adhesive
has had time to set.
The size/length and weight of pipe may be increased for greater resistance.

Rolling Pole Exercises

With the Rolling Pole, we will train:
1. Forward Extension
2. Rise and Fall Extension
3. Forward Ballistic Rotation
Train the exercises presented with attention to position and a steady smooth
pace. Avoid rapid sudden movements as the shifting resistance of the weight
medium can make control difficult.
Forward Extension
The first rolling pole exercise trains forward penetrating extension. Begin
standing in a stance slightly wider than shoulder width. Place the roller pole
evenly balanced across your forearms. The position of your palms
throughout the whole of exercise two is with the palms facing each other as if
holding a loaf of bread between them.
Begin by slowly and smoothly extending your arms forward so that the roller
contours the length of your forearms from wrist to elbow bend. As you
extend your arms forward they will rise slightly, the main detail is to keep the
forearms as parallel as possible to the ground, so that the interaction of roller
pole and extending bridge arms is a smooth and seamless dovetail of
The mind intent is on the smooth forward extension of the arms supported by
the back and elbows converging near the centerline plane. Breathing should
be calm and natural as you focus your awareness on the expansion and
contraction of the body’s frame during the movement.

Rise And Fall Extension

The second rolling pole exercise trains rise and fall arm extension. Begin as
in exercise one, place the roller pole evenly balanced across your forearms.
The position of your palms throughout the whole of exercise two is with the
palms facing down as if holding a cup of hot coffee and trying not to spill it.
Begin by slowly and smoothly extending your arms forward. As they rise
slightly focus and point with the wrists as the palms flex slightly downward.
Again, the main detail is to keep the forearms as parallel as possible to the
ground as the roller pole evenly moves over the forearms.
The focus should be on the rhythmic cycle of the rise and fall of the hands
and wrists in contrast to the movement of the roller as it moves in the
opposite direction heightening an awareness of contradictory forces.

This movement is known in I Chuan (intention boxing) as “turtle emerges

from the sea” cycle and over time may be practiced with the appropriate
footwork from that exercise.
However, far more important is the initiation of slight, slow movement that
acts on the roller pole in small increments to maintain a flow of movement
that is not abrupt.

Persistent practice of these exercises refines and heightens an awareness of

the spacial boundaries of the “four corners”.
The “four corners” represent the boundary areas of the shoulders and hips
forming a box that extends out in three-dimensional space. It is this area, not
exceeding the height of the eyebrows or falling below the waist, is the area
your arms must dominate in a fight.

Forward Ballistic Rotation

The third rolling pole exercise trains forward ballistic rotation. Begin as in
exercises one and two with roller pole across the forearms. Your hands
should be palm up not exceeding the width of your shoulders. Begin by
slowly and smoothly extending your arms forward, transitioning the palms to
a position where each palm faces each other and fingers point forward as in
exercise one. Your movement should continue uninterrupted in extension
with the palms ending palm down.
With this exercise you should become aware of artificial point of rotation axis
extending from your shoulder out to the outside of your palms. Your arms
should orbit around this pivot axis contouring it as if it were a physical object
like a tapered nose cone under your arm pointing outward.

Persistent practice with the roller will develop a vorticular forward coiling
power in your bridge arm when it is extended. As indicated above each
segment of the arm expresses a unique diameter of axial rotation like the
various gear segments of a bike. These axial rotation segments allow the user
to apply greater and greater levels of displacement power that bores through
the attacker. When all axial rotation segments plus body mass are discharged
together at one moment bursting inch-power is released, like that of a drilling
domino chain that tears through the attackers structure. As indicated below
each segment of the arm expresses a unique weight displacement ratio as
well. Each of these weight segments especially the elbow and body mass
discharge great power when united with gravities pull through relaxed sung
(settled) body structure.
Weighted Pipe Exercises
There is one basic exercise to train here - “Wringing the Pipe”, but you need
to do it to the left, right and center.
Pipe Wringing Left Side
Begin first by holding the weight pipe with both hands palm down. Take your
right hand and wring the end of the weight pipe inward toward your left
armpit. This action is similar to that of wringing water out of a wet towel.
Next, as in photo 3, allow your hand to ascend and carry the weight pipe up
the centerline and outward to its original position in photo 6 as it was in
photo 1. Repeat for at least ten cycles, alternating between right and left
Pipe Wringing Right Side
Begin first by holding the weight pipe with both hands palm down. Take your
left hand and wring the end of the weight pipe inward toward your right
armpit. This action is similar to that of wringing water out of a wet towel.
Next, as in photo 3, allow your left hand to ascend and carry the weight pipe
up the centerline and outward to its original position in photo 6 as it was in
photo 1. Repeat for at least ten cycles, alternating between right and left
Centerline Wringing
This exercise is
identical to the
previous exercise
cycle, with a slight
Rather than
cycling the weight
pipe between the
right and left sides
of the centerline
you are now to try
and keep the
weight pipe
cycling directly on
the centerline.
Repeat ten times,
or as often as you

S ifu Choi was very

fond of various
types of training
weight and exercise
methods. One type
of very ancient
training weight he
used is called an
Indian club. This
bowling pin shaped
weight is believed to
originate in India
but is found in many
other cultures as
For Wing Chun, the clubs help strengthen the motions we use with the bot
jam do (butterfly swords). The exercises will reference these sword motions.
Butterfly Sword / Weighted Club Exercises:
1. Circling (Huen)
2. Thrusting (Biu)
3. Dispersing (Tan)
4. Sweeping (Gwat)
5. Cultivating (Gan)
6. Golden Scissors
High Quality Wing Chun Butterfly Swords from MasterPath and Everything Wing Chun

Weighted Club / Butterfly Sword Exercises

The circling knives movement is an excellent starting point as it strengthens
the wrists and enhances the flexible range of movement wielding the bot jom
do (eight cut knives).
Photos 1-3:
Begin by allowing the weight of the clubs to sink downward and outward on
the right and left sides of the centerline plane.
Photo 4-6:
The resulting downward momentum will then cause the rise of each club to
ascend and move forward past the region of the neck and cut forward on the
centerline plane.
Repeat steps alternating gates.
The thrusting knife exercise trains the stabilization of the elbow and the
smooth deployment of forward penetrating force. Introducing a practitioner
to the clubs prior to the knives ensures stability in movement as an individual
becomes accustomed to the techniques prior to the bot jom do (eight cut
Photos 1-8:
Due to the simplicity of the biu do (thrusting knife) and all biu jee (thrusting
fingers) related movements, a detailed explanation will not be given. Please
follow the photo sequence.
The tan do (palm up) knife exercise utilizes a tan kiu (palm up bridge)
deflection to clear the centerline and strike.
Photos 1-3:
Begin to rotate your stance toward the left while executing a tan sao (palm up
hand) movement with the club clearing the centerline. With the opposite club
strike forward on the centerline.
Photos 4-6:
Transition to the right and repeat steps alternating gates.
Because the movements of seung gan sao (double cultivating hands) are
known by most Wing Chun practitioners a detailed description will not be
covered. You already practiced the gan (bubbling) movements with the rings.
Now practice with the clubs.
Because the movements of seung kwan sao (cultivating hands) are known by
most Wing Chun practitioners and was taught in the rings section, a detailed
description will not be covered.
Golden Scissor
This exercise applies weight training for the core bridge mechanism of
southern Hakka Mantis. This movement pattern follows the structural
template of the southern Mantis form som bo jin (three step arrow).
Photos 1 and 2:
Begin in a rooted stance, gradually raise the clubs up the centerline of the
body from navel to sternum height.
Photos 3 and 4:
Once the clubs rise to the height of the throat begin by twisting the forearms
outward, rotating the clubs forward.
Photos 5 and 6:
As the clubs extend beyond the ears and head extend the arms out laterally
and hold for at least ten seconds.
Repeat the movement sequences as many times as you wish at a smooth and
even pace.

ncluded in this book are some of the various training aids and dummies
I that Sifu’s Choi and Kwai exposed me to. Sifu Kwai’s home in particular
was littered with training equipment, weights and jong (post) style
Having trained in the martial arts for over 30 years I have owned and made a
number of training devices. These training aids follow traditional designs, as
well as more modern variations, yet all are based on the form and structure of
a jong (post). The term jong is a Cantonese word meaning “post” and is
meant to represent the vertical cylindrical structure of the human frame. The
following are examples of basic training aids that are easy to construct and
that are very effective partner supplements.

Bamboo Jong
Bamboo jong (post): This training aid is the most flexible and plyometric of
those presented. It is composed of a steel plate base with a metal sleeve
welded to it. This design allows a practitioner to insert a length of bamboo
into the anchored sleeve to act as a striking target. Many Southern kung fu
systems also train dynamic forms of bridge arm conditioning on such a jong
(post) to further augment their respective power development.
The illustration to the right shows a design comprised of a section of
galvanized electrical conduit covered by a sleeve of plumbing pipe.
The sleeve-covered shaft provides two forms of extra interaction aside from
the flexible yielding of this design. Contact pressure applied can cause the
sleeve to rise and fall as well as to rotate, forcing the practitioner to refine the
amount of pressure applied during training.
The outer plastic sleeve permits the striking surface to both rise and fall,
rotate right and left.

Millstone Jong
Millstone jong (post): This training aid, also known as stone jong (post) and
Jade Collar jong, is the oldest form of contrived portable and weighted jong.
Originally anchored with a heavy stone collar at the base, this design affords
greater resistance as well as a two training additions. First, the stone base is
often made semi convex, this causes the jong (post) to arc and wobble
slightly when struck, adding to the need to adjust and interact spatially with
the device during training.
Second, the thick height of the base is used as a kicking target that can also
serve to teach placement for foot trapping. The Illustration to the left shows a
design of mine that uses a car axle and wheel rim.
Thick outer padding permits safer iron palm strike training. Simulate multiple
attackers for footwork development with multiple jongs (posts) clustered

Pole Jong
This training aid is a more firm and rigid version of the bamboo jong (post).
This design allows a practitioner to train both empty hand and weapon
applications side by side.
With both types of jong, the base is anchored using Olympic barbell weights.
This allows the practitioner to adjust the level of resistance, as the continued
increase in the practitioner’s power will move and displace this device.
Many southern kung fu systems also train dynamic forms of bridge arm
conditioning on such a jong (post) to further augment their respective power

Spring Pole Jong

An invaluable training aid that can be built dirt cheap is the fan gwan jong
(spring pole dummy). Made to replicate the vertical structure and spring
tension resistance of bamboo, a spring pole dummy provides a fantastic
supplement to two person training that can greatly develop power and
sticking coordination.
Simply attach an eye bolt to the ends of a wooden pole, next attach three
additional eye bolts (two at the bottom of a door frame and one to the
ceiling). Attach short bungee cords to the ends to link the tension - or attach
bungee cords to the ends of the pole and hang it up. The pole and bungee
length can be changed to fit your available space. Practice any of the
exercises presented here to add another dimension to your martial training.

Tire Jong
This training aid is most often used by practitioners of extreme iron palm,
and those who train in the Filipino martial arts.
The suspended tire girdle provides a very mobile and ever adjusting target to
strike, requiring greater control and accuracy.
All jongs (posts) may be configured in various patterns and numbers to
heighten and refine footwork development as is the case within the system of
Baguazhang (eight trigram palm).

Beggar’s Jong

Over the years I have often been asked about alternative training aids, so I
wanted to add this design to the line-up of jongs (posts). Most martial artists
are familiar with the mook yan jong (wooden man dummy) of Wing Chun.
There are, however, many other types and configurations of wooden man
dummies worth exploring.
This type of training dummy is modeled after a Choy Lee Fut dummy.

Constructed of PVC pipe and bungee cord, this design is considered by some
to be a very affordable junk yard dog alternative. A traditional wooden
dummy is a privilege to own, but they are undeniably an investment, and
until one is ready to make that worthwhile investment this a affordable stunt
double that is ready to train.
Bungee cords attached to wooden arms and anchored to the PVC trunk by
eye bolts. This creates spring resistance in the arms to augment sticking and
power development.

Other Jongs & Mantis Jong

The term jong (post) refers to a training tool used the world over in every
culture. Wooden posts are used by almost every system of Chinese gung fu
as a training tool representing a human cylindrical frame, this allows a
martial artist to train ma gung (footwork skill), sao fot (hand techniques), and
depending on the style of mount (floating or buried in the ground), jing fot
(power discharge techniques).
A smooth finished or rough outdoor jong (post) is the most common type of
training jong (post) used, systems such as Baguazhang (eight trigram palm),
Tong Beiquan, Pigua, Baji as well as many other systems.
The moi fa jong (five plum blossom post) is so named because smaller jongs
(posts) planted in the ground at an average of knee level height are grouped
in a pattern of five resembling a plum blossom petal, this jong (post) method
is used most often for training footwork and balance in systems such as
northern Praying Mantis and styles of chang chuan (long fist).
The sam sing gerk jong (three star kicking post) is most often used in the
system of Wing Chun as a method of refining footwork, kicking, speed and
timing. Wing chun is also famous for its use of the mook yan jong (wooden
man dummy) which is a jong (post) configured to more closely resemble the
structure of a combatant.

The Mantis som dim jong (three point post) allows the southern mantis
practitioner to train and refine a multitude of kung fu skills, from gan geep
jing (sticking power) to bik jing (pressing power) to gak jing (shocking
power). The upcoming illustration gives a structural break down of the
various striking surfaces found on the Mantis jong (post). When facing the
dummy a practitioner can train the ping shu (flicking techniques) or fic shu
(poking techniques) hand strike to the left or right posts marked as #1 and
#2. The roller bar marked by #4 permits the smooth application of forward
pressure within the gop shu (vice bridge) and jik shu (straight hand) motions.
Combinations of post #1 and #3 or #1 and #2 can express chok shu (reflection
hand) and jik choi (straight punch) punch combinations as well as gwat da
(sweeping punch) strikes at the low line. Target #5 as well as #1 and #2 are
excellent for mantis kicks which are always meant for low line attacks.
One of the most interesting dummies in Sifu Choi’s collection was his
southern mantis mor kiu jong (grinding bridge post). This dummy is meant
to simulate the vertically standing bamboo found in the various bamboo
forests of China.
A very wide range of bridge arm pressure and jing (energies) can be
developed, as well as multi directional striking. This aspect of multi
directional striking is at the heart of Hakka boxing's ability to strike from
several directions without retracting the practitioners bridge arm. This aspect
of training embodies advanced isometric tension.
The dummy anatomy is the following...
1. Support post, left striking target.
2. Support post, right striking target
3. Centerline striking target
4. Mid-line rubbing bridge roller bar
5. Low-line kicking bar
6. Weighted post
7. High-line rubbing bridge roller bar

Many different combinations are trained with the Mantis jong (post), for
example when posing chok shu (reflection hand) the backs of both hands can
hook and pull the dummy frame forward. Sai shu (perching arm) may be used
to jolt the dummy to the right or left to aid punching or kicking attacks.
Combinations of rising wrist strikes and falling heel slaps of bao jeung
(protection palm) may be applied to both high and low roller arm targets. The
diagram below illustrates how targets to the right, left and front are
positioned in relation to the Mantis boxer.
This type of training was extrapolated from the isometric tension exercises
practiced on live bamboo growing in dense groves throughout southern
China. This level of training encourages the free flow of application coupled
with the firm application of power to provide greater realism in application
for the practitioner.
About Gwan (Chinese Staff/Poles)
Throughout the history of mankind, weapons have taken on every
conceivable size, shape, and configuration based on effective function in
combat. This is even more the case in cultures and circumstances that require
the instant use of improvised weapons. The Chinese martial arts are famous
for their successful implementation of unusual and exotic types of weapons
all along the spectrum from large to small.
Staff weapons within the Chinese martial arts are known generally as gwan
(staff/pole). Gwan (staff/pole) encompass spears, long poles, and staffs,
generally made of bare wood, bamboo, or metal and range in length from six
to thirteen feet. Gwan (staff/pole) are also martially adorned with edged metal
appointments from sharp tips to axe blades to short sword blades.
Gwan (staff/pole) can also be shorter staff-like weapons and are most often
used in a civilian domain. Far too short to be effective on the battlefield,
gwan (staff/pole) are most often used as self-defense weapons in everyday
settings. The general lengths for a gwan (staff/pole) style club are between
two to three feet, often custom measured for the user. Individuals generally
determine the ideal length for their personal weapon as the distance from
floor to crotch, from nose to tip of finger, or from floor to solar plexus.

The primary criteria, aside from available length of material, is that the club
length not exceed the grip width of the hands. The Chinese word gwan
(staff/pole) can refer to a short staff weapon used in Chinese martial arts. It is
known as one of the four major weapons, along with the qiang (spear), dao
(saber), and the jian (sword). All are collectively known as “The Grandfather
The gwan (staff/pole), and its longer counterparts, is sometimes tapered at
one end. This configuration, with one thick end as the base and a thinner end
near the tip, is sometimes capped with metal or a sharp point. Besides the
standard gwan (staff/pole), there are also types that are flail-like, with two-
and three-section varieties of the staff. Modern staves are often made from
wood, wax wood, graphite, plastic composite, or rattan, all of which are
strong, flexible, and lightweight.

The Opium Pipe

This material comes from the late Sifu Edmund Kwai, and was taught to me
in the late 1980s as part of his mainland Wing Chun instruction. This weapon
method is called opium pipe club due to the short length of the weapon and
the signature grip one uses when striking with it. Opium pipes generally
range in length from six inches to two and a half feet and, in rare cases, as
long as three feet.
Beggar smoking: a close up of the signature grip of the opium pipe club. The
grip is similar in appearance to an opium pipe being smoked.
Lantern carrying stance: This stance replicates the position of holding a
lantern to see ahead. It is used as an active guard posture in combat and, as
the name implies, is meant to show the way to the attacker’s defeat. The
weight distribution is sixty percent on the front leg and forty percent on the
back leg.
Beggar smoking stance: This stance replicates the position of smoking from
an opium pipe. It is the primary power discharging posture in combat. The act
of striking from this stance is equated to exhaling the attacker like opium
smoke. The weight distribution transitions between sixty percent on the front
leg and forty percent on the back leg and the inverse.

Monk sweeping stance: This stance is a defensive position used to bait and
displace attacks. Shown here in a sixty-forty back to front weight stance, it is
most often paired and posed in a rear leg weighted cat (90% of weight on
back leg - not pictured here) or single leg dok lop ma (solitary stance).

Dead stance or ghost judge stance: This stance is a “neutral/dead”

unpolarized ready position. It is called the ghost judge stance, symbolically
representing an emissary of the underworld ready to collect the dead in
preparation for judgment. The weight distribution is fifty-fifty.

Other Footwork: Related Wing Chun footwork that we will use in the
technique section later on.

When the opium pipe staff was taught to me, techniques were grouped in to
three descriptive categories. These categories were called Beggar, Monk, and
Ghost Judge based upon the way the staff was held and wielded. Within all
three are the following strikes:
● biu gwan (thrusting pole)
● lan gwan (obstructing / barring pole)
● gwat gwan (sweeping pole)
● cao gwan (plucking pole)
● cheh gwan (scrapping pole)
● ding gwan (butting pole)
Each category has five basic prearranged striking patterns or tactics to aid in
configuring and imparting the method tactics to a practitioner. Aside from the
abundance of striking techniques within the opium staff method, body
trapping is also a fundamental skill. The applications presented in this book
all attempt to highlight the importance of three body trapping methods. The
most important of the three is always to try to place a trapping leg on the
outside of the opponent’s lead leg.
The reason this tactic is so supremely important is that it instantly causes the
attacker to fold and bind his own stance structure in order to defend himself.
When successfully applied, this affords the user a strategic position of
dominance that makes striking flow into body trapping positions that is very
difficult to defend against. Due to the double yin hand grip position used in
the opium pipe method, a standard pivot point is established in the middle of
the staff between the hand grips. This simple detail reduces defensive combat
tactics to gross motor movement skills that are easy to implement during the
duress of combat.

Target Zones
The diagram below is presented as a quick visual target reference relating to
the three primary attacking forms of Beggar, Monk, and Ghost Judge. Each
of the three encompasses a general angle category of striking. Naturally,
however, in combat any and all methods and angles are brought to bear on
the attacker.
Beggar zone (Heaven gate):
Targets within this region relate to the act of smoking the pipe and are
classified as Beggar. The throat, neck, lungs, collar bone, and eyes are the
targets associated with this target zone. (Downward oblique strikes and
forward thrusts).
Monk zone (Man gate):
Targets within this region relate to man’s connection to the Universe through
the dan tien (energy center). The targets surrounding the centralized region of
the dan tien (energy center), especially the mid torso are considered as
relating to Monk attacks. (Horizontal and upward oblique strikes).
Ghost Judge zone (Earth gate):
Targets within this region relate to mobility (life) and immobility (death). The
legs from foot to, shin , knee to upper thigh and groin are the. Aside from
strikes leg locks, sweeps and foot trapping are methods taught within the
Ghost judge level. (Upward oblique and butting strikes).

Attacking Motions
Beggar Attacks
● Beggar exhales smoke: This attack is the core thrusting strike, deployed
high, medium, and low. Target: Throat, solar plexus, and groin
● Beggar plays lute: This attack is a downward diagonal strike executed
from the lead side over the lead shoulder. Target: Collar bone
● Beggar thrashing grass: This attack is a forward thrust and downward
chopping strike executed from the lead side over the lead shoulder.
Target: Back of skull, neck, and occipital bone.
● Beggar takes coins: This is a weapon retention chin na (joint locking)
technique grinding the weapon edge against the attacker’s wrist.
● Beggar carries pole: This is a surprise attack very much like a arnis/kali
abaniko to the neck or skull. Executed as a backhanded wrist flexion as
the practitioner looks away. Target: Side of skull, neck and jaw bone.
Monk Attacks
● Monk sweeps leaves: This attack is a low oblique strike to the
attacker’s lower abdomen or inner thigh.
● Monk’s recitation: This attack is a choke using the club and forearm
to vise the attacker’s throat.
● Monk holds the scroll/sutras: This attack applies the area of the staff
between the grips to slam down on exposed bony parts. Targets: collar
bone, knees, skull, jaw, etc.
● Begging monk: This attack is a grinding tug applied to the attacker’s
arm, shoulder, neck, or leg.
● Praying monk burns incense: This attack is a sudden pounding of the
sternum or belly with the vertical shaft of the staff and a simultaneous
upward thrust to the throat with the end.
Ghost Judge Attacks
● Ghost judge dots with brush: This attack is a sudden butting strike to
the kidneys with either end of the weapon.
● Ghost judge dots with brush (variation): This attack is a sudden
butting strike to the top of the foot with either end of the weapon.
● Ghost judge shakes heaven: This attack is a butting strike to the knee
or thigh with either end of the weapon.
● Red seal stamp: This attack is a butting strike to the groin or inguinal
crease of the hip socket with either end of the weapon.
● Ghost judge kow tow (bow): This attack is a kneeing strike to the
attacker’s instep from a crouch, combined with a thigh press using the
surface area of the club between the hands/grips.
● Ghost judge reaps souls gwai gwan (ghost staff) - Hooking

Strikes/Attacks Shown:
The following attacks from the above list are shown on the following pages:
● Beggar exhales smoke
● Beggar plays lute
● Beggar thrashing grass
● Monk sweeps leaves
● Ghost judge reaps souls
The 19 applications following the attacks section do contain many of these
techniques - see if you can figure them out. For example, technique 5 is a
variation on “beggar takes coins”. However not all of the above attacks are
Beggar Exhales Smoke (Middle Gate)
This attack is comprised of biu gwan (thrusting pole).
Target: Throat, solar plexus, and groin (High, Middle, Low)
Beggar Exhales Smoke (High Gate Attack)
Beggar Exhales Smoke (Low Gate Attack)
Beggar Plays Lute
This attack is a downward diagonal strike executed from the lead side over
the lead shoulder.
Target: Collar bone or Head
1-3 Open Stance striking the left. 4-6 Closed Stance striking the right.
Beggar Thrashes Grass
This attack is a forward thrust and downward chopping strike executed from
the lead side over the lead shoulder.
Target: Back of skull, neck, and occipital bone.
Grip Details:

Monk Sweeps Leaves (Open Stance)

This attack is a low oblique strike to the attacker’s lower abdomen or inner
Monk Sweeps Leaves (Closed Stance)
Ghost Judge Reaps Souls (Open Stance)
Hooking Application: gwai gwan (ghost staff)
Ghost Judge Reap Souls (Closed Stance)
Hooking Application: kao gwan (plucking/hooking pole)
Main Blocks:
Lantern Carry Block
Lantern carry block can be performed on the left or right side and is the
primary lateral deflection of the opium pipe staff. As shown below in a drill it
can be performed against alternating left and right punches.

Barring Block
Lan gwan (obstructing/barring block) is the primary bracing deflection of the
opium pipe staff.
Almost all of the techniques/applications on the following pages are based on
the Lantern Carry Block, unless otherwise noted.

Technique #1
Inside gate lantern carry block vs left punch.
Technique #2
Outside gate lantern carry block vs left punch.
Defender on the left deflects a left punch to the outside with the lantern carry
block. The defender then slides the staff for- ward to hook the neck of the
attacker. The attacker is pulled forward and then toppled with the placement
of a inner leg sweep.
Technique #3 - (#2 with slight variation)
Outside gate lantern carry block vs left punch.
Technique #4 - Evade and Strike
Defender on the right evades a right lead lunge punch. Defender then strikes
the rib area of the attacker with the butt end of the staff. The defender next
slides forward to trap and then displace the attacker with an inner leg sweep
and kidney strike with the staff butt end.
Technique #5- Beggar takes coins
Defender on the right is seized at the wrist by the attacker. The defender, with
staff in hand, rotates his hand palm up at the wrist. This reverses the torqued
wrist pressure back to the attacker. This pressure is then sealed to the
attacker’s wrist by applying the staff edge to the top of his wrist in a painful
wrist lock, made complete by having the defender grip the staff with both
Close Up Detail:
Technique #6 -Variation of beggar takes coins.
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #7
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #8 - Outside Lantern carry block - Open Stance
This technique’s sequence is identical except for the stage of initiation.
Defender on the right begins with his right leg forward in relation to the
attacker’s left leg lead. This position is generally known as a open stance
relation and is the worst position for the attacker. This is highlighted in the
final photo (number four) as the attacker is placed in the best and preferred
leg trap position.
Technique #9 - Outside Lantern carry block - Closed
This technique’s sequence is identical except for the stage of initiation.
Defender on the right begins with his left leg forward in relation to the
attacker’s left leg lead. This position is generally known as a closed stance
relation. The defender only needs to take one step forward and the attacker is
placed in the best and preferred leg trap position.
Technique #10
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #11
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #12
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #13
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #14
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #15
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #16
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #17
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #18
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
Technique #19
Self-explanatory technique sequence.
here are a number of specialized striking fists used in kung fu
T specifically in the application of duan jing (short power). These fists are
used by many systems throughout China, south east Asian, the
Indonesian archipelago, Japan and Philippines.
Some of the most well know strikes within kung fu are:
● fong an choi (phoenix eye or peacock eye fist)
● ger nah choi (ginger fist)
● jieu cham choi (pig’s heart fist)
● lop choi (vertical standing fist)
● ping choi (horizontal fist)
● lao yip jeung (willow leaf palm)
● pao choi (leopard fist)
It is important to strike with the bone support inherent in the position of the
knuckle fold because this affords the best structural support possible to the
most fragile of the bones. Whether training with the aid of dit da (fall / hit
wine) medicine or not, one should use care in all martial practices.
An important element of short power training, which is rarely pointed out, is
that the training methods develop the awareness and use of the humerus
bone-lever. Rather than initiating movement from the forearm which
produces segmented power relying on brute force, the humerus bone, in
conjunction with the body’s mass, provides structural support for arm
Striking paper, foam core board or a piece of cardboard is by far the safest
and naturally the cheapest method for training to be accurate with these
specialized striking fists.
Apply various configurations of dots to the paper/cardboard and practice
striking without disturbing or tearing the whole target, striving to pierce with
a small point. An excellent and equally affordable target is a shower curtain.
These specialized striking fists provide an extremely effective technique
when applied to pressure points and delicate areas of the body such as the
throat, temple, and armpits also on sensitive exposed areas such as the ribs,
solar plexus and kidneys. This type of strike is effective because all the
momentum and power of the strike is focused in a small area of a single
The syllabus of system forms should keep the bridge arms in front of the
body with the elbows down, being stabilized by gravity (through relaxed
trapezius and deltoid muscles) and manifest jang dai lik (elbow sinking
The punch should first be executed from a distance of no longer than twelve
inches (from start to finish) and then over time cover a shorter and shorter
distance to the target, training down to an inch or less.
The punch should not be executed in conjunction with long or wide bridging
steps, simply because this is a close-quarter strike and is meant to be used
with footwork that makes adjustments within inches of the attacker.
It is advisable not to strike a heavy bag, with any specialized knuckle fist or
to do so on a wooden dummy for obvious reasons.
Training with any specialized knuckle fist adds a powerful element to close-
quarter self-defense that does take time to cultivate, but is well worth the
effort, regardless of what system or branch an individual studies.

Phoenix Eye Fist

There are several facets of this compact and close-quarter striking method
that make it an effective favorite strike in kung fu. The fist, which is formed
by sequentially closing the fingers into a fist beginning with the little finger,
on up to the middle, and then folding the index finger back upon the support
of the thumb.
The phoenix eye fist affords the user several unique options in the choice of
striking surfaces.
1. Striking with the frontal face of the index finger.
2. Striking with the back face of the index finger.
3. Striking with the frontal face of the fist.
4. Striking with the nail or knuckle of the thumb. Gouging the eye is the
easiest with the thumb, the strongest digit.
5. The bien choi (whip punch with heel of the fist) surface and pek choi
(hammer fist strike) falls under the umbrella of gao choi (thunder
6. The gwa choi (back hand punch) surface also falls under the umbrella of
gao choi (thunder punch).
It is important to note that one should refrain from striking with the very tip
of the phoenix eye fist. Initially, this sounds unavoidable and incorrect, but
striking with the tip of the fist is very hard on the joint.
Palm Loads
This ingenious and deceptively simple weapon represents the ultimate and
most basic form of improvised weapons. Ranging from the purposely
fashioned to the humbly mundane and domestic, palm loads may be made
from anything. The tradition and martial application of the palm load can be
found in almost every culture and are known by the following names:
● Chinese Martial Arts: jao ruen gwan (old man club)
● Japanese Martial Arts: yawara
● Filipino Martial Arts: tabaki malit and olisi palad
● Indonesian Martial Arts: tongkaht

The details that define a palm load weapon are that the object is generally
cylindrical; is long enough that the length extends a few centimeters or so at
either end of a closed fist; and that it is used for striking. The palm load has
the added benefit of reinforcing the structural support of a striking hand, and
if held with a length extending beyond the little finger end of the hand it may
be used to hook, guide, scoop, and manipulate an attacker, augmenting the
dexterity of the hand. Within the Chinese traditions of the lao ruen gwan (old
man pole), a lanyard is attached to one end of the weapon and the other is
looped round the wrist. This allows the user to conceal the palm load up their
sleeve and use it as a blackjack bludgeoning weapon as well.
OWER, POWER, POWER,... is the name of the game. Power is the
P make-or-break detail for success in the application of any martial art.
Without power, a martial artist is relegated, at best, to the position of a
walking archive of martial techniques and, at worst, a performance artist.
In some circles, it is considered politically incorrect to strive for power, but
for a martial artist hoping to survive a fight, it is essential to have power.
In our daily lives, whether we admit it or not, we are all striving for power in
one form or another, and to survive in life, some kind power is a necessity. I
hope to present within this book the key structural, physical, and training
details for the transmission of power that have been encoded within southern
Chinese martial systems of the past.
After studying martial arts for nearly thirty years, I am continually amazed at
the endless nested layers of knowledge encoded within simple movements.
This vast amount of knowledge often goes unnoticed, even by seasoned and
very talented martial artists. This is not at all to suggest that I am in any way
in possession of superior skills or awareness, only deeply surprised by a very
counterintuitive discovery.
This discovery became the source of an increasingly disturbing paradox
revealed to me in 1985 by an instructor whose lectures about the hidden
details of knowledge and the martial arts as a vehicle of knowledge have
preoccupied my study ever since. Like the nested knowledge described
above, this book addressing the mechanics and details of short power
generation is meant to transmit far more to the reader. For it is impossible to
focus on the single thread of any subject without touching upon the fabric of
the universe as a whole. Now, that statement sounds arrogant and pious; it is
not meant to be, but by the end of this book it is my hope that you see martial
knowledge in a new light.

Transmission Of Knowledge
In 1985, an instructor of Southern Chinese kung fu named Steve Thompson
posed these questions to me over lunch:
1. How is each successive generation of martial artist able to receive the
core of a system’s knowledge?
2. Why are there so few who possess this knowledge today?
3. How is the DNA of martial knowledge transmitted to a student?
Sifu Thompson contended that, at that time in the mid eighties, most of the
systems of which the public was aware had ceased to produce the high caliber
of practitioners recorded as recently as the turn of the twentieth century.
These masters of the past were renowned for skills and power that put them
head and shoulders above their contemporaries. Why then are there so few, if
any, today? He went on to point out that many martial traditions, masters,
and systems were lost during both the Boxer Rebellion and Cultural
Revolution, further impoverishing the number of systems we have today.
In response to his questions, I gave the best answers I had at the time. Please
keep in mind that I was fourteen!
1. How is each successive generation of martial artists able to receive the
core of a system’s knowledge?
A. Through diligent practice.
2. Why are there so few skilled practitioners today?
A. They didn’t practice hard enough.
3. How is the DNA of a system’s martial knowledge transmitted to a
A. By a good teacher.
Each of my answers was received with a patient, yet disproving smile. Sifu
Thompson went on to explain how much more difficult it is to address his
questions without considering the following key points:
1. The martial success of each generation’s skill cannot solely rest on the
number of sequential practiced martial movements. Mere rote
memorization does not equal skill.
2. The problem of robotic repetition versus an understanding of
underlying principles is especially the case in systems today that transmit
their knowledge in a series of techniques codified for specific attacks.
That method and perception of applying knowledge is far too cognitive,
requiring too much conscious thought, to be applied effectively in a real
fight. A real fight, as Sifu Thompson said, has no time for strategy and
barely enough time for tactics.
In response to my reply to his second question, he began by scolding me for
the very way in which I phrased it. He declared that the success of diligent
practice, regardless of how physically demanding it may be, is predicated on
knowing what you’re practicing and why. The training of a martial art
should never involve the execution of techniques or movements under
excessive tension, duress, or rough repetition. He compared this stage of
programing movements to recording a television program with a VCR (video
cassette recorder ... yes, those were the olden days.)
His example was this, the program you wish to record is transmitted at a
certain frame rate. In those days analog video had three basic speeds: SP, LP,
and SLP, each being slightly slower than the one before. He went on to say
that your recording device, the VCR, must record at a slower rate than that of
the transmission source to capture every frame of video. He then compared
the teacher, sensei, or sifu to the transmission source, the martial knowledge
to the video program, and the student to the recording device. He also felt
that this stage of repetitive practice should always take place at a slow
methodical rate to augment the strength and galvanized stability of a
practitioner’s structure. This is most ardently adhered to by practitioners of
tai chi chuan. Most people assume at first glance that this mode of training is
to facilitate the ease of martial movement for those practitioners of senior
age. However, this method of slow, deliberate practice conceals a far more
advanced effect of densely bundling muscle fibers over time, making what
appears to be an average framed individual capable of far greater exertion of
strength when the application of that strength is needed. He insisted that the
very movement and methods themselves should transmit a strength
enhancing component, long before the practitioner even thinks about any
weight training or greater cardiovascular demands. In other words, it is better
to do “wait” training than weight training.
After finishing lunch and retiring to the restaurant’s lounge Sifu Thompson
described at length what he called "The Devil's Eight Details", which are:

The Devil’s Eight Details

1. Fractal, redundant structures.
2. An axis of external rotation, allowing expansion and contraction of the
skeletal frame
3. Multi-directional displacement in single movements
4. Multiple discharging kinetic springs in single movements
5. The sei jing (4 energies)
6. The ability to separate the cultural context from the structural
components of the martial art
7. Tactical protocols that repeat with specific movements
8. Noting the differences between what an instructor teaches and what they
themselves train
Let’s first take a look at #1 in more detail, starting with the definitions of
fractal and redundant.
A complex geometric pattern exhibiting self-similarity in that small details of
its structure viewed at any scale repeat elements of the overall pattern. A
geometrical or physical structure having an irregular or fragmented shape at
all scales of measurement between a greatest and smallest scale such that
certain mathematical or physical properties of the structure, as the perimeter
of a curve or the flow rate in a porous medium, behave as if the dimensions
of the structure (fractal dimensions) are greater than the spatial dimensions.
A figure or surface generated by successive subdivisions of a simpler
polygon or polyhedron, according to some iterative process. Of, relating to,
or involving such a process: fractal geometry; fractal curve.
1. Characterized by verbosity or excessive repetition in expressing ideas;
prolix: a redundant style.
2. Being in excess; exceeding what is usual or natural: a redundant part.
3. Having some unusual or extra part or feature.
4. Characterized by superabundance or superfluity: Lush, redundant.
5. Engineering
a. (Of a structural member) not necessary for resisting statically
determined stresses.
b. (Of a structure) having members designed to resist other than
statically determined stresses; hyper-static.
Having excess or duplicate parts that can continue to perform in the event of
malfunction of some of the parts.
1. Surplus to requirements; unnecessary or superfluous
2. Redundant (of components, information, etc) duplicated or added as a
precaution against failure, error, etc.
Now, let’s look at these in more detail.
When looking for critical structural and tactical elements within a martial
system, look for movements that repeat.
It was Sifu Thompson’s belief that to truly impart a martial art’s DNA, the
training time of a student/practitioner must be viewed from beginning to end
in terms of the number of opportunities there are to refine and galvanize the
most important structures. He went on to state that if a hypothetical founder
of a martial arts system were configuring his or her forms syllabus the most
important elements would be presented in the first opening movements
learned, and repeat throughout the first form of the system.
This is often why the jing lai (salute) of a system contains many, if not all, of
its core structure and engagement tactics. The salute of White Eyebrow kung
fu is a good example of this principle. Still another example can be found
within Wing Chun kung fu. Most individuals familiar with the system and its
forms syllabus would probably agree that the three seed hands of tan sao
(palm up block), fook sao (detaining hand), bong sao (wing arm) are the most
Undeniably, those hand structures are very important, but based upon the
low frequency with which they occur throughout all three empty forms, siu
nim tao (little idea), chum kiu (sinking bridge), and biu jee (thrusting fingers),
they are not the most important. There is, however, a far more important
hand movement - even more important than the straight punch - that occurs
more often than any other single or compound movement. That hand
movement is huen sao (circling hand). Given its persistent recurrence, we
should then ask ourselves why, of all the hands within Wing Chun, does this
one repeat with such redundant frequency?
The answer, in part, has to do with the nature of frequency. Verbal
communication, for example, becomes possible through the identification of
a repeating pattern with in the noise, making order out of apparent chaos.
Because most, if not all, martial knowledge within a training form is non-
verbally communicated (whether or not the instructor is a “good teacher”), it
is essential that the most important elements repeat over and over. This
aspect of a system’s knowledge and the method of transmitting it can be
severely compromised in many ways:
1. The most skilled and knowledgeable practitioners die, taking their
knowledge to the grave
2. The most skilled and knowledgeable cannot teach
3. The most skilled and knowledgeable wish to hoard and keep secret their
knowledge which feeds deception and dogma
These reasons are only a few examples. Violent conflicts and social upheaval,
like the Boxer Rebellion and the Cultural Revolution mentioned earlier, can
destroy entire lineages of knowledge and practice. This detail of repeated
and redundant elements dove tails with and is an analog of the aspect of
fractal structure.
By this, I mean simply that a movement taught in the early stages of training
will by necessity reoccur in slightly different tactical applications throughout
one’s study of the system. An example of this would be a structural element
first being the focus of a hand movement, next an arm or elbow movement,
and later a component of the stance or footwork, and so on. The result is a
sense of martial déjà vu that permeates one’s practice and reinforces the
structural theme found throughout one’s training. The practitioner must be
very much aware that the system under study may not be configured or taught
in the way it was originally intended by its founders or custodians. It is
always a certainty that the system’s core syllabus has been reconfigured and
had sections omitted or altered. The practitioner must determine what
indigenous structure remains and how often is it found repeated within the
system’s training forms.
Moreover, each practitioner has a natural proclivity to express variation in
their interpretation of a martial art, which can work for the good by
increasing the adaptability of the system, or for ill, resulting in the dilution of
the core knowledge structure. Often you will hear within today’s martial
community that progressive, forward-thinking schools don’t teach forms.
Such a declaration is narrow-minded and self-defeating, since forms and
static stance postures are the primary vehicles for transmitting structure. This
book is meant to transmit to the reader the fundamental structures and
movement methods used in the generation of striking power used in the
martial art of southern Chinese kung fu.
About These Exercises
Presented here are a series of exercises from several kung fu systems that
specialize in the cultivation of short inch power.
● Sei jing jeung (four energy palm) and biu kiu (thrusting bridge) from
Six Elbows taixuquan (six elbows kung fu)
● Jik chung choi (center straight punch) / lien wan kuen (linked cycling
punch) and som pai fut (three bows to Buddha) from Wing Chun
● Som bo jin (three step arrow), stationary sao fot (hand techniques) from
jook lum (bamboo tree) mantis
● Bak mei (White Eyebrow) - jik bo kuen (straight step fist), stationary
sao fot (hand techniques) from white eyebrow
● Stationary sao fot (hand techniques) from Southern Crane - wood and
fire element.
With each exercise make certain to practice slowly paying particular attention
to the following details.
1. Target your bridge arms either on the center line or mid center line of
your target.
2. With any movement note when your elbow points down.
3. Always be conscious of the four energies of float, sink, swallow and spit
in your practice.

Two Man Forms
This is a two man form stressing basic skills of stepping, borrowing force,
and striking in unison with a partner. It differs from most other style’s two
man forms in that it is very sticky and contact oriented. The two practitioners
hands, arms and legs are hardly separated once the form is begun. The two
man som bo jin (three step arrow) is the application of all the principles and
philosophy in a realistic way.
Som bo jin (three step arrow) can be described as the power source and
deployment platform for the ballistic weapons of the thirty six hands of
Southern Mantis. The form also links the action of the elbows, rooted
through their placement above the knees and integrates them with the
expansion of the back or swallowing of the chest to generate greater duan
jing (short power).
Every time striking actions are discharged the angular momentum of the
Southern Mantis practitioners bridge arm displaces the attacker’s arm on
contact and causes a level of power feedback that can disrupt stance stability
and balance.
Som bo jin (three step arrow) also develops the skill of sei dan ging (four
single powers) or lok jing hop yat (six directional powers), the ability to
discharge power along several directional planes at one time. This is often
felt as a sudden spherical expansion that overwhelms the attacker because it
is occurring along several angular planes during the moment of one action.
In all Southern Mantis som bo jin (three step arrow) is the beginning and the
end of one's training and the foundation of the system. Often this form is
often mistranslated “Three Step Arrow”, although the actual meaning is
“Three Steps Scissor”.
Three-Step Arrow Punch
Som bo jin (three step arrow) is the germinating seed from which all southern
mantis grows, we find it at the heart of all the different southern mantis
branches (it is too southern praying mantis what bung bo (crushing step) is to
northern praying mantis). To make another comparison we could say it’s like
the siu lum tao (little idea) form in Wing Chun. It is a form that cultivates
and unifies the body’s kinetic spring lever systems for discharging whole
body power.
Three step arrow punch is simple by technique, but it is very hard by practice;
through the diligent training of this form you will begin to attain various jing
(energy) powers. The som bo jin (three step arrow) cultivates the phoenix eye
fist, and it is through this form that the fingers are strengthened so that the
phoenix fist becomes a much more solid force with a piercing tsee lik (finger
Begin your practice slowly, with the arms always held in front of the body
with punching executed at a short distance of about five inches and no longer
than twelve, it is from this practice that power can be attained at short
distance. Even though the first form is basic, you could say that it’s one of the
most advanced forms as well.
In-depth study of this form teaches you the correct footwork, and the proper
position of your body for powerful techniques. The som bo jin (three step
arrow form) is recognized by kung fu masters as a chi kung formula which
guides the breath to the lower abdomen while also developing inch-power.
Stepping, gathering and releasing power in short explosive strikes and
borrowing force are the important points of this form. During the training of
this single man form, one should train fic shu (poking techniques); a series of
continuous hand motions to increase fluidity, relaxation and flexibility in the
hand and arms) and mantis chi sao (sticking hands).
Once the single man som bo jin (three step arrow) form has become skillful,
one next learns the two man “breakdown “ of som bo jin (three step arrow).
Thrusting Bridge
I present this exercise first, from taixuquan (six elbows kung fu) because this
exercise more than any of the others dovetails with and augments the power
cultivation of the individual regardless of their martial background. Over the
course of your practice of this set be very mindful of your elbow position as
the act of sinking it down is the source of supreme power in all systems. It’s
also found within Wing Chun as a biu jee (thrusting fingers) exercise.
Biu kiu (thrusting bridge) - Begin this exercise by taking a standard lead
guard stance, in this case with your left foot forward. Rotate both your bridge
arms inward palm up parallel to the center line fingertips pointing forward at
your target.
Next begin extending your rear right hand (chambered at the elbow bend)
forward along your forearm out toward the apex of the center line posing a
biu jee (thrusting fingers) hand position.
Repeat exercise movements now on the opposite side in the same sequence.
There should be a slight conical feel to the extension of the bridge arms
supported and initiated by the body’s rotation.
Four Energy Palms
To perform the four-energies palms exercise (sei jing jeung), begin with both
hands positioned palm up on the parallel side of the center line pointing
Next rotate the palms outward while still pointing forward. This preserves
the axis of rotation that runs the length of the forearm, out the fingertips
targeted on the attacker.
Relax the wrists and drop the fingertips and wrists down, maintain a forward
focus. Press the palm edges forward, return to the ready guard.
Relax the wrists and drop the fingertips and wrists down, circling the hands
outward in a hooking arch. As the hands sweep out beyond the hips they rise
up the vertical perimeter of the shoulder line.

As the hands arrive at the shoulder line they each coil inward so that the
palms face the practitioner executing loy cheun sao (inward coiling hand).
● Bai kiu sao (ready bridge hand)
● Cao sao (plucking hand)
● Bai kiu sao (ready bridge hand)
● Loy cheun sao (inward coiling hand)
● Chum lop sao (sink and deflect hand)
● Jik jeung (straight palm)
Loop and repeat 100,000,000 times.
Three Prayers to Buddha
This is the single most important compound movement exercise within the
entire Wing Chun system.
This movement within the siu nim tao (little idea) form of Wing Chun, is the
deployment of the fook sao (detaining hand) forward along the centerline
three times.
A practitioner begins first with extending tan sao (palm up block),
transitioning to huen sao (circling hand), to recede back to the center of the
chest with wu sao (guarding hand). From wu sao (guarding hand), fook sao
(detaining hand) is extended out to the apex of the center line, this is
traditionally repeated three times, although it should be practiced
Center Straight Punch
From the Wing Chun system
● Jik chung choi (center straight punch)
● Lien wan kuen (linked cycle punch)
In this exercise, extend your right vertical fist out on the centerline at chin
height. While holding the punch position slowly twist your punching fist
from vertical to a finger nails up position while dropping your elbow.
Three Powers Punch
This exercise is the stationary practice of the jook lum mantis kung fu som bo
jin (bamboo tree mantis three step arrow) forms the primary three powers
punch section. The sequence is:
● Gop shu (vise bridge)
● Jet shu (root bridge)
● Jik choi (straight punch)
● Biu jee (thrusting fingers)
● Gee lik (finger power)
● Kum law (claw seize)
● Dai mor shu (grinding hand rotation down)
● Gop shu (vice bridge)
Note: the sequence above does not match the following photos sequence.
Straight Step Punch
From the white eyebrow system comes the straight punch with step drill for
maximizing power.
From your kiu sao (bridge hand) position slowly deploy a biu jee (thrusting
fingers) with the left hand forward along the centerline. Drop the elbow of the
left hand returning it to a guard position while beginning to rotate and extend
forward your right bridge arm from it’s guard position. Your right straight
punch is extended out to the centerline to strike. Return right punch to
original guard position by sinking the right elbow down.
Jik Bo Kuen

Golden Scissor Bridge

Gom jin go ying fan kiu sao (golden scissor spring bridging hand). From the
Chu Mantis kung fu system comes this nei gung jong (internal method
bridging post/hand) exercise.
Feeding Hands (Wood)
From the southern crane system of kung fu is the feeding wood hand exercise.
Demonstrated here is the wood element hand for feeding crane with a
phoenix eye punch. When the arms are extended begin to initiate the hand
cycle by rotating your elbows inward and downward.
This establishes the arms stability immediately as they are drawn back
through the center line intersection before being re-deployed, powered by the
protraction of the scapula.
This exercise, like many found throughout the various branches of southern
crane kung fu capitalize of a movement mechanism known as the gold scissor
bridge. This movement is nearly identical to that performed by a collegiate
rowing team as they row. Grasping the oars of their boat, and anchored
through a seated position alternate between states of scapula protraction and
retraction powered by their torso sway. This exercise may be practiced with
either palm or fist.
Feeding Hands (Fire)
Demonstrated here from the southern crane kung fu system is an abbreviated
form of the fire element hand for feeding crane with a phoenix eye punch
(this movement traditionally uses forward facing palms, which have the look
of flames/fire). As with the previous exercise when the arms are extended
begin to initiate the hand cycle by rotating your elbows inward and
downward. This establishes the arms stability immediately as they are
drawn back through the center line intersection before being re-deployed,
powered by the protraction of the scapula. This exercise may be practiced
with either palm or fist.
Incense Ceremony

n 1987 I was shown an exercise which I recently found used by a system

I of kung fu called taixuquan (six elbows kung fu) that I began studying in
2005. Within a martial system it is often the small details that hold the
greatest importance especially those concealed within austere ceremony.
This exercise is called the burning kow tow (bow) and is derived from the act
of burning incense in front of an ancestral alter while turning between statue
effigies or photos of deceased system practitioners. Kow tow (bow) rotation
is a crucial exercise for uniting the body’s rotation with rooted bridge arms
placed upon the centerline. To practice this method simple take stance with
the feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees slightly, extend your hands
with palms facing as if in prayer. Align your fingertips, nose and center line
vertically, do not let the fingertips of your palms exceed the height of your
eyebrows, the throat region is best. Now from that position slowly begin
turning right to left and back within a 45 degree arch for a minute or as many
times as you can for as long as you wish. Slow practice is the key coupled
with the triangular structure of the arms on the center line with elbows
pointing down.
Four Energies

here are four energies of tun (swallow), to (spit), fau (float), and chum
T (sink). The first one is to apply tun (swallow) and to (spit) to body
shape. So tun (swallow) and to (spit) can also be translated as shrinking
and stretching. The second way is to consider only the air we breath. Tun
(swallow) and to (spit) are then related to a breathing pattern (breathe in;
breathe out, stop breath and press air down to tighten the abdomen.). Tun
(swallow) and to are then translated by inhale and exhale. In both body shape
and breathing, these concepts deal with generating power in a specific way.
For kung fu practitioners, the bottom line is not to acquire force but to
acquire power. That is the reason why tun (swallow), to (spit), fau (float),
and chum (sink) are considered the core of kung fu. Acquiring explosive
power in kung fu leads to work on tendons. The muscles have to be softened,
hardened, shrunk and stretched. The spinal column is used in such a way that
the back of a practitioner looks hunched. The ribs also seem to contribute to
the power generation. Tun (swallow), to (spit), fau (float), and chum (sink) is
the feature which makes people say that a system is an internal style.

The main attacking power is gang jing (shock power). This concept is almost
the trademark of kung fu. But there are two ways to describe it. The first one
is to bring out a power which is understood as a rapid contraction of the
muscle. It is the same power that people get when suddenly scared. The
second way is to see gang jing (shock power) is the power which shakes up
the opponent as if he gets scared or shocked.
For attack, the actions of the hands are tight and close, elbows need to be
sunk, and shoulders to be loose. The focus of the long hand action and short
hand action is short or even none. Defined as sei noi biu jing (four internal
expulsive forces). Within this context, the internal aspect is addressed by the
structurally integrated mechanics of look jing (rolling energy). The issuing
force assumes a directional charge derived from the compressing and
releasing dynamics of the waist, core muscles, and back.
Tun (swallow) redirects an opponent’s incoming force into the ground. In
essence, the practitioner grounds the energy of an attack with this action. To
(spit) corresponds to an outward release of force away from the body.
Typically, tun (swallow) compliments tou (spit) as a kinetic pair. Fou (float)
is an uprooting force that disrupts and displaces the opponent’s foundation.
This enables the practitioner to take advantage of the adversary’s vulnerable
state. On the other hand, chum (sink), a sinking action, bears weight onto the
opponent in a suppressing manner, providing the practitioner the opportunity
to capitalize on the adversary’s submissive state.
The concepts of tun (swallow), to (spit), fau (float), and chum (sink) are
found in many southern Chinese martial arts and their combative
interpretation can range from isolated to integrated actions. Some styles
translate this formula as an expression of the extremities such as hand
techniques swallowing, releasing, raising, or pressuring the limbs of an
opponent’s attacks. Others view this concept as one arising from a holistic
source based upon the principles of connected and coordinated movements
reinforcing techniques.

Tun (swallow)
The exertion of flexible force usually in circular or spherical manner so that
you intercept the opponents blow by causing it slide and fall into emptiness
missing the target, rather than intercepting it by force against force.
To (spit)
This principle embodies being able to discharge a strike anyway possible; to
strike using the borrowed force of the opponent; to strike in such a way that
the opponent feels the simultaneous actions of swallow, spit, sink and float in
one strike. If skillfully applied some say this feels like the opponent is being
shocked by electricity or permeated by a shock-wave of expansive force.
Fau (float)
The sudden release of force, explosive energy, which is capable of bouncing
the opponent away in full weight. Skillfully applied the opponent will feel
like being afloat on water and is easily thrown aside. This is similar to peng
(ward off) in tai chi chuan (ultimate boxing) or I Chuan (intention boxing).
Chum (sink)
Chum (sink) is more difficult to master as it depends on one's natural ability
to learn to relax and use “feeling” or to perceive the opponent’s exertion of
force. He who has mastered this is capable of rendering his opponent
completely immobile, thus putting him under absolute control. This key to
power is cultivated through jang dai lik (elbow sinking power). When the
opponent moves one simply sinks the center into him.
Displacing Energy

Five Fundamental Pivots

When an individual begins training in Wing Chun kung fu regardless of the
branch, a student is first introduced to the basic structural detail for
generating power. Those power details are first presented in the structure of
the fundamental Wing Chun stance the yee gee kim yeung ma (character two
goat clamping stance). This stance allows the practitioner to solidify and
galvanize a rooted position of power and also develops a special axis of

The concept of an axis is crucial to the structural method of how power is

generated which is through rotation, however that axis must be rooted with
stability to effectively generate power. The first stage of this axis and its
construction places it within the body running from the top of the head at a
location called the pai hui (nine crowns gate) point at the crown of the head.
Extending down the length of the body through the pelvis ending at the doo
mai (grain path) point located between the genitals and anus. This axis
begins to make the practitioner more aware of gravity's role in the partnership
of stability necessary to begin building the foundation of successful martial
This relationship to gravity’s pull is critical to maintain a rooted position of
power but also begin uniting the kinetic springs of the body’s skeletal frame
to also discharge power to the attacker. There are three primary kinetic
spring systems that discharge power from the body, they are first the stance,
second the spine or core trunk mass and third the arm sphere or the bridge
arm wedge. Over time these three power spring systems unite and anchor
themselves into the vertical mother axis plane described previously.
Once the vertical mother axis is stable that two dimensional plane evolves
into a three dimensional plane with the integration of the three kinetic spring
systems and causes the apex of this power plane to extend beyond the body.
Over time with practice the practitioners ability to channel their full body
mass through this plane toward an attack begins to transform into the ability
the apply that force in an expanding or contracting sphere.
There is a fundamental cascade of principles that grow out of these structural
relationships, one considered basic is the principle of gate theory or tactical
spacial thresholds. Within most martial traditions this principle of dividing
the body plane and establishing bilateral symmetry is given the next
dimension when the center gate midline is established.
This is done by connecting the elbows with a line that runs through the solar
plexus. How many reading this are already familiar with this structural detail.
However there is one related to this that is less well known but hidden in
plane sight. The shadow line is a plane that wraps around the body even
though the initial details are hidden behind the posture and position of lan sao
(barring arm). The shadow line or more bluntly the nipple line is both a
region that generates power based on position but also is one of four of the
most dangerous target regions you must protect.
JWR training at its core adds a level of ballistic rotation to all movements and
techniques within Wing Chun kung fu. It is this heightened level of
rotational, cheun jing (coiling energy) movement that imparts added levels of
power. During the initial stages of JWR training there are five fundamental
points of pivot rotation that the ring sets develop.
Central Pivot

The first pivot principle is called central pivot, and just as its name implies
this point of rotation is at the exact center of the jook wan ring. The central
pivot concept takes the structural template of the jook wan circle to teach the
student to root this pivot axis with the core axis plane of their body and that
of the Wing Chun stance.
The act of uniting the central pivot contained within the jook wan to that of
the stance creates a virtual axis that extends beyond the body and imparts an
element of expansive and contractive movements not general focused of
within some empty hand forms.
This first level helps the practitioner become more aware of a sensation of
rotating expansion as they extend their arms along the centerline plane. The
jook wan at this level also acts as a governing tool to keep the arms on a fixed
orbit and fixed patrol route within the shoulder boundary lines.

Circumference Pivot
The second level of pivot mechanics is circumference pivot, this takes the
central pivot and extends it to the circumference of the jook wan. At this
stage of practice the student is given a level of real time instantaneous tactile
feedback, as rotational pressure from one bridge arm transmits pressure
immediately to the other through the rings circumference.
This takes place in both the polarized and unpolarized ring positions and
highlights the importance of keeping both arms in contact at all times with
the inner circumference. The timing of each arm’s rotation and the
calibration of that act is a focus of this level as well as the rooting of the
elbows at important moments within movements transitions.
Extended Pivot

The third level of pivot mechanics is extended pivot, this takes one of the
circumference pivots and anchors it so that the opposite pivot point on the
circumference is allowed to extend beyond the circumference of the ring.
This literally permits the practitioner to “change gears” and as when using a
larger circumference with a lever and pulley system or the gears used in a
bike, a greater load of both pressure from the attack can be dissolved and
greater power discharged at the attacker.
This is a critical detail within the mechanics of any martial system, and that
is, if the pivot point of rotation between two bodies exists at the center of the
movement conflict then neither body will receive the combined momentum
force produced. This is changed entirely if one of the two bodies adopts the
same structural model of virtual axis rotation and diverts or discharges the
force back at the other doing so with the fully combined momentum force.
A very crude and familiar example is that of a matador and bull. The matador
uses the decoy axis of “the cape” to both distract and divert the momentum
force of the bull, but unlike the matador and bull example the stage of
discharging attack force back at the attacker lies in the sudden contraction
and implosion of the rotational circumference sphere in question.
This base line of power is spiked through the roof if the practitioner in
question who is discharging the force has all three kinetic spring systems
unified. Each of the kinetic spring systems acts as an electrical transformer
station to boost and amplify the jing (energy) power, so that an individual
weighing one hundred and twenty pound can strike with the force of a 360
pound person. A simple formula example is that each kinetic spring system,
in our case three basic ones, the arms, legs and spine, collectively give the
user three times the potential level of discharge power.
Expansive Pivot
The fourth level of expansive pivot will vary according to the practitioner and
focuses on the vertical axis that runs through the forearm and the tapering
surface area on the outside.
If the outside surface area of the forearm has a greater taper from elbow to
wrist (creating a conical shape) then the potential level of coiled inch power
is increased. This is not only due to the inherent probability of greater and
more developed muscular force but more accurately the ability based on
shape to emit greater inch power based on ballistic tapered rotation. An
example meant to highlight this structural detail is that of a wood screw
verses a machine screw. First a machine screw is like a cylinder in structure
and has no taper, and because there is no taper such a structured shape cannot
compact or accelerate the coil of rotation it manifests. However the structural
shape of a wood screw is by its very shape designed to bore through a surface
on contact requiring minimal forward pressure to facilitate deep penetration
and thus manifests ballistic power.
Root Pivot
The fifth level is root pivot, and at this stage the term “root” is meant to
denote several ideas, the first of which is training without the ring at all. In
much the same way as a practitioner spends time training on the Wooden
dummy, and then steps away to perform what is called hei jong fot (air
wooden dummy method).
Much like playing air guitar a practitioner is training the movements and
techniques of the dummy without the structural corrective benefits of the
dummy. Following this training theme a practitioner is putting the jook wan
aside and practicing the movements of the ring and the structural details jook
wan training is meant to impart.
Training at the root stage is meant to apply the pivots that have been
developed, those that stick with the practitioner, and to move as if the ring
were still there with an element of free flow application and interpretation.
The next detail of practice has to do with how a plant sends down roots or
more specifically root runners. As bamboo grows it sends out in all
directions smaller roots that act like feelers to establish root bases around it
and propagate the plant. For the jook wan practitioner it is the ability to
manifest and apply multiple pivot point simultaneously within Wing Chun
Body Integration

f we look at the body’s ability to produce power for striking from the
I perspective of the structure formula for power in Chinese boxing, we can
see that it is very important to access the body’s full mass. The body has
three parts that can be used as kinetic springs—the legs, arms, and spine. In
comparison to the legs and arms, the torso or spine contains the greatest
amount of mass.

In practically the same way a medieval catapult or French trebuchet utilizes a

downward, falling counterweight to generate its ballistic power, so too does
this boxing method. It is through the first two polarized energy extremes of
float and sink that this is accomplished.
Once the spring power systems of the stance (legs) and torso (spine) are
linked through the rolled forward pelvic lift, it is time to unlock the power
within the scapula gate. The image of a gate expresses an open and closed
polarity. Similarly, the compound lever action of the scapula, trapezius, and
shoulder create an open and closed opposition. This is accomplished within
the two primary polarized states of retraction and protraction.
This very critical detail allows the practitioner to access the body’s torso
mass and deploy the resulting power in the six major jing (energy) directions.
Through the act of rounding the back and swallowing the chest, the scapula
bones become the source of and deployment point for the arms’ striking
This action and detail of movement allows the practitioner:
First to strike without the retraction of the arms that commonly occurs in
other systems. It is a common practice in most systems to retract and
withdraw the striking arm to wind up a punch. This winding-up motion
consumes time you do not have, opens vulnerable space, and violates the core
principle of “no retraction.”
Second, attacking motions are therefore no longer isolated strictly to
movements initiated by the forearm, which would break the chain of power
Third, any rebound contact force from the attacker can be channeled and
dissipated from the bridge arm contact through the spine, down the legs to the
ground, away from the practitioner.
Three Ranges of the Arm
The “Three Ranges” in kung fu refer to the initial segments of the body that
both generate and discharge jing (energy).
The first power is the segment of the body from fingertips to wrist. The
second power is from the wrist to just behind the elbow. The third power is
from behind the elbow, through the body down to the feet, encompassing the
rest of the body’s trunk mass.
The three powers also utilize three surfaces known in Chinese as “mouths”
that act as adhesive surfaces to trap
and control the attackers bridge arm. These mouths allow the practitioner to
seize, grasp, pin, and immobilize an attacker without the risk of grasping with
the thumb. When attacked this helps to keep both arms free to continue to
attack and restrain a weapon bearing arm.
Six Zones of Martial Force Production
Look jing (rolling energy) refers to the totality of martial force while lik
(power) is typically associated with muscular intensity. The term jing
(energy) is used to emphasize the production, execution, and application of
integrated force. Look jing (rolling energy), sei noi biu jing (four internal
expulsive forces), and bot jing (eight energies) all incorporate the expression
jing (energy) within their descriptions to accentuate the relationship that these
principles share within the process of issuing force.
The physical aspect of producing jing (energy) requires that the network of 6
specific areas of the body act in unison. The southern boxing stance,
customarily known as ding bat ding, bot bo bot (feet not splayed but not
pointed in), is the foundation upon which all techniques are derived. The
exact translation of this couplet is: “not completely in the shape of the
Chinese character for person and not completely in the shape of the character
for the number eight” - referring to the placement of the feet and width of the
This principal position enables the practitioner to execute techniques with
both stability and mobility. To ensure proper support, the practitioner’s
weight is equally distributed between both legs assisting the action of linking
the muscles of the core, back, and chest to optimize fa jing (issuing force).
Collectively, the waist and the core muscles known as yiu (flexibility) in
conjunction with the biu (back), facilitate the mechanics of the upper body in
this martial power circuit. As the actions of the trunk turn and torque, close
and open, and compress and explosive in unison, the force generated from
these gestures travel to the extremities known as sao (hands), to be emitted in
an effective and injurious manner.
For the practitioner, this same damaging force is kept from causing personal
harm to the practitioner when the neck, and the teeth, complete the
physiological circuit responsible for the production of fa jing (issuing force).
These final two areas are defined as critical components within look jing
(rolling energy) due to their roles in securing an uninterrupted transmission of
force within the neck and skull when techniques are executed.
It is essential that the teeth are clenched to stabilize the skull so that the force
will be strengthened and reinforced throughout the entire body rather than
dispersed and weakened through a sagging jaw.
Throughout the course of this book it is my hope to present a detailed
description of the major regions of the body, as well as their collective
interactions, that generate power for martial application. Implementation of
any one or all twelve of these training details dramatically increases your
body’s collective ability to generate power.

Power Articulation Sources

01. Stance Root
02. Knee Anchor
03. Waist Gate Rotation
04. Pelvic Lift
05. Body Drop
06. Rounded Back - Hollowed Chest
07. Oblique compression
08. Scapula gate - Forward Shoulder Fold
09. Immovable Elbow, Elbow Drop
10. Targeted Bridge, Aligned Forearm
11. Wrist extension
12. Breath and Intention
Stance Root
To strike successfully in any martial art, a position of rooted stability is
essential. Most martial arts teach a fundamental stance, generally known
within Asian arts as ma bo (horse stance). This term is meant to convey the
importance of embodying mobility and integrated stability in all movements.
It is important that each foot remain isolated from the other’s lateral plane of
space when striking. To highlight this detail, stand with your feet side by
side, then slide your right or left foot up so that the heel of that foot touches
the toe of the other. From that position, slide your raised lead foot sideways
to open your stance, making sure to maintain a heel-to-toe relationship
throughout your stance and stepping. It is the ability of the practitioner at this
stage of training to galvanize the structural stability of their stance that
ensures a stable deployment platform for their power.
Any feedback of power when striking can be redirected through the rooted
position of the stance to ensure stability and lack of injury to the practitioner.
Knee Anchor
Building upon a rooted stance, it is important to cultivate the knee anchor.
Imagine for a moment an axis running from the knee of your lead leg
downward through your shin bone and out the sole of your foot, extending a
mile below the ground, perpendicular to the surface. This virtual axis is
meant to anchor your knee and prevent any recession, retraction, or drift in its
position during striking.
The next visualization will sound counterintuitive, but please keep an open
mind. Imagine the above-mentioned cross-bracing structure in your body,
facing the attacker squarely and contracting in a way that forces the
intersection point of the two perpendicular lines out the back.

When applied, this is the act of rounding the back that extends forward and
inward the ends of the cross-bracing structure, which would discharge power
down the centerline plane towards an attacker. If this is hard to imagine,
picture the torso as the pocket of a slingshot, with the center of the pocket
being at the point between the shoulder blades.
When you round the back, it is like drawing back a slingshot, creating tension
that can be released forward in an explosive manner. The force projected by
the spinal kinetic spring is like the stone released from the slingshot.
This is the development of power through gravity’s partnership. Since the
beginning of our lives we as human beings have been acutely aware of the
presence of gravity and since our early development as children learning to
crawl, to stand and then finally to walk, gravity has exerted a constant
influence on our bodies. As a result we have each learned naturally to move
to a great or lesser degree with gravity and to balance ourselves against its
influence, in doing so over the years we also develop an inherent
accumulation of body tension. This tension is the result of our bodies
constant attempt at structural self-correction.
Pelvic Lift
Through the lifting or rolling up of the pelvis comes dieu tong (pull/roll up
pelvis), the lower lumbar curve of the spine is diminished and transformed.
The back’s structure changes from that of a S to a C and becomes more like
the shape of a bow, which is the simplest of kinetic springs. When cultivated,
this structure permits the generation of incredible power, as well as the ability
to skillfully dissipate the attacker’s power, acting as a “iron vest” of
protection. Through the practice of lifting up the tailbone, the legs are ever
ready to spring forward. Coiled with kinetic power, their release propels the
practitioner ahead to engage and defeat the opponent. Due to the nature of
this integrated stance structure, any feedback power from the attacker may be
channeled into the ground for protection or back at the opponent due to the
pelvic lift.
Body Drop
Chum sun (body drop) is a power detail made famous by the late great boxer
Jack Dempsy and more recently by Mike Tyson. This is the sudden act of
severing the upward vertical support resisting gravity to allow the body’s
mass to fall. As mentioned regarding the catapult or French trebuchet, it
generates ballistic power through the downward deployment of a
counterweight, so is it the same when integrating the act of body drop into
your striking actions. This act is the combination of several important
elements, each one being a stand-alone principle:
● The downward compression of the spine transforming from the shape
of letter S to the letter C. (Pelvic Lift—Lifted Tailbone).
● The rotation of the body’s core toward the target along a vertical axis
that does not recede or wobble. (Knee anchor ).
● Stand in a lead guard stance (right side) and rotate the left side towards
the lead. (Oblique compression).

Waist Gate Rotation

Throughout the natural world from the microcosm of the subatomic to the
scale of the galactic, all power is the result of rotation. Tornadoes,
whirlpools, hurricanes, the differential plasma rotation of the sun, all are
rotational power systems.
As for the martial arts, rotation of the body’s core is an essential component
of power dependent on a rooted pivot axis. A student is generally introduced
to this body axis concept via the center line. The student is told that the
body’s axis of stability runs vertically from the pelvic region at a point called
the Du Mai (Du4 Governing Vessel), rising up to and out of the skull from
the pa hui (the nine crowns gate) point.
This is only partially true and applies more accurately to the way the body’s
bilateral symmetry is expressed and delineated. In reality, this axis of
rotation departs from the body and becomes a virtual axis around which the
body rotates. This is what, in ancient times, was referred to by boxing
masters as the stillness within movement. This virtual axis, depending on the
cultivated structure of the practitioner, orbits anywhere from the region of the
pubic bone on out to the knee.
Regardless of the position of this axis, its fundamental stability depends on a
knee that does not recede at the moment of impact when striking. Any
recession of the lead leg’s knee will instantly dissipate and break the
deployment chain of power. As an example, it would be like trying to slam a
door closed just as the pins in the doors hinges fall off, causing the door to
fall free of its frame.
Rounded Back Hollow Chest

Sao kai boi (rounding the back) is a very crucial detail of training that
unlocks the kinetic power interaction of the back and the scapula gate.
Within most kung fu forms this action is practiced over and over, refining the
interaction of spine, scapula, body rotation, and body drop, culminating in a
kinetic spring mechanism that discharges tremendous inch power.
Swallow the Chest
Tang han / hum hon (swallow the chest) is the transverse action of rounding
the back, which integrates the muscular relationships of trapezius, pectoral
and clavicle muscles for combat. Applying tang han (swallow the chest) also
links the lower abdominal region with the pelvis lift and relaxes the
diaphragm and belly easing respiration in preparation for combat.
Oblique Compression
Traditional Chinese martial arts define a principle region of the body called
the sei gom gwak dim (four golden corner points). The four golden corner
points, most commonly refers to the area delineated by the shoulders and the
hips. In some Northern Chinese systems and African arts, this region extends
to encompass the knees.
Think of your own torso/chest and visualize or look in a mirror and imagine
diagonal lines connecting your shoulders and hips like an X. Think of your
right shoulder being connected to your left hip and the same but opposite
arrangement with your left shoulder and right hip.
This oblique diagonal integration facilitates dramatic and powerful
contraction and expansive movements that express vorticular, ballistic,
spiraling rotation in multiple vector planes. Tang Han Um Hon (swallow the
chest), and baht bei (rounded back) are formulaic terms used in many arts to
express this structural transformation of the torso core for power and
This area of study deals with the interaction of diagonal lines of adduction
force, as well as the application of shearing and scissoring lines of force. This
very broad structural principle also relates to weapon carry zones that a
practitioner should defend on himself or be able to search on an attacker.
Scapula Gate, Shoulder Fold
The “scapula gate” is a way to express the polarized open and close
transitions of the upper back and its power. This fundamental power detail is
the back’s ability to issue power through the two states of protraction and
Protraction permits the transmission of power forward along the centerline
while simultaneously withdrawing the targets of the chest and abdomen.
Retraction is the recharge cycle that through rooted elbows reloads, re-
calibrates and, with breathing, re-energizes the practitioner for the next
discharge of power.
This crucial detail carries forward to the shoulder and rotator cuff, allowing
the shoulder to fold forward naturally to support the explosive discharge of
power along the bridge arm. It is this aspect of a relaxed, natural shoulder
fold that adds forward explosive power that conveys the body’s mass to the
contact target. Within southern Chinese boxing this structural detail is called
a dragon prawn back, named for the appearance of the practitioner’s back
during practice. This shrimp back or dragon prawn mechanic highlights the
integrated structure of the body’s kinetic spring sections of legs, spine and
Downward Rooted Elbow
There is a Chinese boxing maxim that says, “A rooted elbow can pull down
heaven”. Jang dai lik (elbow sinking power) is the root and source of the
arm’s structural power is the elbow. It is the practitioner’s ability to connect
to and integrate gravity’s pull through a vertically downward positioned
elbow. This skill is ultimately predicated on relaxation and its manifestation
in the peripheral joint system of the shoulder and back.
Visualize the following example: Think of your arm from shoulder to fingers
as a length of fishing line—naturally strong and supple--at one end a round
float (the shoulder), at the opposite end a hook (the hand). Now picture, in the
middle, a lead sinker (the elbow) hanging downward due to gravity’s pull. It
is only due to the excessive pressure of the opponent that this position should
be disturbed, not through the practitioner deviating from this optimal position
of structural stability. This power source is fundamentally the practitioner’s
ability to relax under the duress of a fight and maintain this optimal elbow
position. To do so dramatically enhances the certainty of defeating the
opponent when in contact.
Striking power, as well as the ability to successfully displace and direct the
attack, is made possible only when this elbow skill is supported through the
previous elements of stable stance, lifted tailbone, rounded back, and
vertically suspended pivot of the torso core. It is the partnership of gravity
and your intent to relax and sink with the elbow that unlocks truly wondrous
applications. I have known many teachers who feel this principle is
supremely special, even stating that a knowledge of it can make all of heaven
Targeted Forearm
To accurately deploy power when striking, it is always essential to point your
forearm at your target. Think of your arm from elbow to fingertips as dagger
or bayonet. If we use the dagger analogy, to not strike this way is to slash at
the target rather than stab.
We line up with our target through aligning our eyes, nose and fingertips
along a single vertical plane. Then, with a downward rooted elbow, we
extend from the scapula our bridge arm along our centerline for striking.
Wrist Extension
This is the weakest link in your chain of power. Therefore, this book includes
inch power exercises specifically for the open palm as a backup
supplementary method.
The primary reason the fist is the weakest component of your domino chain
of power is due to its structure as the most dexterous articulation of bones
and the most fragile.
It is important that when striking with the fist you begin with a vertically
oriented fist position with the elbow rooted downward. This alignment
supports the forward deployment of force through the ulnar bone directly
behind the last three bottom knuckles. As you can see in the examples to the
right, we only need the distance from fingertips to wrist to affect the target.
Even so we should always train deployment of the striking hand from along
the forearm, from elbow to wrist, to ensure the support and rotation of our
body’s core. In this way, regardless of our physical strength over time, the
training of this method never solely rests upon physically robust muscular
power, but always on the rotation power of our body’s core.
An easy test to demonstrate the structural stability of the vertical punch
position is with a push-up. Take a push-up position on the floor, orient your
closed fists in the vertical position (as if holding a coffee mug), and place the
knuckles flat on the floor at about the width of your chest. Once positioned,
begin at least five slow push-ups and note the structural support and relative
ease of execution from beginning to end of the push-up movement.
Breath naturally and always exhale when striking. This simple act reinforces
a cycle of expansion and contraction that is natural and dovetails with your
movement even when under stress.

Force Generation Methods

Lok Jing Hop Yat (Six Directional Powers)
This embodies the potential vector of directional force the body can deploy
power from. It is part of every motion and refers to the motion of the force.
Sow Kai Boi (Round the Back Power)
This is the power of rounding and charging the back with potential kinetic
power. The leverage pivots for this power are localized in the action of the
scapula gate directly below the seventh cervical vertebrae. The mechanical
action of this power is from the wrapping forward of the tendons and
muscles. Parallel adduction and abduction power.
Gwun Jing (Rolling Energy)
This force is basically used when a bridge is involved. It rises while moving
forward then drops. This power redirects oncoming force and crashes it, in a
forward coiling motion.
Chum Jing (Heavy Sinking Energy)
The achievement of this stage is the iron body and unified combat frame.
Bik Jing (Jamming Forward Energy)
Jamming forward power is the force generated by rooted forward pressure
into the enemy.
Jang Dai Lik Jing (Elbow Sinking Energy)
This is the power generated through the partnership of gravity and your intent
to relax and sink with the elbow. The effect of gravities pull on the elbow
acts to not only stabilize the movement and jing (energy) produced by the
arm but also to unite the body's frame over time.
Dip Gwat Jing (Rib Bone Compression Power)
The power cultivated in the compression of the rib bones, latissimus muscles,
back (trapezius and scapula) etc. This element of movement contributes to the
forward/backward element of look jing (rolling energy). This power
cultivation also strengthens the body’s golden bell aka iron shirt.
Sing Jing (Floating and Uprooting Energy)
This leaves the opponent feeling that he can not root himself properly and
that you provide not a hint of leverage for him. At this stage, you have full
command of your body.

Jik Jing (Direct Forward Expelling Energy)

In attacking one forges ahead never to back out. At the accomplishment of
this stage techniques are clean and crisp. Extended tools never need to be
retracted. It charges on ruthlessly and relentlessly.
Sai Dong Jing (Forceful Swaying Energy)
This is a shaky power like in Chen taiji. This jing (energy) can be done in
succession. Sai dong jing (forceful swaying energy) is the machine gun firing
in smooth continuous bursts at the opposite of gang jing (shocking energy)
which is singular/mono. Some also distinguished several stages of
development such as; jik (straight), chum (sink), sing (elevate), & gang
Siu Sup Ji Jing (Small Cross Pattern Energy)
The power in the joints of the arms and legs like the wrist, elbow, etc.
Because the joints don’t move out but they can be dislocated they contribute
to the forward/backward element of lok jing (six energies). This power is
from pulling the tendons. Oblique adduction and abduction power.
Dai Sup Ji Jing (Large Cross Pattern Power)
This is the power of the cross section of the body - shoulder to shoulder
pulling the horizontal tendons of the chest, and pelvis to rib cage pulling the
vertical tendons of the abdomen. Parallel adduction and abduction power.

Ranges Of Power
Inch Power
It is a false assumption that the one-inch punch skill comes only from the
Wing Chun system of kung fu. Although The one-inch punch was
popularized by the actor and martial artist Bruce Lee, it is present in many
styles of Chinese martial arts. As a general rule, southern Chinese martial arts
are most notably recognized for this skill as well as for the application of
hand techniques from very close quarters. It is a strike refinement designed
to improve punching power and technique. Because invariably martial
artists were often fighting nose-to-nose with their opponents, they had to
learn a way to deal out punishing blows even while almost touching their
The one-inch punch skill is based on the discharge of fa jing (issuing force)
to generate tremendous amounts of impact force at extremely close range.
When executing the one-inch punch the practitioner stands with his fist very
close to the target (the distance depends on the skill of the practitioner,
usually from zero to six inches). A series of integrated compound
movements produces the force needed, the wrist is held with the knuckles
facing out on a vertical axis, the wrist is then flexed forward in a surge to
strike with the bottom two knuckles.
The target in demonstrations vary, sometimes it is a fellow practitioner
holding a phone book on the chest, sometimes wooden boards can be broken.
The one-inch punch is also often used in martial arts as a training exercise to
show how to generate further power to the end of a conventional punch.
Although depending on the martial system there are many types of power, the
bulk of this book will cover two of the most well known: shake or shudder
jing (energy), and shock or burst jing (energy). Power generated from the
body can be transmitted to the bridge arms in one of two primary ways. The
first being cheong kiu jing (long bridge power), and the other duan kiu jing
(short bridge power). Each of these two types can be thought of like the
modulation wave frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum. Cheong kiu jing
(long bridge power) can be thought of as the end of the spectrum having low
frequency radio and microwaves. At the opposite end of the spectrum would
be high frequency X and gamma rays representing shock and explosive duan
Hallmarks of cheong kiu jing (long bridge power) most notable are the
powerful whip like discharge expressed from the shoulder to and beyond the
fingertips. The application of this type of power can neutralize an attackers
entry techniques, lock holds and much more at long or short range.
Hallmarks of duan kiu jing (short bridge power) most notable are the
explosive short range strikes such as the one and three inch punch. The
application of this type of power can rupture internal organs, cause mass
hemorrhaging as well as a range of instantaneous knockouts.

The thirty-six stratagems are a Chinese essay used to illustrate a series of

stratagems used in politics, war, as well as in civil interaction, often through
unorthodox or deceptive means. The Stratagems are often misnamed as
strategies; however, a stratagem (synonymous with ruse) is not the same
thing as a strategy (being a long-term plan or outline).
Part 1: Winning Stratagems (勝戰計)
Part 2: Enemy Dealing Stratagems (敵戰計)
Part 3: Attacking Stratagems (攻戰計)
Part 4: Chaos Stratagems (混戰計)
Part 5: Proximate Stratagems (並戰計)
Part 6: Desperate Stratagems (敗戰計)
The thirty-six stratagems, the name of the collection comes from the Book of
Qi, in its seventh biographical volume, biography of Wáng Jìngzé (王敬則傳
/王敬则传). Wáng was a general who had served southern Qi since the first
Emperor Gao of the dynasty. When Emperor Ming came to power and
executed many members of the court and royal family for fear that they
would threaten his reign, Wáng believed that he would be targeted next and
rebelled. As Wáng received news that Xiao Baojuan, son and crown prince of
Emperor Ming, had escaped in haste after learning of the rebellion, he
commented that “of the thirty-six stratagems of Lord Tán, retreat was his
best, you father and son should run for sure.” Lord Tán here refers to general
Tan Daoji of the Liu Song Dynasty, who was forced to retreat after his failed
attack on Northern Wei, and Wáng mentioned his name in contempt as an
example of cowardice.

It should be noted that the number thirty-six was used by Wáng as a figure of
speech in this context, and is meant to denote numerous stratagems instead of
any specific number. Wáng’s choice of this term was in reference to the I
Ching, where six is the number of Yin that shared many characteristics with
the dark schemes involved in military strategy. As thirty-six is the square of
six, it therefore acted as a metaphor for numerous strategies. Since Wáng was
not referring to any thirty-six specific stratagems however, the thirty-six
proverbs and their connection to military strategies and tactics are likely to
have been created after the fact, with the collection only borrowing its name
from Wáng’s saying.
The Thirty-Six Stratagems have variably been attributed to Sun Tzu from the
Spring and Autumn Period of China, or Zhuge Liang of the Three Kingdoms
period, but neither are regarded as the true author by historians. Instead, the
prevailing view is that the Thirty-Six Stratagems may have originated in both
written and oral history, with many different versions compiled by different
authors throughout Chinese history. Some stratagems reference occurrences
in the time of Sun Bin, approximately 150 years after Sun Wu’s death.
The original hand-copied paperback that is the basis of the current version
was believed to have been discovered in China’s Shaanxi province, of an
unknown date and author, and put into print by a local publisher in 1941. The
Thirty-Six Stratagems only came to the public’s attention after a review of it
was published in the Chinese Communist Party’s Guangming Daily (光明日
The Thirty-Six Stratagems are divided into a preface, six chapters containing
six stratagems each, and an afterword that was incomplete with missing text.
The first three chapters generally describe tactics for use in advantageous
situations, whereas the last three chapters contain stratagems that are more
suitable for disadvantageous situations. They are in the form of four-character
idioms. Each proverb is accompanied by a short comment, no longer than a
sentence or two, that explains how said proverb is applicable to military
tactics. These 36 Chinese proverbs are related to 36 battle scenarios in
Chinese history and folklore, predominantly of the warring states period and
the three kingdoms period.

Part 1: Winning Stratagems When In A Superior

Position 勝戰計
Deceive the heavens to cross the ocean
Cross the sea under camouflage
This means to create a front that eventually becomes imbued with an
atmosphere or impression of familiarity, within which the strategist may
maneuver unseen while all eyes are trained to see obvious familiarities.
Combat application: Hiding your motion in motion. Example; light hopping
in sparring can hide your attack.
Prepare too much and you lose sight of the big picture; what you see often
you do not doubt. Yin (the art of deception) is in Yang (acting in open). Too
much Yang (transparency) hides Yin (true ruses). This stratagem references
an episode in 643 AD, when Emperor Taizong of Tang, balked from crossing
the sea to a campaign against Koguryo. His general Xue Rengui thought of a
stratagem to get the emperor across and allay his fear of seasickness: on a
clear day, the emperor was invited to meet a wise man. They entered through
a dark tunnel into a hall where they feasted. After feasting several days, the
Emperor heard the sound of waves and realized that he had been lured onto a
ship! General Xue drew aside the curtains to reveal the ocean and confessed
that they had already crossed the sea: Upon discovering this, the emperor
decided to carry on and later completed the successful campaign.
This stratagem means that you can mask your real goals, by using the ruse of
a fake goal that everyone takes for granted, until the real goal is achieved.
Tactically, this is known as an ‘open feint’; in front of everyone, you point
west, when your goal is actually in the east. By the time everyone realized it,
you have already achieved your goal. Harro von Senger notes in the German-
Language “Die List” that to grasp the full meaning, it would be something
like “to deceive the holy virgin Mary” in the West.
This stratagem makes use of the human failing to become unaware of
common everyday activities, or events that appear normal. The best secrets
are carried out in broad daylight. The best hoax is to repeat it so often that
people are convinced that the next move is also a hoax. When this happens, it
is the best moment to carry out one’s previously hidden true objective.

Surround one state to save another

Besiege Wei to rescue Zhao
When a strong group is about to take over a weaker group, a third part can
“have its cake and eat it too,” gaining a good reputation by attacking the
aggressor in apparent behalf of the defender, and also eventually absorb the
weakened defender to boot, without incurring the same opprobrium that
would be leveled at outright aggression. Combat application: Protecting a
loved one or friend.
When the enemy is too strong to be attacked directly, then attack something
he holds dear. Know that he cannot be superior in all things. Somewhere
there is a gap in the armor, a weakness that can be attacked instead.
The origin of this proverb is from the Warring States Period. The state of Wèi
attacked Zhao and laid siege to its capital Handan. Zhào turned to Qí for help,
but the Qí general Sun Bin determined it would be unwise to meet the army
of Wèi head on, so he instead attacked their capital at Daliang. The army of
Wèi retreated in haste, and the tired troops were ambushed and defeated at
the Battle of Guiling, with the Wèi general Pang Juan fled on the field. Note
that this campaign is also described explicitly in the Art of War of Master
Sun Bin the younger.
The idea here is to avoid a head on battle with a strong enemy, and instead
strike at his weakness elsewhere. This will force the strong enemy to retreat
in order to support his weakness. Battling against the now tired and low-
morale enemy will give a much higher chance of success.

Borrow a sword to attack another

Kill with a borrowed knife
When one side in a conflict is weakening, it may draw its own friends into
battle, thus delivering a blow to its enemy while conserving its own strength.
Combat application: defeat the enemy through the use of their own power or
that of another, also literally disarm the attacker and use their weapon.
Attack using the strength of another (in a situation where using one’s own
strength is not favorable). Trick an ally into attacking him, bribe an official to
turn traitor, or use the enemy’s own strength against him. The idea here is to
cause damage to the enemy by getting a 3rd party to do the deed.
Face the weary in a condition of ease
Wait at ease for the fatigued enemy or leisurely await the labored.
You force others to expend energy while you preserve yours. You tire
opponents out by sending them on wild goose chases, or by making them
come to you from far away while you stand your ground. Combat
application: Stay out of your attackers range and make them expend energy
on useless attacks.
It is an advantage to choose the time and place for battle. In this way you
know when and where the battle will take place, while your enemy does not.
Encourage your enemy to expend his energy in futile quests while you
conserve your strength. When he is exhausted and confused, you attack with
energy and purpose.
The idea is to have your troops well-prepared for battle, in the same time that
the enemy is rushing to fight against you. This will give your troops a huge
advantage in the upcoming battle, of which you will get to select the time and

Plunge into a fire to pull off a robbery

Loot a burning house
You use others’ troubles as opportunities to gain something for yourself.
Combat application: Take advantage of your attackers misfortune, for
example if the sun, rain, wind gets in their eyes, of they become distracted
etc. When a country is beset by internal conflicts, when disease and famine
ravage the population, when corruption and crime are rampant, then it will be
unable to deal with an outside threat. This is the time to attack.
Keep gathering internal information about an enemy. If the enemy is
currently in its weakest state ever, attack it without mercy and totally destroy
it to prevent future troubles.

Feint east, strike west

Make faint to the east but attack in the west
You spread misleading information about your intentions, or make false
suggestions, in order to induce the opponent to concentrate his defenses on
one front and thereby leave another front vulnerable to attack.
Combat application: Feint, fake. In sparring fake a low kick and follow with
a high strike when your attacker lowers their defense.
In any battle the element of surprise can provide an overwhelming advantage.
Even when face to face with an enemy, surprise can still be employed by
attacking where he least expects it. To do this you must create an expectation
in the enemy’s mind through the use of a feint. The idea here is to get the
enemy to focus his forces in a location, and then attack elsewhere which
would be weakly defended.

Part 2: Enemy Dealing Stratagems 敵戰計

Make something from nothing
無中生有 /无中生有
Produce something out of nothing
You create a false idea in the mind of the opponent, and fix it in his mind as a
reality. In particular, this means that you convey the impression that you have
what you do not, to the end that you may appear formidable and thus actually
obtain a security that you had not enjoyed before.
Combat application: I once used my wallet as a pretend cell phone to scare
off a car full of car thieves. From a distance they thought I was calling the
police. This is similar to sticking your finger through your jacket and faking
you have a gun. You could also pretend to know a stranger crossing the
street, waving to them to plant the false idea in the attackers mind that you
know them. A plain lie. Make somebody believe there was something when
there is in fact nothing. One method of using this stratagem is to create an
illusion of something’s existence, while it does not exist. Another method is
to create an illusion that something does not exist, while it does.

Cross the pass in the dark

Advance to Chencang by a hidden path
明修棧道, 暗渡陳倉/明修栈道, 暗渡陈仓
Openly repair the gallery roads, but sneak through the passage of
You set up a false front, then penetrate the opponent’s territory on other
fronts while they are distracted by your false front. (pretend to prepare along
one path while secretly going along another).
Combat application: Zig and Zag, fake left go right etc.
Deceive the enemy with an obvious approach that will take a very long time,
while surprising him by taking a shortcut and sneak up to him. As the enemy
concentrates on the decoy, he will miss you sneaking up to him.
The phrase originated from the Chu-Han contention, where Liu Bang
retreated to the lands of Sichuan to prepare for a confrontation with Xiang
Yu. Once he was fully prepared, Liu Bang sent men to openly repair the
gallery roads he had destroyed earlier, while secretly moving his troops
towards Guanzhong through the small town of Chencang instead. When
Xiang Yu received news of Liu Bang repairing the gallery roads, he
dismissed the threat since he knew the repairs would take years to complete.
This allowed Liu Bang to retake Guanzhong by surprise, and eventually led
to his victory over Xiang Yu and the birth of the Han Dynasty.
This tactic is an extension of the “Make a sound in the east, then strike in the
west” tactic. But instead of simply spreading misinformation to draw the
enemy’s attention, physical baits are used to increase the enemy’s certainty
on the misinformation. These baits must be easily seen by the enemy, to
ensure that they draw the enemy’s attention. At the same time, the baits must
act as if what they meant to do what they were falsely doing, to avoid
drawing the enemy’s suspicion.

Watch the fire from the opposite bank of the river

隔岸觀火 /隔岸观火
Watch the fire from the other side of the river (showing non-
You calmly look on when adversaries experience internal troubles, waiting
for them to destroy themselves. Combat application: Take advantage of any
environmental distractions or misfortunes your attacker may suffer. Crossing
the street when faced with multiple attackers for example can disorganize the
group if there is traffic. Delay entering the field of battle until all the other
players have become exhausted fighting amongst themselves. Then go in at
full strength and pick up the pieces.

Hide a sword in a smile

笑裡藏刀 /笑里藏刀
Conceal a knife in your smile
You ingratiate yourself with enemies, inducing them to trust you. When you
have their confidence, you can move against them in secret. Combat
application: Don’t let on you are about to attack.
Charm and ingratiate yourself to your enemy. When you have gained his
trust, move against him in secret.

One tree falls for another

The plum dies for the apricot
Individual sacrifices may have to be made to achieve a greater goal.
(substitute this for that) Combat application: Create a false opening to bait
the attacker into a trap. There are circumstances in which you must sacrifice
short-term objectives in order to gain the long-term goal. This is the
scapegoat stratagem whereby someone else suffers the consequences so that
the rest do not.

Take the sheep in hand as you go along

Make off with a sheep in passing by.
Take the opportunity to pilfer a goat.
You take advantage of any opportunity, however small, and avail yourself of
any profit, however slight. This comes from the story of a destitute traveler
walking on a road. As he went along, he came across a flock of sheep;
making his way through them, when he emerged from their midst he had a
sheep with him. He behaved so calmly and naturally, as if he had been
leading his own sheep to market all along, that the shepherd never noticed
him. (Lead away a sheep in passing)
Combat application: Hide your attack in a natural non threatening motions.
While carrying out your plans be flexible enough to take advantage of any
opportunity that presents itself, however small, and avail yourself of any
profit, however slight.

Part 3: Attacking Stratagems 攻戰計

Beat the grass to startle the snakes
打草驚蛇 /打草惊蛇
Beat the grass and frighten away the snake.
Stomp the grass to scare the snake
When opponents are reserved and unfathomable, you create some sort of stir
to see how they will react. Yagyfi mentions this, and also notes that it is used
in Sun (Zen). Certain Sun sayings and stories are used primarily to test
people and find out what they are like.
Combat application: Test your opponents reactions with hand strikes, low
kicks, verbal attacks etc. Push their buttons.
Do something unaimed, but spectacular (“hitting the grass”) to provoke a
response of the enemy (“startle the snake”), thereby giving away his plans or
position, or just taunt him. Do something unusual, strange, and unexpected as
this will arouse the enemy’s suspicion and disrupt his thinking. More widely
used as “[Do not] startle the snake by hitting the grass”. An imprudent act
will give your position or intentions away to the enemy.

Borrow a corpse to bring back a spirit

借屍還魂 /借尸还魂
Resurrect in a new guise / Borrow a corpse to resurrect the soul.
You don’t use what everyone else is using, but use what others aren’t using.
This can mean reviving something that has dropped out of use through
neglect, or finding uses for things that had hitherto been ignored or
considered useless. (Raise the dead)
Combat application: Improvise a weapon from a natural object.
Take an institution, a technology, a method, or even an ideology that has
been forgotten or discarded and appropriate it for your own purpose. Revive
something from the past by giving it a new purpose or bring to life old ideas,
customs, or traditions and reinterpret them to fit your purposes.

Train a tiger to leave the mountains

調虎離山 /调虎离山
Lure the tiger out of the mountain/
Entice the tiger to leave its mountain lair
You don’t go into the fastness of powerful opponents’ territory, but induce
them to come out of their stronghold.
Combat application: Bait your attacker with a false opening.
Never directly attack an opponent whose advantage is derived from its
position. Instead lure him away from his position thus separating him from
his source of strength.
Let the enemy leave in order to catch him
Let the enemy off so to snare them /
In order to capture, one must let loose
When you want to take captives, leave them on the loose for a while. (Let the
enemy off so to snare them) Fleeing enemies may turn again and strike
desperately if pursued too hotly. If they are given room to run, on the other
hand, they scatter and lose their energy. Then they can be taken captive
without further violence.
Combat application: Control your attackers motion, cutting off his options
and force them where you want them to be, for example drawing an attacker
in between two parked cars, a stair case etc.
Cornered prey will often mount a final desperate attack. To prevent this you
let the enemy believe he still has a chance for freedom. His will to fight is
thus dampened by his desire to escape. When in the end the freedom is
proven a falsehood the enemy’s morale will be defeated and he will surrender
without a fight.

Toss out a glazed tile to draw a jade

拋磚引玉 /抛砖引玉
Cast a brick to attract a gem/
Tossing out a brick to get a jade gem
You present something of superficial or apparent worth to induce another
party to produce something of real worth.
Combat application: Bait your attacker with a pretend opening.
Bait someone by making him believe he gains something or just make him
react to it (“toss out a brick”) and obtain something valuable from him in
return (“get a jade gem”).
This proverb is based on a story involving two famous poets of the Tang
Dynasty. There was a great poet named Zhao Gu (趙嘏) and another lesser
poet by the name of Chang Jian (常建). While Chang Jian was traveling in
Suzhou, he heard news that Zhao Gu would be visiting a temple in the area.
Chang Jian wished to learn from the master poet, so he devised a plan and
went to the temple in advance, then wrote a poem on the temple walls with
only two of the four lines completed, hoping Zhao Gu would see it and finish
the poem. Zhao Gu acted as Chang Jian foresaw, and from this story came
the proverb.

To capture the brigands (rebels), capture their king

擒賊先擒王 /擒贼擒王
To kill a snake cut off the head
Catch the ringleader first in order to capture all his bandit followers. Defeat
the enemy by capturing their chief.
When confronted with a massive opposition, you take aim at its central
leadership. Combat application: Take out the leader or the most feared of
the group and the group will usually become disorganized. If the enemy’s
army is strong but is allied to the commander only by money, superstition or
threats, then take aim at the leader. If the commander falls the rest of the
army will disperse or come over to your side. If, however, they are allied to
the leader through loyalty then beware, the army can continue to fight on
after his death out of vengeance.

Part 4: Chaos Stratagems 混戰計

Take the firewood out from under the pot

Take away the firewood under the cauldron / Remove the firewood from
under the pot
When you cannot handle an adversary in a head-on confrontation, you can
still win by undermining the enemy’s resources and morale. (take drastic
measures to strike at source of a problem)
Combat application: Again using the environment, for example tipping over
furniture, drawing them onto higher ground (you’re higher) etc. The idea
being if you are of equal or inferior skills you must use strategy to succeed.
If something must be destroyed, destroy the source.

Stir up the waters to catch fish

Fish in troubled water /
Disturb the water and catch a fish
You use confusion to your advantage, to take what you want. It may
specifically mean taking advantage of a general or particular loss of direction
in order to gather followers from among the uncommitted or disenfranchised.
(try to take advantage of a disturbed situation to take in profits)
Combat application: Fighting with the sun to your back so it’s in their eyes,
or the wind. Bumping a car to activate the alarm to create confusion. Take
advantage of your opponents distractions. Create confusion and use this
confusion to further your own goals.

The gold cicada molts its shell

金蟬脫殼 /金蝉脱壳
Cast off the molted skin.
Slough off the cicada’s golden shell.
This means leaving behind false appearances created for strategic purposes.
Like the cicada shell, the facade remains intact, but the real action is now
elsewhere. (escape unnoticed)
Combat application: Raise a hand high and kick low, toss something at your
attackers face etc. It’s a stratagem mainly used to escape from an enemy of
superior force. Mask yourself. Either leave flamboyant traits behind, thus
going incognito, or just masquerade yourself and create an illusion to fit your
goals and distract others.

Lock the gates to catch the bandits

關門捉賊 /关门捉贼
Close the gate to catch the thieves.
Shut the door to catch the thief.

You catch invading predators by not letting them get away. You don’t let
them get back to their homelands with what they can get from you. If they
escape, you don’t chase them, because you will thereby fall prey to the
enemy’s plot to wear you down. (Bolt the door to catch the thief)
Combat application: Stepping on your attackers foot, trapping their hands
etc. To deliver capture the enemy, you must plan prudently if you want to
succeed. Do not rush into action. Before you “move in for the kill”, first cut
off your enemy’s escape routes, and cut off any routes through which outside
help can reach them.

Make allies at a distance, attack nearby

遠交近攻 /远交近攻
Befriend distant countries while attacking those nearby.
Befriend a distant state while attacking a neighbor.
When you are more vulnerable to those close by than you are to those far
away, you can defend yourself by keeping those around you off balance, in
the meantime cutting of their field of maneuver by securing a broader ring of
alliances surrounding them.
Combat application: Concentrate on the immediate threat. It is known that
nations that border each other become enemies while nations separated by
distance and obstacles make better allies. When you are the strongest in one
field, your greatest threat is from the second strongest in your field, not the
strongest from another field. This policy is associated with Fan Sui of Qin,
circa 269 BC.

Borrow the right of way to attack the neighbor

Conquer Hao after obtaining permission to cross another country.
Obtain safe passage to conquer the State of Guo.
You secure the temporary use of another party’s facilities in order to move
against a mutual enemy. After having used these facilities to prevail over the
enemy, you then turn and use them against the party from whom you
borrowed them. (Forge neutral alliances)
Combat application: Use one attacker against the other. Move when fighting
so they constantly cross each other and get in one another’s way. Use an
attackers weapon against the other attacker. Borrow the resources of an ally
to attack a common enemy. Once the enemy is defeated, use those resources
to turn on the ally that lent you them in the first place. See Duke Xian of Jin.

Part 5: Proximate Stratagems 並戰計

Steal a beam to replace a pillar
Replace the beams and pillars with rotten timber.
You try to recruit top talent from among allies, inducing them to join your
Combat application: Use negotiations and undermine their confidence, I
remember one time an older master relates a time when a young punk with
his friends started to harass him. He said to the harasser ‘You know if you
beat me up, all you did was beat up an old man. But on the other hand if I get
a lucky shot in on you your friends will never let you forget an old man beat
you. Either way it’s not good’ the young punk postured a little bit and then
walked away. Attack the legs.
Disrupt the enemy’s formations, interfere with their methods of operations,
change the rules in which they are used to following, go contrary to their
standard training. In this way you remove the supporting pillar, the common
link that makes a group of men an effective fighting force.

Point at one to scold another

Point at the mulberry only to curse the locust.
Point at the mulberry tree while cursing the locust tree.
You criticize indirectly, getting your point across without confrontation.
(scold one person through another)
Combat application: If with another you can pretend it’s their fault and you
will take care of them. (of course this as to be explained wink, wink to your
friend). To discipline, control, or warn others whose status or position
excludes them from direct confrontation; use analogy and innuendo. When
names are not used directly, those accused cannot retaliate without revealing
their complicity.

Feign ignorance without going crazy

Feign foolishness. Feign madness but keep your balance.
You pretend to be stupid and ignorant, but avoid talking loosely. (Pretend
madness without losing the balance)
Combat application: Fake injury, sickness, stupidity etc. Hide behind the
mask of a fool, a drunk, or a madman to create confusion about your
intentions and motivations. Lure your opponent into underestimating your
ability until, overconfident, he drops his guard. Then you may attack.

Let them climb the roof, then take away the ladder
Take away the ladder when the enemy is on the second floor.
Remove the ladder when the enemy has ascended to the roof.
You maneuver enemies into a point of no return by baiting them with what
look like advantages and opportunities.
Combat application: Like Bruce Lee’s character in the movie Enter the
Dragon when he asked his challenger to take the small rowboat to the small
island to fight. When the challenger got on the boat he set it adrift. A modern
application would be to let them through the door first and then lock it behind
them. With baits and deceptions, lure your enemy into treacherous terrain.
Then cut off his lines of communication and avenue of escape. To save
himself, he must fight both your own forces and the elements of nature.

Make flowers bloom on a tree

False flowers on a tree.
Deck the tree with false blossoms.

You dazzle and deceive the eyes of opponents by showy displays. (use
Combat application: Fake and feint or shatter their confidence with a
demonstration of skill. I remember an older master discouraging a gang once
by picking up a cobblestone from the street and breaking it in half. Tying
silk blossoms on a dead tree gives the illusion that the tree is healthy.
Through the use of artifice and disguise, make something of no value appear
valuable; of no threat appear dangerous; of no use appear useful. This
stratagem is identical to that of the Potemkin village.

Turn the guest into the host

Make the guest the host.
Make the host and the guest exchange roles.
This is when a business is taken over by one of its own clients or consultants.
Combat application: Use your attackers energy against them, when pushed-
pull, when pulled-push.
Usurp leadership in a situation where you are normally subordinate. Infiltrate
your target. Initially, pretend to be a guest to be accepted, but develop from
inside and become the owner later.

Part 6: Desperate Stratagems 敗戰計

Scheme with beauties (beauty trap)

Scheme with beauties.
The beauty trap (honey trap).
This refers to using the charms of women to influence key figures in an
adversary organization. The stratagem of (making use of) a beautiful woman
(as decoy)
Combat application: Use something attractive to the attacker, an opening,
money, reward etc. A modern application could be dropping your wallet
‘accidentally’ as their eyes follow it attack.
Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This
stratagem can work on three levels.
First, the ruler becomes so enamoured with the beauty that he neglects his
duties and allows his vigilance to wane. Second, other males at court will
begin to display aggressive behaviour that inflames minor differences
hindering co-operation and destroying morale. Third, other females at court,
motivated by jealousy and envy, begin to plot intrigues further exacerbating
the situation.

Scheme with an empty castle

Open gates and an emptied city with soldiers waiting in ambush.
The empty fort strategy.

You appear weaker than you really are, so that opponents may defeat
themselves by one of three reactions to your supposed weakness: they may
become conceited and complacent, leading to their downfall; they may
become arrogant and aggressive, leading to their destruction; or they may
assume you are setting up an ambush, leading them to flee of their own
Combat application: When weak appear strong, when strong appear weak.
Don’t let the attacker know your state, lure him by pretending to be weak,
discourage him by appearing strong.
When the enemy is superior in numbers and your situation is such that you
expect to be overrun at any moment, then drop all pretense of military
preparedness and act calmly so that the enemy will think you are setting an
ambush. This stratagem has to be used sparingly and only after one has first
developed a reputation for military prowess. This also depends on having a
clever opponent who, in perceiving a trap, may over-think his reaction.

Scheme with double agents

Sow discord in the enemy’s camp.
Let the enemy’s own spy sow discord in the enemy camp.
You compromise insiders of other organizations to get them to work for you.
Combat application: In a multiple attack situation, attack in a fast, aggressive
and unpredictable manner, to confuse the group.
Undermine your enemy’s ability to fight by secretly causing discord between
him and his friends, allies, advisors, family, commanders, soldiers, and
population. While he is preoccupied settling internal disputes, his ability to
attack or defend, is compromised.

Scheme with self-inflicted wounds

The stratagem of self-mutilation in order to lure out the enemy.
Inflict injury on oneself to win the enemy’s trust.
This a technique particularly for undercover agents: you make yourself look
like a victim of your own people, in order to win the sympathy and
confidence of enemies.
Combat application: Pretend to be injured or sick then attack.
Pretending to be injured has two possible applications. In the first, the enemy
is lulled into relaxing his guard since he no longer considers you to be an
immediate threat. The second is a way of ingratiating yourself to your enemy
by pretending the injury was caused by a mutual enemy.
Scheme in continuous circles
The stratagem of combining rings (of various stratagems).
Chain stratagems.

When facing a more powerful enemy, you don’t oppose by force, and don’t
concentrate all your resources on only one avenue of strategy; you keep
different plans operating simultaneously in an overall scheme.
Combat application: Keep your awareness active, use what becomes available
to you. Tip over furniture, throw objects etc.
In important matters, one should use several stratagems applied
simultaneously after another as in a chain of stratagems. Keep different plans
operating in an overall scheme; however, in this manner if any one stratagem
fails, then the chain breaks and the whole scheme fails.

Know when It is best to run

The best stratagem is to run away.
If all else fails, retreat
When overwhelmed, you don’t fight; you surrender, compromise, or flee.
Surrender is complete defeat, compromise is half defeat, flight is not defeat.
As long as you are not defeated, you have another chance to win. Combat
application: Run!
If it becomes obvious that your current course of action will lead to defeat,
then retreat and regroup. When your side is losing, there are only three
choices remaining: surrender, compromise, or escape. Surrender is complete
defeat, compromise is half defeat, but escape is not defeat. As long as you are
not defeated, you still have a chance.
Strategy And Tactics
Nàxiē wèi néng huòdé yīgè yǐshàng de táolí huó gāisǐ.
Those who fail to secure more than one escape invite death.


Yīgè cōngmíng de dòngwù yǒusān kū yīgè cōngmíng de wǔshù bèifèn yǒu
sānzhǒng xíngshì huò sānzhǒng xíngshì yì chū.
A clever animal has three burrows. A clever martial artist has three forms of
back-up or three forms of escape.

Fù cháo zhī xià dāng suǒyǒu de jīdàn dōu suìle, dāng gōngjí zhě suǒyǒu
qiánzài de pínghéng bèi dǎpò gōngjí bèi tuīfān.
When a nest is overturned all eggs are broken. When the attackers balance is
broken all potential attacks are overturned.

Chángshì rènhé zài juéwàng de qíngkuàng xià.
Try anything in a desperate situation.

Liǎng qǐ xíjí shìjiàn shì yītǐ de, méiyǒu yīgè gōngjí duìyú chénggōng de gàilǜ
zuìgāo yǐn rén zhùmù dì bùshǔ duō gè gōngjí.
Two attacks are one, and one attack is none. For the highest probability of
successful striking deploy multiple attacks.

Xúnqiú zhǔzǎi zhíjiē cóng dǐngbù de wài qiáo jiēchù cānkǎo.
Seek to dominate straight from the outside top bridge contact reference.
Xúnqiú xuánzhuǎn yǔ gǔndòng lì yóu nèi ér wài dǐ qiáo jiēchù cānkǎo.
Seek to turn and roll force from the inside bottom bridge contact reference.

Zài dì yī cì jiēchù zhōng, gōngjí zhě bìxū shǔyú zìjǐ de mǎ.
At first contact the attacker must fall off their horse.

Yǐncáng cì dírén zhǎodào.
Hide thorns for the enemy to find.

Nín bìxū shì xiōngměng de chōngtú shí.
You must be ferocious when clashing.

Body / Structural
Chén zhǒu, duóhuí kòngzhì quán.
Sink the elbow to regain control.

使用剪切力引導攻擊. 使用鑽探力驅動的攻擊者
Shǐyòng jiǎn qiè lì yǐndǎo gōngjí. Shǐyòng zuāntàn lì qūdòng de gōngjí zhě.
Use shearing force to steer the attacker. Use drilling force to drive the

Jǐn jǐn de jǐ zài yè xià.
Tightly squeeze close the armpits.
Shǒu bùyào tuìsuō xiàng qián yánshēn.
The hands don’t draw back to extend forward.

Lā de xiōngbù, tuīchū shàng bèibù, bìng dài lái wěigǔ.
Pull in the chest, push out the upper back,
and bring in the tail bone.

Kěyǐ xíngchéng yīgè jīnzìtǎ de zhòngxīn zài zhōngxīn.
Form a pyramid with the center of gravity in the center.

Dāng bù jìn, tígāo xīgài fǎngfú bèi xī jìn mín jìn.
When stepping, raise the knee as if it is being
sucked into the dan tien.

Zhǒu bù, jiānbǎng, yāobù xià chén.
Sink the elbows, the shoulders, and the waist.

Dāng yídòng shǒubì, gēn zhǒu, rúguǒ tā bèi xī jìn xiōnggǔ.
When moving the arm, root the elbow as if it is
being sucked into the sternum.

Dāng yídòng bì, fèi de páigǔ yòng zhǒu bù.
When moving the arm, scrap the ribs with the elbow.
Xiàng qián jìngōng dàidòng nǐ de gēbó zhǒu zài nǐmen shǒu lǐ.
To attack forward drive your elbow into your hand.

Cháo mùbiāo shǐzhōng duì zhǔn nǐ de qiánbì.
Always align your forearm with/toward the target.

Shǐzhōng zhùyì zhōngqí zhōngxīn xiàn chuízhí hé shuǐpíng píngmiàn shàng
qiān xīgài bìxū yǒngyuǎn bù huì tuìqù, yáohuàng huò gùdìng tàncè qì.
Pay attention to the centerlines. The lead knee must never recede, wobble or
be unanchored.

Zài suǒyǒu de yāobù xuánzhuǎn, xiàng yīkuài shī máojīn, níng zhǔjiǎo tuǐ
dàtuǐ, biǎodá yīgè xuánwō xuánzhuǎn, luóxuán xiàngshàng huò xiàng xià
yídòng. Xīgài jué bùnéng tuìquè.
In all waist rotation, wring the lead leg thigh like a wet towel, expressing a
whirlpool rotation that spirals upward or downward. The knee must not

Qīngdān dàndào dǎodàn xuánzhuǎn bǔchōng lìliàng hé qiánlì, xiǎnshì
wěndìng de gōngjí zhě de měi yīgè dòngzuò.
Manifest ballistic rotation in every action for added power and potential to
destabilize the attacker.
Yītiáoxīn, yīgè shēntǐ, yīgè diànyuán.
One mind. One body. One Power.

Yītiáoxīn, yīgè shēntǐ, yīgè diànyuán.
If you chase after two rabbits, you’ll catch neither. Focus on one attacker at a

Rúguǒ nǐ bù shā gēn zá cǎo huì huílái.
If you don’t kill the root the weed will return.

Dāng yídòng bì, fèi de páigǔ yòng zhǒu bù.
When entering a door, know the hinges, door knobs and central opening.

Bù wén bù ruò wén zhī, wén zhī bù ruò jiàn zhī, jiàn zhī bù ruò zhīzhī, zhīzhī
bù ruò xíng zhī; xué zhìyú xíng zhī ér zhǐ yǐ bù wén bù ruò wén zhī, wén zhī
bù ruò jiàn zhī, jiàn zhī bù ruò zhīzhī, zhīzhī bù ruò xíng zhī; xué zhìyú xíng
zhī ér zhǐ yǐ.
Not hearing is not as good as hearing, hearing is not as good as seeing, seeing
is not as good as mentally knowing, mentally knowing is not as good as
acting; true learning continues up to the point that action comes forth.

風向轉變時,有人築牆,有人造風車, 风向转变时,有人筑墙,有人造风车
Fēngxiàng zhuǎnbiàn shí, yǒurén zhú qiáng, yǒurénzào fēngchē, fēngxiàng
zhuǎnbiàn shí, yǒu rén zhú qiáng, yǒu rénzào fēngchē.
When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build

害人之心不可有, 害人之心不可有
Hài rén zhī xīn bùkě yǒu, hài rén zhī xīn bùkě yǒu.
Do not harbour intentions to hurt others.

師傅領進門,修行在個人, 师傅领进门,修行在个人
Shīfù lǐng jìnmén, xiūxíng zài gèrén, shīfù lǐng jìnmén, xiūxíng zài gèrén.
Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.

有錢能使鬼推磨, 有钱能使鬼推磨
Yǒu qián néng shǐ guǐ tuī mó, yǒu qián néng shǐ guǐ tuī mó.
If you have money you can make the devil push your grind stone.

千军易得, 一将难求
Qiān jūn yì dé, yī jiāng nán qiú.
It is easy to find a thousand soldiers, but hard to find a good general.

Fēng wúcháng shùn, bīng wúcháng shèng.
A boat can’t always sail with the wind; an army can’t always win battles.

Lǎojìfúlì, zhì zài qiānlǐ.
An old warhorse in the stable still longs to gallop a thousand miles.

Bīng bù yànzhà.
Nothing is too deceitful in war.

Yánshī chū gāotú.
Good pupils are to be brought up by strict teachers.

Āi bīng bì shèng.
An oppressed army fighting with desperate courage is sure to win.

Bǎochí jìlǜ jìnxíng zìjǐ de dàodé zuòwéi yīgè wǔshù jiā.
Remain disciplined, conduct yourself ethically as a martial artist.

Shíjiàn lǐmào hé gōngyì fúwù shèhuì bìng zūnzhòng nǐ de cháng bèi.
Practice courtesy and righteousness, serve the community and respect your

Ài nǐ de tóngxué tuánjié qǐlái bìmiǎn chōngtú.
Love your fellow students, be united and avoid conflicts.

Kèkǔ xùnliàn bǎochí zìjǐ de jìnéng.
Train diligently, maintain your skills.

Xuéxí rúhé kāifā jīngshén ānníng fàngqì cóng cānshù hé dǎjià.
Learn to develop spiritual tranquility, abstain
from arguments and fights.

Cānyù shèhuì bǎoshǒu nǐ de jǔzhǐ wēnróu.
Participate in society, be conservative and gentle in your manners.

Bāngzhù ruòzhě hěn niánqīng lǎo de yòng nǐ de liánghǎo de rénlèi ménpài
Help the weak and the very young and old, use your martial skills for the
good of humanity.

Chuándì de chuántǒng, bǎohù zhège zhōngguó yìshù hé qí xíngwéi guīzé.
Pass on the tradition, preserve this Chinese art and its Rules of Conduct.

Měi niú nián yǒu liǎng gè jiǎo, sì gè tízi.
Every ox has two horns, and four hooves.

Zài shuǐmiàn shàng tiào shí yǒu yītiáo lùyóu.
A skipping stone on water has one route.

Xiǎo dòng bù bǔ, dàdòng chīkǔ.
A small hole not mended in time will become a big hole much more difficult
to mend.
Dúshū xū yòngyì, yī zì zhí qiānjīn.
Intention of required study, the word worth a thousand gold.

讀萬卷書不如行萬裡路, 读万卷书不如行万里路
Dú wàn juǎn shū bùrú xíng wànlǐ lù, dú wàn juǎn shū bùrú xíng wàn lǐ lù.
Reading ten thousand books is not as useful as traveling ten thousand miles.

福無重至,禍不單行, 福无重至,祸不单行
Fú wú zhòng zhì, huòbùdānxíng, fú wú zhòng zhì, huòbùdānxíng.
Fortune does not come twice. Misfortune does not come alone.

良藥苦口, 良药苦口
Liángyào kǔkǒu, liángyào kǔkǒu.
Good medicine tastes bitter.

肉包子打狗, 肉包子打狗
Ròu bāozi dǎ gǒu, ròu bāozi dǎ gǒu.
To hit a dog with a meat-bun.

死馬當活馬醫, 死马当活马医
Sǐ mǎ dāng huó mǎ yī, sǐ mǎ dāng huó mǎ yī.
Try to save the dead horse as if it is still alive.

授人以魚不如授人以漁, 授人以鱼不如授人以渔
Shòu rén yǐ yú bùrú shòu rén yǐ yú, shòu rén yǐ yú bùrú shòu rén yǐ yú.
Teach a man to take a fish is not equal to teach a man how to fish.

樹倒猢猻散, 树倒猢狲散
Shù dǎo húsūn sàn, shù dǎo húsūn sàn.
When the tree falls, the monkeys scatter.

水能載舟,亦能覆舟, 水能载舟,亦能覆舟
Shuǐ néng zài zhōu, yì néng fù zhōu, shuǐ néng zài zhōu, yì néng fù zhōu.
Not only can water float a boat, it can sink it also.

Sānsī érhòu xíng.
Think three times before you move.

一分耕耘,一分收穫, 一分耕耘,一分收获
Yī fēn gēngyún, yī fēn shōuhuò, yī fēn gēngyún, yī fēn shōuhuò.
If one does not plow, there will be no harvest.

自助者天助, 自助者天助
Zìzhù zhě tiānzhù, zìzhù zhě tiānzhù.
Those who help themselves, God will help.

Rénxīn qí, tàishān yí.
When people work with one mind, they can even remove Mount Taishan.

Míng rén bùyòng xì shuō, xiǎng gǔ bùyòng zhòng chuí.
People of good sense or expertise need only a hint to understand any matter.

Huā yǒu chóng kāi rì, rén wú zài shàonián.
Flowers may bloom again, but a person never has the chance to be young
again. So don’t waste your time.
Yǒu jiè yǒu hái, zài jiè bù nán.
Timely return of a loan makes it easier to borrow a second time.

Shībài shì chénggōng zhī mǔ.
Failure is mother of success.

Rénguò liú míng, yànguò liú shēng.
A person leaves a reputation, bad or good, behind wherever he works or

Wànshì jù bèi, zhǐ qiàn dōngfēng.
Everything is ready except the east wind.

Cháng jiāng yǒu rì sī wú rì, mò jiāng wú shí xiǎng yǒushí.
When rich, think of poverty, but don’t think of riches when you are poor.

塞翁失马, 焉知非福
Sàiwēngshīmǎ, yān zhī fēi fú.
A bad thing may become a good thing under certain conditions.

Xué ér bù sī zé wǎng, sī ér bù xué zé dài.
Learning without thought means labour lost; thought without learning is
Shū dào yòngshí fāng hèn shǎo.
It is when you are using what you have learned from books that you wish you
had read more.

有理走遍天下, 无理寸步难行
Yǒulǐ zǒu biàn tiānxià, wúlǐ cùnbùnánxíng.
With justice on your side, you can go anywhere; without it, you can’t take a

Máquè suī xiǎo, wǔzàng jùquán.
Small as it is, the sparrow has all the vital organs.

Dàn yuàn rén chángjiǔ, qiānlǐ gòng chánjuān.
Wish us a long life to share the beauty of this graceful moonlight, even
thousands miles apart.

Lù yáo zhī mǎlì, rì jiǔ jiàn rénxīn.
As distance tests a horse’s strength, so does time reveal a person’s real

Dēng bù bō bù liàng, lǐ bù biàn bùmíng.
An oil lamp becomes brighter after trimming, a truth becomes clearer after
being discussed.

Sān rén yītiáoxīn, huángtǔ biàn chéng jīn.
If people are of one heart, even the earth can become gold.

Dāngjúzhěmí, pángguānzhěqīng.
The spectators see more of the game than the players.

Dà chù zhuóxiǎng, xiǎo chù zhuóshǒu.
Keep the general goal in sight while tackling
daily tasks.

Chī yī qiàn, zhǎng yī zhì.
A fall into the pit, a gain in your wit.

Bùnéng yīkǒu chī chéng pàngzi.
Keep going with your Chinese, you just started.

Shuǐ mǎn zé yì.
Water surges only to overflow.

Yǒuyuán qiānlǐ lái xiāng huì.
Fate brings people together no matter
how far apart they may be.

Yǎbā chī jiǎozi, xīn li yǒushù.
When a mute person eats dumplings, he knows how many he has eaten, even
though he cannot speak.

Zhǐyào gōngfū shēn, tiě chǔ mó chéng zhēn.
If you work hard enough at it, you can grind even an iron rod down to a

种瓜得瓜, 种豆得豆
Zhǒng guā dé guā, zhǒng dòu dé dòu.
As a man sows, so shall he reap.

Rén féng xǐshì jīngshén shuǎng.
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.

水滴石穿, 绳锯木断
Shuǐdīshíchuān, shéng jù mù duàn.
Dripping water pierces a stone; a saw made of rope cuts through wood.

Yī rì zhī jì zàiyú chén.
A day’s planning is done in the morning.

Dú wàn juǎn shū bùrú xíng wànlǐ lù.
It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books.

Jìng yǐ xiūshēn.
Quiet thoughts mend the body.

Qiáng lóng nán yā dìtóushé.
Even a dragon (from the outside) finds it hard to control a snake in its old

Yībù yīgè jiǎoyìn er.
Every step leaves its print; work steadily and make solid progress.

Yīgè luóbo yīgè kēng er.
One radish, one hole. Each has his own task, and nobody is dispensable.

Bīngdòng sān chǐ, fēi yī rì zhī hán.
It takes more than one cold day for a river to freeze three feet deep.

Yīrén nán chēng bǎi rénxīn/zhòngkǒunántiáo.
It is hard to please everyone.

Qiānlǐ zhī xíng, shǐ yú zúxià.
A thousand mile journey is started by taking the first step.

Guó yǐ mín wéi běn, mín yǐ shí wéi tiān.
People as the root of the country, and food is the first necessity of people.

Méiyǒu guījǔ bùchéng fāngyuán.
Nothing can be accomplished without norms or standards.

Qián pà láng, hòupà hǔ.
Fear the wolf in front and the tiger behind.

Qīngchūyúlán ér shèng yú lán.
Indigo blue is obtained from the indigo plant, but such color is bluer than the
plant itself; the disciple has surpassed the master.

Shí nián shùmù, bǎinián shù rén.
It takes ten years to grow trees but a hundred years to rear people.

Mùyǐchéngzhōu, shēng mǐ zhǔ chéngshú fàn.
The timber has been turned into a boat already. The rice is already cooked.

Practice what you preach.

Learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones.
To bury the hatchets and work for peace.

Liú dé qīngshān zài, bùpà méi chái shāo.
Where there is life, there is hope.

Huò cóng kǒu chū.
Disaster emanates from a careless talk.

Jìng yǐ xiūshēn.
A light heart lives long.

Nìjìng chū réncái.
Adversity makes a man wise, not rich.

Shìshí shèng yú xióngbiàn.
Actions speak louder than words.

Làzhú zhào liàng biérén, què huǐmièle zìjǐ.
A candle lights others and consumes itself.

Bù huì chēng chuán guài hé wān.
A bad workman always blames his tools.

Strategy & Tactics

Control at first contact.
Go forward, penetrate and displace.
✽ ✽ ✽

Greet the attacker with pain.

Chase the attacker with death.

✽ ✽ ✽

Soft and relaxed strength will put your opponent in jeopardy.

✽ ✽ ✽

Upon achieving the highest level of proficiency, the application of techniques

will vary according to the opponent.
Simultaneous offense and defense; use offense as defense.
A hand used for attack serves also to parry.

✽ ✽ ✽

Defend the four gates.

✽ ✽ ✽

Kicking to the head is like punching to the foot.

Kicks lose nine times out of ten.

✽ ✽ ✽

Never force an opening. It must be developed and found through superior

sticking and cultivated skill. When the opportunity is there, your hands find
it through sensitive feeling and touch.

✽ ✽ ✽

During sticky hand practice, the hand which has entered beyond the elbow
will win nine times out of ten.

✽ ✽ ✽
Destroying the opponent’s center line will control his bridge.

✽ ✽ ✽

If the opponent grasps your arm bridge, do not oppose him with brute force.
Go with the opponent’s force and apply your turning skills to control the

✽ ✽ ✽

Move first to gain initiative, attack according to timing.

✽ ✽ ✽

Jam opponent’s bridge.

✽ ✽ ✽

Create a bridge if opponent’s bridge is not present.

✽ ✽ ✽

The thrusting and fast attacks are well suited for closing in.

✽ ✽ ✽

Use the three joints of the arm to prevent entry by the opponent’s bridge.
Jam the opponent’s bridge to restrict his movement.

✽ ✽ ✽

When wrist touch wrist, a kick does not miss.

✽ ✽ ✽

Welcome the attacker with open arms.

Let them advance and know great harm.
Hold your ground with hands held wide, invite their defeat and turn the tide.

✽ ✽ ✽

Beware of brute strength when facing someone from the same style.

✽ ✽ ✽

Grasping the throat is a ruthless technique. Once commenced, it cannot be


✽ ✽ ✽

Use alterations in stepping forward and backward.

Hands and feet should be closely coordinated.

✽ ✽ ✽

As long as you are sticking to your opponent, you are unlikely to lose.

✽ ✽ ✽

Rapid moves are hard to guard against.

Go in when the opponent slows down.

✽ ✽ ✽

You must be ferocious when clashing.

✽ ✽ ✽

Some of your strength must be kept in reserve.

✽ ✽ ✽
Seek to dominate straight from the outside top bridge contact reference.

✽ ✽ ✽

Seek to turn and roll force from the inside bottom bridge contact reference.

✽ ✽ ✽

The shifting of a single pillar will shake all the beams.

Attack the root of structure.
Strike first and prevail. Strike late and fail.

✽ ✽ ✽

If you don’t have anything to swallow, go sideways.

Body / Structural
Avoid flying elbow disease.
Drop your elbows, relax and sink your shoulders.
Elbow sinking power makes all of heaven submit.

✽ ✽ ✽

Coordinate the hands and feet.

Movement is integrated and unified.

✽ ✽ ✽

Cultivate and maintain a rooted pivot axis. Unite the three kinetic springs of
the body - legs, spine, arms.

✽ ✽ ✽

Maintain a strong triangular displacement bridge.

✽ ✽ ✽

The stance and steps are like a chariot, the hands are an onslaught of arrows.

✽ ✽ ✽

The elbow root must be strong.

Then you can take on any attack.

✽ ✽ ✽

Waist moves the arm, arm moves with the waist.

✽ ✽ ✽

Drop elbows to take the center.

✽ ✽ ✽

Hands match hands, kicks match kicks.

Fists are placed in front of the heart.

✽ ✽ ✽

Sink the elbow and drop the shoulders.

Guarding the centerline to protect both flanks.

✽ ✽ ✽

Power is generated from the joints.

Strength originates from the heels.

✽ ✽ ✽

In uniting the waist with the stance, power can be generated and directed
✽ ✽ ✽

A well trained waist can prevent loss of balance.

✽ ✽ ✽

Iron fingers can strike a vital point at once.

✽ ✽ ✽

The phoenix eye punch has no equal.

✽ ✽ ✽

Storing energy resembles pulling a bow.

Releasing power is like shooting an arrow.

✽ ✽ ✽

For good strong balance grip the ground with the toes.

✽ ✽ ✽

Hunch the back.

✽ ✽ ✽

Hang the arms like cables.

✽ ✽ ✽

Back like a willow basket.

The 4 energies of float, sink, swallow and spit are the root of all skills.
✽ ✽ ✽

Techniques come from the center.

✽ ✽ ✽

Do not keep any bad habit.

✽ ✽ ✽

Practice once a day, and you gain a day.

Skip a day and you will loose ten days.

✽ ✽ ✽

Know the difference between Yin and Yang, real and feigned.
Take advantage of any available opportunity.

✽ ✽ ✽

In a match do not expect any compassion.

✽ ✽ ✽

Circular and straight accompany each other.

Bent and straight complement one another.

✽ ✽ ✽

Extreme softness enables one to be hard.

Being extremely natural enables one to be agile.

✽ ✽ ✽

Hand techniques must follow the Yin Yang principle.

Strength must be applied with inner power.
There is a counteraction to every attack.
✽ ✽ ✽

The feet are like wheels, and the hands like arrows.

✽ ✽ ✽

Do not collide with a strong arm bridge.

Get out of the way and take initiative to attack.

✽ ✽ ✽

Kung fu uses his opponent’s strength against him.

✽ ✽ ✽

Each formula has a two or more person breakdown.

✽ ✽ ✽

Kung fu fighting is relaxed, continuous and flowing. The techniques are

practiced exactly the way they are used; there is no show.

✽ ✽ ✽

The fist must be fast.

✽ ✽ ✽

Power must be used to release strength.

✽ ✽ ✽

Timing must be accurate.

✽ ✽ ✽
Trapping hands must be continuous.

✽ ✽ ✽

Your own posture must be protected.

✽ ✽ ✽

Eye power and focus must be sharp.

✽ ✽ ✽

Movements must be agile.

✽ ✽ ✽

The spirit must remain calm.

✽ ✽ ✽

Breathing and strength must be steady.

✽ ✽ ✽

Internal strength must be sunken.

✽ ✽ ✽

The fighting demeanor must be commanding.

✽ ✽ ✽

A fight must end quickly.

✽ ✽ ✽
To release Chi from the will enable proper release of power.

✽ ✽ ✽

Thousands of variations aiming for practicality, not beauty.

✽ ✽ ✽

Internally developing chi. Externally training tendons, bones and muscles.

✽ ✽ ✽

Emphasize power, speed, accuracy, balance, aggressiveness.

✽ ✽ ✽

The first strike must make the attacker taste their spine.

✽ ✽ ✽

Attack until the fist is soaked red.

✽ ✽ ✽

The four aims are: Shocking power, sticky hands, releasing hands and heavy

✽ ✽ ✽

The eyes and hands act together.

✽ ✽ ✽

The hands don’t draw back to extend forward.

✽ ✽ ✽
Best to bestow a single skill on a student than a thousand pieces of gold.

✽ ✽ ✽

Posses a single skill, and reap the benefits for a lifetime.

✽ ✽ ✽

Maintain your focus and you can bore through an army of ten thousand

✽ ✽ ✽

In the area of learning, age makes no difference.

Those who know will always be the teacher of others.
Study and inquiry are the path to knowledge.

✽ ✽ ✽

Those who work with their brain rule.

Those who work with their brawn are ruled.

✽ ✽ ✽

In martial arts skill depends on the footwork.

✽ ✽ ✽

There is always one thing to subdue another.

Everything can be countered.

✽ ✽ ✽

Forced memorization is not as good as natural realization of principle, this is

an organic martial awakening.

✽ ✽ ✽
When the time comes to apply knowledge, we always regret our lack thereof.

✽ ✽ ✽

A good quality of another may provide the remedy or solution for our own

✽ ✽ ✽

You can’t gain knowledge without practice.

Wisdom comes from experience.
Fall behind in practice and your skills will fade.

✽ ✽ ✽

Sand is small, but it will harm your eyes.

✽ ✽ ✽

Diligence is a priceless treasure.

Caution is a talisman for survival.
I wish to extend my gratitude and thanks to the following people for their
contributions to this book:

Sifu Wayne Belonoha

Project Management

Nancy R. Baker
Editor & Technical Consultant

Aaron Cantrell

Sifu Edmund Kwai

Wing Chun & South Mantis

Sifu Lee Bing Choi

Wing Chun, South Mantis, & Bak Mei

Sifu R.L. Harris

Wing Chun & Xingyiquan

Sifu Steve Cottrel

Wing Chun & Seven Star Mantis

Sifu Steve Thompson

South Mantis & Bak Mei
Sifu Edward Robinson III
Taixuquan Six Elbows Kung Fu

Sifu Mike Reyes

Taixuquan Six Elbows Kung Fu

Sifu Alex Do
Jook Lum Mantis & Bak Mei

Sifu & Author Mark Wiley

Ngo Cho Kuen

Sifu Tyson Durr

Bak Mei, Iron Palm, Wing Chun

Sifu Elaine Emery

Tai Chi Chuan

Sifu Simon Lui

Lam Hung Pak Mei
Athletic Association of Minnesota

Simon Lui
Kung Fzu Physical Institute

Grand Master Brendan Lai

Seven Star Mantis

Sensei Jeff & Ann League

Aikiki Aikido

Sensei Dale Wagner

Judo & Uechi Ryu
Sensei Clyde Kimura
Judo & Jook Wan

Sensei Russ Smith

Goju Ryu & Southern Crane

Guru Steve Black

Kali & Silat,

Guru Steve Todd

Kali & Silat

Guru Carl Canliss

Balintawak, Kali Arnis

Guru Larry W. Gibson

Silat & Xingyiquan

Guru Carl Magnuson

Kali, Baguazhang, Chen Tai Chi

Madame Tom Hoi Leong

Andrew Vachss