View Full Version : 5 parts to training.

dan downard
09-10-2000, 11:30 AM
Five Strategic Elements of
Kung Fu San Soo
by Master Ben Smith

Without confidence, you will hesitate, strikes will be weak and ineffective. Without confidence even an opponent with inferior skills can easily defeat you. With confidence, you can defeat even a more skilled opponent without fighting. This is the essence of San Soo.

The path of confidence involves two complementary methods of training. The first is the physical. It involves constant repetition of basic techniques. Basic techniques should be drilled until they are reflexive in nature. The second method is the spiritual aspect of training. You must come to realize and accept your own mortality completely. Together these two components harmonize into the confidence necessary to become a competent fighter.

Confidence is the number one strategic element. For without confidence all strategy is useless. That is why the motto of Kung Fu San Soo is "You can take my life, but never my confidence.

This second strategic element separates martial artists from sport fighters. That is to say, the two methods of training are quite different. Sun Tzu, in his classic "The Art of War" states this point quite simply. He states, "In battle, confrontation is done directly, victory is gained by surprise."

To develop the art of surprise, Kung Fu San Soo forms are designed to make you strike without warning your opponent. This is not however obvious to the beginning student. A competent instructor can solve this paradox for you

Faking an opponent is another method of surprising or deceiving. Fakes are most effective when they are simple techniques which can be performed quickly. Remember, your opponent may try to employ the element of surprise too.

A fight should last about two seconds. Master Sun writes, "Therefore I have heard of military operations that were clumsy, but swift, but I have never seen one that was skillful and lasted a long time." The longer a confrontation lasts, the more chances your opponent has. Additionally, you have lost the element of surprise.

In order to end a struggle quickly, you must employ the first two strategic factors, confidence and surprise, as well as being cruel and without feeling for your opponent. This is usually quite difficult, for it contradicts your basic human nature if you are a good martial artist. Cruelty takes the form of striking vital targets with the force of the "One Sound." The "One Sound" comes from the three sources of power - body momentum (stepping or pivoting), breathing (exhaling sharply through the mouth), and the impact of your strike hitting its target (muscular strength). These sources of power are harmonized so that they begin and end simultaneously. Kung Fu San Soo forms are again designed ingeniously to help you accomplish this goal.

Fighting could mean the end of your life, not just a bloody nose or humiliation. To the San Soo fighter, defending yourself is not a matter of establishing dominance. It is a matter of life and death.

The best way to train for this skill is to conquer your fears. Fears are the seeds of anger and anger is like having on handcuffs and a blindfold during a fight.

Again, Sun Tzu puts it into words that cannot be equaled, "So the rule of military operations is not to count on opponents not coming, but to rely on having ways of dealing with them; not to count on opponents not attacking, but to rely on having what cannot be attacked."

The way to perfect this strategy is to practice in the training hall against what you will encounter in the street. Practice against all manner of attacks from the orthodox to the ridiculous. Practice against weapons, against surprise attacks, against multiple opponents, against large and small opponents, and from any possible position.

These five strategic elements support and intertwine with each other. Study them daily and carefully and you will not be disappointed.

Saw this and thought it sounded very reasonable.Thought you guys might like it.

Dragon Spirit
09-11-2000, 02:26 PM
Thank you for everything u have just wrote, all of it was very educational and was pure fact. Hey keep up ur training everyone... never forget, "The way is practice, practice is the way" (Master Dogen) /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif !!!! Thanx again man!

09-11-2000, 05:45 PM
Great post, Dan!

Underaged Drunken Monkey