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Thread: Kan Sao & Fook Sao's North Shaolin Origins / OG Application

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    Kan Sao & Fook Sao's North Shaolin Origins / OG Application

    recently I've been going thru the applications of the forms I know and finding the less popular or less taught variations and techniques in the form. Most of the applications are common in San Shou, some are pretty radical, some are very specific to Shaolin boxing taolu. this is common with me, depending on how I feel with any form I know, I start digging deeper in them from time to time. so I'm always in Kung fu nerd mode, ready to talk or spar about it.

    Alot of fight analyst have been unfairly picking on fighters using wing chun against mma in matches. because the so called representatives of wing chun in these matches have shallow understanding, if any understanding of how to apply the striking and seizing in wing chun beyond a novice level.

    So I have picked apart some of the "wing chun" I learned while studying Songshan Shaolin to extract and share some of the inner working of techniques and postures that these commentators and mma dudes a rendering useless because of poor application.

    I saw a discussion going on about how Kan Sao and Fook Sao are useless, so by chance I learned both of these within forms, (kan sao in xiao hong quan as a transition, and fook sao in zhao yang quan and changhu xinyimen quan as transitions) and was taught where they are in wing chun later.

    to start, fook sao, itself, from the root, is an encyclopedia worth of application that has probably tens of thousands of variations. I'll focus on a couple I learned.
    In xiao hong quan, a popular sequence is "弓步前后三推掌" ("gōngb qinhu sān tuīzhǎng") or 3 lunging palms after another (my rough translation). The transition between each lunging palm is expressed differently depending on who's teaching it. The way I was taught, was to twist inward, say if coming out of L gong bu, one would twist Rward, shrinking the body, the L hand that was pushing, becomes a hook/crane hand (fook sao), to pull in....the you finish the transition moving to R gong bu lunging palm. Repeat the sequence going the other way
    on the surface it looks dancy and big because gong bu demands the lunge and full expression of it in the form.
    within the handy work, is a plethora of application. This movement, in my opinion, is a great example of how TCMA get taken for granted. Here we have an entry level form at Shaolin, very basic, yet full of brutal application. Some one would HAVE to teach it to you, because lookin at it from the outside, untrained eye, even a martial artist might not see the applications unless they are familiar with how Shaolin stacks and layers technique.
    That fook sao hand serves as a stopper to punch or extended arm, so that an opponent wont be able to chamber that arm and use it again. which is genius. unlike boxing, and most striking arts, who block to stop, this (fook sao) doesnt eeven look like a block in application, yet it stops the strike of your opponent while neutralizing the "weapon arm", AND PULLING HIM TO YOU. In that window, xiao hong repeats the sequence to show you, in that space, you can do anything to them within the frame of time you allow yourself, and the taolu repeats the movement 6 times so you remember it. Xiao hong also opens with a variation of the movement
    1. hold moon in arms (huizhōng boyu 怀中抱月)
    2. white cloud covers peak ( biyn gidǐng 白云盖顶)
    3. bow step push palm (gōngb tuīzhǎng 弓步推掌)
    4. hold hand shrink body (boshǒu suōshēn 抱手缩身)
    5. advance step push palm (shngb tuīzhǎng 上步推掌)

    # 4 is where fook sao would first appear,
    also....
    6. turn around draw hand (zhuǎnshēn bānshǒu 转身扳手) for example can be used to slap the eyes with the fingers/push the nose upward/ strike the throat....etc...brutal stuff. Gong bu is used to encourage full expression, though we know in a fight the applications wont happen that way, that common sense. I dont see why people bash the 'taolu' ....jealousy/ignorance ....anyhow the taolu are big fighting encyclopedia, and by the time wing chun was developed, people were good at refining Shaolins bigger forms in to smaller frames with tight execution and applications galore, transmitted by word from teacher to student. So sure, you might get some people practicing these forms who have no idea what to really do with them, because they havent been taught. doesnt mean the form, and surely the art, should be overlooked at useless. lets be open minded here.

    NEXT is Kan Sao, which is basically, "tan sao (high) and fut sao (low)" . This happens, as an application, with MANY variations, in Changhu xinyimen quan, where it can be an intercepting block (chin-na)/ Zhao Yang Quan, where it can be one of the nastiest throws (shuai) ever invented, and Im not adding any extra,/ also in Qi Xing Quan as the final move of the Taolu before refreshing yourself.

    I'll start with Zhao Yang Quan, because I like the throw. basically this can happen in so many ways, again, I will pick out a couple of my favorites. The first and most obvious time it appears is early in the form, transitioning to "xie bu qie zhang", however, I will highlight where it happens in the sequence of movements #s 18 thru 22, focusing on movement 20. (using Shi De Yang's dvd poetry).
    Here one can seize with the hands, trapping any strike and maneuvering the opponent to the ground, over or under. The upward method, could be explained as, (using trapping a R arm strike as an example), trapping the high striking R arm with 'tan sao', pulling the opponents R arm across their face/neck (FROM YOUR LEFT TO YOUR RIGHT) as if choking them with their own arm, while simultaneously seizing the non striking L arm of the opponent with your 'fut sao' hand, and pulling/pushing it across their body (FROM YOUR RIGHT TO YOUR LEFT), hence locking their arm movement, and restricting their body. from here it's an easy hip, or shoulder toss while their arms are crossed in front of them.

    the other variation is the nasty one, there is no seizing, and can be used against arm or leg strikes. you basically use tan sao to strike their neck i countering while ducking, sort of to ding bu, can also be done from pu bu, while you duck, as you can guess, you chop their groin violently upward, and proceed to toss them over your hip. I bolded 'ding bu' , because ironically, I was initially taught that ding bu was the original Songshan Shaolin stance that produced the hand position of Kan sao. ding bu variation is another thread in itself.

    I have a video thats pretty shabby, but gives an outline of the movement. I will try to get one of my brothers to stand in to get thrown around for sport, in the name of sharing more of the technique which can be better expressed in motion physically, than explained in typing.



    Hopefully I can start offering more around here of this type of stuff and spark some more sharing about applications we know and favor (or can remember )

    Amituofo
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
    Shaolin Meditator

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    Some Shaolin Divine timing

    the synchronicity provided with a great example of Traditional Songshan Shaolin (Shi Yan Lei's lineage) using the hook/cranee hand which became Fook Sao in Wing Chun, against a striking arm as I explained above.
    heres Shifu Yan Lei's video:



    Amituofo!
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
    Shaolin Meditator

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    I remember hearing a MMA guy defend Wing Chun in a debate before, saying that the "fighters using Wing Chun in MMA arenas are not skilled in how to apply it.....the competition demand is lower for the sport side of Wing Chun and even Sanda, so the fighters are in less of hard condition like pro trained Thai boxers" these points make sense to a degree , what he said that was relative was in argument about the technique of Kan Sao specifically. Basically he said that Kan Sao is used to penetrate your opponents center line while you are also defending, with the purpose of a clinch. This is something I cant verify on hand, though it sounds sensible, and I can imagine it to a degree.
    I kind of vaguely recall seeing this happen in Muay Thai fights, where one fighter uses a Kan Sao looking block to lead into his clinch, I'd have to find a video tho, and that will take a while. lol I'll look around though, and if anyone knows this variation from TCMA perspective, I'd like to hear it. The way I was taught to clinch is with both hands parallel , at all times, to avoid getting the clinch reversed, or worse, getting put in that cross armed throw, so if Kan Sao can be used to go in for a clinch I'd love to see how.
    I will try to find the comment section where the guy was talking about it. I also have another composite video I put together to try to illustrate some of the techniques I'm talking about.

    Amituofo
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
    Shaolin Meditator

  4. #4
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    Heres the other video with some examples:



    Amituofo
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
    Shaolin Meditator

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    thank you for sharing... but i think you have to do a bit more research on wing chun though..

    i once saw fook sau called monkeys paw in a book... i think that makes more sense, since cranes dont have hands.. only that one time have i came across it being called that.. i was told "fook" came from an (insect?) animal that sat undetected on a branch of a tree... could only half hear the explanation so it may be wrong

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    sorry meant to say that "kung fu wang" would be the man that said that.. sounds like his "double rihno guard" to me..

    the clinch isnt somethin we do or aim for.. at least in my line and my sifus trained a northern fist

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.O View Post
    thank you for sharing... but i think you have to do a bit more research on wing chun though..

    i once saw fook sau called monkeys paw in a book... i think that makes more sense, since cranes dont have hands.. only that one time have i came across it being called that.. i was told "fook" came from an (insect?) animal that sat undetected on a branch of a tree... could only half hear the explanation so it may be wrong
    thanks for the input , it helps a lot. I had a few people correct me in person since I posted these videos, so I got some what of an understanding of what I was trying to say here. Soon I will put a response to these videos up with corrections.

    Amituofo

    PS:
    for an outline of what they said, is basically what I'm looking at is general application of fundamental Shaolin hands, much of which translates into Wing Chun, naturally, but not exclusively, as these fundamentals appear in various northern and southern styles. I was basically pointing out things that are so common in TCMA, it cant clear be said if a line can be drawn from a specific Shaolin hand to these techniques in Wing Chun, and if it can be drawn, then of what branch is it from is the next question. What was made clear is that there was a certain exchange of arts from Shaolin to the southern styles and even on a developmental level, so I would naturally see parallels and similarities through all the techniques in one way or another, like picking at Choy Lay Fut or Hung Gar, I could do the same thing. I dont have any authority to make the links however, this is all my personal observation. Thanks again, I wanted to get this thread going further into the study
    "色即是空 , 空即是色 " ~ Buddha via Avalokitesvara
    Shaolin Meditator

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    theres certainly a lot that looks similar, you can see similar looking hands in most martial arts, punches , palms strikes and the like to name the obvious all look similar, but it's the driving force, concepts and strategy that differ.. sometimes greatly..

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