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Thread: Shaolin Blocking

  1. #1

    Shaolin Blocking

    I would like to see what Shaolin practitioners think about Shaolin blocking. I have had primarily three Shaolin instructors. Though I have seen some reoccurring themes, there doesn't seem to be a very formal or structured system for teaching application off punching attacks. How do the other Shaolin practitioners feel about this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Columbia, MO
    Traditional gongfu typically isn't 'systematic' in the same way modern styles of training might be, and most Shaolin practitioners don't receive the most basic of fighting theory before diving into forms. For example, 云盖掌 (cloud cover palm) is one of the first blocking methods you might come across since it is right at the beginning of Xiaohongquan, but it's a side-on defensive stance that personally I would teach after learning a more aggressive forward facing guard with the hands up, blocking by pulling the forearms and elbows tight to the head. Even worse is when Shaolin schools teach tongbiquan as a beginner form because it's so short, but the techniques in it aren't really meant for a beginner to train. The cross block or cross guard (虎头盾) or leaning against a mountain guard (靠山) are cool but a person should be relatively seasoned to work those into sparring.

    I don't really find a problem in traditional gongfu being unsystematic, as I already have basic stand up fighting as a base, so picking apart the forms 'trick by trick' isn't so obnoxious to me, but I imagine how a person wanting to learn Shaolin as a practical art would be frustrated.
    "I'm a highly ranked officer of his tong. HE is the Dragon Head. our BOSS. our LEADER. the Mountain Lord." - hskwarrior

  3. #3
    What I would like to see are several videos of Shaolin instructors teaching the same blocks against an attacking partner. The palm down deflecting block {cloud cover palm} as you mentioned, I have learned and seen more than once. This is against straight attacks. As for circular attacks, I have learned two techniques, however they were done and practiced so unfrequently, I cant honestly say I would be able to clearly format a good structured {self defense} curriculum out of them. I have as most Shaolin practitioners probably have also learned several application off a traditional crossing hands horse stance position. This drill is good for teaching certain principles, however again there is no clear reoccurring method for defending against punches. They seem to vary greatly from teacher to teacher.
    Last edited by wiz cool c; 04-07-2019 at 09:25 AM.

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