The Song of Pao Chuan
Майстор Лю Баочан (1893-1979 г.) изпълнява Пао-Цюан /"Експлозивен удар"/.
By: Shr Fu Mike Patterson
This is the second in a series of five articles covering the Wu Hsing (five forms) sometimes called the five elements of Hsing I practice.
The focus of these short articles will be to offer explanation of the "Songs of the Five Forms". And to demonstrate various applications from the striking, grappling and throwing mediums of each of the respective forms.
The Song Of Pao
Elbows tightly embracing the body as foot lifted.
Fists in Yang fist must be tight.
Forehand be cross hindhand.
Form the "T" shape.
Fists first stay beside the navel. "Chi falls to Tan Tien as style changes, keep the three point set in place."
Fist outward, high as heart, forefist "Hu Yen" upward while hindfist tsuans up to eyebrows with "Hu Yen" downwards and elbows too.
Pao Chuan must have foot lifted up.
Forefist tsuans up as foot drops.
"Crossing steps" as fist and foot sink together.
Thus follows the hind foot on.
Pao Chuan is one of the easier motions in Hsing-I to explain and to practice. It is also one of the more useful self defense motions, as it is a refined modification of a base instinct to shield the face when being attacked.
Initially, as you take the step into the transitional "Light foot" position you must "embrace the body tightly with the elbows" meaning you should anchor your fists at your Spleen and Liver gates and form a rounded outward position with the arms so that the elbows form a protective shield of the body against outside kicking techniques as expressed in the second line, "Fists in Yang fist must be tight."
At the same time you should be "condensing" your body to prepare a position of stored force in readiness to strike with the pounding position.
The third line. "Forehand be cross hindhand," refers to the crossing arms motion made in the transitional phase of Hsing-I's Pao Chuan.
The fourth line, "Form the 'T' shape," references the proper shape of the blocking and striking fist. However, it should be noted that in this method, the block is actually a "warding off" movement and is positioned at a 45 degree angle to deflect effectively. A 90 degree angle leaves the arm kineticallv weakened in relation to downward force.
The fifth line attempts to describe the necessary components of the strike itself as the strike is made, you must sink your concentration so that Dan Tien motivates the strike and your strength is centered and balanced within the "Three Point Set." You must solidify the three locks of the spinal column and lock the hips forward so that the power emanates from the center, as if your Dan Tien were connected by an imaginary pole to your target, rather than striking from the arm.
As you perform the action, the striking fist should shoot to Heart height with the "Hu Yen" (tiger's Eye) up (vertical fist) while remaining curved at the elbow, relaxed at the shoulder, and secure and natural in the rotation of the shoulders. At the very end of the strike, the pinky should be brought up sharply to facilitate upward Jing.
The blocking fist should Tsuan (drill) forward to the eyebrows and then rotate outward for deflection while keeping the "Tiger's Eye" down and the elbow also. This allows one to catch the incoming force and dissipate it upward and outward, often turning the opponent away.
In transition, as stated in line seven, the foot is up to facilitate a quick change of direction. If the foot were placed on the ground it would tend to promote a stop in the flow of kinetic energy and decrease potential power.
The practitioner is reminded in line eight that the drilling of the blocking fist should commence at the time that the front foot steps so that leverage is at its strongest during the movement. Then, as the "Crossing Steps" (half step) occurs, the weight must sink and so must the bottom of the striking fist (palm/wrist area) to facilitate a well rooted strike and to sharply bring the pinky up, promoting upward Jing. This point is very important to the kinetics of Pao.
The final line is almost written like an epitaph for the opponent, "Thus follows the hind foot on," which is again referencing the infamous Hsing-I half step. And rather matter of factly at that.
Remember, as in all the elements, the state of mind must be pure and focused on only the movement being performed until completion. If you allow your mind to leap ahead to the next movement in an effort to gain more speed, you shall gain only disharmony and your movements shall lack power as a result of the absence of intention. The conscious and subconscious mind must be linked together to manifest absolute power. There can be no disparity of command issued to the body. I advise practicing at different speeds to accomplish this. Try holding each transition posture briefly to experience the feeling of coiled solidity, before exploding with the strike.
The strength of Pao Chuan is imparted in equal parts from the legs, the waist and the torso. The posture allows a wide angle vector product to be applied from the leg to the striking fist at the moment the half step hits the ground. There should exist an applied synchronicity between the vectoring of leg force, the waist rotation and the expansion of the costal spaces to propel the fist in a kinetic wave.
Remember, as you move stay rooted, but be light. Try to explode in a controlled fashion. It is not good to strive for power without control. You want to be solidly connected, but still able to change in a heartbeat. Static strength is easily defeated. The Hsing-I adept cultivates fluid strength. Tangible and intangible must become one in the same. The element of fire is in constant flux, flaring up here and there, burning brightly and then gone. Only the lingering smoke reveals its path.
Do not be one dimensional in your thinking. Remember, each form of Hsing-I can be applied from all five levels of striking, throwing, chin na, striking the nerves, striking the points, and this can be overlayed with the "Three Basin" theory giving you three different mediums to work from influencing angle and position of attack. It can also be explored from the "Seven Stars," theory, yielding a multitude of additional expressions of "Pounding" in the form of the Head, Shoulder, Elbow, Hip, Knee, Foot and Hand. Try following Pao with Pi immediately upon entering the inside of an opponent's guard at closing.
My teacher used to say "You know one, you know ten." He was fond of expounding the fact that a change of hand position, angle, or footwork was necessary to adjust the technique to an ever changing situation of fighting. "As long as principle is correct, it's ok." he used to say. I believe very strongly in this. This is what makes Hsing-I such a completely fascinating system.
Space is simply too limited here to express all possibilities. For further myriad examples of application potential, try viewing the "Five Elements" tape from my Hsing-I series of Instructional videos. You will find the ad for this tape and others in the video section of our web page.
Come and check out the new Hsing-I Store
|In this article I shall examine the fourth fist of Hsing-i chuan. Pao chuan, fire, is said to be the pounding fist. It is associated with the heart. It is the opening and closing of the chi. In the wu xing, pao chuan creates heng chuan and is destroyed by tsuann chuan. If one performs this fist properly in the form, the heart will benefit. When done improperly, the body will lose its co-ordination and the structure will be lost. It is said that the pao chuan, when used combatively, is like a cannon ball being fired.
To execute the form, we shall begin in the san ti posture with the left side forward. The hands draw back at the same time palm down to the center as the lead foot comes back to brush the other. The palms rotate up and fists are made. The left hand begins to drill upward along the center line and rotates. This movement, of course, comes from the tan dien. As the drilling fist of the left hand reaches head height, the right fist is preparing a screwing strike as in beng chuan. The right leg starts to propel the body on a 45 degree angle to the left. The left arm continues to rotate up and then outward. The fist ends up facing with the palm away and the elbow approximately even with the level of the shoulder. As the left arm reaches its final resting place, the right fist strikes exactly as is beng chuan. By that I mean it is a screwing punch that clears/travels along the center. Repeat this on the opposite side. To do this the arms lower together with the palms facing down. As they fall to the tan dien level the hands make fists and the right screws up along the center as did the left a moment ago. The fist on the right side is identicle to the fist as it is performed on the left side.
The key points of pao chuan are identicle to those of the other fists. To maintain the proper structure, chicken leg, dragon body, bear shoulder, tiger's head embrace and relaxation are essential to maximize the power of this strike. Where this fist is set apart from the others is in the moso jing. I find this fist particularly interesting in the way that it follows the force of the opponent. The striking fist which attacks the mid-section is identicle to beng chuan. To follow the force of a rising opponent, simple keep the structure and slightly tilt the fist up as you sink lower in your posture. This will immediately cut his root and send him upward. To follow a sinking opponent do the same thing and sink with him as the fist tilts slightly downward. When he tries to evade to either side you need only adjust the angle of your projection by following with the relaxed hip and feel his weight center. Always keep the elbow down. Of course, there are countless variation. What remains constant, however, is the structure, relaxation, the following of the center and the reading of the weight center. Once those are in place, it is merely a matter of projection to cut his root.
But what about the other arm? For example, let's examine pao chuan with the left arm being the one that is raised and the right as the "beng chuan" striking fist. Many people mistake the raised arm as nothing more than a karate like block. But, if you could feel what is happening when the left arm intercepts a punch to the head you would immediately understand. Yes, it is blocking but so much more as well. There is moso jing there. As the incoming punch is contacted, the screwing arm immediately begins to follow the force. This following is initiated from the tan dien area and carries with it the power of the body. This "block" actally serves to uproot the opponent. Wow, you get the opponent both coming and going. You have the moso jing of the "blocking" arm combined with the moso jing of the strike; a double wammy. When I first felt this I was very excited. I hope that you will take the time to do more than just read this article. Get a partner and experiment. Try to get this feeling. It is really wonderful. Have your partner throw a hooking punch at your head with his right hand. Of course, start slowly first and increase gradually for safety. Time the interception of the punch so that you contact it as the forearm is rotating away from you for the maximum following. As you feel the pressure of his blow, relax the hip and emphasize the chicken leg/dragon body so your torso will turn and literally lift him off his feet. This lifting forces him to lose his balance and over extend as the beng chuan strikes with its own moso jing. A winning recipe to be sure. This fist is not as famous as beng chuan or pi chuan, but it is well worth studying for its unique combative benefits.
For those of you who try to learn from articles such as this I would offer this advise. Focus on relaxation and structure. These are the key points which help to develop a strong chi circulation which has tremendous health benefits. Also, this will help your martial art skill by building a strong foundation.
HOME | BIO | ARTICLES | LINKS | PHOTOS | SEMINAR | GUEST BOOK | CONTACT M
| Previous article: "Beng Chuan"
||Next article: "Heng Chuan"