As I’ve experienced myself in my early years and heard from various traditional martial artists, it’s not easy to transfer isolated traditional Kung Fu applications into free-sparring.
When fighting spontaneously, you need to rely on your reflexes, be they natural (and therefore ineffective) or acquired systematically.
But the thing is that isolated exercises of single applications don’t develop reflexes well. You need to practice them in combination, like in a pre-defined combat simulation. This way, you can develop automatic reactions that you can use spontaneously when you find yourself in a specific combat situation.
Combat sequences are the link missing in most schools. Therefore, I’m so glad to have a bunch of profound sequences to practice and teach that develop applications and combat skills.
When I managed to apply a traditional technique in free-sparring for the first time many years ago, I was very happy, although it happened by chance.
Nowadays, my students and I use nothing else than traditional Kung Fu techniques freely and we owe this to the practice of combat sequences.
Techniques like those of „Cross-Roads at Four Gates”. This was the basic Shaolin Kung Fu set taught at the Southern Shaolin temple a few hundred years ago.
This seemingly simple yet profound set is included in level 7 of our syllabus today.
With it come four combat sequences to practice the applications of the techniques included in the set flowingly and to train automatic responses.
This is an older recording of me demonstrating "Cross-Roads at Four Gates":
And here are the four advanced sequences that come with “Cross-Roads at Four Gates” displaying how traditional Kung Fu combat should look like demonstrated with my close student, Reinhard Barth.
If you'd like to build the foundation for this kind of combat training and application, have a look at "The Entrance to the Chamber of Shaolin Kung Fu", our 6-month in-depth online program.
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