This secret technique is actually inside karate fighting systems, as well as kung fu fighting systems, or just about any martial art you want to name. The reason for this is because it is a basic motion of the arms. This basic motion, once understood, will give rise to virtually all the techniques of the martial arts.
Stand naturally, feet shoulder width and extend the arms straight out in front of the body. Bend the arms slightly and circle the arms in front of your body in a clockwise direction. The circles should be about three feet in diameter, and should overlap by about a foot.
As you do these circles you will travel through a series of blocks. At one point your right arm will be a high block and your left arm in a low block. As you continue the clockwise circle of the arms you will suddenly find your right arm in an inverted low block (back of the wrist protecting the groin) and your left arm in a palm block (protecting the face).
Anybody who strikes at you will encounter one of these blocks, or fall into the swirling motion of your arms. You can angle the blocks and cause all manner of deflections and manipulations simply by adjusting the footwork. Take a step, turn the hips, pivot, all will change the angle of the circles in front of you, and you will find other types of blocks.
If you maintain distance and focus the circles you can make the blocks hard and bruising. If you step into a person and circle the attacking arm you will find a lever and a joint manipulation or a throw, as in Gracie Jujitsu. Tighten it up and charge at a person and you will end up with the Bruce Lee blasting technique.
Thus, this circling of the arms is inherent in any art, and most students will play with it at some time in their careers. Unfortunately, they don’t usually explore it to the degree necessary to understand the basic conceptual nature of the circles. Yet, a few decades into the art, an accomplished student will invariably realize the fundamental usefulness of the arm circles.
I discovered this move in Pan Gai Noon. The wa-uke circling block is a variation of this fundamental motion. It wasn’t long before I saw it in the various kung fu fighting systems, and then the kenpo fighting art and all the karate fighting systems. I was quick to make it the pivotal point of my own Shaolin Butterfly Kung Fu home study course.
In closing, let me say that this arm motion opens the door to countless fighting techniques. If you reverse the direction of the circles, or reverse the direction of one of the circles, you will find virtually every martial arts technique in existence. Try it, examine your martial arts forms, and you will find that this little concept is at the heart of every martial system, and not just Shaolin Kung Fu Fighting Systems.
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