Mantis of No
Blocking No Defending
One of the special methods of
Boxing is its method of attacking and striking that does not
utilize any type of block or defense.
The underlying concept is very
simple, just dodge his attack and simultaneously attack him when
he attacks you. Though it is simple, developing the skill is
Once when Shifu had taught us
some advanced methods of mantis attacking my kung fu
brothers and I joked about how our mantis advanced methods of
counter attack only can qualify as the introductory kicking
method of Taekwondo.
This is the skill of counter
attacking without blocking. It comes from that portion of Mantis
known as 'No Block No Defense Essential Hands 12 Methods.'
The Usual Way
In most sparring
methods the instructor points out the target and how the
technique works, The students, armed with this knowledge, are
turned loose on each other with nothing but luck and possibly
inborn natural skill to apply the technique. To succeed, it must
be applied at the precise moment in time when the weapon is in
range of target as well as the opponent suddenly finding
themselves in a position impossible to defend.
On the rare occasion of
success the attacking student feels joy while the student of
poor defense can do nothing but admire their opponents luck and
skill as they get hit.
There is a moment in time when the opponent has expended their energy on a
That moment in time is when they
themselves become vulnerable to their opponent. This
is why it is so common to see people unwilling to commit
themselves to their attack, they fear that moment of
But it is that very moment in
time that you must grasp.
To get the skittish opponent
willing to commit to an attack you yourself must commit fully to
Kao da means to lean and
strike. It is a method used to teach short strikes. In the case
of a long range move like the sidekick it is required to learn
how to apply short strike techniques against long range
techniques, and so the long range sidekick is included in the
short range kao da.
Side Kick Kao
In my shifu's method moving
from blocking the attack methodology to no block attacking
requires the student to pass through the kao da stage. Like most
essential aspects, it begins with a very basic and simple
Jeff and I do bottom pound
Jeff and I do upper pound arms.
These two moves are how all kao da begin.
As I begin the following move
it is important to keep his right forearm attached to my right
forearm for as long as possible.
I leap forward planting a right
side kick in his ribs.
leaps backwards as I am leaping forward and blocks downward
against my sidekick.
As the energy of the sidekick
is expended we swing a right back fist at each other.
I repeat my sidekick attack two
more times. On my third sidekick and back fist combination Jeff
doesn't give me a chance to apply a fourth side kick, instead he
immediately counters with three leaping sidekicks of his own.
He leaps into me with his
sidekick and attacks me in the exact same manner I just attacked
him repeating for a total of three times before I return at him
with three more sidekicks of my own.
By practicing back and forth in
this way we learn to grasp onto that subtle moment in time when
to launch a counter attack as well as learning how to fully
commit to our own attacks.
Once this is grasped we no
longer have to block the opponents forceful strikes, instead we
can dance right on the edge of the opponents targeting range.
The First of
the 12 No Defense Techniques
first technique in the list of 12 is very simple. Jeff punches
at me, as he does so I dodge and kick him.
Here is what it
whether he attacks my upper, middle, left or right gate I use
the tortoise flipper sidekick as the first defeat.
This kick can be
applied regardless of what foot he leads with. In this example,
we both lead with the right.
stand in the on guard position.
attacks my head.
Jeff attacks my head I lift my right leg as I lean back.
three pictures pass in the same instant, as he attacks I lift my
right leg for a sidekick to his ribs.
To understand the
concept is easy. To pull it off successfully requires a proper
training method. This can be found within the basic kao da for
Once the student
grasps the main idea, teaching other 'no block no defense'
methods becomes easier.
After we started
training shifu told us that once he had been yelled at by his
shifu for nailing his kung fu brother too hard. Their master had
been afraid that the other student might suffer from some
internal injuries. After that when shifu trained this kick in
his free fighting they put on the only type of safety equipment
that was available to them at the time. They went to the nearby
fishing area and put on life preservers[