SOUTHERN PRAYING MANTIS FIST
the understanding of the Forms by practicing its moves and visualizing
the purpose of those moves is just the beginning. The practitioner needs
to apply the moves learned from the Forms onto a control fight so that
if and when the time comes, the practitioner may use said moves without
First, after learning the Form, it is essential for the practitioner to select a sequence of moves (7 or more moves) from said Form making the sequence of moves into one technique. Second, the practitioner (without a sparring partner) will practice that newly developed technique visualizing the moves being used within an imaginary fight. This technique is first practiced at a slow pace and slowly increasing speed as the practitioner becomes more comfortable and proficient with the moves. Total awareness of the moves, body posture, and balance is maintained throughout the exercise. Finally, the practitioner begins to practice this newly acquired technique in a control fight. The practitioner, during class, when practicing with a sparring partner or when called to fight in his class, uses only the newly learned technique concentrating only in the full execution of the technique just as when the technique was being practice without a sparring partner. The longer the practitioner practices the technique with his sparring partner, the easier it will be for the sparring partner to block and avoid the blows by the practitioner. The ability of the sparring partner to block or evades the practitioner's technique, allows the practitioner to increase the speed and the force of the technique. The selection, development, proficient execution, and mixing of several techniques by the practitioner is the fighting goal of a practitioner.
It does not matter that the practitioner is not able to "hit" the sparring partner with the execution of any of the techniques. What matters is the speed, and proper execution of the techniques. When the practitioner encounters a real threat and uses in defense any of the techniques previously practiced, execution of the techniques should be in the same fashion as performed in the school. Only that at such time, a stranger is in front of the practitioner and not the trained sparring partner. Rest assure that when properly executed, if the technique is made up of 7 or more moves, the stranger may be able to block or avoid 1 or 2 blows of the technique but the rest of the blows will find its target. This is not to say that the practitioner does not run the risk of being hit. In a fight, both of the fighters will get hit.
The key to walk away in victory from a fight is the ability to minimize the blows and the location of the blows you receive while maximizing the blows you deliver. We train not to score "hits" on our sparring partners. We train so that when we face a real threat we are sure to properly execute our techniques to neutralize or eliminate the threat. Any other reason given for training is nothing more than an excuse.
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