At the Las Vegas Kung Fu Martial Arts School http://www.lvshaolin.com, the concept of minimal movement maximum power is one of the philosophical guidelines behind the art of Shaolin Fut Ga Kuen kung fu.
But what exactly does it mean to minimize body movement?
Logically, the less one moves, the faster one finishes their move. When this concept is applied to kung fu martial arts it means that a kung fu practitioner should strive to shorten any amount of movement, especially when blocking. Kung fu martial arts techniques that are blocks should be condensed to what is essential to keep the kung fu practitioner from being harmed by the attack.
Let's take the traditional rising or upward block seen in most tae kwon do martial arts schools here in Las Vegas and karate schools here in Las Vegas as an example. When students in the Las Vegas Karate schools execute a rising block, most students tend to extend very far above their head in an effort to generate more power when blocking.
However, this much movement is a waste of both energy and time. In other words once you have dissipated the power of the oncoming attack any more movement is superfluous. When I say that this extra movement wastes time I am really only talking about the extra split second it would take to issue the block. But, when taken in the context of a fighting situation these extra split seconds all add up. If one could shave off a split second off the time it takes to block he would literally be twice as fast as his opponent. The martial art of Kung fu attempts to shorten movements by shortening the wind up. Punches should be direct and initiate as quickly as possible. Winding up takes much longer and also disposes the kung fu martial arts practitioner to telegraphing his movements.
A skilled kung fu fighter will be able to pick up on this and may be able to counter your martial arts techniques effectively. Cocking the arm back in the traditional pose may generate power but in a fight situation a quick opponent will strike you as you set up your punch. Shortening your kung fu movements leads to a simplification of martial arts technique. Simplicity in combat will always triumph over complication. The more simple and direct a block is, the more likely it is to work. However, the one caveat to the minimizing of movement is to not sacrifice any power. So the trick is to move a s little as possible while still having tremendous amounts of power. In the Shaolin Fut Ga Kuen Kung Fu martial arts system that I teach at the Las Vegas Kung Fu Martial arts School , power comes from speed, relaxation, and body mechanics.
Article date: August 2006.