Countering Downward Cuts

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Linda Heenan
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Countering Downward Cuts

Post by Linda Heenan » Wed May 26, 2010 8:05 am

This discussion began on Facebook and is becoming too interesting to lose as it drifts off the end over there, so I'm moving it where more of us can participate. While viewing a video of Hsing -I sword techniques this morning, we came across one that Laoshi said is like the Jie cut from the Yang Public jian system. Here's where the conversation got to:
Scott M Rodell: JIe is quite difficult to use because you are moving forward & under a downward cut. While Jie is a basic cut of the public Yang Style Taiji Jian, there are several easier, more effective ways of dealing with such a downward cut.
We practised this in our swordsmanship class here in Australia, this afternoon.

Please could we discuss some of the more effective and easier ways people have found to deal with a downward cut. What have you discovered?
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J HepworthYoung
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Re: Countering Downward Cuts

Post by J HepworthYoung » Wed May 26, 2010 8:44 am

Circular motion with a deflection involving a pushing rotation(peng) which continues into a falling strike itself(lu)

the circular motion can be on any 3D axis, Y, X or Z, but is as an extension of the body itself and is also responsive to the attack and the opening that occurs after the deflection, so the method is not about just the motion described by the weapon itself, I trained drills of this deflection and strike method with escrima yesterday, it also works with spear, sword, and club and of course open hand.

It is a weapon version of an open handed method that is highly effective for exploiting the motion and posture of an attacker, one method is to use elbow to deflect with a turn to the inside, then when you (re)turn to the outside the elbow unfolds letting the force of the motion be transmitted through the hand as needed, peng, lu, press... they can all be used to follow up the elbow in this same circular manner. You simply unfold into the opening your duifang has, and there is going to be one unless they can play very low above the ground. Then they either flow and respond or get reminded of why they need to flow and respond, by being tagged or displaced.

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Re: Countering Downward Cuts

Post by Nik » Wed May 26, 2010 4:18 pm

The difficulty is within the variations. A strike may not be executed as it looks at first, so trying to meet the blade may not be the best idea, as opposed to anticipating and moving to open space, keeping distance. Otherwise, you need a scooping move with ~ 3 variations depending on how exactly the blade comes down (central, left, right). Giving the opponent the initiative is not a good idea, usually, all you have then is good reflexes to anticipate the actual movement in the variation it comes in. There are also considerations whether the attack is to your head or to your hands, as getting your hands out of the way is easier than your head. I'd prefer not being in line to be struck so you don't need wicked reflexes to really get the blade, but can play with the timing and lines to get the binding without having to stop the downward cut.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh2TNO5CGXQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4SHWXQBVL4

Some ideas what to do:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWzdIpayeFk

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Re: Countering Downward Cuts

Post by Linda Heenan » Thu May 27, 2010 2:27 am

My most common counter to a high descending cut is a hanging guard type tip down deflection into a duo - with turning the waist or stepping to void the cut. Our kids call the drill we train this with "In front of face, away from face".

Tiao is another possibility depending on how much warning you got for the cut.

I might also use an angled overhead sliding guard with a slip step back to void, and then my own descending cut.

Another one we train in is using that high angled deflection with a snake step to flank the duifang and cut to the back. If the cut is quite powerful, I might let its momentum carry it low while stepping out of line and cutting to the top of the arms.

Other thoughts?
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Re: Countering Downward Cuts

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:56 am

In principle there are four ways of dealing with a Downward Cut. Which method one chooses to make in that instant will depend upon distance & timing, & the power of the incoming blow.

The four methods are-

Void-Counter Cut, by, for example, slipping back with the duifang's forward movement & employing tiao to cut the hand from underneath or pi to cut the forearm as the blow passes.

Passive Intercept, as in the jie movement demonstration that prompted this thread.

Active Intercept, such as a ji or pi cut to the attacking limb before the duifang has his or her power out. This can be the most difficult method to apply as one has to move forward before the attack is truly manifest.

Deflect-Counter-cut, deflecting the blow offline & continuing the movement right back to the duifang, such as when employing liao or pi cuts. If the incoming downward cuts is quite powerful, then it is wise to be side stepping in some manner in order to avoid taking all the power of the blow entirely with the deflection.

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Re: Countering Downward Cuts

Post by Linda Heenan » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:25 pm

Thanks Laoshi. That will be our training for the class after next and until the end of this term. Next week we're doing cutting.
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