Martial arts are practiced for many reasons, but probably the most obvious reason is self-defense.
Our society is becoming more violent; home invasions, road rage and brazen acts of violence have made it necessary for people to learn how to defend themselves. Criminals now are quite often under the influence of drugs and alcohol making them even more violent and stronger. Almost every day we hear of a one punch attack or an innocent person has been brutally attacked in the streets or even in their own home. Self defense classes for women has become a growth area for martial schools as assault on females seems to have become more prominent and more frequent. I Liq Chuan is an excellent skill for females and once they have master the skills, they can easily handle an assailant and they are more aware of their surroundings. The I Liq Chuan system training will prepare them for that.
A lot of martial arts teach techniques and drills to prepare for that moment when someone may be under attack. I Liq Chuan trains its students to be in the moment which is faster and more responsive. It is not based on a technique or drill but it is more focused on being aware of the attacker’s energy and of their own body. In a combat situation, an I Liq Chuan student will redirect and off balance their opponent as soon as contact is made; the practitioner controls the opponent. Weapons such as closed fist, open palms, elbows, knees, feet, shoulders and a technique called Ch’in Na (locking of the joints) are used when necessary. To master these skills there is a series of training exercises to recognize the point of contact. Equally important is the student’s understanding of the philosophy, concepts and principles.
To learn to deal with an attacker, one must train with a partner. Training a form or a set technique will not give you the experience of coming into contact with another person. To prepare our students for this, the I Liq Chuan systems do a series of spinning hands and sticky hands drills. It is similar to the Tai Chi pushing hands but the students spin their hands, wrists and arms, learning to stick to their opponent and to recognize the changing quality of the point of contact with the mass. The spinning can be horizontal, frontal and saggital, clockwise, counter clockwise, concave and convex and a combination of these. This exercise develops and heightens the practitioner’s sensitivity to feel the opponent’s intentions and deal with them accordingly. They are not having to rely on waiting to see what the attack is and then reacting, that is what techniques are based on and generally is too slow. Defensively we can feel what our opponent is going to do and not rely on a set of movements to defend ourselves, especially if the attack is something unorthodox and not seen before.
Foot work is an integral component of defense. Not all assailants are trained to move efficiently, quite often the attack is wild and uncontrolled. Sometimes foot work in itself can solve an attack. Footwork is used to avoid kicks and other forms of attack like punches or take downs to the ground. The I Liq Chuan system has a very refined footwork system which not only trains the student on stability but refines on how to feel the gravity and alignment, the system teaches stability and to change with the change. The art is very specific on how to use and feel the feet, the joints and the hips to ensure efficient and effective movement.
The training does not only include spinning hands, the students also learn to train the entire body including the legs. Spinning legs is a method used to sensitize the legs and lower body just like the upper body in spinning hands. The concept is exactly the same, the student learns to feel his/her partners energy, the force and redirect. This is very effective to combat an attack from kicking and even a take down. The practice is reserved for a higher-level student that is component in the correct alignment and structure. The student needs to be able to generate power from ground through the feet and legs and then transmitted to the upper body segments into a unified body movement.
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