Mind the gap.

Posted Wed Dec 12, 2007, 11:25 AM by Tracy

The other night we worked on being direct with our techniques, letting one technique flow right after another. Specifically we were working street drills, but it could also apply to firing combinations in a sparring situation.

Throw a technique, then follow with whatever weapon (foot, hand, elbow, knee, etc.) is closest to a target (shin, ankle, groin, floating rib, temple, throat, nose, etc.). Then another, then another. The aim is to close up the gap between techniques.

Because what a lot of people do, including me, according to Sifu, is throw a technique and wait to see, did it work? Whew! I’m safe. Now I can throw another technique. That’s a significant time lag. What is my opponent doing during that time? Clocking me if they have any sense.

This is something Sifu has brought to my attention in the past. It’s not about speeding up, it’s about flowing smoothly and directly from one technique to another. By closing up the gap, you achieve the effect of speed without actually going faster.


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About Mo Duk Pai

Mo Duk Pai kung fu is a modern American eclectic system of martial arts, combining hard- and soft-style techniques Mo Duk Pai, which translates to “Martial Ethical Way”, was founded by Professor Frederick D. King. For more information, to see photos or inquire about training, visit the Mo Duk Pai web site, which I also maintain. I have been training since 1996 and currently hold the rank of brown-black sash.


Sifu (pr. see-foo [Cantonese] or shur-foo [Mandarin]) is a Chinese term for Teacher. It also carries the connotation of Father (teacher-father), referring to a tradition of teaching martial arts within the family, as well as being a title of respect. In America the title sifu is given to both men and women. In Mo Duk Pai the title is awarded to 2nd degree black belts at their teacher’s discretion.


Qigong (pr. chee-gung) is the practice of Chinese exercises incorporating movement and posture, breathing and visualization. Qigong exercises focus on maintaining health by energizing and balancing one’s qi, or energy.