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#361681 - 09/19/07 12:01 PM Windmill arms
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I think this is quite...'interesting'. Something referred to as 'Tibetan White Crane'. It's not the style that interests me...but trying to understand the technique of (for lack of better description) 'windmilling arms.' I don't do CMA...and this type of movement doesn't register in any way. I've seen something similar in lots of other youtube videos. Can someone explain the movement to me from a CMA perspective? Thank you.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ztMa0iRLQhg&mode=related&search

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#361682 - 09/19/07 12:38 PM Re: Windmill arms [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
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White crane? Looked like Longfist to me.
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#361683 - 09/19/07 12:54 PM Re: Windmill arms [Re: harlan]
Neko456 Offline
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Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Alot of the windmill arm stuff are tai-sabaki and attacks combinations some of these arts state that their no defensive blocks in them (but really thats not true) there basics are similar to ours. But their advance fighting suppose to be all offense defending and attacking with the same motion. You see some of the same moves in Choy-li-fat even in the short form Wing-chun or our mawashi-uke-(uchi really). Its a principle of efficiency but we all know principle can't cover live motion only spefic situations.
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#361684 - 09/19/07 02:50 PM Re: Windmill arms [Re: Neko456]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Thanks, Neko. I'm struggling to understand your post...but appreciate it. Kinda like 'zip' file...I gotta unpack some concepts before it can sink in. The Goju I've learned so far...is never so...'open'.

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#361685 - 09/21/07 01:56 AM Re: Windmill arms [Re: harlan]
ButterflyPalm Offline
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Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
First that clip, though it's called Pak Hok Pai (White Crane System) it doesn't look very 'Pak Hok' to me. Like Matt and Neko said more like Longfist and Choy Lay Fatt.

Regardless of what's called the idea of the so-called 'windmill arms' found in many CMA comes from the principles and techniques found in the 'double-ended' long stick and the spear. It's actually crude or lazy-man's fighting.

To understand what that means, first a bit of history. Back in the days of mass warfare where a general needed to train hundreds if not thousands of raw recruits and turn them into fighting units quickly, you couldn't afford to spend years teaching fancy complicated stuff. You wanted easily learned and assimilated techniques the average peasant soldier could take to the mass battlefield.

It was found that the broadsword and the spear were the most easily learned and practical weapons for the mass battlefield and which the average soldier could pick up the few basic techniques quickly.

Why? As we are discussing the windmill hand here, lets leave out the broadsword for the moment and talk about the spear. The spear is basically a long stick with a dagger at the end and much of the 'single-ended and double-ended' stick techniques cross over.

The basic principle of mass battlefield combat using the spear is that there is really no time, space or need to see what the enemies' attacking weapon (be it a sword, stick or another spear) is doing while its coming in to attack you. You, the defending soldier, just needed to make a sweeping arc from either the left waist level to the area just beyond your right temple area or vice versa and this movement will 9 times out of 10 block and sweep away whatever weapon that's coming in and protect your torso area and with the same action just follow through and thrust your spear forward (much like mordern day bayonet training) or with the same sweeping motion swing the backend of the spear towards the enemies head and if successfull you move on to the next enemy and do the same thing.

It's crude because no fancy techniques were involved and 'lazy' because you don't much care what or how your enemy's weapon was coming in; you just sweep his weapon one side and spear him or go for his head with the backend of the spear, like a 'windmill'

Now translate that into long-range almost straight elbow swinging of arms with the lead hand sweeping away your enemy's hand and follow through with the other closely following attacking hand, which if missing the target, turned into a blocking/sweeping hand and the other swinging hand becoming the follow-through attacking hand. You don't much care about what your opponent was doing when using this technique. Of course this is only one of many aspects of the art; please do not think otherwise.

Another art that was borne out of the mass battlefield training of soldiers was Xing Yi, which not surprisingly was first taught by General Yue Fei to his soldiers. Not much defensive techniques, just keep going forward even when you block and even when you step back, you throw out a punch which is always simultaneously done with a half-step backward or forward and even when you step to the side it is actually a set-up for an angled attack to your opponent's side.
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#361686 - 09/21/07 07:25 AM Re: Windmill arms [Re: harlan]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_White_Crane

It's confusing, but there's more than one white crane style, and they are really nothing alike. They just happen to have picked the same animal to be inspired by.
Fujian white crane is the style which may be one of the ancestors of goju ryu karate. Tibetan white crane may, in fact, have had some part in the development of some techniques of Hung Gar and Choy Li Fut (or they may all have a link to northern long fist systems)

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#361687 - 09/21/07 07:38 AM Re: Windmill arms [Re: WuXing]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Thanks guys for the feedback, and BP for that insightful explanation. Despite my interest in all things 'Tibetan'...this 'art' isn't one of them. But that 'windmill' thing was confusing to this Goju newbie...where most stuff is taught with elbows down and keeping cover.

Thanks again.

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#361688 - 09/21/07 09:17 AM Re: Windmill arms [Re: ButterflyPalm]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
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Loc: York PA. USA
Good post, Butterflypalm!
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#361689 - 09/21/07 12:52 PM Re: Windmill arms [Re: harlan]
Neko456 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 3260
Loc: Midwest City, Ok, USA
Yes Goju/Karate is a lot safer/simpler but there are moves in Seisan, Shisochin, Seipia and Superimpei that have the blocking strikes (rocking/shifting/tai-sabaki along with deflects that strike in one move), the technique are less windmill like, but show S.crane like gung-fu movement.

It's like a foreign language the meaning are not always exact but the thought or purpose match.

Butterfly thats makes a lot of sense to me, why calulate if you just wanting to survive, almost a KISS theory but to an extrem. I can see it working pretty good unless you are that "1" out of the Ten.


Edited by Neko456 (09/21/07 01:01 PM)

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#361690 - 09/21/07 01:26 PM Re: Windmill arms [Re: Neko456]
everyone Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/02/07
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
I have studied a similar style of Tibetan White Crane. The front arm of the windmill is the clearing hand. It can strike but the main goal is to open the defenses of the opponent. The rear hand is the power hand. After the clear, the crane advances and strikes with the rear hand. The power is generated from the bent leg of the stance and the twisting of the hips. The front hand then becomes the back. It is not as clear to see in this clip, the practitioner is doing a variant of what I have learned and puts more emphasis on shoulder movements.

Tibetan White Crane is a very unusual style. Very deceptive, elusive, and powerful.

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