Hello again, everyone!
Today's post is the last in the series on Kungfu moves that we find in Karate.
This move is one of 3 double handed strikes that show up in forms from time to time. Because fists are allowed in most martial arts sparring competitions (except Judo for instance) some might even say that they have used it as opposed to the other strikes that are both open handed.
The Twin Dragons are found in Shaolin Forms and consist of two punches- one chest level and one stomach level, shooting out simultaneously. It is also executed by punching the face and abdomen at the same time.
The original version of the technique looks like this:
This version is also found in the Bassai Dai and Rohei kata of Shukokai. Other Okinawan-based styles also use this method.
Japanese styles of Karate like Shotokan and Wado Ryu have the arms bent, further apart and the body leaning into the punch like this:
While the first method is sufficient for hitting two targets at once, or to have an extra attack going out for in case the first gets blocked the second method also has its added uses.
Sensei Iain Abernethy actually has a really good explanation for this. In the video below he also explains why this punch is called "Yama Zuki" (Mountain Punch) in Japanese.
Rear Bear Hug Defense:
This has brought has to the end of this series.
Saying that Karate has developed from Fujian White Crane style of Kungfu is really an over-generalisation as the 5 previous posts have shown us.
If you have never seen the White Crane style before here is a sample:
We have also seen that, although Shotokan is regarded as a Japanese style of Karate which we would expect to be the furthest removed from Chinese influence it contains not only the Ma Bu (Horse Stance) of Shaolin, but also other Shaolin techniques that got preserved in its kata and kihon.
Knowing where these techniques come from and what they were originally meant to do helps a lot in understanding the kata and its purpose.
In the end, however, we know that the study of martial arts is not an academic exercise and it is alright if you do not wish to delve too deep into the history of what you are doing. I hope, however, that these last 6 posts have provided some answers to the more inquisitive among us.
Train well and have a great week ahead.