Ape & Crane Set
Steve Richards teaching the Lesser Ape & Crane Set San-Sau: images taken from digital video
Under NO circumstances should these techniques be practiced without qualified supervision.
With Son Gareth, aged 9yrs, grappling training
Hip Throw, turning in, using pelvis to slide and slam. Additional action to follow.
Outer Reap, hands positioned for multiplier switch as follows...
Outer Reap with inward press behind the right hip and simultaneous forward press to the shoulders twisting the spine
A 'horizontal Cup-Choi' as a feeder technique, with loose hand formation, wrist relaxed. The aim is to 'offer' this to the opponent. Once the opponent has committed to a response - inside -its arc, then the 'trap' closes. On initiation of the Cup-Choi, the body raises slightly, allowing the spine to lengthen and the ribs to open. The waist is 'engaged' for an 'opposite lock' to augment the 'closure' of the posture, which also involves a sinking down of the body's vertical axis. The opponents right hand is trapped against the shoulder of the Cupping arm. Paradoxically this trapping action does not inhibit action by the shoulder because the shoulder is retracting from its maximal extension (actually flexion in anatomical terms).
As the shoulder retracts. the humerus (upper arm) moves inwards towards the midline of the body. The wrist 'flaps' and the loose hand formation closes into a squeeze-point clubbing strike at the side of the head or neck (dependent upon opportunistic impact) The waist is already turning, the body starting to sink, and the shoulders are allowed to remain relatively high so when the spine drops down its vertical axis, the shoulder plane 'slingshots' down after it, adding greater torque to the opponent
Impact of the clubbing squeeze-point Cup-Choi. If you look carefully you can compare alignment of the waist and angle of the lead leg to see the torquing opposite-lock acting thru the waist. The shoulders to have 'dropped' following the sinking of the vertical axis. These actions are 'internal' in Chinese terms.
The impact forces the opponent to step backwards. The clubbing arm now presses deeply into the neck, as the opponents trapped right arm is pushed back against his forehead
Continuation of above
To 'release' this pressure, is to give a false way out to the opponent, whose instinct is to escape from the impact and compression forces. As he withdraws into a 'bardo', he is 'assisted' in his motion by wrist-locking his trapped right hand, turning him now to the right.
The 'bardo' void is filled, by a clubbing forearm to the back of the neck, re-impacting the previously compressed point. The wrist lock is 'softened', giving him a further 'apparently' empty route of egress. As his body moves to fill this bardo, the clubbing forearm revolves around the circumference of his neck (wheeling inwards to outwards) - following its line, and then, 're-fires' as a single knuckle phoenix-eye fist strike, to the throat
An overhead Cup-Choi set at 45' degrees for easy interception is 'fired' as a feeder to the opponent. This is just fast enough to be detected, but too fast for a complex reaction on the opponents part. The counter-reaction to the opponent is already 'built-in' to the program - with of course several alternative lines available. Note that the Cup-Choi relaxes momentarily before 'receiving' the block by the opponent. This allows the arm to become 'live' with respect to 'shaping' itself to accommodate the force of the block, and to position itself appropriately for the next action. This relaxation allows maintenance of energy, as a 'stiff' arm would force tension to backfire into our structure on impact with the block. If the blow was NOT a feeder, this would not matter, as such: BUT with feeders, all actions must be relaxed and timed properly, so as to be able to 're-fire'.
Here, equal and opposite actions work on the opponents blocking limb, also the body is re-aligning itself dynamically for the follow on reaction.
Here, the body starts to torque with opposite lock generated by the waist, and thru the shoulders and feet
As the body 'roots' laterally the forces are triangulated: downwards thru the 'scooped' arm on the opponent and upwards by an uppercut ramming palm strike under the chin
The upper-cutting palm inverts ('Faan') into a squeeze-point fore-knuckle rake at the chin. The right arm is lifting the opponents extended arm firstly by action at the wrist and then the elbow- giving one lever turning inside of another. Notice how the spine is aligning to allow transverse torque thru the waist.
Showing the impact point of the raking fore-knuckle and squeeze-point closure fist strike.
This strike re-inverts into the mid-position by action at the wrist, and re-fires a phoenix-eye fist single knuckle configuration into the carotid artery. The opponents left arm is still elevated by the right elbow positioned underneath his forearm.
Torquing action now accelerates as the whole body turns into the opponents structure. The right arm has 'wheeled' in an ellipse, who's focus is set behind the opponents neck. The left arm impacts and raises the opponents left shoulder, causing the spine to twist and add momentum to the wheeling arm. The right hip is placed against the opponents left hip as an additional fulcrum point.
The right forearm 'rolls' the opponents scapula forward and the left arm pushes upwards and distally along the line of the opponents right arm. The body's vertical axis displaces into the opponent by horizontal pressure thru the hip.
The forearm rolls 'over' the superior aspect of the shoulder joint, as the left arm starts to rotate the opponents forearm. this 'accelerates' the torquing forces even more.
The right forearm cuts down and just to get a last bit of force out of the rotation, the fingers 'splay' tensing the forearm just enough to add shock to the end of the rotational arc.
Closing the fingers gives an additional shock as further dislocating energy is applied thru the arm
Stepping back extends the joint. Note the relaxed left hand like 'wood floating on water'. This is a precursor for the final dislocation....
Having rooted the stance after stepping back, the arms now act like shears and twist oppositely to drop settling bodyweight thru the shoulder for dislocation.