Ape & Crane Set
Steve Richards teaching Lesser Ape and Crane Set, San-Sau from digital video
Under NO circumstances should these techniques be practiced without qualified supervision.
Sequence 1: Ape Cross-Step & Downward Torquing Hook Punch
This shows an 'Ape' form, Cross-Step, which is actually a stomping kick, and leg trap engagement. The Left arm is catching the opponents lead arm, whilst the cross-kick stomps against the opponents knee or thigh
The Stop-Kick 'finds' its referent point (the opponents leg) and then 'follows its line to the ground', corkscrewing around the leg, and applying rotational force to it - to stress the joints. This also compromises the opponents structure - overall, and a compromised structure takes away the ability to initiate attack or defence. The rear-hand has 'fired' the downward arcing 'hook' punch - which comes 'over' blind-sighted. Its angle is very hard to compute (in defence) and its trajectory allows full bodyweight to 'drop' with it.
This shows the cross step has 'landed', which in application would have wrapped around the opponents engaged leg. The punchers body is aligned to 'enfold' with a downward spiral - delivering the body's maximal force into the opponents centre of mass
Here, the punchers body is raised slightly in order to re-accelerate the punch of the natural apex of its curve. The raised alignment will make use of the ability to 'fall' down the vertical axis of the body with twisting and sinking actions
Here, the punchers lead foot has begun its turn, to rotate extra force into the opponents leg joints, this force will turn him into line for the punch to drop at around 45 degrees thru the jaw
Here, the punchers body has turned, the punch has impacted, and dropped right thru the jaw of the opponent. The near completed turn shows how much force would have moved laterally thru the feet and waist. The shoulder which was raised has dropped, and the ribs have closed - this is referred to as 'Chum-Ging' (sinking power) in Chinese
Here, the final summation of rotational forces has occurred, with the legs bending like car suspension shock absorbers. In application, this whole sequence is very fast, and timed with the opponents motion. At any point in the arc path, the Lion's Roar! Fighter, is trained to re-fire or switch the path in response to immediate feedback, and to computed possibilities re action or reaction on the part of the opponent.
Drilling the cross-step-stomp
Sequence 2: Double Crane Wing Attack
This sequence from the Set, is to entrain very fast multiple striking, on pressure and control points, and to be able to maximally employ 'Kundlaini' (Serpent) or 'Stretch-Release' Power, known in the Chinese branches of the Art as 'Tan-Ging': Spring-Power. This force acts oppositely to the 'Chun-Ging' Sinking Power typical of the Ape (see example above), A feature here is the rapid use of Switching Drop-Step Cat Stances.
An 'in-coming line' is engaged by a palm heel slap, using the full range of flexion and extension in the wrist. The impact point is above the elbow joint. This strikes at nerve pressure points, and jars the arm considerably. An impact below the elbow could be easily deflected: above it the whole arm below the point of contact is effectively controlled. By displacing the arm 'off-line' the alignment of the shoulder plane is disrupted, which gives a window of time within which the attackers other arm is isolated from effective use. The path of the strike is upwards at around 45 degrees, making use of the natural apex off the line of the hip. This makes it unobtrusive, fast and powerful - given its economy of motion.
Showing the impact at the golgi tendon area
Here, the body of the defender has started to shift, in order to mobilize the rotational force linkages latent in the body. Note the re-aligned stance, and the motion thru the waist relative to the last two pictures. The left arm is repositioned, 'covered' by an exaggerated motion thru the waist - like a sidewinder snake. This motion thru the waist also engages the linkages necessary for the whole-body spiralling power (Kundalini Serpent) Esoterically, this involves the action of the Kundalini at the Root Chakra - and is classed as action thru 'Internal Energy' by the Chinese.
Note again here the change of position thru the feet, indicating the spiralling motion. The right elbow now makes contact as a strike against the forearm, and the body starts to spiral upwards as it 'stretch releases' spring energy into the opponent
Once again note first the feet, as the support planes orientation indicates the direction of action for the forces passing up thru the spine.
Here, the Golgi-tendon body, above the elbow is about to be struck again, this time by the right palm. The left palm is about to hit between the shoulder blades, before 'bouncing' into the neck at the base of the skull, which will be the 5th strike in the sequence so far
Note how narrow and high the 'cat-Stance' is at this point....
Here, the left palm has impacted the skull, and is about to fold over the opponents head and 'spin' him around. The folding can be direct, or as in this example a wipe across the eyes and forehead
As the spin starts, note how the Cat-Stance begins to 'stretch'
Mid-point in the turn, the Cat switches and starts to close again, drawing up rotational force from the root, and transfer this vertically up the spine
Sequence 3: Alternative Continuation From The Scoop
Here a kick is used instead of a full turn
Sequence 4: Alternative Application
This sequence shows a much tighter use of the Switching Cat - understanding of which is essential in order to apply the 'Crane' in the Lion's Roar! System.
Here the initial engagement is closer and later than in the first variant shown above, so the palm slap is lower down the in-coming line, on the forearm
Final picture demonstrates a fully released Kundalini Power Chain (Crane Form). To get to this point the body must be loose, elastic, and all spiralling linkages fully engaged. The shoulders in particular must be capable of good flexion. the impact is very powerful, true whole-body force over a 'short' distance