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.
"Tow-Choi" (Cantonese) "Head-Cut": Chinna-Masta (Head Decapitation Punch: Sanskrit) Kali's Decapitator
The first sequence shows a simple path of a 'blind-sighted arcing hook' punch that deliberately opens out fully at the apex of its arc path. This is to 'slingshot' the post-apex acceleration of the curve, the path of which compresses to form a 'trap' against the opponents guard or - head/neck. The original Indo-Tibetan variant of this technique, was called Chinna-Mastika/Chinna-Masta, after the Goddess Kali - the 'Destroyer' who decapitated her enemies and hung their skulls around her neck. The Chinese interpreted this as 'Head-Cut' and this is the form it takes in many Chinese branch lineages. |The path is demonstrated with a narrow base, feet more or less parallel. When this punch is used this way, the action of the feet becomes very important. Normally the waist 'fires' the arc path, with the body rising up to the apex and then falling again as the apex is passed. The feet then torque oppositely to the action of the waist (opposite lock). Where the feet are parallel and the stance is 'high' overall, then the feet often torque inwards - towards the midline, in order to arrest the acceleration and squeeze out rotational force on impact. In this short sequence, you can see the feet turning (Chinese Che-Mah) to augment the waist action - Chinese Che-San - both in Sanskrit called Chakra-Kaya Sakti "Wheel-Body-Power.
This is the precursor sequence to an applied technique. Note the turning feet....
Sequence 1: Tow-Choi arc path:
Sequence 2: Tow-Choi arc path:
Demonstrating a basic parry and rising path for a Tow-Choi attack against an opponents extended line. Note that the striking surface here is the unusually configured mounted thumb, the knuckle joint of the thumb itself....
Apex of the curve at its most extended
Impact along the brachioradiallis muscle compartment of the forearm, raking from proximal to distal
Striking also at the base of the thumb. Look carefully and note the impacting 'mounted thumb joint' - this is a speciality of the Lama Martial Arts.
Immediately post impact the fist opens and releases itself, reducing the chance of injury
Sequence 3: Mounted Thumb Strike
Here the mounted-thumb impact is isolated - note the fist shape and path, as well as impact point, and 'effect'.
Sequence 3: Mounted Thumb Strike Alternative Target
Here the mounted thumb is going towards the Triceps heads: posterior compartment of the upper arm
On impact, it retracts and positions for a 're-fire'
With a fore-knuckle strike to the outer margin of the ribs
Sequence 4: Mounted Thumb Strike Alternative Target
Single frame to illustrate a mounted thumb joint hit against the biceps heads
Sequence 5: Tow-Choi and Throw
The Tow-Choi arcs up and around to strike at the back of the neck
It impacts at the base of the skull...
Then wraps around to dig into the carotid/sternoclidomastoid muscle
The Tow-choi 're-shapes' to allow the forearm and elbow to slip into a fulcrum/lever position on the neck, fingers 'splay' as 'ging' is shocked into the collar bone thru the forearm
Rotational force is then applied...
To take the opponent to the ground
Sequence 6: Tow-Choi and Throw Alternate Angle
Sequence 7: Tow-Choi and Throw 2nd Alternate Angle
Torquing back by stepping around after the impact of the Hook punch to the neck
Sequence 8: Tow-Choi and Throw with Pressure Point Preparatory Hit and Elbow Lock/Break on Ground
Tow Choi rises up...
Mounted thumb hits for a stun...
Elbow break position going on...
And applied a bit more ....