In 1792 a Chinese fighting instructor, under name Kushanku came to Okinawa and taught Quan Fa, (Chinese Martial Arts), which many would argue formed much of the basis for the Martial Arts styles that followed.
Being interested in where my MA came from, I looked at some of the principles of Quan Fa and then looked inside my own style, Shotokan, to see if I came up with anything interesting.
One principle of Quan Fa is ‘Swallowing and Expelling’
Two fighting-related concepts come to mind here. In terms of ‘Expelling,’ the obvious is inhaling and exhaling (particularly in Kata like Hangetsu), as well as the sharp exhalation on our strikes / impact. Secondly, ‘Swallowing’ may denote the waza of bringing the opponent’s energy toward you – perhaps using something like a hooking block – and the subsequent force of a follow-up blow becomes the ‘Expelling’. According to the basic laws of physics, drawing or pulling the opponent toward you prior to delivering a technique maximizes impact. In Shotokan we often use the draw arm to grab and pull as we strike. This, of course, is also the Reaction Force concept in Taekwondo, a MA similar to ours in many of its origins and fighting principles.
The reason Martial Arts have stood the test of time? It’s real, and as the Mystic said, ‘Anything real can never be lost.’