Orbiting

I would like to share a fighting technique I learned from a Si Hing (Kung Fu older brother) of mine, named Stanley Dea.

Stanley, who is now deceased, is the father of a very close Kung Fu sister of mine named Stephanie Dea. Stephanie and I were the youngest of the advanced students under my teacher, Dean Chin–although she spent the majority of her training time with another older brother named Deric Mims, and I learned the bulk of my Jow Ga from Sifu and then my older brother Raymond Wong. Without going much into detail about the politics of the two major factions, she and I were on opposite ends of the school and were both the youngest and most advanced of our generation, yet we were still about as close as kung fu family could get.

Her father, Stanley was an engineer and intellect. If you google him, you will see that he was also an Asian American civil rights fighter. Depending on your politics, he was either a hero or the antagonist. But he was my older brother, one of my early Kung Fu teachers, and I learned a lot from him about Kung Fu as well as life alone. I pray that God has mercy on his soul.

Stanley was an older man, who was fit and not very aggressive. He was our business manager, and was always striving to find more ways for Sifu to make a better living with his Kung Fu. I believe that all martial arts schools that are more traditional than commercial have such a student… and this is a very important role within the walls of the martial arts school. Stanley was also a well-read man. He was forever reading texts on the martial arts, and–true to the Dean Chin philosophy–did not care where the knowledge originated. Like I said, he was an intellect, and while many within the school did not think him to be much of a martial arts resource, was a great resource. I say this because he did not fight much, his performance of kung fu forms at best was mediocre, and he was not competitive. But what I respected about him was that he was earnest in his quest for martial arts knowledge, and what he learned he not only absorbed–Stanley endeavored to put to use or test the knowledge he picked up. I had been in classes with Stanley when Sifu would walk in while he taught and then give us one technique and leave. After class, Stanley would work on that technique over and over, even asking me at times to attack him aggressively so that he could test it out. Being a cocky and somewhat aggressive boy myself–I obliged, attempting to knock his block, but guess what? Most of the time, I was unsuccessful. I respected him, not just because he was my senior, but because Stanley was a serious practitioner of the art and despite what the ignorant young people in my school thought of him, Stanley Dea was a knowledgeable man with fighting skill, and he was no punk. And did I mention that he was a PhD?

So, I recall him asking another senior student about a technique he had read about called “orbiting”. The strategy involved staying in motion in a circle around the opponent, and attempting to throw off the rhythm of the opponent. When the opponent stumbled while trying to keep up with you (in your circular movement), you then stop the orbiting and then make a bee line for the opponent in the center of the circle and take advantage of his vulnerability. Well, after attempting to demonstrate the technique to my other Si Hing, he fumbled with his demonstration while explaining it. My Si Hing laughed and dismissed the technique as one that would never work on him. Not one to just accept defeat, Stanley then grabbed me and we worked on it for a long time. I can still picture the pie-shaped diagram he drew on a sheet of paper to illustrate the technique with the “X” in the center, representing the opponent. I must admit that I even thought the technique was inferior, although I could see the logic in it. Over the next few weeks, I worked on that technique on my own, as I assume that he did as well.

One day, on a Saturday morning (Stanley taught on Saturdays), Stanley taught the class. He had a student put on the gear, and spar with him and to my surprise, the technique worked like poetry. He circled left and right, and seemed to attack and land at will. When the class resumed, we all sparred, and it worked for me as well. Today, this technique is a part of my fight strategy, as it is with many boxers also. Among those who employ this technique with a lot of success is Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. Try it for yourself. It is a simple strategy, but one that is difficult to follow and counter.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Author: thekuntawman

full time martial arts teacher, full time martial arts philosopher, and full time martial arts critic

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