The Three Planes of Attack and Defense

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by wanderingdaoist, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    One thing to be taken into account: the responses to attacks on different planes is based on the idea of not meeting force on force. The basic idea you are presenting is to beat force laterally. You could further generalize you theory to say that. It's not just:


    If Attacked with Z-Axis, foil with X/Y-Axis
    If attacked with X-Axis foil with Z/Y-Axis
    If Attacked with Y-Axis, foil with X/Z-Axis

    This idea conforms with a certain mode of thinking that is common among soft internal styles (such as TJQ or WC). Most of the defenses Sliver is advocating are force-on-force. Blocking a hammer fist with an upwards block is (essentially) a force-on-force approach. Blocking a hook by bringing the elbow up is essentially a force on force approach.

    Once the basic idea of "pure" axis attacks is understood by a student (straight jab, anvil-drop type hammer fist, purely horizontal roundhouse), you can easily extend this idea to encompass attacks that come in at an angle. For example, take an uppercut that comes up and in at a 45 degree angle. Instead of pulling out some complicated analysis, just change your frame of reference. Rotate your Y axis 45 degrees toward your opponent and think of it that way - now you deal with the force. Use the right hand rule. I learned this in physics. Point your thumb in the direction that the force is coming in to you, now wrap your fingers into a fist. Whatever directions that your fingers point in are viable directions for dealing with the blow.

    I would also like to mention that I have had some amount of success with WD's method of dealing with hooks. Instead of using a palm, I usually use the back or front of my forearm with my hand bent over the bicep. This keeps your wrist from getting hurt when you block an over-zealous hook with your palm, and gives it a better surface area so that it won't slip away.
  2. wanderingdaoist

    wanderingdaoist New Member

    I use the forearm as well (if the palm slips, its the next surface to contact) against the hook.

    My article was meant originally to get people thinking about ways to simplify the way they look at attack/defense, and I'm so glad that it's working! I've been thinking, for quite a long time, that martial arts training needs to focus on the simple theories and train for maximum versitility. It seems that all practitioners reach this same conclusion after a period of time, but I just want to speed it up somewhat.

    You guys are bright, and I really like all your contributions and analysis. I don't think it's right for me to take any real credit for the re-write that I'm currently working on for this article, thus, anyone who contributes something of substance to my re-write should be given due props.

    You are right, Yohan, i advocate the use of 'soft' methods over 'hard' methods, for a few reasons. One of which being how the muscles are utilized in the practitioners. Using less muscle to be more effective. If you raise your elbow past a certain point, you activate your deltoids too much, etc. I'm advocating a lazy-mans self-defense style, only wanting to use techniques that use little effort...

    What I'm thinking of doing, is writing an accompanying article on the kinesiological aspects behind the movements. meaning, what happens to the body/muscles/alignment behind certain techniques. I think that would go a long way to explaining the theory and why I stress certain styles of movement.

    Two weeks for a re-write baring any more contributions (though, keep them coming!!!) .. It's tough righting beijing life is hectic right now too.
  3. sliver

    sliver Work In Progress

    Looking forward to what comes out of this WD. If you ever get out my way (near San Diego, CA) I'd love to cross hands with you and test it out first hand. Would be an enlightening experience.

    If you don't mind my saying, I think looking to use minmal muscle is headding the wrong direction. Look for minimal movement, don't worry about how much muscle is involved. Less movement means faster (fewer beats). What does using less muscle buy you? The two are not always the same. Just throwing more on the fire. Be well.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2006
  4. Kilkeel Gary

    Kilkeel Gary New Member

    3 Dimensions

    Hello WD

    How are you? I have had a quick glance at your original post. I think you should check out or and you will see that you are 350 years too late with your idea! Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun deals with fighting not from a technique point of view, but from that of occupying space. Occupying space means that any kick, punch, whatever, travels through space to hit the person. Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun doesn't focus on that technique, it occupies the space in relation to that attack using height, depth and width factors, the 3 dimensions you have talked about. No matter what the attack, it still must occupy the space to hit the person. So if you get the chance, visit GM Garrett Gee's Kwoon in San Francisco or my club in Ireland (if you're ever there!) and I am sure you will enjoy the experience.
    Hello Sliver, you are in California, is that right? Go to Monterey Blvd in San Francisco and visit GM Gee if you are genuinely interested, and see what you think.
    Good luck WD, the Chinese always talk about fate. Perhaps you're idea will lead you to the Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun.

    Cheerio, Gary
  5. sliver

    sliver Work In Progress

    I'm in southern CA, don't get up to SF too often, but I do once in a while. I may have to check him out next time I'm in the neighborhood.
  6. wanderingdaoist

    wanderingdaoist New Member

    Yeah, it only makes sense that someone came to similar conclusions at some point in history as I'm elaborating on. I make absolutely no claims to my 'theory' or explanation of principles as being unique or profound. As I said in the introductory paragraph, the movements of the body are finite, so it's only logical.

    I've a strong suspicion that someone came to the same conclusion long before 350 years too. The oldest fighting arts in the world come from africa, not from china, so i'm sure african arts have similar principles. But style is irrelevant what i'm attempting to illustrate is that there is a 'truth' in self-defense theory that we need to get back to.

    Nice way of working your school in the post... barely noticeable.
  7. Kilkeel Gary

    Kilkeel Gary New Member

    Hello WD

    Thanks for the reply. I agree with you that the movements of the body are finite, no doubt about that.
    Anyway, Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun is not a style which alters or changes due to personal input, so I also agree that style is irrevelant. The history for my lineage is that the monks and soldiers of the Ching Dynasty came to the conclusion that no matter what style a person uses, it must occupy space to exist. So, they spent many years looking at the human body and eventually decided that efficient use of the body in space was their goal - we all have two arms and two legs, so there must be efficient ways to use them. All styles were effective, no doubt about that, but like you have stated, they realised that the human body can only do so many things in relation to fighting, so they attempted to find the most efficient way to do that. The result was a system that used height, depth and width factors to minimise the use of time, space and energy in a fight. The 6 gates of Wing Chun were born, and these gates represent the finite boundaries within which Hung Fa Yi tries to achieve genuine efficiency. I can't say whether or not any previous systems have looked at combat this way, I honestly don't know. But what is common knowledge is that only Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun talks about efficiency in relation to a genuinely mapped out 3 dimensional strategy - it may have been thought of before and after, but as far as I am aware, only Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun actually has produced a finite 3 dimensional bounded strategy. However, another lineage, not my own, also looks at Time, Space and Energy factors in combat as well, namely Chi Shim Weng Chun. These two are the only systems as far as I am aware that focus on these factors, with Hung Fa Yi the only system looking at combat through a defined 3 dimensional boundary.
    No need to say you make no claims WD, I would never think it. You have obviously thought about this, and since you find it logical it would be well worth your while to visit GM Gee. Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun is actually there for you to feel and train, so I suggest you give it a try. Anyway, good luck with your travels.
    Hello Sliver, thanks for the reply. On March 25th, there is a Public Seminar in GM Gee's Kwoon, I'll be there so that would be a good time to come up. We could meet for a chat at the very least. Let me know what you think.

    Cheerio, Gary

    ps - honestly, is it bad to put a school name in a post? I'm newish to many forums and don't know the rules that much
  8. wanderingdaoist

    wanderingdaoist New Member

    It's not bad to discuss your kwoon in a thread, i read it late at night and interperated it as a blatent attempt at promoting one style/school, so umm.. my bad.

    When I'm back in the states, or in ireland for that matter, i'll check out the school definitely.

    For those who are subscribed to this thread, let's do a style role-call real quick? I want to see how many different schools of thought are represented.

    Myself - Budizhen gongfu, wingchun, wu style taiji, boxing and aikido.
  9. Kilkeel Gary

    Kilkeel Gary New Member

    Hello WD

    Hello There

    Thanks for the reply WD, thanks for giving the advice about plugs. Hope to meet you some day, but if not, all the best with your travels.

    Myself - Wing Chun (Hung Fa Yi; Yip Man); just began WuDong Clan of Fu Chen Sung
  10. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    Although kali may demonstrate more than 3 angles of attack, the methods of defense can be narrowed down to 3 positions. How's that for simple!! :D
  11. sliver

    sliver Work In Progress

    My styles- Lung Ying, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (currently). They play quite nicely together. Previously Kempo, don't use much from it now though.
  12. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Aye, that's kinda where Ueshiba was going with his three canonical angles of attack used in aikido dojos. After much consideration I grew to appreciate the idea. My kali background helped a lot in this regard. I'm a believer now. :D
  13. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    My first question with any theory is how it aids practice. I don't dispute for one moment that it does. But I would be interested to hear specifically how.

    As for the FMA, I haven't encountered any style that has 60 angles. Normally, it's between 5 and 12 angles. And even with 12, they're generally variations on a theme (i.e., the same basic angle, but at a different height). As aml101_ph said, it does pretty much boil down to the same basic angles. And that leads to zoning, which is what your article made me think of.

    What struck me about the article was that, in dealing with defense, it discussed strictly blocking, parrying type things. It seems to me that footwork, positioning, and evasion are the types of "soft" responses built into most systems, from boxing to taijiquan. So it would be useful, I think, to address how sidestepping away from the force of a round kick, for instance, fits into your theory. (Clearly it does. It's an example of X axis against X axis. I think. Or is it Z axis? Whichever is side to side.) Likewise, slipping a straight jab, as in boxing, is a question of side-to-side diffusing straight on. And simply stepping backward, though not leaving you in a great position to counter, is still a viable defense against a straight attack like a front kick. So that's straight-on versus straight-on.

  14. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    At least to striking, the concept pretty much helped in everything I do. In aikido, I tend to subdivide all attacks into 3 simple categories, from above, from below, and towards the middle. It made anticipating the attacks easier.

    I think his reason for thinking out the theory revolves on how to improve his counters. I think it also excludes concepts such as clinching and throwing.
  15. wanderingdaoist

    wanderingdaoist New Member

    Actually it doesn't exclude said concepts of clinching and grappling. It's there, just not apparent in the initial stages. As I've said before, the reason for the theory is one of necessary simplicity. Here's the catch though - in order to grapple, you need to be able to defend/counter first. The next version is discussing 'bridging the gap' and footwork in conjunction with the upper-body orientation. In conjunction, it discusses responses to first attacks etc. (with exceptional consideration being given to the 'jab'.)

    I'm HOPING to have it done soon, but I'm putting it through extensive testing before I release another copy so... there ya go.

    Your observations about it are great though, thanks for responding about it.
  16. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    Sorry. I got that impression on the first post. Especially after excluding same axes decisions.
  17. wanderingdaoist

    wanderingdaoist New Member

    Hey Stuart -
    Thanks for your reply, don't know how I missed it. You're correct in your assessment as this theory applies primarily to the 'parry'/'block' aspect of M.A. training, the second version (which I swear to everything holy will be done here shortly as soon as my training partners get back so we can take the darned pictures.) does discuss footwork in someone of detail. Now, the three planes of attack does deal specifically with that however, the footwork is an addendum to illustrate how to incorporate the theory into ones personal practice.

    As a general rule, retreat is not advocated, and diagonal stepping (should sound familiar to those FMA people) is preferred.

    Now There was a question as to whether or not this theory holds up in relationship to grappling/in-fighting. This has resulted in a rewrite that I've decided to actually just split into an entirely separate article. The reason is that Grappling/infighting etc. is an entirely different animal, and it deserves my full attention on the subject. But as I've already mentioned the Basic footwork theory above, the grappling theory falls in-line. Using diagonal forward stepping to (usually) the outside gate of an opponent gives opportunity for a variety of chokes, sweeps, arm bars etc.

    My attentions are currently drawn elswhere so i'm sorry if this reply is less than articulate. Hopefully the second post of the article won't fail as much.
  18. thescottishdude

    thescottishdude New Member

    I don't think there's enough there for a book mate.

    It's a nice way of categorising the attacks, but it's rather over-complicated. why not just stick with hand and feet attacks???
  19. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    You've obviously missed the point.

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