Mi Tsung I

Mi Tsung I means “Labyrinth art” is a Chinese martial art. It is a highly deceptive method featuring rapid turns, changes of direction, and attacks to confuse the enemy. Aspects of both hard and soft kung-fu are included .

Regardless of origins and styles hard and soft can be seen simply as opposing or yielding; neither is better than the other as each has its application and must be used in its own way, and each makes use of specific timing principles and biomechanics.

Soft techniques can be used in offense but are more likely to appear in defense and counter offense, much like hard techniques they are effected by foot work and skeletal alignment. Where a hard technique in defense often aims to interrupt the flow of attack a soft technique aims to misdirect it, move round it or draw it into over commitment, in counter offense a soft technique may appear as a slip or a vault or simply using the momentum of a technique against the user. Soft techniques in offense would usually only include feints and pulling motions but the definition and categorization may change from one art form to another.

Hard technique

A hard technique meets force with force; either with a head-on-force blocking technique, or by diagonally cutting the strike with (one’s) force. It is an example of the defender using the attacker’s force and momentum against him or her. Although hard techniques require greater strength for successful execution, it is the mechanics of the technique that accomplish the defense. Examples are:

A low kick aimed to break the attacker’s leg.

An arm block aimed to break or halt the attacker’s arm.

Hard techniques can be used in offense, defense and counter offence, they are effected by foot work and skeletal alignment, for the most part hard techniques are direct, this in defense they look at interrupting the flow of attack, in counter offense they look at breaking the attack and in offense they are direct and committed blows or throws.

Soft technique

The goal of the soft technique is turning the attacker’s force to his or her disadvantage, with the defender exerting minimal force. With a soft technique, the defender uses the attacker’s force and momentum against him or her, by leading the attack(er) in a direction to where the defender will be advantageously positioned and the attacker becoming off balance; a seamless movement then effects the appropriate soft technique. In some styles of martial arts, a series of progressively difficult, two-student training drills, such as pushing hands or sticky hands, exercise teach the soft-technique(s):

The defender leads the attack by redirecting the attacker’s forces against him or her, or away from the defender — instead of meeting the attack with a block. The mechanics of soft technique defenses usually are circular: Yielding is meeting the force with no resistance.

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