Destroying the will.

Musashi Andy Hug

Andy Hug vs Mike Bernado 1996 K1 Grand Prix.

Internal Kung Fu ideas on destryoying the will.

This is not a story about the magnificent Andy Hug or K1.

‘Destroying the will’ is the result where a fighter is repeatedly beaten on, so much so that it destroys his willingness to continue fighting, not beating them so hard that they cannot continue fighting, which is what Andy did to Bernado in 1996 at the K1 Grand Prix.

I was talking about this again today ‘destroying the will’. I understand my choice of picture might be confusing, if you know anything about that fight you might say “Hey, Andy landed powerful strikes that prevented his opponent continuing”; True, he did… But, that fight did pop into my mind when I was talking about ‘Destroying the will’.

Today we were practising Five Elements from Xingyi

Crossing 橫 Héng (Earth) – Crossing across the line of attack while turning over.

Specifically, we were applying Héng to lead jabs and crosses… It is very tricky to follow-up the first contact of ‘Crossing’ with the strike, there just isn’t time for it.

So, what can you do if your opponents strikes are too fast.

Xingyi’s ‘Crossing’ relies on crossing the center line of attack, which it can do very well. However, there isn’t much time for a strike, maybe, just maybe you could set up the strike if you used Crossing in a particular way and if you are lucky you might pull it off. On the other hand you could use the application as an effective defensive strike, simultaneously attacking and defending.

This is where we get into destroying the will of your opponent, in the case of the 1996 K1 Andy Hug fight it is slightly different, Andy’s strikes to Mike’s legs hurt him so badly that he was unable to continue. Destroying the willingness of an opponents drive to continue to fight is what I would call an alternative to finding a finishing blow, typically thrown to connect with the opponent’s jaw.

Put simply, the Crossing blow smashes the opponent’s outstretched arm at the end of its strike and so the line of attack is crossed, we also strike the arm hard and it causes the opponent to think twice about issuing his strikes with the same power. Hug was issuing crunching kicks to his opponent’s legs, after the first knockdown you can see that Mike Bernado is trying to keep his legs away from Andy’s attacking kicks. This is what should happen when ‘destroying the will’.

Let me know if you have a ‘destroying the will story’.

My story has always been from my experience fighting in my first kung fu club. We would regularly put on gloves and pads and practice fighting, this was mostly Kick Boxing, I eventually ended up with the biggest guy in the hall, who also happened to be a local doorman to the town’s nightclub. I nervously got started and let my opponent attack, he continually pressed with farely large punches, obviously holding back, he was a super nice guy, however, I was not going to go down without a fight so I kept my weight back and defended to the point where I couldn’t even see my opponent. Once I felt the pattern of strikes I figured out the timing to unleash a very fast jab which connected with my classmate’s nose every time, I literally felt the ridge of his nose through my glove. After just a few minutes of this my opponent requested a rest and left the room.

Well, to be honest I’m not sure whether hammering my opponent on the nose caused him to stop fighting or whether he had just gotten tired and punched himself out, however, the principle should work the same (I have other stories you see).

Oliver Smith

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