Connect (Zhān 粘)
Connect is the fourth of the 12 Keywords of Mantis Boxing. The keyword formula houses the principles that define the art. They have been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years.
Connect (Zhān) - connecting with the opponent. The process of trying ‘to stick’ to them. This can be done by grabbing, hooking, finding a way to slow down the limb e.g., a retracting arm, a leg, or taking advantage of a limb left behind.
Connect can also be accomplished through a strike, or a block. If we strike with a punch, and snap our arm back, we gain the advantage of returning to our guard position and defending counter-strikes. The idea with ‘connect’ is, finding a way to stick to the opponent so we can close in (Enter (Jin 進) ) and control the limbs; ultimately getting to a hooked up position so we can affect knees/elbows/trips/takedowns/throws/locks.
Connect translates as ‘to stick’. A good descriptive is if you took a piece of chewed up bubble gum and threw it at a wall, or stuck it to a desk, when it makes contact, that is Zhān. Closely linked to Nián, they appear to mean the same thing, but Nián is sticking, when you try to pull the gum off the wall afterwards.
Cling (Nián 黏)
Cling is the fifth of the 12 Keywords of Mantis Boxing. The keyword formula houses the principles that define the art. They have been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years.
Cling (Nián) - is the act of sticking once we are engaged. Once connected, staying in contact i.e., clinging, sticking, following, allows you to ‘feel’ where your opponent is at all times, and control limbs. Instead of the floating limb being able to bite you.
Sticking/Clinging once we are grappling, is crucial to staying ahead of our opponent.
Connect/Cling is translated as Join/Stick in Tai Ji Quan (Supreme Ultimate Boxing). These principles use the same Chinese Character, and are one in the same in both arts.
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