Enter (Jìn 進) - or advance. This encapsulates a variety of ranges in a fight. Starting from the furthest range to the closest.
Long Range Enter
The first component of enter is crossing the range where there is no fight, to the fight itself. In military terms, it is similar to a DMZ (de-militarized zone), an area dividing two sides. If either side crosses the line, warfare breaks out. We call this line critical distance.
Critical Distance is the invisible line separating us from our opponent’s longest weapon (rear leg attack). Outside of this line, there is no fight. Once we embark over this threshold, we enter a vulnerable stage of the skirmish. In order to successfully cross into enemy territory, we use what are known as ‘bridging tactics’.
Two such examples exist in Mantis Boxing - 3 Section Step, and Circle and Chop. The first, uses angling and position to attack the opponents centerline. This is a highly nuanced technique and requires a great deal of practice. When performed properly, it is extremely difficult to deter.
Circle and Chop, uses a heavy barrage of strikes and advancement with footwork, to overwhelm the opponent and run them down. This is another way to enter and the intent is to run down our opponent.
Enter from Striking to Grappling
When we transition from striking to grappling, with the goal of establishing hooks, and a clinch, we must Enter with our feet as well, in order to close the distance. If we reach out to initiate hooks without moving forward, we violate our guard principle and over extend the arms.
This creates ample time, and space, for our opponent to land blows upon us and annihilate our efforts. It can also cause us to lean prematurely and create an opportunity for our opponent to throw us, or drag us down.
When we Enter from Strike we Connect, Stick. Then, and only then, do we attempt to hook if the opening is secure. If we lose position, or our opponent retreats, we can switch gears again and keep a solid advantage.
Enter with Connect Stick Adhere
Entering the grappling phase of the battle when we connect and stick, we need to commit fully to engaging the single, or double underhooks and go forth completely to adhere. Failure to advance in this stage of the encounter, can lead to our own demise.
As we enter the flank position with a single underhook across the back, our opponent can capture our arm for a joint lock with Mantis Captures Prey. If we fail to enter with the double underhooks, and do not adhere to them, they can still rain punches, elbows and knees upon us with the available space left betwixt.
Enter the Barricade
Simply put, run them down. If our opponent doesn’t move, we continue to advance. How we Enter is what matters. We need to change gears on the way in.
Kicks turn to Strikes. Strikes become Elbows and Knees. Connect and Cling become Hook and Clinch. These metamorphosis into Takedowns, Trips, Throws.
Enter upon Retreat
If our opponent retreats and creates space, rather than let them establish distance and regain their guard, or position; we enter/advance to follow. We enter with a kick, or strike until we can adhere once more.