When you begin to learn the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu system you will come across the defensive Ward offs (Peng) and Blocks (Lan) which can be performed either in a (Yin) soft (Rou) or (Yang) hard (Ying) methods. Basically the Swan’s Wing (Hong Chi) Ward off is used to deflect or block against a high line strike, punch directed towards your head or chest, whereas, the Willow Tree (Liu Shu) Ward off or block is performed against a low line blow or kick directed towards your abdomen or groin area. In a nutshell the shape of the Swan’s Wing and Willow Tree Ward offs ar just the same, except the Swan’s Wing Ward off is more slightly closed more at the elbow joint, whereas, the Willow Tree Ward off is more open at the elbow joint. Each will use the outside edge of the forearm to make contact with the in-coming blow or kick and with a subtle rolling (Gun) or twisting (Ning) action of both the arm and waist (Yao) allows the blow or kick to be deflected away from its intended target.
Obviously each of the Swan’s Wing or Willow Tree Ward offs or blocks can be used both on the inside or outside of the opponents striking arm or kick to open up their defence for you to then immediately follow up with a series of counter striking and kicking methods. All defensive blocks and Ward offs within the ar of Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu are also considered to be a method of entering into your opponents defence and not just used to defend negatively, but to enter, opening up your opponents defence ready to counter attack back with a wide variety of counters. The Swan’sWing Ward off can also be used in either an inside or outside method, the outside method is what we call a “Reverse” (Fan) Ward off method, to use the reverse Swan’s Wing Ward off is to use the outside of the upper arm and forearm keeping the elbow high and turning the waist and shoulders outwards from the centre of he body. Whereas, the Willow Tree Ward offs is only used moving to the inside of the body to protect the centreline.
Practicing the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu teaches the practitioner to become very tactile using various parts of their body like the palm, back of hand, wrist, forearms and elbows to Ward off and block your opponents strikes or kicks. Likewise these same areas of the upper extremities that are used to Ward off or deflect can also be used to attack with. This means that we must remain close enough to the opponent so that we can successfully use our Ward offs, blocks and deflections to manipulate their balance to create openings in their defence that we can them quickly deliver a series of fast multiple blows to quickly finish the situation. Learning the Swan’s Wing and Willow Tree Ward offs allows the practitioner of the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu to have a tight defence.