Upon observation the footwork of The Progressive
Protection Systems (PPS), as taught by Master Geoff Bennett, seems
to have more in common with western boxing than the obscure Chinese
drunken boxing. Whilst PPS do not teach drunken boxing per say, it
does have similar principles with the footwork and the movement of
the head and body. The reason this is not readily apparent is that
within PPS the movement are done very quick and subtly not overtly
as in the true drunken forms . . . even when junior students of the
systems are told of this link they are very surprised.
Stance and postures is based on the principle of Joong Sum But
Ting Lao (Centre is never still) which is shared with the true drunken
boxing. Whilst this is overtly obvious in true drunken with the
obvious swaying movement PPS exponent bodies whilst seemingly still
are moving, balancing on a fine line between on and off balance.
This ensures that rapid response and movement since the energy required
to accelerate such a mass is less than one that is rooted fully
Many systems have this obsession with being on balance. Master
Geoff Bennett advocates playing with balance but never been on balance.
He explains, “When you are on balance you centre is stationary.
We want our centre never to be stagnant but always free and moving”.
He adds further, “When striking you don't want to be on balance
because that mean our power is grounded when want our mass to be
in our opponent such that you are basically using a controlled stumble
into you opponent”.
What is the advantage of the stumbling principle?? To understand
the answer one must fully appreciate the way people and most martial
systems normally move. Movement is normally a series of counterbalances.
To move forward people normally place their weight on the supporting
leg move, counterbalance to lift the front leg then shift the weight
back on the front leg. This shifts the inertia of you r body backwards
for a fraction whilst counterbalancing. Stumbling ensure that the
inertia is always travelling in the intended direction without the
need for counterbalancing. Thus movement is streamlined and more
economical and less telegraphic with the perception by the opponent
that you are moving twice as quick
Most of our hand strikes are done with
this stumbling principle in mind and
even some of our evasion movements
have this principle-however on a very
subtle level. Here PPS shares similar
power generating principle to drunken
system. Both PPS and drunken encourage
by the stumbling principle such that
the full mass of the practitioner is
utilized with gravity to deliver the
strike. Notice the power generation
principle are similar not the same
as PPS utilise to twitch function upon
contact to ensure high impulse whilst
drunken strikes are more exaggerated
with a more pronounced driving and
Master Bennett also advocates fluidity around the centre of mass.
This principle is also parallel to that
found in drunken boxing this allows the
practitioner if struck to flow around
the centre of mass using the opponents force to redirect an almost
simultaneous strike in response. A few systems train sensitivity
of the arms (eg push hand, chi sao, kakie, hubud), fewer also train
sensitivity of the legs (eg chi gerk). Very few systems however
train sensitivity of the body to tactile stimulus needed to undertake
this redirection of force.
Whilst the Progressive Protection Systems seems modern and neo
classical both in appearance and name it is based on the science
found in traditional Chinese martial arts. It has adopted principles
such as stumbling footwork and centre of mass concepts found in
the traditional drunken system but applied them in a more subtle
manner in terms spatial and chronological context.
About the author: Alvin Kan has been studying Martial
Arts for 18 years starting with Judo, 6 Years with Master Michael
Spinks Studying Jin Wu Koon Double Dragon Shaolin Gung Fu and the
Past 11 Years with Master Geoff Bennett studying Progressive Protections
Systems, which is based on the Five Ancestors
Gung Fu System. Alvin also has investigated the arts of Brazillian
Ju Jutsu, Kickboxing and Kali and teaches The Progressive Protection
Systems in the Hills District, North Western Sydney.
To Contact Alvin Kan : firstname.lastname@example.org
Master Geoff: email@example.com
Visit us at : www.martialarts-int.com.au
Or view our details in the classifieds at the rear pages of Fight