Tripping skills are called “Ban Zi.” In Shuai Jiao, there are several different kinds of tripping skills.
Sometimes people categorize them under the following classifications: Xiao Ban Zi – small
movement trips, Da Ban Zi – big movement trips, Dui Lian Ban Zi – face-to-face trips, Diao Yao
Ban Zi – turn-waist-back trips, etc. But the separation is not very clear and some skills may belong
to different categories.
Small movement skills are quick and sudden skills. Usually you need to cause your opponent to
make a mistake and then capture the opportunity quickly. Your movements have to be very nimble
Big movement skills are the power skills. Only when you are pretty sure that you can control your
opponent can you use this skill. Since the movement is big, if you miss something, you will give
your opponent more of a chance to defend against it. To get good control you usually need to
have good hand grabbing skills and have good footwork to bring your opponent’s movement under
Face-to-face skills mean that you and your opponent are face-to-face when you set up the trip.
Most small movement skills are of this kind.
Turn-waist-back skills means that you need to turn your back to the opponent and use your hip or
buttocks close to your opponent’s hip or stomach when you set up a throw. These throws are big
Although most trip skills are set up with leg or foot, there are many specialized trips. For example,
sometimes when your opponent’s force is stiff, you may be able to use only your hand skills and
good footwork to throw him without setting up a leg trip.
Some of the principles involved in setting up a good throw are:
1. Confused your opponent and inducing the “wrong” reaction.
2. Understanding the change between yin and yang.
3. Using opposing direction force.
4. Making your opponent move around you.
5. Achieving a good hand grabbing position.
6. Getting your opponent to move with you.
7. Understanding how to borrow your opponent’s force.
Your eyes must be very sharp so you can catch any mistake your opponent makes. Your
sensitivity must be very good so that you can feel changes in force and direction. Your movements
must be very quick, nimble, accurate and coordinated. Your force must be sudden, powerful, and
integrated. Your footwork must be nimble and stable.
When people say Shuai Jiao skill was developed to a high level, one meaning is that each skill
has been researched in very great detail, so that there are many variations for each. Some skills
have more than one hundred variations. When you practice tripping skills, you should first learn the
standard method carefully, since the standard method is the summary experience of all previous
generations. In other words the standard method has already been proven by many people from
real fights. Then you proceed to learn its variations to obtain a deeper understanding. It is by no
means certain that every skill will fit you exactly. You may need to combine your own personality or
physical conditioning to develop your own variations. In history, famous masters always
developed their own variations. Most of the time when we say someone can do a trip very well, we
mean he can manage to use the same basic throw, employing its many variations as called for by
the situation. No matter how the opponent changes he cannot escape this basic technique.
On the other hand, for each tripping skill, there is at least one defensive skill. So when you learn
one tripping skill, you also need to learn its defensive skill. Many variations are developed for
defensive skills. From this view, every skill has its defensive skill. So people always say there is no
skill that guarantees your winning, there is only how well you can execute the skill.
So pick your favorite skills and using your own personality and physical condition, really research
it and its variations. In real life, if you can do this well you may only need a few skills.
Although there are hundreds different major skills and variations in Shuai Jiao, most people may
only use a few skills very well. You should practice as many as you can. This is not just so you can
use them, but so you will know how to defend against them. Only when you can understand a skill,
will you have a chance to defend against it. In Shuai Jiao, defensive skills are just as important as
offensive skills. Whenever an offensive skill was developed, a defensive skill was developed in
response. Thus it is said that there are no skills that cannot be neutralized. In this manner the
development of defensive skills pushes the development of offensive skills further.
Usually people like to pick offensive skill that fits their body type and then practice these very hard
until they can use them very well. For these techniques they also research the possible changes
and variations. The hope is that they can perform these skills so expertly that they do not give their
opponent an opportunity to defend against them.
Combination skills are also very important in real-life fighting or competition. There are many
combination skills in Shuai Jiao. Some skills are strictly offensive - you use one offensive skill
after another continuously until you throw your opponent. Others contains defensive and offensive
skills so that you go from defense immediately to offense.
Yin Cheng Gong Fa Association North American Headquarters
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There are three thousand six hundred big trips and countless small trips