Thursday, December 01, 2005

Southern Praying Mantis

Southern Praying Mantis, Southern Preying Mantis, 南派螳螂, Nan Tang Lang Quan, Dongjiang Chaujia Preying Mantis, Guangdong Chu Gar Praying Mantis, 東江周家螳螂拳, Chu Gar/Chow Gar, 周家螳螂, Zhu Jia, Zhou Jia, Chujia/Chu Gar 朱家螳螂, Tieniu/Ti Au (Iron Ox Praying Mantis, 鐵牛螳螂, Kwang Sai Jook Lum (Bamboo Forest), kwong sai jook lum gee tong long pai, 江西竹林寺螳螂, Mui Fa Tong Long, Chuka Kune, Hukka, Chu Gar Chong Gar Chuen (Malaysia), Qwan-Ki-Do (Vietnam).


Southern Praying Mantis, 南派螳螂, orginates in the Hakka (客家) communities of Southern China. Practitioners of this style generally attribute its origins to the Fujian Shaolin Temple (福建少林) but there are no similarities between the the Southern Praying Mantis and the Northern Praying Mantis which originated from the Henan Shaolin Temple. In the modern era, there are four main branches for this style:

Chaujia/Chow Gar (Chau's family Praying Mantis 周家螳螂)
Chujia/Chu Gar (Chu's family Praying Mantis 朱家螳螂)
Tieniu/Ti Au (Iron Ox Praying Mantis 鐵牛螳螂)
Jook Lum (Bamboo Temple Mantis 竹林螳螂)

In the modern era, the popularity of Southern Praying Mantis is generally attributed to Lau Shui (劉瑞, 劉水﹞ a student of Chau Ah-Nam (周亞南), the founder of Chau Gar. Lau Shui was a Hakka established a reputation with his "Chaujia-Tanglang-Sanjian" ( the three arrows of Chaujia preying mantis, 周家螳螂三箭拳) and his signature staff known as “Tanglang-puchangun” (螳螂捕蟬棍尤). Like many martial artists of his generation, he had to leave Guangdong after the Communist victory and resettle in Hong Kong. He continued to teach the Southern Praying Mantis Style and many of his students eventually become teachers of Southern Mantis in their own rights.

Other branches of Southern Praying Mantis trace their orgins to other legendary martial artists:

Chujia/Chu Gar (朱家螳螂) acknowledged the founder to be Chu Lung-Bu-Ah-Nan (朱龍拔亞南) who promoted martial arts in Chujiacun, Guangdong (廣東五華朱家村).
Iron Ox Praying Mantis (鐵牛螳螂) whose style is named after Tsai Tie-Niu (鐵牛教).
Jook Lum (Bamboo Temple Mantis 竹林螳螂) is traced back to the monks of the Jook Lum Temple in Kiangsi.

Each of those branches have similar characteristics but might differ in training and forms. They have also contributed to the spread of this style. Starting from Southern China, this style spread to Hong Kong, South East Asia and finally to Europe and North America.

Philosophy and Practice

Southern Praying Mantis is a Southern Chinese style of Martial Arts characterised by a strong stance, powerful waist and fast, heavy forearms and hands. This system is distinctly different from the Northern Praying Mantis and is not related either through history or by its technique. The similarities between the Northern and Southern styles is in name only.

Examples of the philosophy and practice of Southern Praying Mantis are as follows:

丁不丁, Move yet do not move

八不八, It’s the Eight principles and Yet not the Eight Principles

手從心口發, Hand strikes from the mouth and heart

你不來我不發。If you don't come, I don't strike.

橋來橋上過,If there is a bridge then cross the bridge,

無橋自造橋, If there is no bridge then make a bridge,

兩橋不歸隨手轉。The bridge does not turn with the hands.

Special hand techniques are:
Phoenix Eye

絞、搖、傳、押、鎖、抖、 割、批、釘、楂、栖、插等。 Claw and Palm techniques includes: Bau, Jeau, Yau, Chwun, Ya, Xiao, Dou, Ge, Pi, Ding, Cha, Xi,

枇橋、四板驚勁為主 Fist techniques consists mainly of Sanbujian, Yauqiao, Pyiqiao and Shiban-jingjing.

如驚彈, 獵橋,
拳種發展出來。Others developed from this comprise of Jingchan, Lieqiao and Pianqiao.

打出勁度以驚彈勁最為有名。When fighting the most famous power used is Jingchanjing.

兵器有 鐵尺、
Weapons include: Iron Ruler
Double (Butterfly) Knife
Big Spade
Mantis Sword
Poisonous Insect Staff
Catching the Cicada Staff

The power of Praying mantis is split into Dawujing ( five large power ) and Xiaowujing (five little power ) (周家螳螂力勁有大五勁和小五勁之分。).The power of Preying Mantis can be summarised as follows:

Dawujing (大五勁)

為頭勁、Taujing ( head power ),

掌勁、Zhanjing ( palm power ),

腰勁、Yuojing ( waist power),

胸勁、Xiongjing ( Chest power ),

步勁。Bujing ( Stepping power )

Xiaowujing (小五勁)

為額 Ejing ( forehead power ),

眼勁、Yanjing (eye power ),

牙勁、Yajing ( teeth power ),

喉勁、Houjing ( throat power ),

頸勁。Jingjing ( neck power ).

Another poem describes the basic principles of this style:

懸吊索、Hang the arms like cables

擒拿捉、Capture and Seize

千字頭、The head like the word "thousand" 1

筲箕背 Back like a willow basket

鐵尺腰 Iron Waist

蛙仔膝。Knees like a young frog

身形要求沉肩墮肘,The body form requires sinking the shoulder and droping the elbow,

吞胸拔背 Hollow the chest to pull out the back

吞不能死 If you hollow the chest then you will not fail

吐不能盡,Do not use up the saliva

有吞則吞 If you have saliva, swallow

無吞則側。 If you don’t have saliva, swallow sideways.


Blogger Erik Mann said...

I was looking for blogs about martial arts and came across yours. Great blog you got. I have a website somewhat related you might find interesting.

7:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home