popular, ever interesting: the Mantis style is a world wide phenomena.
Its many branches include Seven Star, Six Harmony, Eight Step, Secret
Door, Plum Blossom, Grand Ultimates and more. We have a number of good representatives here including a very detailed series by John Funk. This Seven Star progression is directly reflective of Wong Hon Fun's famous series so we linked to some of the hard-to-find Chinese texts related to the Northern Praying Mantis. Here are a lot
of DVDs on this huge and healthy style. Enjoy.
Update: Shifu Jou is an excellent martial instructor from Taiwan. His Praying Mantis is of superior quality and definitely beyond the performance of many teachers. Expect range of motion and interpretations that will add to your knowledge of this style. (His DVDs are very thorough, often running more than a few hours; hence the higher price.) If you want to know more about this teacher...
Click here for some of the hard-to-find original Chinese texts from Northern Praying Mantis and Master Wong Hon Fun.
DVD#24958 Xiao HuYan: Small Tiger Swallow
3 hours 22 minutes, Three DVDs, English subtitles $105.00
Said to combine the ferocity of the tiger with the agility of the swallow, this form is often used as an introduction to Northern Mantis style. Shifu Jou’s execution is powerful, spirited, and clean. He is far past the stage of generic movement and his postures and vectors of attack kiss the limits of balance—on purpose. This is one of the most dynamic renditions of this form you will every see. It’s almost like starting at the advanced level then going on from there. There is an entire Screeching Tiger series of forms and this Xiao Hu Yan is not only said to be the basis of those forms, but also the first form created by the originator of Praying Mantis, Wong Long himself. (Yes, we know some people believe Bong Bu is the first form.)
With hands very fast, there is a wealth of Chin Na implied in the movements. The instruction is nicely broken down with clear English subtitles. Jou filmed this around his 50th birthday, which is almost hard to believe considering his skill, kicks, range of motion, and power. Applications, intelligent ones, are shown with some lively and thought-provoking commentary. He shows some excellent tips on how to interpret and coordinate a classical form. For instance, Teacher Jou continues to remind us to break away from the ORDER of movements in a form and their direction and usage.
DVD#24959 White Ape Steals the Peach: Baiyuan Toutao
2 hours 38 minutes, Two DVDs, English subtitles $70.00
A spiffy little set with a short form and much White Ape training. The character of the Ape will have a lot of variations (as will the coming Year of the Ape.) In this case, Teacher Jou is celebrating his 60th birthday with vim, vigor and verve. Here is the entire form, breakdown with English subtitles, important sections shot from different angles with extra commentary; overall, a very strong presentation from the teaching standpoint. A short fast form with the addition of Jou’s insights on force, fighting and strategy.
DVD#21051Bung Bo & Ng Lou Gwun $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
Jon Funk shows the fundamental set of the Seven Star system in the Qing Mo format. He also shows the Fifth Son Staff, a well known mantis form. Bung Bo is the foundation not only for Seven Star but many styles of the Mantis. The staff set is similar to the Lau Gar stick with a Double Yin hands Southern style flavor. Each of Jon Funk’s DVDs include the entire form at performance and teaching speed, clear explanations of the movements with attack and defense usage. Note: Advances but no menu. NTSC: About 65 minutes.
DVD#21052Baag Yune Dung & Yeen Tsing Doe $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
Here we have the Seven Star Mantis forms of White Ape Exits Cave and the Saber for Green Swallow with its fast combinations. Each of Jon Funk’s DVDs include the entire form at performance and teaching speed, clear explanations of the movements with attack and defense usage. Note: Advances but no menu.
DVD#21053Fay Ngaan Dzern & Yee Loi Mui Faa $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
The Flying Goose Palm is considered an advanced set of the Seven Star Mantis. It’s movements are quick and somewhat soft mixing long and short actions with many willow leaf palms. The Second Route Plum Flower Spear is chock full of throws and changes with the spear reverses and body rolls with this very fancy and variable advanced spear. Each of Jon Funk’s DVDs include the entire form at performance and teaching speed, clear explanations of the movements with attack and defense usage. Note: Advances but no menu. NTSC: About 70 minutes.
DVD#21092Buck Yuen Tow Toe $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
This DVD contains Buck Yuen Tow Toe (White Ape Steals the Peach) a basic and popular form. Steal Peach also helps to introduce many of the Seven Star Mantis basics: kicking, punching and positioning. Valuable if you are looking for a progressive series of lessons to learn Seven Star Mantis. NTSC: About 54 minutes.
DVD#21093Praying Mantis Techniques $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
PM techniques like: tapping, reaction distance line system, effective pressure points, distractions joint locks and effortless pressure points. Many very clear demonstrations of Chin Na movements especially concentrating on the upper body and wrist, elbow and shoulder controls. Some nice, straight forward lectures on the principles and requirements of good control and proper execution. Everything with a mantis flavor but all the key principles quite universal. NTSC: About 42 minutes
DVD#21094May Fow Kuen $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
The Mantis Plum Flower Form, a more advanced set of the Mantis. Full breakdown of the moves. Definitely a more advanced form than previous. If Praying Mantis wants to move in a form it goes forward into a complete pose with all limbs used and balance very specific. This is a major Mantis form. NTSC: About 63 minutes.
DVD#21095Sam Low Chet Yuen $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
Three Route Essence. An advanced level Mantis fist form with emphasis on throwing and other higher level techniques. This has a complete breakdown of the movements. Fast footwork, many jump back, quick hand moves, skipping kicks, linked hand sequences. NTSC: About 57 minutes.
DVD#21096TongLongTouToe $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
Mantis Steals the Peach. This was Grandmaster Lo Guan Yu’s favorite hand set. Short but advanced, much trapping, with particular emphasis on “cheng” back hooking forearm smash and hand exchanging. As we said, an advanced but short for with a lot of emphasis on tactility. NTSC: About 43 minutes.
DVD#21097Tong Long Tsud Dung $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
Mantis Exits the Cave.
A lengthy set with a lot of movement. Throwing and evading tactics. Also quite a few height changes with special focus on the Kneeling Tiger stance. Multiple hand flurries mix with large throwing techniques.
DVD#21098Law Hon Gung $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
The Nei Gong of the Mantis system. Essential open Iron Palm techniques linked with Qigong breathing exercises. Said to be directly form the Shaolin Temple, these are called the Monk’s Martial Exercises. Iron Palm starts around 28 minutes in. All basic training slapping motions are covered and then there is a section on training in the air and against a telephone book for application of power. Targets are demonstrated on an opponent’s body.
DVD#21099Mantis Fighting Applications $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
Sticky Hand drills, sparring drills, speed drills. This is a DVD of applied Mantis. Definitely Sticky Hands definitely not Wing Chun. Some patterned exercises that smoothly move into variations. For instance the first is a quick three-0attack and defend sequence. Teacher Funk first performs it with chops, then adds kick, then traps, then converts it all to elbow strikes, without loosing the flavor of the style. Then a section on sparring with particular goals in mind. Loose, comfortable and relatively light.
DVD#21100Advanced Mantis $19.95 each or a 10% discount for ordering 3 or more ESPY DVDs.
This part of the series concentrates on street fighting and self defense skills. Many ideas here, from bag work with focus equipment to some leg sparring with a close approximation of Sticky Legs, to typical attacks such as chokes with the flavor of the Mantis in the counters. Much information not necessarily that advanced for some practitioners but education to see the Mantis answers to classic defense situations. NTSC: About 100 minutes.
This material comes from Yu Zhen Sheng of the Huang Pu Military Academy during the 1930's. At this time Huang Pu was the top military academy in China. Among others styles Yu taught Hong Quan, Pao Quan and Zha Quan not to mention this type of Mantis. From Yu it passed through Xu Gong Wei to this man, Fang Shan. This is said to be from a relatively secret style in Shandong and this form is the key set for understanding that system. It is not Bong Bu, but Chi Bu, Grasping Foot. The movements are long enough to resemble, at times, Contemporary Wushu. Spine stretches, actions are relatively soft with little emphasis on speed. Though there are no applications demonstrated the rather well done subtitles contain Fang's explanations of the use of the forms as he teaches the breakdowns.
57 Minutes English subtitles
Mantis Steals the Peach
$49.95 special Plum Price $39.50 (a 20% savings)
DVD presents one of the favorite demonstration forms of well known
teacher Law Kwong Yuk. Shifu Paul Eng is a lifetime practitioner
of the art. His movements are soft, very refined and ever - dare
we say it - joyous in execution. he never strains, he never grunts.
The disk is well laid out with a history followed by basics in stances,
punches and kicks. The form is cleverly shown in start-stop fashion
with a complete description. Then the Four Sections are taught in
a very clear presentation. Finally all four sections are shown with
over 40 different applications. Shifu Eng's movements are so sophisticated
that half the presentation lies in what is NOT discussed, simply
shown. Here he leans a bit. Here he turns a tad. Watch and learn.
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DVD#18065 Six Harmonies Praying
by Jian Gao (8th Generation holder) $32.95
"As one of the major styles of Praying Mantis Boxing, Six Harmonies Praying Mantis has a mellow appearance but it also has a powerful hidden vigor. It focuses on cultivating the practitioner's ability for real fighting. Its movements, momentum and power are like tidal waves—overwhelming. This significant character made it one of the most sought after Kung Fu styles in Chinese martial history.
This DVD is presented by Mr. Jian Gao who is an initiated disciple of grand master Ma Han Qing and a gold medalist in the 5th International Wushu Invitational Tournament held in Beijing, China. In this DVD, Jian will systematically outline the fundamental requirements and conditioning training of Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing, then he will demonstrate seven key routines for viewers. Intercepting Ring
Raiding Hands of the Immortal
Iron Needles (empty hand)
In beautiful surrounding scenery, with a wonderful music accompanying, Jian's presentation unfolds the true flavor of this awesome Chinese martial art. This DVD is absolutely beneficial for you!"deported difficulties playing this on a DVD player because it is in PAL format. However, it plays fine on computers in all regions and on any DVD player that play PAL. If you don't have PAL you can still see this with a free download (an app that plays just about anything).
English/ About 37 minutes
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#12022 Praying Mantis BONG BU $19.50
The form that is often called the "first praying mantis set."
Tak Wash Eng demonstrates his interpretation of this important and
fundamental form. This DVD contains "archival" footage
of Tak's own performance, multiple views of the form, animated history
of the Praying Mantis and a foldout instruction booklet with demonstration
by Paul Koh.