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Trapping 4: The Art Of Flow
One of the great aspects of Youtube is that it's possible to see practitioner's of certain arts from overseas that are little known in the USA. For example, there are clips of the Red Boat Wing Chun system which Jim Keating studied and later wrote about in the old Full Contact magazine. At the time most had never heard of this branch of the art but today we can see them from the comfort of our couch!
In recent years there have been some nice clips of Chinese practitioners demonstrating the 8 Step Praying Mantis system, which I trained in for several years back in the early 90's. Follow the link to see this article with the videos. 8 Step is not as well known a style as either 7 Star or 6 Harmony Mantis and only a few articles in English have ever been published on it. The only book I've ever seen on the system was in Chinese and had drawings covering the "7 Hands" form, the first basic set a new student would learn.
This first video clip is interesting because it showcases some of the cross-hand sticking hands characteristic of Mantis along with a number of take-downs and maneuvers that come directly from the 7 Hands form.
You'll notice this sticking is a little different in format from the Chi Sao or Sticking Hand exercise in Wing Chun Kung Fu, which is much more well known in the martial arts world. In the basic Wing Chun double hand rolling position, your left hand is in contact with your partner's right hand and your right hand is in contact with your partner's left hand. I refer to this as the Open hand position where you use the hand on the same side to counter their hand.
In the Mantis sticking hand exercise, the Cross hand position is stressed. Here your left hand will contact your partner's left hand and your right will contact his right. This creates a "climbing" and rolling kind of sticking energy. It's more like Wing Chun's Lop Sao exercise which also deals with the Cross hand connections. To better understand Chi Sao and Lop Sao please check out Trapping 4: The Art of Flow which deals with these two actions as well as Hubud Lubud (To Tie & Untie), a complimentary Filipino trapping drill.
In Mantis you see the use of numerous throwing techniques out of this. Mixing throws in with the striking hands and the joint locks are stressed in practice. Watch how well the smaller guy in the blue shirt does in controlling his partner from both the open and cross handed positions in this clip. He does some nice throws in here as well, though the ground grappling doesn't look as smooth because that's not part of the classical system (as far as I was taught). My guess is like young guys everywhere they've watched some UFC kind of fights and are copying what they've seen on TV. There's a Chinese MMA event called Art of War, for example.
The Mantis throws are based in Shuai Jiao which is a stand-up throwing style. They don't have movements on the ground because to be to the ground is Shuai Jiao is to lose! To win you must throw your opponent cleanly while remaining standing yourself. If you fall down along with your opponent there is no point scored and the match continues.
All my very best to you,
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