Seven Star Preying Mantis Demo Thoughts

BillK

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Taking advice from many here made on another post, I've decided to look for a Kung Fu school to train in, opting out of the video idea. While White Crane is my style choice, the closest Kung Fu style I could is Seven Star Preying Mantis. If I decide to devote myself to this art I will be traveling about 2 hours one way every other month for 3 hour private lessons, either 3 hours studying Mantis, or 2 hours Mantis 1 hour Chin Na. Now I know absolutely nothing about Mantis save for a few videos I've watched. I'd like to share this video with you all and get your opinions, insight and input. If I decide to train, the gentleman in the video would be my Sifu (or someone trained by him). On a side note, the lessons are $40 per hour for Mantis and $25 for Chin Na, which seems like a good price. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

 

Touch Of Death

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Taking advice from many here made on another post, I've decided to look for a Kung Fu school to train in, opting out of the video idea. While White Crane is my style choice, the closest Kung Fu style I could is Seven Star Preying Mantis. If I decide to devote myself to this art I will be traveling about 2 hours one way every other month for 3 hour private lessons, either 3 hours studying Mantis, or 2 hours Mantis 1 hour Chin Na. Now I know absolutely nothing about Mantis save for a few videos I've watched. I'd like to share this video with you all and get your opinions, insight and input. If I decide to train, the gentleman in the video would be my Sifu (or someone trained by him). On a side note, the lessons are $40 per hour for Mantis and $25 for Chin Na, which seems like a good price. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

I'm not a Kung fu guy, but if you watch his feat you can't compete. Good stuff!
 

clfsean

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Chut Sing Tang Long (7 Star Praying Mantis) is a good style. But regardless of "what" it is, as long as the teacher is knowledgable, is able to transmit fully the intent of the system, you're good to go. In person is always better than video for starting something new. Pay attention, listen, learn, take notes & get video of you doing whatever the teacher says with him there making corrections to help keep you on track.
 

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Taking advice from many here made on another post, I've decided to look for a Kung Fu school to train in, opting out of the video idea.
Credit to you for doing so, since most people seem to dig in their heels. Let us know how it goes!
 

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Agreed, this is a much better approach even tho the commute is long. Good decision, get a good teacher.

My comments on the video: first I don't know the fellow so I don't know if he is good or not. Second, this is clearly a demo, so sometimes that means things are done a bit differently than they would be done in real training, in order to impress an audience who probably knows little or nothing about what is being done. So my comments should keep that in mind.

That being said, I felt he rushed through the form, never completing the techniques because he was already thinking about what comes next. The faster you do the form, the more that happens. In order for the form to have value as a training tool, every technique needs to be completed before moving to the next. This means the form is done slowly and thoughtfully and systematically. Each technique should be quick and explosive and powerful, but then no rush to get to the next. The form drills techniques and principles, it isn't play-acting an actual fight scene. What I saw was a big rush, one after another in a race to finish. So everything in there was just...not quite there.

But again, keep in mind my earlier comments. I too have been guilty of rushing through my forms, especially in the context of a demo or a competition. But also that was before I understood these things a little better.
 

JowGaWolf

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Taking advice from many here made on another post, I've decided to look for a Kung Fu school to train in, opting out of the video idea. While White Crane is my style choice, the closest Kung Fu style I could is Seven Star Preying Mantis. If I decide to devote myself to this art I will be traveling about 2 hours one way every other month for 3 hour private lessons, either 3 hours studying Mantis, or 2 hours Mantis 1 hour Chin Na. Now I know absolutely nothing about Mantis save for a few videos I've watched. I'd like to share this video with you all and get your opinions, insight and input. If I decide to train, the gentleman in the video would be my Sifu (or someone trained by him). On a side note, the lessons are $40 per hour for Mantis and $25 for Chin Na, which seems like a good price. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Difficult for me to tell about the footwork because the cam is shaking. However from the bits and pieces that I could pickout, I can tell he's aware of sinking his weight which is good technique for all systems of Kung Fu. He seems a little light in the feet (not rooted as well as he should) but that could be a variety of reason with the main one being a demo at a state fair. From what I've seen in general, the less educated a crowd may be about the martial arts the more you can slack off in Kung Fu because they don't have the knowledge or experience to know if someone is rooted properly or connecting energy properly. In this case the shaking cam work doesn't help. So I went to do some research to see what he's made of. Based on the videos that I saw on his facebook his stances are better than what was shown in the OP video. He also has touched on some other fighting systems as well. I would probably take his class for Chin Na alone based on the fact that he seems to have Dr. Yang Jwing Ming show up from time to time. In other words consider yourself fortunate if you can have Dr. Yang Jwing Ming show up and you don't have to pay a fortune to see him. I saw some things in the 2 man fighting sets that looked like Jow Ga in so I'm not sure if he studied a little Jow Ga or not. I was impressed with his students because some are old and some were fat and out of shape and they were doing things that you wouldn't think someone their size could do. To be a place where big and fat people do the same thing that fit people do says a lot about the environment there so I would guess they are very supportive of each other. From the pictures the adult age group is really mixed which also speaks well of the environment.

I would definitely go there and check out a class. $40 for the Mantis and $25 is for the Chin Na is a good price. There's no contract, no testing fees which is good.
On terms of the Praying Mantis System, I don't know anything about the hand techniques of Praying Mantis so couldn't tell you if what he was doing was legit or not. But I'm sure that someone from here will be able to give you more info on that. But everything else looks good except the 2 hour drive.
 

JowGaWolf

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Agreed, this is a much better approach even tho the commute is long. Good decision, get a good teacher.

My comments on the video: first I don't know the fellow so I don't know if he is good or not. Second, this is clearly a demo, so sometimes that means things are done a bit differently than they would be done in real training, in order to impress an audience who probably knows little or nothing about what is being done. So my comments should keep that in mind.

That being said, I felt he rushed through the form, never completing the techniques because he was already thinking about what comes next. The faster you do the form, the more that happens. In order for the form to have value as a training tool, every technique needs to be completed before moving to the next. This means the form is done slowly and thoughtfully and systematically. Each technique should be quick and explosive and powerful, but then no rush to get to the next. The form drills techniques and principles, it isn't play-acting an actual fight scene. What I saw was a big rush, one after another in a race to finish. So everything in there was just...not quite there.

But again, keep in mind my earlier comments. I too have been guilty of rushing through my forms, especially in the context of a demo or a competition. But also that was before I understood these things a little better.
I'm thinking he rushed through them because he was at a fair when you see him do the forms in a class setting it's a different look.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I'm thinking he rushed through them because he was at a fair when you see him do the forms in a class setting it's a different look.
I also think he rushes his form too. Also I don't see any "praying mantis" flavor in his form. This form is trained by both the "praying mantis" system and also the "long fist" system. The "praying mantis" flavor is different from the "long fist" flavor but neither is shown in that form.

As praying mantis master Brendan Lai used to say, many people have trained the "praying mantis" system all their life but they still haven't developed their "prarying mantis" flavor yet. He didn't know why.
 
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BillK

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I would definitely go there and check out a class. $40 for the Mantis and $25 is for the Chin Na is a good price. There's no contract, no testing fees which is good.
Yea, I thought the same thing. Those really good prices.
 
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BillK

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But everything else looks good except the 2 hour drive.
Thanks! Yes, the drive is a bit long, but I use to be an over-the-road truck driver, so I'm use to it. Plus, my wife and I decided to make it a "date" weekend.
 

Flying Crane

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Thanks! Yes, the drive is a bit long, but I use to be an over-the-road truck driver, so I'm use to it. Plus, my wife and I decided to make it a "date" weekend.
I have driven as far as an hour and a half each way for training. If you are confident that it's better quality, it's worth it.

The date weekend is a great idea.
 

Dinkydoo

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Opinion on the demo:

I didn't like it. You can do a form fast without making it look like a dance. If you want to do it at speed then each section of techniques should be done fast and with proper intention (so you finish each movement without kinda rounding it off into the next one, which is what he was doing).

He might be a great teacher and it could be a great club, I'm only commenting on the demo.

I'm a bit out of the loop regarding guidance previously sought and any conversations surrounding that, but what I would say is make sure what you're going to be getting out of the training is what you're really looking for. It took me a while to quantify what I wanted out of training in order to measure progress and when I finally did, I found that I'd been going down the wrong route for a while (not necessarily in terms of style). Getting that right in your head at the beginning is quite difficult but it's important, especially if you're going to be driving 2 hours to attend training.
 
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BillK

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Opinion on the demo:

I didn't like it. You can do a form fast without making it look like a dance. If you want to do it at speed then each section of techniques should be done fast and with proper intention (so you finish each movement without kinda rounding it off into the next one, which is what he was doing).

He might be a great teacher and it could be a great club, I'm only commenting on the demo.

I'm a bit out of the loop regarding guidance previously sought and any conversations surrounding that, but what I would say is make sure what you're going to be getting out of the training is what you're really looking for. It took me a while to quantify what I wanted out of training in order to measure progress and when I finally did, I found that I'd been going down the wrong route for a while (not necessarily in terms of style). Getting that right in your head at the beginning is quite difficult but it's important, especially if you're going to be driving 2 hours to attend training.
Thanks! I fully agree. I know what I want, traditional Kung Fu, but I'm leery on people who claim to teach it. Anyone can call themselves "Sifu" but not everyone is honorable or worthy of such a title, at least in my opinion. I've seen several Kung Fu sequences, and the ones that I've always seen have been very crisp, precise, and flawlessly executed (at least to my untrained eye). The OP video seemed to lack that, again, to my untrained eye.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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If we compare with the "heel kick" at 0.40 of this clip


with the "heel kick" of the following clip, we can see some difference.


IMO, even if you may kick in fast speed, you still have to do it right.
 
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