Southern Praying Mantis Study-at-Home

well i dont know about this whole tape thing... im currently studing wah lum kung fu which is a southern mantis style and there is absolutely no way it could be completed in 3 years i will be seriously lucky to become an advanced student in 3 years.... sifu has been teaching in this area for about 3 years and his senior student who has been with him from the beginning is still not even half way thru the ranking system yet... that tape series leaves out a lot of stuff... their are close to 20 weapon sets in the style im studing along with 45 empty hand sets and 20 partner sets so im kinda skeptical about that whole three years and you can open a school thing
I have a nothern praying mantis tape myself. Yet i, study it for non-certification purposes. There are a lot of good distance learning programs though. Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
Chiduce, can you really learn from the tapes without any background in the art? How about the details? So far I use tapes only for a reminder in case I forget the forms :confused:


Originally posted by disciple

Chiduce, can you really learn from the tapes without any background in the art? How about the details? So far I use tapes only for a reminder in case I forget the forms :confused:


I would have to say yes to your 1st question. Now that is not saying that you should not have a backgound in basic martial arts; because i feel that you should. I would not say, try to learn praying mantis ( nothern or southern style) without at least having basic training in kung fu first. This will also answer your second question about the details. Some say, like my sifu that "you cannot learn the internal without first learning the external" and vise-a-via. Others say that you can start with an internal system and then work to the external systems. I personally agree with the others. It does not matter where you start because one compliments the other! Some style's incorporate both the internal and external. The white crane system which i study includes both. So, when there is a need to be soft, then i can be soft; and when it's time to be hard, be hard and forceful. Baguazhang is also a good example of a soft hard style. Yet, i do feel that before learning karate from a tape, you would first have been a student of at least green belt in a karate system. Now i have a personal video training program to black belt for my distance learning students. I give my distance student the exact same training that we do in class; belt per belt. The dojo is just extended to his/her home. The same punches strike's variations, concepts and methods. So, far i have one distance student and it is working well. I do not confer rank until the student passes the video test. Which is the same test that the dojo students pass. In this way the art is constructed around the abilities of the students and not them conforming only to the abilities within the art on a pass or fail basis! I feel that every student upon firmly rooting themselves in the basics of their art has the ability to conceptualize martial methodological analogies, with the the instructor's guidence, within their respective systems. I do not say either do this and pass or do not and fail. Yet, i do firmly stress the basics in striking, kicking, blocking, kneeing, elbowing etc, in beginning, intermediate and advanced motion conceptual analogies! Thus, the students advance within their own respective interpretations of my instruction of the system. Getting back to the intial point, most tapes are done without this principle of structuring the art around the student. So, forms are performed in the likeness of the instructor and if one cannot mock the instructor's movements, then the student's robotic nature is the passing grade. Traditionalism always leads us to do it one way or take the highway alone without guidence from a qualified teacher. I do feel that kung fu is a little more complex to learn by tape due to constant continuous circular motion/s which exist within the basics, (both internal and external breathing methods) through advanced studies! Karate tends to teach more external breathing in performing the form/kata motions. I personally did not seek video training until i was very well rooted in basic kung fu and karate. Video training is the training of our future as long as video testing is included before the conferring of rank. But, as in all styles, their will be those whom will abuse the video training by just getting by! Disciple; does your sifu confer rank certificates or award rank at all? In kung fu i learned from my sifu, his teacher did not confer rank and he does not either? So, i'am just a disciple like yourself. Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
arnisador i would stay far away from the bamboo temple in alabama... i just found out that the nut case ive been looking for Roger Hagood is the owner and operator of that place and trust me you dont want any part of it... if you have not read my post on this guy under the scams thread in horror stories i would sugest reading it... :soapbox:
Thanks TLH3rdDan. I am fascinated by the southern mantis system but am not looking for rank-by-video--that always makes me suspicious.

I think your are referring to this post.
???? not quite sure what that not was about??? was it a challange from hagood or to hagood?
I'm not sure--I understood that one of Mr. Hagood and "Chris" (C.L. Liu?) had challenged the other.

There is more to the thread today. It's a nice board for kung fu discussions, it seems (apart from this bit of tomfoolery).
actually from what i have heard hagood ends up getting challenged alot ussually by other instructors in a montis style... im not sure why but ussually after it happens he runs and hides for a while... not sure why... i have not heard if he actually accepts the challenge or not... nor have i heard what happens if he does...
Originally posted by Chiduce

Disciple; does your sifu confer rank certificates or award rank at all? In kung fu i learned from my sifu, his teacher did not confer rank and he does not either? So, i'am just a disciple like yourself. Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!

Sorry for the late response ;)

Yes we use the regular belt ranking system, although I don't think that means much in my school, only as reminders for the teacher as which students have learned which sequences.
And yes although you are a disciple also, you have a much higher belt than me (looking at your experiences) :)


There ere legitimate instructors teaching and certifying on this format. Its not going away, even Joe Lewis is doing it. Chinese arts are probably a bit more complex, but I have to say for an instructor its a way to ad new systems into your school. I've personally added Budoshin Jujitsu under George Kirby, Shorinji Ryu Jujitsu and Shorin Ryu Karate under George Alexander and Goju Kai Karate under Lou Angel. Yes these are not Chinese arts but the point is that you can learn from some of todays 'highest authorities" on this format. I guarantee you. You can't buy a rank from any of the above. Don't read this wrong, with my new systems, I'm still in the certification process. My plans for my new school are to teach the traditional and eclectic martial arts under one roof. The arts I chose have to do with the Instructors. They are all well respected and have a lot to offer. But I have personal motives too. To get exposure for my system of Kempo Jujitsu which is a blend of Karate, Jujitsu and Gung-fu. It really is more Gung-Fu than Karate but is more accurately "Technique Influenced" from JKD and Jujitsu. I say this because I've been a JKD practioner for around 5 years now but I've found new respect for some of the traditionalism. Bruce wanted us to discover our truth in martial arts and I have, it just dos not involve throwing out all the traditions of our ancient instructors. Its OK to modify as needed but theres nothing wrong with the respect that comes with what some say is unnecessary.
----Just an Instructors point of view----
Are you talking about my experience with the distant training or are you talking about how to locate a good distant instructor?
If you are about locating, its a lot of research on the part of the individual. And whether or not you can actually teach what they teach you. My plans are to teach 2 traditional days and 3-4 modern days. The traditional arts may need to be blended a bit which should be acceptable as long as nothing is left out. For instance The 1st class for 1.5 hours- Goju Kai and Shorin Ryu. The 2nd class for 1.5 hours Shorinji Ryu Jujitsu and Budoshin Jujitsu. I'm hoping my instructors won't mind that. If they do, it will be (4) 1 hour classes on the same days.
If you want to find someone good that teaches this way, you have to do your homework. For instance, George Alexander will rarely accept a video test for Karate and the Jujitsu test is in person. With George Kirby the test is person. Thats acceptable to me.
As far as searching out these programs, the searches can be done on yahoo or msn, just type in exactly what you want. You will have to weed through all the BS the internet has but you will probably be surprised at that fact that there is some good rsults to be found.
Personally, at my level, it is acceptable to video test in Karate but for Jujitsu it should be done in person.
Hope that helps or just give me a better detailed idea of what you want to know.
I was really wondering how satisfying you find it, and what the real negatives are. I'm sure it would be a different for a beginner in the arts of course.
My opinion for a beginner it would take longer because there is no one would to correct you. But for someone with enough insight in the arts you should be able to learn a basic system, up to about Shodan or so and make arrangements for the higher learning.
I think the key to making a good video is to be able deliver the core of your system in a way that a student will be able to absorb it and practice it effectively. We all know how long it takes for a newbie to become efficient. There is no way that a home study course will be faster. Even with an advanced martial artist, if you learned a system in 1 year, that is fast and you won't have a complete system. But then anybody that reaches first degree doesnt have the complete system. My Jujitsu has so much information, combined with what I'm efficient at its more than enough. But I won't stop there, thats where the higher learning kicks in. The biggest negative would be procrastination and the fact that a video course is better for an experienced martial artist.
Another factor is you do need a training partner. But a huge plus is the opportunity to establish relationships with some high level masters. The biggest factor is where you are in the arts today and what you want to achieve. I want to run a multi art association, but not just any arts, the arts that we teach and practice and of course to promote my personal art. I guess the bottom line would be its an easy way for an instructor to add a system to your school but for the new student it would be better to use them as a guide and enroll in a local school and get your hands on time in.
Well, I am not saying distance learning programs cannot teach you anything, but I find it hard to believe that you can grasp the techniques and exicute them correctly if not having some time with a hands on instructor. I study 7 Star Preying Mantis, I could not even begin to grasp the techniques if I was learning from a video, especially if I had no prior exposure to the system.
I'm not saying any of you that use this resource are wrong, or are not learning, I just don't see how it could be as copmlete as "traditional" ways of learning.

You're right to see it like that, its normal and it is good to question things. Not meaning you should question your instructor!
But there are 2 factors: 1) the system beeing taught and 2) the background of the student. You can't get a complete system in any fast way! Its like a computer programmer enhancing his skill by an online class. Same theory. But if your a beginner, you need an instructor and you need to put your time in. If you are intermediate, say a few years training, it could go either way. I've trained with guys that still look like they don't know much a couple of years later. Its up to you and nothing can replace 1st hand knowlege from your instructor.

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