Any of you read this books?:
The one-knuckle punch is only really used in southern mantis for strikes to the rib-cage - where open palm would not be effective. The fist is conditioned and the theory is that the knuckle can damage the organs that are covered by the rib cage. Without conditioning it is very easy to damage your hand when punching like this,
Other points that the pheonix eye fist goes for are the armpit, arms (muscle)and shoulders - open palm is preferred again for strikes to the heart etc, where more shock transference is possible.
Tim, what are your thoughts/experiences of shock power in short hand systems like Pak Mei or Southern Mantis? Although highly specialised, I believe they work well with a system like BJJ.
I've used this hand config with some success, but not as a straight punch, more as a blackjack to tender places like the back of the knuckles, the base of the jaw. Instead of a spear, think of the tip of a whip, with the wrist relaxed. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be used that way, it's something I tried on my own, but it seems to work. No injuries, that's for sure.
Jellyman, interesting that you instinctively use it that way as that is the predominant method of using it in our particular lineage of southern mantis.
That IS interesting. I don't know much about mantis, although I've heard that it is effective with the usual caveats (good teacher, hard work, etc.). Not much press on it, nobody in my town teaches it. Can you describe it a little? I thought it was all grab the guy and rip him apart, and then I read something by BK Francis (not sure how legit he is) wherein some dude would stomp the earthand punch with the recoil.
I've often tried hitting myself with different fists (shades of Tyler Durden!!! LOL) to see how stuff feels. When I get an owwy somewhere other than my hand, I reckon I'm onto something. Used to do it when I was a kung-fu wannabe doing kyokushin as a kid in Jamaica. North America was the magical place in the magazines where every style you could think of was there for the asking, along with X-Ray specs and Sea Monkies. Then I came here and the bitter realities set in...
In the past couple of years I have found myself reluctant to judge "effectiveness" since the formula for doing so seems to be this: compare the strengths and leading masters of one's art(s) against the weaknesses and mediocre practitioners of other peoples' arts. Southern Mantis uses lots of clawing actions, twisting jointbreaks, elbowstrikes and crushing steps aimed at the opponent's lower limbs. The famed phoenix-eye is actually used rather sparingly as is the kick with the toe. Expansion and contraction of the abdomen sends force through one's limbs for more powerful strikes than just using one's arm muscles. I've found Judo to be a great way to spar using SPM principles of infighting, and SPM would be a great addition to Judo for more "brutal" techniques. I heard a story recently (salt required here) that judo was actually derived from a cousin art of SPM. Anway, my style is bamboo forest, which is very closed-bodied like Wing Chun unlike the other styles. Also, it has many stepping strikes akin to Bagua or Hsing-Yi unlike, say Chow Gar SPM where one generally sets his feet for a strike. From some videos I've seen, Chow Gar doesn't seem to stomp much, instead using more "traditional" low kicks. We do have the basic punch like you describe, but most of them are done kinda like "beng chuan", often jamming your opponent's limbs. Hope this was of help.
It was. It sounds really different. You've piqued my interest. I will investigate further.
Jellyman, If I might be allowed to make a suggestion: What I've seen publicly taught as bamboo forest in this country seems quite different from what I learned. The two best known instructors no longer teach directly, and are surrounded by legions of idiots who insult each other while making vague references to "authentic" secrets, namedropping, etc. Actually, the closest thing (in terms of movement) I've seen to what I learned was a VCD in chinese on "Six-Harmonies Mantis", although this was more open-bodied and long-ranged, and minus the Baji-like stomping and emphasis on clawing and jointbreaks. It is available through Lionbooks if interested. Good fortune in your endeavors!
Six Harmonies is a northern branch of Praying Mantis and is therefore very, very different from any of the southern families - I don't believe they generate power in the same fashion. We don't stomp much in chow gar and need to be 'earthed' before being able to punch with real ging power.
In modern chow gar Ip Shui added many elements from Bagua and Hsing, which can be seen in later forms.
I agree though, southern mantis does have its fair share of idiots who act like little kids! However it is a very small art so if you find a decent linege then you can't go far wrong - best to find a sifu in chinatown if you can.
After re-reading my previous post, I see how ridiculous it sounds: "it's just like this except everything is different!" 6-Harmonies is not in the southern family at all, just that our (bamboo forest style)advanced techniques have similiar body dynamics to the form I saw on that DVD. Foundational training for the different styles of SPM (from what I've seen) tend to look similiar, naturally, but like White Crane, they can look like completely different systems depending on individual instructor, how advanced, etc. Chow Gar Guy says it best: try to find a sifu in chinatown.
phonix eye fist put to good use: