View Full Version : mantis108- re: the Hakka style

05-16-2000, 07:52 PM
Hey, I found the Dragon style web page with a name similar to the guy I was looking for; but i'm sure it's a different style and lineage. Here's the URL, it's pretty interesting: http://www.sojournpast.com

I just had a few questions- you said you think what I studied was a hakka style; but not one of the southern mantis families right? I mean, I'm pretty sure it's not chow gar or chu gar, because we still kept things like horse stances, and our forms had "typical" five animal mobility/stance transitions/footwork. Some of the hand positions were similar to some of what I saw on the bamboo temple home page- however, in the form I learned, this guard position was done in a deep horse stance, as opposed to the standard stances found in the southern mantis families. Phoenix-eye fists and leopard punches were common, both in the mantis and the 5 animal forms.

Otherwise, I've not received any documentation from anybody I've tried to contact. I guess they don't like me. :~( heheh

Sorry, I didn't stick this in an e-mail, but my address book got nuked. I was also wondering if anyone else might know anything about Green Dragon 5 animal and mantis.

05-16-2000, 11:32 PM
Hi Lost_Disciple,

Long time no chat. I trust very thing is fine with you. Thanks for the info. That's the Dragon Style which I am studying. It is great to see Sigung Lam Yui Kwai's picture on the net. I'm from a different lineage than Sifu Steven Martin. Mine is Sifu Chow Fook's lineage.

The Hakka systems, to me, are the most interesting systems. So many of their history are intervined with each other. I have always believed that the "base art" of most of them is "Sarm Bo Tyui", Which is either a particular form or an entire system (I would surmise this is more a system). I also believe that it is an military art, hence its emphasis on practical and lethal strikes is most influrencial to the Hakka systems. It is quite possible that the eight basic stances were included in the "Sarm Bo Tyui" system at the novice level but one would advance to the "Sarm Goh Ma" (triangle stance) which when done in a combat situation highly resemble the Boxing footwork - the Pivot. I was told many many times that footwork in Dragon Style is of utmost importance and that the Sarm Goh Ma must be practice diligently. So, I can only surmise the system which you're studyig has root in the Hakka system. It may very well be based on a Southern Mantis style yet most likely becomes "conceptualized".

I have a feeling that you are studying a different Dragon Style than the one that I'm taking. I do urge you to seek out Hakka Dragon Style since you have taken similar art. I am sure you will enjoy it a lot . if you need more info, please feel free to contact me. My e-mail address is in the profile file, thanks.

Contraria Sunt Complementa

05-17-2000, 07:50 PM
Hope you don't mind some additional questions. This board seems kinda dead, so maybe it'll spark some additional discussion.

One thing I can say about the whole system that I studied before, in a lot of the forms I learned, they had a technique similar to the kiu sau from hung gar, except stabbing with the finger, outwards. One hand would usually hook down and back with the technique, and the other hand would shoot out with the index finger strike to the eye (or throat), hand in a kiu sau, but thumb in and wrist flat.

Also, since the lineage went from Fujian to Taiwan, all of the terms in the style were mandarin. I'm curious if the kung fu practised by the Hakka in Fujian was all that different from those who went further south, or if it was merely a mutation that this particular style went through.

I'm curious, does "Sarm Bo Tyui" mean "base art", or does it have another literal translation? I was curious because I might recognize the English term if not the chinese.

Do you know where I could find any Hakka Dragon instructors? Do you know offhand where any are advertised (web pages), or if there were any videos available that I could check out? I've pretty much decided to devote myself to my current sifu (7 Star Mantis, Wah Lum Mantis, with courses in Eagle Claw, Hung Gar, and Yang tai chi available through different masters); but I'd really like to know a bit about what I spent 2 years of my life studying.

I'm curious, what's your dragon style like? Is it like the dragon sections of the hung gar forms? Is it flowing and fluid with fast&twisting footwork? Is it similar to southern mantis? I'll look at that sojourn past site for some clues.

Thanks again for all your help, I really can't express how much I appreciate it.

05-18-2000, 01:46 AM
Hi again,

That technique you descirbed sounds familiar. I am not that familiar with the Southern Mantis systems so I can say it is or is not a SM technique. But, I would like to find out as well. Hopefully there will be more input on this from other later.

The reason that it is familiar is that it seems like it is the one of the snake techniques from the Five Animals system or that from Fujian White Crane/LAMA system ( the highest form). One can help but think that there is but one way to fight (Bruce Lee's saying). Aren't your school is based on the Five Animals?

Sarm Bo Tyui means "Three step Pushing". I call it the "base art" as in the fundation which a system builds on . A version of its techniques is like this.

In a left stance, Left finger jab.
Right cross
Step up/same stance(bic bo), double handed push. (this is done with Mor Kiu technique)

Which area are you at or will be at. I can try to find the info for you. I heard of someone in NY, Florida, Canada. Sifu Yip Wing Hon has 2 tapes on Dragon Style. Mostly, Fundamentals. He is in NY.

I think I'll post something on Dragon Style later. So please be patient. Meantime, it's fast and strong with twist and Zig Zag patterned footwork. It has lots of fists/bridge strikes than the claw. The system is structed with the image of the Dragon not just the usual "claw thing". It looks more like Boxing than tradition Dragon as seem in the Five animal system. It looks also close to the SM systems as it is one of the Hakka systems.

Hope this will help, will chat later...



05-18-2000, 03:21 AM
Yes, the school I used to train at promoted mantis and five animals. I was told that they were two distinct systems being taught because the masters (heads of the organization in the US) of both styles were friends.

Hope you don't mind if I rehash some of what I've said in the past:

That website I gave you earlier said the mantis was labeled "Tai"; but my sifu's documentation said "southern", and the names of some of the forms were definitely northern (Mantis exits the cave, black tiger mantis, bung bo, plum flower, white ape steals the peaches); while other form names I hadn't seen anywhere else (swa tao, henka family fist, tang lang basic form- the one with the southern-looking guard). The bow for the forms was a foot-together bow, hands slap thighs, go outward, back, and upward, to behind the ears, hands form double kiu sao, but pointing inwards at a 45 degree angle, hands push forward, grab outward (like grabing two wrists), pull back to the waist.

The five animal system was said to decend from Fujian temple, from a monk named Kao Fan Hsiang (isn't this the name of a famous hsing-yi/bagua player?), Kao taught Hung Wen Hsueh, who lived in Taiwan until the late 70s/early 80s and had 2 children nick-named the "Twin Tornadoes" for their twisting techniques. The focus was mainly on dragon. The dragon forms I learned were "pushing water", "killing dragon", "twin dragon", and "Thunder Dragon". That "typical" dragon claw thing, where it looks like you're holding a beach ball with a dragon claw, wasn't really prevalent in any of those forms. They weren't done in a forward stance (like hung gar) either, but in a standing stance, with the claws directly in front of you, close to the body, at navel and chest height. The rest of the techniques in those forms were "phoenix eye fists", "dragon head punches" (a short uppercut, with middle knuckle extended), finger strikes, wrist strikes and blocks, claws, leopard punches, twisting into "dragon riding" or "lady horse" stance w/ palm strikes, fluid footwork, some dynamic breathing, and tension. There were about 5-10 Crane sets, which were really nice (I knew 2 or 3), 3 or 4 tiger sets (i only knew one), 1 leopard/tiger set w/some jump kicks and tiger claws, 2 snake sets (I only knew one), and a 5 animal form (my favorite, but most of the techniques seem more like crane than anything else). The bow went: scissor-palm block upward, hands on top of each other, right hand on top palms up, fingers pointing outward, criss crossing 45 degrees, protecting face; then palm block down: same thing, but palms down, covering groin, hands stay together, so left hand is on top; then hands seperate and circle back into fists in front of you (almost like some karate and some chang quan forms).

Sorry for wasting so much space, but I thought I'd put everything I knew in one place.

I'm definitely going to try to pop for those Hakka dragon videos. I'd really like to see your dragon style some day. I've been waiting 4 years to find out some more about the style I studied, I can wait a bit more, no problem. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Lost_Disciple (edited 05-18-2000).]

05-18-2000, 03:58 PM
Mantis 108
You wrote: In a left stance, Left finger jab.
Right cross
Step up/same stance(bic bo), double handed
push. (this is done with Mor Kiu technique)

That also looks a lot like the Pak Mei kao bo teau (nine step push) form. are you familiar with this form? It also starts with left spearhand, right punch, double low push, pull upwards, double palmstrike slightly above shoulder level. It can be found in a book by H.B. Un. all Hakka arts are strongly related. But I don't know the true origin yet.

Regards, Lau

05-18-2000, 10:59 PM
Hi Lau,

Great to have you on this thread.

Yes, as I said before The Sarm Bo Tyui was the base art for many other arts. I would even venture to say that to the Hakka people it might be as well known as Boxing to the West.

Kao Bo Tyui's openning is like what I described before. Followed by boon Kiu and double push and "the monk takes off his robe " which can be use as a Chin Na or take down technique. The reason the form is call Kao Bo Tyui is that at an aerial view it looks like you are moving in the Chinese character nine. Same idea as Kung Ji Fok Fu the "I" shape movements. Boon Kiu and Mor Kiu are important here.

I love this keep it comming, guys.


Contraria Sunt Complementa

05-19-2000, 01:02 AM
A related discussion is happening on the kung fu board - about sanchin.

If you see the first forms of Pak Mei, the various Southern Mantis styles,Dragon,ngo cho, and even goju you will notice almost the same techniques being performed.

Common roots for all these systems???

05-21-2000, 07:15 PM
Hi Mantis 108,

Have you also learned Pak Mei? Pak Mei is my style and I love the Kao Bo Teauw and the Sap Pat Mo Kiu forms. The explosiveness of the Hakka arts and the body mechanics to generate this power are in my opinion unique. At this moment I'm learning the tiger fork form. This is very demanding since we practice it with the traditional heavy tigerfork. It also produces strong footwork.

I already knew the meaning behind the name kao bo teauw but I can't figure out the meaning behind the name sap pat mo kiu. Do you have any idea about that? Regards, Lau

05-21-2000, 10:46 PM
Hi Lau,

Great, you a Bak Mei brother. Love to discuss more on Hakka styles. Both Dragon Style and Bak Mei are vey first Kung Fu systems. My lineage is GM Lam Yiu Kwai & GM Cheung Lai Chun - Sifu Chow Fook - me. I also have a mentor (Sam Hung) in Lung Ying (Dragon). Although right now I teach mainly Tai Chi Praying Mantis, my students have asked me to teach them LY & BM ever since they saw them.

I love Lung Ying because it's so majestic so much like the polar bear (I live in the North now.) I love Bak Mei because it's so fierce like a wolverine. I still practice them in my private training sessions.

The Sap Bat Mor Kiu was Sifu Chow Fook's favorite set. He performed this quite often in pulic. I think the secret of this set is revealed in the poem. Bak Mei seems to have lots of poems and couplets. It said something like "Mor Kiu Sau Fa sting like bees (both in number and strength)". So here's my take (mind you this is my "conceptual" self speaking):

In left stance, left hand Kum Sau (cover hand, you might want to hold his bridge)
jamming the rigt side of his body with your left side & right finger jab to eyes.
retrieve finger jab and chong tsui to the rids (if you perfer to do damage Pheonix's eye to the arm pit) Sting like a bee.
Cup Jeung to the face (this can set up other moves) "Chok Sau" for example
repeat until sumbission. (swamp him like bees)

In other words - rapid firing.

if he trys to disengage use "Chok Sau" (with shock power). Any reponse with his other hand or side use "Chok Sau" to nullify it and keep stinging. Foot work (float like a butterfly) is important to creat maxium power and don't forget the breathing (from this set on is the interal stage). From outside you may look like you are Boxing but the inner working is way different. The true "Ging" of this set is not external. Study this well my friend. The "Gong" is more important the applications.

That's my view only. I am open to other views. Please enlighten me. Hope you like this.


Warnig: This would be foul if it is used in Boxing, point sparr, or other "Sporting" events. So don't train in this if you are going to do MARTIAL SPORTS tournaments. !? Sigh...

Contraria Sunt Complementa

05-22-2000, 01:32 AM

Are there any videos of Sifu Chow Fook demonstrating either Pak Mei and/or Dragon for purchase by the public?

05-22-2000, 03:02 AM

Thanks for your interest in the styles. Are you a short hand brother, too?

There is a book on "Lung Ying Mor Kiu" by Sifu Chow Fook and one of my Sihings. I don't think there is a video. I haven't been able to get a hold on one. I Know Kevin Barkman, who posted the "Share Hakka Histories" thread on this forum, has a copy. If you like to check with him on that. I think he has his email in his profile file.

Are there certain area you are interested in? If there is anything you like to know, please feel free to contact me my email is in my profile file.

By the way, please feel free to give me your (anyone) feed back.

Peace to all


Contraria Sunt Complementa

05-22-2000, 04:46 PM
Mantis 108,
I deeply enjoy reading your valuable insights on Pak Mei. I would like to correspond more about them but you're email adres isn't in the profile. Please contact me at lalau88@hotmail.com or post your email adres so we can expand further on this.
Regards, Lau

Ben Gash
05-22-2000, 06:30 PM
HI, this may seem stupid, but I didn't catch the "Hakka Histories" thread. I never realised that Lung Ying and Bak Mei were Hakka. Everything I've read said that Bak Mei was a shaolin disciple and friend and contemporary of the founder of Lung Ying (also a shaolin disciple). Indeed, the Sojourn Past site that this thread started with starts it's dragon lineage at shaolin.
Please enlighten me.
If they are Hakka, then their's no link to Ngo Cho, which is definitely Shaolin.

Ben Gash
05-22-2000, 10:22 PM
www.minspring.com/~ablau/ (http://www.minspring.com/~ablau/)

05-23-2000, 12:04 AM
Hi Ben Gash,

Thanks for your interest. Lung Ying is Buddhist (Shaolin, some MA historians dispute this point) origin. Bak Mei is ToaistBuddhist in origin. There were both original arts while practiced in temples. Both GM Lam Yiu Kwai and Gm Cheung Lai Chun were well versed in a system called "Sarm Bo Tyui" ,Which is believe to be the base art of many Hakka system and was popular in the Hakka regions (e.g. Wei Yeung), before they took on Lung Ying and Bak Mei respectively. Many novice level forms of LY and BM maintain the essence of the SBT system. IMHO, the current Lung Ying and Bak Mei are in fact "conceptualized arts", which blended STB/LY, STB/BM together. They also share students, too. One of the common aspects is the "Shock" power. Every Hakka system seeks this type of power in its strikes. Common root is not far fetched.

Yes Lung Ying and Bak Mei are both Buddhist, Toaist, and Hakka systems.

Hope this clear things up a bit.


Contraria Sunt Complementa

05-25-2000, 12:48 AM
mantis108- not sure if you've been reading the "Kung fu in San Diego" thread on the main board, but J said he'd mail me the info about his friend's school of Green Dragon (in San Diego) as soon as he can get it; though that shouldn't be for a few weeks. I'll either post the info or a summary of the info on here, once I get it. I really hope his friend is studying the exact same style; it'd help me put some demons to rest. Also, I kinda feel like finding this documentation is going to be my last duty as tu dei of my old sifu; so i can concentrate solely on my current style, at the same time helping out an old friend.

BTW- I have definitely found the address and phone number of the head of the style in the US; it's located on the authentickungfu.com web page, underPraying mantis schools directory, in New Jersey. It even lists SL Martin as the instructor. Feel free to call them at the number listed (nudge nudge, I'll pay ya back!! hehe); and ask them any questions to find out what exactly they are. I tried to get them to mail me info, but whoever picked up the phone was kind of a jerk and I doubt they'll send me squat.

[This message has been edited by Lost_Disciple (edited 05-25-2000).]

05-25-2000, 06:08 AM
Hi Lost disciple,

Thanks for the info. Glad that you (might)have found your old Sifu.