Lean (Kào 靠) - to lean against one’s opponent. Due to the heavy reliance upon grappling and clinchwork in Mantis Boxing, Kào is an important keyword when engaged close range with the enemy.
Once we are entangled…
Adhere (Tiē 貼) - space management. Creating space when on the defense, and removing space from our opponent when on the offensive. If you want to reduce the level of control an enemy has on you - framing them, slipping the hooks, and increasing distance can help keep you from getting toppled.
On the inverse, when attacking the opponent, removing their…
Crush (Bēng 崩) - to ‘collapse and fall into ruin’. Also known as 'crushing' in many Chinese Martial Arts usages. Bēng is used to attack the vital targets in the midsection of an opponent. Effective strike targets such as: the liver, stomach; ribs, and the real treasure - the solar plexus, or central palace in Taijiquan. All of these targets can…
Connect (Zhān) - connecting with the opponent. A principle found in Mantis Boxing as well as Taijiquan. The process of trying ‘to stick’ to them. This can be done by grabbing, hooking, finding a way to slow down the limb e.g., a retracting arm, a leg, or taking advantage of a limb left behind.
Cling (Nián) - is the act of sticking once we are engaged. Once connected, staying in contact i.e., clinging, sticking, following, allows you to ‘feel’ where your opponent is at all times, and control limbs. Instead of the floating limb being able to bite you.
Check out our latest video in the series on - 'The 12 Keywords of Mantis Boxing'.
Pluck (Cǎi 採) is the third of the 12 keywords of Mantis Boxing. The keyword formula houses the principles that define the art. They have been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years.
With Pluck (Cǎi 採), a short sharp pull down, or powerful snap, we can feed our adversary into a disadvantaged position. Commonly used after Mantis Catches Cicada, and White Ape Invites Guest.
Hook (Gōu 勾) is the first of the 12 keywords of Mantis Boxing. The keyword formula houses the principles that define the art. They have been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years.
A Praying Mantis seizes it's opponent with it's large arms and hooks. It pulls it's prey off balance and devours it on the ground. When observing the mantis against a larger foe, one can see the mantis pounce, take the back, use it’s legs to hold on, and continually gain control of it's opponent while it bites and gains better hook positions to keep it safe.
Sure enough, they were the same character. This lead to further research and comparisons, and soon I had a series of principles and sub-principles that drew a solid link between the two styles. The English translations people used can vary, but the character is found to be the same for each style. Below is a work in progress but it is far enough along that I can share it.