Praying Mantis Kung Fu

Countering the Clinch (Lǒu 摟) - FRAME! FRAME!! FRAME!!!

Countering the Clinch (Lǒu 摟) - FRAME! FRAME!! FRAME!!!

The clinch can be a nasty place to be stuck. When our opponent is larger, and/or stronger, and has their hooks on our neck, some of our escapes can be difficult to…

Tear Down the Monkey

Tear Down the Monkey

A critical analysis of the fighting stance we've been using for years. And why I got rid of it.

I recently went through some changes in my teaching and practice. One of these recent changes was in our fighting stance. The reasons for these are many, and too lengthy to explain for these purposes. However, the root of any changes I make are always born of a desire to improve things for myself and my students.

Let’s compare the stance we were using for years, the Monkey Stance, with the…

Mantis Captures Prey Takedowns

Mantis Captures Prey Takedowns

Trapping the elbow as our opponent shoots for the underhook. They go for the position under the arm to try and set up a variety of throws, or gain positional control. What we have lying in wait for them…

Change Moon

Change Moon

Change Moon is an alternate throw from the clinch. Sometimes our attempts at…

Seize Leg - Mantis Heel Kick Defense

Seize Leg - Mantis Heel Kick Defense

I absolutely love this heel kick defense. My favorite one to practice, as you'll see in the video; thank you Thomas! There are two variations of this depending on…

Tame Tiger - Heel Kick Defense

Tame Tiger - Heel Kick Defense

Here's a great counter to the heel kick. This move is actually inside Tai Ji Quan forms, but I adopted into my Mantis Boxing system after seeing it in Muay Thai and realizing what it was. It's an awesome counter/defense against the heel kick, and definitely one I want in my arsenal.

There are some nuances to it, and inside this video I'll highlight 3 fail points that are common and how to avoid them. Check it out.

LEAN (Kào 靠) - 12 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

LEAN (Kào 靠) - 12 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

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.

Postural Defense

Once we are entangled…

ADHERE (Tiē 貼) - 11 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

ADHERE (Tiē 貼) - 11 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

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…

STRIKE (Dǎ 打) - 10 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

STRIKE (Dǎ 打) - 10 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Strike (Dǎ 打) - at it’s root, Mantis Boxing is a style of stand-up grappling. However, we need tools to get to the clinch and then throw; especially against an active and violent opponent. The style includes strikes and kicks to either...

Essay: The Heart of Mantis

Essay: The Heart of Mantis

Update - 10-MAR-2019

Below is an essay from May of 2013. After 14 years in Chinese boxing styles, thousands of hours of training, and a year into my journey of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in 2012 my ideas and approach to the art of praying mantis boxing began to shift. I was not happy with the ‘status quo’, the failure of the art (meaning the methods within forms) to ‘work’ in fighting, and I began to approach mantis from a different angle - a grappling mindset. What you are about to read, is written during this early period in my transformation. Some of this (the history in particular) is incorrect, or incomplete. Later, through further training, research, and sparring, I was able to more deeply develop an understanding of the art. This is the foundation, the beginning of the evolution. I consider this to be when my art truly began. While I could delete this, hide it, or pretend I was never ‘new’, I leave this here to demarcate a point in time on my journey in martial arts. - Randy