grappling

Clinch Escape to Takedown - Single Whip and Piercing Hook

Clinch Escape to Takedown - Single Whip and Piercing Hook

We were in Los Angeles last week for the 5th annual Martial Arts Studies Conference, and after it wrapped up, we dropped in on Sensei Ando at his location. While there, I showed some 'clinch escapes' that I like. Ando asked me to come home and share the follow-up to the escapes - takedowns!!!

Mantis Clinch Counters with Sensei Ando @ Happy Life Martial Arts

Mantis Clinch Counters with Sensei Ando @ Happy Life Martial Arts

In this video Ando suffers through some neck puncturing on my behalf (and a possible stab wound) so we can cover some of the clinch escapes that don’t work all the time, along with some more reliable ones that I prefer. Thanks for watching!

Coach Holly hanging with Sensei Ando @ Happy Life Martial Arts

Coach Holly hanging with Sensei Ando @ Happy Life Martial Arts

We had the honor of visiting with Ando from Happy Life Martial Arts in Los Angeles this past weekend. Aside from the great hospitality and amazing company, we had some time for a quick tour of his stomping grounds, as well as shooting a video or two. Here is Coach Holly showing some of her tips for the scissor clip with Sensei Ando!

The Rowing Hook 2 - 7 Star

The Rowing Hook 2 - 7 Star

Here's a second variation of the rowing hook maneuver found in mantis boxing forms. This time…

The Rowing Hook - A Flank Takedown

The Rowing Hook - A Flank Takedown

This is a unique throw that shows up in some Chinese boxing styles such as Mantis Boxing and Shuai Jiao. In mantis boxing it appears in forms as a single leg stance and what seems to be an…

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…

Needle the Tiger - Using 'Needle to Sea Bottom' to setup 'Embrace Tiger'

Needle the Tiger - Using 'Needle to Sea Bottom' to setup 'Embrace Tiger'

Yang's Cotton Boxing has innumerable combinations of moves that transition from one to another. Here, Vincent and I will show the use of 'Needle to Sea Bottom', to setup 'Embrace Tiger Return to…

Change Moon

Change Moon

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

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

Bridging - How to Close Distance in a Fight

Bridging - How to Close Distance in a Fight

You charge in on your enemy, filled with the hope that you can capitalize on that weak spot you spy in their guard. As you are about to land your punch, suddenly, without warning, BAM!!!! POW!!!! SMACK!!! His strike has met you mid-stride and square in the nose. As blood begins to rush down your face you pause and wonder, why you were unable to hit that giant hole that invited you to enter to begin with?