A comment on this video & another set
magellan | Santa Clara, CA | 09/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have previously reviewed Sifu Klein's video on the Mayflower Mantis form, which has a Taoist influence. This video has a more recent publication date on it, but sounds similar, as the previous one was 90 minutes also, but I can't tell from the description here if it's the same one. If it is, it's an excellent video and perhaps this is just a duplicate product link on Amazon.
In this video, Sifu Klein and also one of his students presents the entire form, along with a section at the end showing the applications of all the moves. This was a very nice touch since usually in martial arts videos like this only a few applications are shown from the form, rather than for all the movements. That's one reason it's a full 90 minutes long, rather than 60 minutes or even 30 or 40 minutes like a lot of the martial arts videos out there these days.
While I'm at it, I wanted to post a few comments on Sifu John Funk's praying mantis series, this one covering the famous 7 Star system. This is Sifu Jon Funk's 12 vol. set on 7-Star northern praying mantis kung fu from ESPY-TV. The reason I'm posting the comments here is that the video didn't turn up on an Amazon search, it's a very fine set, and this was the only way I could comment on it.
7-Star Mantis is the most famous of all the northern and southern mantis styles and is possibly the style from which the popular Kenpo karate is descended, with it's multiple and rapid fire strikes and combinations. Modern day 7-Star Mantis is actually a combination of three mantis styles, which are the original classical 7- Star mantis, Plum Blossom Mantis, and Guang Dong or Shiny Board Mantis. (I know, weird name, but I don't know anymore about it than that). The original northern praying mantis style, developed by Wong Long, is said to incorporate the techniques of 18 different styles of kung fu. Later some monkey style footwork was even incorporated into the style.
Praying mantis is one of the most historically important and famous of the kung fu styles, and it even had an influence on Indonesion Pentjak Silat. As many of you know, Bruce Lee incorporated Silat into his Jeet Kune Do from his friend Danny Inosanto. Some of the more famous Silat styles include Serah or Serak, Tjimande, Tjikalong, Mande Muda, Syahbander, Bukti Negara, the famous Harimau Tiger style from Sumatra, and many others.
This is the most complete and detailed series on the 7-Star Praying Mantis style ever done, with very clear presentations and explanations of the forms. Forms range from beginning to very advanced and include empty hand as well as weapons forms. Sifu Funk also gives extensive instruction, along with many other pointers and details of the forms, including breathing, footwork, applications, how to practice, etc.
The forms are presented a number of times during each tape, and from different angles for better understanding. The videos are as follows. (These descriptions are from the back cover of the DVD cases, along with some of my own separate information, so I credit the original publisher, ESPY-TV for their material here).
Vol. 1. Bung Bo (Crushing Step) and Ng Long Gwun forms. Bung Bo is the foundational form for 7 Star Mantis, emphasizing sticking and adhering, combination throws, and close-range applications. The "Crushing Step" means that it teaches how to advance and attack strongly and powerfully. Ng Long Gwun is a long staff form that can be slip into two parts.
Vol. 2. Baag Yune Dung and Yeen Tsing Doe. This intermediate form (White Ape Exits the Cave) emphasizes throwing techniques and grappling and striking. Yeen Tsing Doe is a very beautiful broadsword form that teaches basic techniques, parries and lightning fast combinations. This form is a very popular form and exists in a number of variations throughout China.
Vol. 3. Fay Ngaan Tzerng and Yee Loi Mui Faa Tzerng. The two advanced forms in this video include the Flying Goose Palm form with its unpredicatable broken rhythm, and Second Route Plumb Flower Spear.
Vol. 4. Buck Yuen Tow Toe and Seven Star Mantis Basics. This form teaches many basic applications and Sifu funk demonstrates and explains these clearly and in detail.
Vol. 5. Advanced Praying Mantis techniques. Sifu Funk demonstrates and explains the advanced techniques and principles of the 7 Star system, including self defense concepts, reaction distance line system, the science of hand trapping, effective pressure point tactics, distractions, no strength pressure points, and joint locks.
Vol. 6. May Fow Kuen. The advanced Plum Flower form, considered only for very serious students. Sifu Funk gives detailed applications and explanations for each movement.
Vol. 7. Sam Low Chet Yuen (Third Route Essence Form). Advanced empty handed form with detailed explanations and applications by Sifu Funk.
Vol. 8. Tong Long Tow Tow (Praying Mantis Steals the Peach). Another advanced empty handed form that was the favorite of the founder of the praying mantis style, Master Wong Long.
Vol. 9. Tong Long Tsud Dung. This is the advanced Praying Mantis Exits the Cave empty handed form, with explanations and applications.
Vol. 10. Law Hon Gung. Sifu Funk covers breathing exercises, Praying Mantis Iron Palm, and open palm applications.
Vol. 11. Praying Mantis fighting applications, including sticky hands drills and applications, sparring drills, fighting strategies, and self defense.
Vol. 12. Advanced Praying Mantis training drills, including situational self defense skills, and 2-man training drills.
Overall, a great set from Sifu Funk and the most complete and authoritative series on the 7 Star system that I've seen commercially available."
Awful beyond all reason.
Doc Johnny | NY USA | 05/26/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Bob "the animal man" Klein has no discernible mantis martial arts lineage. He manages to reduce a dynamic energetic martial arts style to a series of alternately comical, alternately tragic arthritic antics. His knowledge of form and function is non-existent. For actual Praying Mantis Kung fu, look for Brendan Lai, Su Yu-Chang, Al Cheng, or Lee Kam Wing. Or even Jon Funk."