Monkey Kung Fu – Get Fit Monkey Style!
Do you love learning new techniques of martial arts? Do you have an avid interest in knowing the art of self-defense? Well, if you are one of the kung fu hustlers or enjoy the craft, here is another technique which you might have heard about. Monkey Kung Fu is renowned for its tolling and tumbling techniques, its deadly accuracy, and its agile footwork. Read on to know and discover more about the art of monkey kung fu – the origins and techniques!
Into the Wild!
Monkeys, who live in the wild, in order to survive, have to everyday fight against predators and enemies who are sometimes larger than them. If possible, they try to escape instead of facing them. But if it seems impossible, they don’t tend to think that they can win over their opponent in very first blow.
Hence, this style of martial arts is all about being intelligent and clever. In order to fight effectively and steadily, you must think like a monkey as well as adopt its mannerisms to win over your opponent in a duel.
Today, there are 4 main classes of monkey kung fu – the Tai Sheng Pek Kwar School, the Wushu Monkey Style, Southern Monkey style and the Northern Monkey Style.
In Mainland China, this style of martial arts is divided traditionally between the Southern and Northern styles, as the Wushu practioners adopt the styles according to their performances. Apart from this, the Tai Sheng School even has a respectable following around the world.
Even though both the styles share the monkey’s outward mannerisms, the Northern style practioners stress on intricate movement patterns and long range attack. On the other hand, the Southern style stresses on quick continuous and close range attacks.
The Point of Origin!
The martial arts style evolved in different parts of China. Here are the different points of origins:
- Hou Quan – This style originated in the Emei region, which was made famous by the “Monkey King” Xiao Yingping and several others. This form of martial arts was even utilized as the foundation for today’s wushu form of kung fu. This form can be witnessed in several competitions and demonstrations in the world today. You must know that each individual style and form has its specific approach when it comes to expressing the incorporation of monkey’s movement into real fighting.
- Da Sheng Men – Also known as the “Great Sage” style of kung fu, this form of martial arts evolved during the Qing dynasty’s end (1911) by Kou Si. He was a fighter from a tiny village located in the Northern China. According to legend, he devised this style while serving prison sentence. He used to observe a few monkeys from the prison cell. While studying their mannerisms and movements, he discovered that they were in sync with his Di Tang style. Once released, he devised this new martial arts form and termed it ‘Da Sheng Men’ which means Great Sage Form. This name was coined to respect and honor of the Sun Wukong, the Monkey King from Journey to the West, a Buddhist tale.
- Da Sheng Pi Gua – Developed by one of the Kou Si’s disciple, Geng De Hai begin discovering Pi Gua kung fu at the mere age of 8. His father was his first teacher. After his father’s demise, Geng De Hai was trained by none other than Kou Si. Once mastering the art of Da Sheng kung fu and syncing it with the art of Pi Gua kung fu, Geng De Hai termed the novel technique as Da Sheng Pi Gua kung fu. He respected his friendship with Kou Si which reflected in the name of his newly devised technique.
The Kung Fu Hustle – Techniques and Styles
Here are the various styles and techniques of monkey kung fu.
The traditional form practiced in Mainland China involves various steps including:
- Spinning on the back
- Spinning on the butt
- Backward lunges
- Forward dives/lunges
- Walking on the hands
- Hand stands
- Back handsprings
- Back flips
- Front flips
- Flipping in the air sideways
- Running on hands and feet
Many of the attacking moves are primarily focused at the eyes, throat, groin area or knees of the attacker. Also, the hand strikes can be usually clawed with a half-closed fist known as the “monkey claw” or open handed slaps. Apart from these moves, various facial expressions of monkeys are practiced including bewilderment, confusion, frights, fear, anger and happiness.
The hou gun, or monkey staff, is considered as one of the specialty weapons of this style. Monkey boxing style is known as a technique which is imitative. Hence, the facial expressions and movements execution should be so real that it appears similar to a monkey. It must not appear as if a human is trying to imitate a monkey. Therefore, a high level of precision and difficulty is linked with this form of martial arts.
This style has 5 forms of the monkey kung fu in the Da Sheng Men system, which is still being used in the modern Da Sheng Pi Gua form. These include:
1. Drunken Monkey
This technique involves several groin, eye and throat strikes apart from falling and tumbling techniques. Also, it involves many false steps in order to give a defenseless pretense and even uses several off balance blows and strikes. The fighter waddles, integrates faltering steps as well as falls down on the ground. He waits for his opponent to come and delivers a devastating blow at the groin areas or knees. In this move, one has to invest in internal energy when compared to anything else. This is very difficult to master. Also, it is considered highly effective against an offensive, attacking enemy.
2. Stone Monkey
This form of martial arts is known as a “physical” form. While fighting, the practitioner learns to train the body to receive and exchange blows – this style implements a variant of the famous “Iron body method”. This leaves an exposed area on the fighter’s body in order to let an opponent attack, so he can attack on a vital part.
3. Lost Monkey
This style of martial arts involves a lot of feigning. The practitioners of this form appears to be confused and lost in order to mislead the attacker into not knowing his skills. Hence, he attacks when the opponent is least expecting. The footwork and hands flow and change at the fighter’s will. This fighting technique involves the mischief, nervousness and fear expressed by a monkey.
4. Tall Monkey or Standing Monkey
This is a conventional monkey which avoids tumbling around and keeps an upright stance. This technique is more suitable for tall individuals. This is known as one of the long range styles.
5. Wooden Monkey
This style mimics an angry, serious monkey which defends and attacks with ferocity. Also, the stance and attitude is even more serious. Also, the movements are less light when compared with the rest of the monkeys. They prefer to grip and bring down its attackers to the hard ground.