Forms

 

CHIU FAMILY

SEVEN STAR PRAYING MANTIS ASSOCIATION

FORMS AND BREAKDOWN OF

SEVEN STAR PRAYING MANTIS

 

Most Chinese martial art styles rely heavily on the use of forms. Forms are prearranged sequences of techniques and movements that simulate attack and defense. Seven Star Mantis is no different. The Seven Star style consists of hand forms, weapon forms, two person hand and weapon forms, internal forms and strength building forms. In recent times there has been much debate on how many forms to practice. No one can agree on what is too many and what is too few. Our branch of Seven Star Mantis has 110 hand forms. These forms are garnered from two sources. The first is Chiu Chi Man and the second is the Yip Ming Duk monks. All of the forms have their unique value. However, it is certainly not necessary to learn them all. In fact few people ever learn more than 30 forms. Yet the style can be mastered with even fewer. Mastery of the style comes from mastery of the theory and principles of the style. Forms are a way of learning how to use the principles of a style by setting a clear example of what can be done within the boundaries of that style. Some styles contain as few as one form. Others have three. Still others have 10 or 20 or more forms.

 

 

Any number of forms can be argued for or against. The fact that we can make an in-depth analysis of any position, in fact, proves that any position can be a reasonable one to take. To dismiss something  without researching it thoroughly is actually more naive than an in-depth analysis of something even if that something is not easily, if at all, provable. There is a popular belief that Seven Star Mantis is comprised of Plum Blossom Mantis, Long Fist, Rolling Cart, Eagle Claw, Shiny Board Mantis as well as the original Seven Star forms. However, this is true and false. True in the sense that forms and techniques were borrowed from other systems yet false in the sense that it implies that no further changes occurred than just that.
If such a position is taken then we can not call mantis, mantis. Call it 18 styles hybrid style. Or 1/18th Mantis, 1/18th Tong Bei, 1/18th Monkey and so on. In fact, originally, the added styles outnumbered mantis 17 to 1. Yet the style was called Praying Mantis. It was plainly understood that the additions were to augment the praying mantis style. So it is with the forms that came into the style through the last 350 years.

Once borrowed, these forms were changed into Seven Star Mantis forms. Merely the sequence of techniques and series of movements were borrowed. Then things changed drastically. Many forms are even unrecognizable from the original. The forms that came from non mantis systems were “mantisized”. Meaning that, many techniques were replaced with variations which would fit the characteristics of mantis. The forms that came from other mantis styles were “sevenstarized” for lack of a better word. That is to say that they were changed to the way a Seven Star Mantis practitioner would do it.

The Hung Gar system uses the form Lau Gar Kuen as a base set, which was taken from a style called Mok Gar. Yet Hung gar practitioners don’t take the position that Hung Gar is part Lau Gar or Mok Gar. To use forms from another system and not use the same principles and theory from the style it came from changes the dynamic of the form. It is no longer the original and should not be construed as such.

So, The question that remains is: are they all real Seven Star Mantis forms. What constitutes a “real” Seven Star Mantis form? It is opinionated at best. Any list you come up with can be argued with. For example, many would consider Bung Bo to be a “real” Seven Star Mantis form, but it really isn’t. Bung Bo was created before the factions of mantis existed. So there is Bung Bo in Tai Chi Mantis and many others. The style of mantis itself is a combination of many styles incorporated into a hybrid art.

Chaap Choy is a form created by Chan Lin Wor and taught at the Jing Mo association and was added to the mantis style only 2 generations ago. But many consider it a “true” Seven Star Mantis set. This goes on and on with sets being “borrowed” from many styles. And there is still debate about how many forms Law Gwong Yuk borrowed and or created. Added to this is the differences between Law Gwong Yuk’s students in China and his students in Hong Kong. Did Law Gwong You create continually during his life? Or were there spurts of creativity here and there? The fact is that we simply don’t know where most of our forms came from.

So, that being said, all of the forms that are listed here are as real as any form can be. All were added in due course in the history of the Seven Star Mantis style. The deciding factor to decide if a set is “real” is whether or not the form follows the theory and rules set forth in the method of Seven Star Mantis. If a form is taken from another style and then “mantisized” as so many times has happened, then the choice has to be made whether to accept it or not. That is going to be up to the individual. The forms listed are passed on to me by my teacher who is unquestionably a Seven Star Mantis mantis practitioner for almost 70 years. I accept them for what they are: a method of training movements and techniques in accord with the principles of Seven Star Mantis.

The Breakdown

The Siu Lum Chut Sing Tong Long (Shaolin Seven Star Praying Mantis) system has 110 hand forms. They are split into these groups:
1. The 14 Route Tam Toy
2. The Sup Yee Kuen Jong (12 “seed” forms)
3. The Plum Blossom series
4. The White Ape Series
5. The Dragon Series
6. The Tiger Series
8. The Jak Yiu (extrapolation or selected boxing)
9. The Yau Ling (soft energy)
10. The Chi Gung sets
11. Specialty Forms (i.e. miscellaneous sets)

 

HAND FORMS

(Of the 110 forms, I am only allowed to disclose the following 72 including the internal sets. Only an inheritor of the system is allowed to learn the entire 110. The sets (forms) are generally divided into levels of training. That is to say 10 forms or more may be at the same level. Here it is then, for the first time anywhere the following 72 forms. In addition to these sets, there are numerous two person forms.)


1. Sup Sei Lo Tam Toy Kuen – 14 Routes Tams Kicking Maneuvers
2. Gung Lek Kuen – Strength exertion form
3. Bung Bo Kuen – Collapse Step Form
4. Sup Ba Sao Kuen – 18 Elders
5.Dar Gong Kuen – Avoiding Hardness form
6. Chaap Choy – Stabbing Fist
7.Hak Fu Gow Cha Kuen – Black Tiger Inter Sectional
8. Bak Yuen Chut Dung – White Ape Comes Out Of The Cave
9. Bak Yuen Tau Toe – White Ape Steals The Peach
10. Tong Long Chut Dung – Mantis Comes Out Of The Cave
11. Tong Long Tau Toe – Mantis Steals The Peach
12. Muy Fa Sao Kuen – Plum Blossom Hand
13. Muy Fa Lok Kuen – Plum Blossom Falling Fist
14. Muy Fa Kuen – Plum Blossom Fist
15. Sei Lau Bun Da Kuen – 4 Roads Quick Hitting
16. Dai Fan Che Kuen – Big (expanded) Spinning Wheel (revolution) Form
17. Siu Fan Che Kuen – Small (contracted) Revolution Form
18. Dai Ga Sik – Big Aggressive Boxing
19. Siu Ga Sik – Small Aggressive Boxing
20. Yat Lo Jak Yiu Kuen – First Route Essential Techniques (extrapolation)
21. Yee Lo Jak Yiu Kuen – Second Route Extrapolation Form
22. Saam Lo Jak Yiu Kuen – Third Route Extrapolation Form
23. Yau Ling Jang – Soft Energy Elbow
24. Yau Ling Jeung – Soft Energy Palm
25. Yau Ling Kuen – Soft Energy Fist
26. Yau Ling Toy – Soft Energy Kicks
27. Yau Loong Jeung – Swimming Dragon Palm (lit. flexible dragon)
28. Lan Jeet Kuen – Interception Boxing
29. Yat Lo Muy Fa Toy – First Route Plum Blossom Leg (kicks)
30. Yee Lo Muy Fa Toy – Second Route Plum Blossom Leg (kicks)
31. Muy Fa Fei Toy – Plum Blossom Flying Kicks
32. Yat Lo Tong Long Sao – First Route Mantis Hands
33. Yee Lo Tong Long Sao – Second Route Tong Long Sao
34. Fei Ngan Jeung – Flying Goose Palm
35. Muy Fa Jeung – Plum Blossom Palm
36. Joy Lo Han Kuen – Drunken Lohan From
37. Lin Wan Gam Tao – Continuous Brocade Weaving
38. Dahn Chaap Fa – Singe Flower Arrangement (lit. stabbing flowers)
39. Seung Chaap Fa – Double Flower Arrangement
40. Dai Fu Ngan Kuen – Big Tiger and Goose Form
41. Siu Fu Ngan – Small Tiger and Goose Form
42. Tong Long Bo Suen – Mantis Whirling Step
43. Yat Lo Bak Yuen Kwai Yin Kuen – First Route White Ape Secretly Watches Banquet
44. Yee Lo Bak Yuen Kwai Yin – Second Route White Ape Secretly Watches Banquet
45. Yat Lo Baat Jang – First Route 8 Dominant Elbows
46. Yee Lo Baat Jang – Second Route 8 Dominant Elbows
47. Yat Lo Lok Ying Jeung – First Route Descending Eagle Palm
48. Yee Lo Lok Ying Jeung – Second Route Descending Eagle Palm
49. Yee Lo Hak Fu Gow Cha Kuen – Second Route Black Tiger Cross Path (intersectional)
50. Hak Fu Chut Dung – Black Tiger Comes Out Of The Cave
51. Hak Fu Tau Sum – Black Tiger Steals The Heart
52. Yat Lo Muy Fa Yau Loong Jeung – First Route Plum Blossom Swimming Dragon Palm
53. Yee Lo Muy Fa Yau Loong Jeung – Second Route Plum Blossom Swimming Dragon Palm
54. Chuen Wan Jeung – Cloud Thrust Palm
55. Hoy Au Kuen – Seagull Fist
56. Seung San Fu – Tiger Ascends the Mountain
57. Ha San Fu – Tiger Descends the Mountain
58. Yin Ji Chuen Lum – Swallow Penetrates the Forest
59. Muy Fa Ba Kik – Plum Blossom 8 Ultimates
60. Tong Long Ba Gwa Bo – 8 Diagram Step (longest form in the system)
61. Joy Bo Tong Long – Drunken Step Mantis
62. Yat Lo Tong Long Lin Wan Jak Yiu Sao – 1ST Route Continuous and Returning Extrapolation Hands
63. Yee Lo Tong Long Lin Wan Jak Yiu Sao – 2ND Route Continuous and Returning Extapolation Hands
64.Yat Lo Bak Yuen Bok Dau – 1ST Route White Ape Bows North
65. Yee Lo Bak Yuen Bok Dau – 2ND Route White Ape Bows North
66. Sup Ba Lo Han Gung – 18 Section Lo Han Chi Gung
67. Lin Wan Noy Gung – Continuous and Returning Inner Energy
68. Luk Lek Kuen – 6 Powers Fist
69. Gong Yau San Gung – Hard and Soft Energy Training
70. Tong Long Chut sing Bo
71. Noy Gung Fook Fu Kuen – Subduing Tiger internal form
72. Damo Yi Jin Jing – Damo’s muscle change classic

As mentioned before, The rest of the sets up to form 98 is reserved for only the top disciples. The final 12 forms (99 – 110) are reserved for the inheritors of the style.

Seven Star Praying Mantis Weapons
Staff
Spear
Saber (dao)
Double edge or straight sword
Halbered
Two sectional staff
Three sectional staff
9 sectional steel chain whip
Needles
Monk Spade
Whip ribbed sword
Butterfly knife (single only)
Crescent spear
Snake spear
Tiger hook swords
Seven star hammers
Daggers
Short stick
Flying hammer
Steel fan
Rattan rings
Various assortment of short weaponry based on the longer weapons (Short spear, trident, halberd, cresent spear etc)

WEAPON FORMS

 

Here is a list of 40 of the weapon forms in Seven Star Mantis. They are not in the learning order. The weapons are taught first are the staff, saber, spear and double saber. After that the sifu can teach any kind of weapon but the next is usually the gim (straight sword).

1. Kwan yeung gwon (Shepherd’s staff)
2. Yee lo kwan yeung gwon (Second route Shepherd’s staff)
3. Baat gwa dahn dao (Eight trigrams single saber)
4. Yat lo muy fa cherng (1st route plum blossom spear)
5. Ng hon dahn dao (5 element single saber)
6. Luk hop seung dao (6 harmony double saber)
7. Jee Ng gim (meridian straight sword)
8. Chut Sing Choy (seven star hammers)
9. Luk hop gwon (6 harmony staff)
10. Yee lo muy fa chern (second road plum blossom spear)
11. Kwon tong seung dao (rolling court double sabers)
12. Man mo baat tsin gim (civil and military eight immortals straight sword)
13. Joy jao dei tong dahn daao (Drunken ground rolling single saber)
14. Fu mei saam jeet gwon (tiger tail three sectional staff)
15. Seung jan dai dao (entering battle gwan dao)
16. Suen fong dahn fu tao au (tornado single hook sword)
17. Kwon tong sueng fu tao au (rolling court double hook swords)
18. Ng fu duen wan cherng (5 tigers heart breaking spear)
19. Fong tien wak gik (heavenly lance)
20. Lin wan gau jeet bin (continuous and returning 9 sectional steel whip)
21. Kwon tong gau jeet bin dahn dao hop lau (9 sectional whip and saber combined)
22. Chut sing gaan (7 star ribbed sword)
23. Seung sao dai dao (two handed dai dao)
24. Baat gwa dahn dao (eight diagram saber)
25. Ng long baat gwa gwon (fifth son eight diagram staff)
26. Seung bei sao (double daggers)
27. Saam yee cherng ( three loyal spear)
28. Sei lo yee jeet gwon (four route two sectional staff)
29. Sueng loy jeet dim (double needles intercepting points)
30. Muy fa saam jeet gwon (plum blossom three sectional staff)
31. Shir cherng bai moon (snake spear closing gate)
32. Yen Ching daahn dao (Yen Ching’s single saber)
33. Baat sin gim (8 immortals straight sword)
34. Joy baat sin gim (durnken 8 immortals straight sword)
35. Joy jao dei tong lin wan gwon (drunken ground rolling continous staff)
36. Chut sing guei (seven star single cane)
37. Chut sing seung guei (seven star double cane)
38. Baat gwa seung fu dao au (8 trigrams double tiger hooks)
39. San Choy gim (San Choy’s straight sword
40. Chut sing fei choy (seven star flying hammer)

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