The Rising and Falling of the Mantis Fist
Rising and falling is such an
essential aspect of Mantis boxing that
the principles are immortalized within the old manuscript
Outline and Details of Short Strikes Important Moving Hands.
also known as
Treatise of Short Strikes,
is shown in a page recently made public in China.
The front of this manuscript has the famous Sheng Shao Dao Ren as
Except for the title the key words of
short strikes are the same or almost exactly
the same as recorded in other versions of this manuscript that I have come across.
But, how does rising and falling appear in
the solo forms and applications of Mantis Boxing?
Strike low strike
The following examples are taken from
Luan Jie, one of the oldest known forms of Mantis Boxing.
Shi Zhengzhong does liao sou /lift
and search with the left hand. It
can be a strike to the groin or leg or a preparation for a take down
(pictures of applications below).
left hand, after falling is sure to rise up again. This move
illustrates how The form immediately follows the preceding low
strike with a high strike, here called gu er chuan chuei / secure
the ear hook punch. Other manuscripts call this move pierce the ear.
Note: it is in the same direction as the previous move, liao sao,
but the picture was taken at a different angle.
What follows is the original sonnet for
rising and falling. Look at how rising and falling are defined and see if they don't perfectly describe the principles
involved in the following pictures.
Rising is to strike low and
Falling is to attack high and come down.
Middle falling and middle rising.
Lateral falling and lateral rising.
Middle falling and lateral rising.
Lateral rising and middle falling.
Left and right are interconnected.
No need to consider the beginning
or the end.
The second to
last line, left and
right are interconnected. The attacks of rising
and falling can interconnect with each other from one side to the
In fact, that is exactly what happens with this road of Luan Jie.
The last line, no need to consider the beginning
or the end.
This means that whether you start the attack high or low either
way can be considered the beginning. It is not predetermined
like the strict order of a form. It is based on the circumstances of
The Third Road of
starts with a high right strike.
I dodge to the left while blocking with
both my hands for the purpose of grabbing with my right hand.
I perform liao sou /lift and search. I secure his right strike
with a right grab while sinking my body to strike the groin. Jim can
defend himself by sinking his body and left arm.
This is rising is to strike low and...
Zhang Dekui, while he was in his
70's, performs the solo
version of liao sou.
For a hook punch to the head. In this case we are close enough for
me to hit him in the back of the neck.
Jim ducks the hook punch.
After the hook punch my fist swings down
and returns to strike high again. Jim blocks it with a back fist.
My left back fist
hooks his right hand .
Zhang Dekui performing the back fist
that follows the hook punch. Note the follow through of his back
As I secure his right hand with my left
my right hand performs breaking punch to his gut Rising is to strike low and...
Zhang Dekui performs the right
breaking punch. Note the stance. Traditionally called bu ding bu ba
/ not a ding not an eight.
...turn upwards. My right strike
to his gut swings up to his neck.
From here we can say falling is to
attack high and...
...come down. The next move is to
let the hand come down for a strike to the groin. It is called
snatch the treasure at the bottom of the sea. Performed by Shi
Following snatch the treasure at the
bottom of the sea is once again a high strike called li pi /
powerful cleave. Here within this small section of movements the
principle of rising and falling are clearly on display[