Opposing 10,000 Men
To master Mantis
Boxing requires the training of gung. Without the
training of gung Mantis Boxing can not be mastered.
originally labored in the kitchen of
Shaolin. When the temple came under attack
by the Red Turbans he single handedly scared
away the hordes of bandits with his stove
poker. Later, he occupied the seat of the
monastery's guardian spirit. A diety with
the strength and bravery to oppose 10,000
Picture from a Ming Dynasty staff fighting
The training of
gung harmonizes three aspects of our self:
- The body
- The mind
goal is a prolonged life and a lucid mind. It can be
said that the purpose of our life is to follow our
spiritual path. Only with a healthy body and a clear
mind is following our spiritual path possible.
is the idea behind Damo's teaching of exercises to
Buddhist monks at Shaolin 1500 years ago. Whether
that really happened or not does not take away from
the fact that it has been a popular story for many
centuries that Damo taught kung fu exercises to the
monks of Shaolin to strengthen their spiritual
practice and defend their temple.
Summary of Yin and Yang of Gung Fu
Within the gung of
Mantis Boxing is a summary of the training in three
- How we may
have the strength and bravery to oppose 10,000
requirements to complete this training.
- The effects of
Summary of Yin
and Yang of Gung Fu discusses the key terms qi,
jing and spirit.
Qi and Jing
Qi is that which
moves throughout our body. Essence or jing is that which
On its most basic
level our qi is breath and our essence is jing or
semen. Our qi and essence are represented by the
Since fire is also
yang it is sometimes taken to mean our qi and
essence. Fire is also taken to mean the heart for it
is like a burning furnace which warms the kidney
Mind and Spirit
Yin represents mind
or spirit whose thoughts lie hidden like the shadows
of darkness. Yin sinks like water while kidneys move the
water, so the terms yin, spirit, water and kidney
are used to describe each other. This keeps the
practitioner mindful of the properties of mind and
Kidneys are the chief
yin organ. The kidneys control and aid the fire of
the heart. Since fire also affects the water
attributes of the kidneys they are often said to be
water and fire as well as harmonizing yin and yang
refer to our mind, qi and essence as well as our
kidney and heart.
Mutual aiding of
water and fire means the heart and
kidneys aid and balance each other. For the average
person this is a way to say that a healthy mind and
body is a balanced mind and body.
The Power to Master Mantis
The physical aspect
of the gung are postures which work to keep our
internal organs in balance so that they work
together in harmony. In other words, the functions
of organs such as kidney and heart as well as
functions relating to them can be strengthened or
regulated by certain physical exercises. This is the
underlying basis of the postures of yoga and something
in common with the gung of Mantis Boxing.
of the internal organs
provides the power to master Mantis
This is the
summary of the yin and yang of gung fu. When the
gung is complete and the strength attained mastery
is accomplished. After mastery one can oppose
Using this gung
is no children's game. It requires the training of
qi and the stabilizing of one's essence for 100 days
in order for water and fire to mutually aid and for
yin and yang to correspond. Then you can attain the
bravery of 10,000 men.
train the qi without stabilizing jing or stabilizing
jing without refining qi unbalances water and fire
and puts yin and yang out of harmony.
In such a
situation your limitless gung fu becomes useless in
The Carp Stands Up
Caution! For those who have never trained
back bend exercises, or have not done them
recently, there is a very real danger of
injury. Students should practice these exercises under the guidance of an experienced master!
the Summary of Yin and Yang of Gung Fu is
the posture Carp Stands Up, pictured here.
Bend the waist
protrude the belly use all the body's strength.
Seal the anus regulate
Harmonize yin and yang
stretch the myriad joints.
Each joint has to
adopt to its own qi.
In practicing the gung
don't release the qi.
To let go you must let
out the qi
With a sincere heart
and mind success is guaranteed.
The Carp Stands Up
from Luohan Gung
the well known exercise Luohan Gung is the very same
posture. The text is somewhat different.
Hands and feet grasp
the earth press the body up.
Apply all your
strength, blood and qi spring forth.
Bend the waist
protrude the belly harmonize the joints and bones.
Unless your strength
is forceful otherwise success is not achieved.
A body durable and
strong is not easy to obtain.
respiration with orderly repetition.
The roads of 18 gates
are yet to be completed.
You should constantly
keep in mind in how to perform them as one.
everyone can perform a back bend with powerful
by injury, age or maybe new to the
training, some people find this exercise too
difficult to perform or they can only hold it for a
few seconds, not long enough to receive any benefit.
Fish on the Wall
those who have difficulty developing the speed and
strength of carp stands up there is a step by step
process. This is to start the practice with your
back to the wall. Stretch your hands behind you
until you reach the wall and walk your way down the
picture shows the movement just as you make contact
with the wall.
Attach to the wall
like the bending of a bow.
Turn your face toward
the sky fill your chest with qi.
Press your feet flat
and apply all your strength.
Pull and turn wei lu
keep the waist suspended.
The key is in always
nourishing your respiration.
tendons and durable bones is not an easy task.
Don't discard this
gung as useless.
Curtailing wine and
lust provides a speedy attainment.
Pulling Wei Lu
Wei Lu is known in the West as GV-1. The
first point of the governing vessel. The
governing vessel can be said to lead or
govern the yang of the body. This point is
needled in acupuncture to extend the
strength of the kidneys or to treat
conditions of weak kidneys.
Governing vessel depicted in 1624 Lei Jing
meridian is shown here from start to finish. Wei lu
is located at the
base of the spine.
is a close up of the section with wei lu, it is the
point at the bottom. Wei lu is an alternate name,
the point name is written here as chang qiang.
Carp stands up
requires us to push wei lu as far away from the ground as
possible. A posture which is physically difficult
and requiring great strength also works to
strengthen our kidneys.
Training Mind and Spirit
The power of the
mind increases when we gain control over it. We
control the mind by learning to quiet the mind. From
first to last it is to lead the qi with the mind.
With a mind under our conscious control we focus and
direct it as we wish all while exploring ever deeper our own
inner subtleties. Through this yoga posture we
adjust and harmonize our inner organs. With a
harmonized internal body do we make our thoughts and
That is why kung fu
and Mantis Boxing are a life long practice. Not only
do we train the body, but we train the mind and
For more on qi read
The Revolving Wheel of Water and Fire