I only found out a couple of months after this video was published, on one of China's Net TVs, that my long time brother-friend, Sifu Wong Yu Hua, China Kwongsai Mantis Clan, had featured me, RDH, and my students, (and photos of Lam Sang, USA), in this video. Thanks to Brother Wong for that! Even though I had seen him several times, he never mentioned it. Those photos I had given him many years ago.
Wong Yu Hua Sifu is in receipt of China's Intangible Cultural Heritage Award and the above short video is about his work. He is a treasure of Hakka Mantis, Unicorn culture, and Dit Da medicine. The drawings of Lee Siem and Chung Yel Chong are not factual, only impressions. And the video above has been edited from the original. In fact, this short video is very informative, with many key major and pivotal events pictured. Such as, several photos of Zhang Gun Hoi, 1950s, who was producer of the Wong Fei Hong and Jook Lum Temple movie, in Hong Kong. Zhang, the movie producer, was a very skillful Mantis man and student of Wong Yuk Kong. Enjoy the Wong Yuk Kong Clan's Kwongsai Mantis and Unicorn Clan in China! Join us soon!
Huizhou Chu Gar - Lao Sui's Family and Disciples
Above: Sifus Chen Jianming, Ma Jiuhua, Xei Tiansheng play Chu Gar Som Bo Gin from Ma Mingsen. Ma Mingsen was married to Lao Sui's daughter, circa 1930s. Ma Jiuhua is Lao Sui's grandson. In China, today, the Lao Sui and Ma family still live together. Chen Sifu asked me to join, in opening the first public Chu Gar Wuguan (School), in Huizhou, last year. Xie Sifu operates a public health club and closed Chu Gar wuguan in Yuanzhou, Guangdong.
Above: The Chu Gar Family and Disciples of Lao Sui, in Lao's Hometown. Chen Jian Ming SIfu, Ma Jiu Hua SIfu, Xie Tian Sheng Sifu, RDH.
I've come to appreciate these three brother-friends, sincerely. They are rough, on the outside, but Mantis-hearted, on the inside; soft and tender. Their transmission is pure from second generation Chu Gar of Lao Sui, in Hong Kong, and returned by Ma Ming Sen to Huizhou China, in 1941. Their China Chu Gar Mantis transmission is still undiluted by the myriad of styles that influenced Chu Gar, in the 1950s and 60s, in Hong Kong. Mostly hard bridge and turning hand, one can call this transmission a standard of hard bridge Chu Gar Mantis.
To clarify, Yip Sui (Chow Gar) was one of the second generation students of Lao Sui. Only Yip called what he learned from Lao Sui, as "Chow Gar", instead of Chu Gar. Lao's family, in China, continue the "Chu" Gar transmission. Whether the late grandteacher Yip Sui was politically correct or not, Yip continued and expanded Lao Sui's Chu Gar. Unfortunately, it has become confused as "Chow Gar", today. Chow Gar is only Yip Sui's version of his teacher's Chu Gar.
Furthermore, we can see that the original Chu Family Chu Gar doesn't exactly conform to Lao Sui's teaching and transmission. See "Chu Family Chu Gar" below.
Above: RDH plays free style China and USA Kwongsai and Chu Gar Mantis at Xie Tian Sheng Sifu's Chu Gar Wuguan (my left arm had a broken bicep and tendons this day). Photo: RDH - Xie's Chu Gar Mantis Clan.
As stated above, Xie is Ma Mingsen's disciple. I consider Xie Sifu, (in red), a real brother-friend. It is readily apparent, to all, that he is deeply Hakka Mantis. He is chiefly concerned about the transmission; the methods of form and function, in Hakka Mantis boxing. He visits and exchanges with many Hakka Mantis Pai. And his students, including his son, follow his intent. We've had many good times, in public and Mantis life, in which, I have appreciated his brother-friendship. I will continue to share and exchange with him. It was a pleasure to see him and his student, Ah Li, in Pingshan Town, a couple of weeks ago, along with Chen and Ma Sifus. See below.
(RDH -- (I can play Hakka Mantis single man forms for half an hour and never repeat - and two man forms for two hours - but no one has the patience, so i just free style! -- that was a saying Harry Sun Sibok passed to me. Lam Sang, on Broom Street, NYC, asked Harry to come back and finish the four seasons - he didn't - there is a reason why!)
Sifu Anthony Chan - Lao Sui 1st Generation - late Chu Kai Ming Grandteacher; Hong Kong, 1928
Anthony Chan (Left) and his late Sifu Chu Kai Ming (1970), First Generation Chu Gar from Lao Sui
Anthony Chan Sifu is one of kind. To understand, you have to know him. The problem is, he doesn't want to be known, by anyone. He is a Sifu, Historian, and Collector, of all things Hakka Kungfu, and especially Hakka Mantis, and that includes form and function of every Hakka boxing style, and he can play them all. His transmission is first generation Lao Sui Chu Gar Mantis from Chu Kai Ming circa 1920s, Hong Kong. He has many interesting stories, such as, Lam Sang (USA Kwongsai) and Lao Sui having schools opposite each other in Saukeiwan, Hong Kong. And a northern Mantis book with a story of Lao Sui being defeated, in Hong Kong. And the book from 1957 that has Chung Yel Chong, Kwongsai Mantis, playing form and another with Chu Kwong Hua playing Som Bo Gin. He once had them all, but gave them up to go become a monk, in India, for three years, only afterwards, to return to China Hakka Mantis, in Hong Kong.
By exchange and his brother-friendship, I received the rudimentary transmission of first generation Lao Sui, Chu Kai Ming. It is a loss that Sifu Anthony Chan doesn't care if anyone else cares, about Hakka Mantis. He and I agree, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
Special thanks to Anthony Chan Sifu, for his transmission. He shared preliminary work, warm-ups, horse, fundamentals, basic 12 hands, and forms of his branch, Lao Sui first generation, Chu Gar Mantis, with me, to give to you. In time, I will share all, in book and DVD, unless you join my class here, in China! Welcome.
Lao Sui's Chu Gar Family Visits Wong's Kwongsai Mantis Guang Wu Tang in Pingshan Town
L-R) Xie, Chen, Wong, Ma, RDH Sifus - Chu and Kwongsai Mantis Allied in Pingshan Town
Kwongsai - Chu Mantis Camaraderie - Esprit de corps
A few weeks before this summer, I asked the Huizhou Lao Sui Chu Gar Clan to visit me in Pingshan, the hometown of Kwongsai Mantis. We first toured the large estate of the Pingshan Hakka Museum, (see below), followed by a sumptuous Hakka lunch banquet, but the highlight was visiting the Hall of Yuk Kong, (Guang Wu Tang), headed by his son, Wong Yu Hua.
Lest you think the links herein are about commercialism, I remind you these people care less than more, if you know them. They have joined my interest to preserve and promote Hakka Mantis, all for you, at their expense. I've known Wong for some 22 years or more now, and he has never asked a penny of me, nor accepted from me. Neither have the Chu Mantis brothers. Our interest is preservation and promotion of Hakka Mantis, foremost. In 1989, I lived in Beijing, publishing martial art magazines with China Sports Magazine. The slogan was, "Wushu to the world" and later, "One world, one dream" during the Olympics. Our Hakka Mantis effort is no different, "preserve and promote".
Hong Kong Chu Gar Sifu Cheng Chiu visits Wong's Kwongsai Mantis Guang Wu Tong, in Pingshan Town
L-R) RDH, Wong Yu Hua, Cheng Chiu
L-R) RDH, Cheng Chiu, Tony Wong (Canada), Ah Zang, Wong Yu Hua
Also, in the month before summer, I asked my Sihing, Cheng Chiu Sifu, to visit us, in Pingshan. Cheng Chiu Sifu is the son of my Sifu, Cheng Wan, Hong Kong - Chu Gar Mantis. Chiu has been teaching Chu Gar Mantis and Unicorn every Friday night, in Hong Kong, for nearly two decades. I first visited his father in 1989, at the request of my USA Chu Gar Sifu, Gene Chen. But, I was declined. Cheng Sifu was well known in Hong Kong as a kungfu cultural icon. At that time, he didn't want to see me, a "round eye". It took me more than a decade to convince Cheng Wan Sifu to give me his transmission, in 2002. He did, with open arms, calling all my teachers by name, down the line, Dong Yi Long, Chen Ching Hong (Gene), Choy Gam Man, etc.
During his 2002 annual celebration, which he had for 35 years, he presented me as "Standing Chairman" of his Chu Gar Mantis Association. And unexpectedly provided a Certificate, to authenticate the fact.
After his 2002 annual celebration, I saw Cheng Wan Sifu each month, at least once, until he passed in 2009. Just before he passed, he filmed all his Lao Sui second generation, Chu Kwong Hua, teaching for me. And over a two year period he passed on his 35 years and more, of annual celebrations, on DVDs. It is a collection of several hundred hours of Hakka Mantis boxing on film, dating back to the 1950s.
Last month, his son, Cheng Chiu, my Sihing, in the pictures above, was a welcome guest and shared many common interests, especially the Hakka Unicorn, at Wong's Kwongsai Guang Wu Tang, in Pingshan Town. He and Wong also had common brother-friends in Hong Kong, Lao Sui's disciples, who actually hand make the Unicorn heads and bodys for both Kwongsai and Chu Mantis today, in Hong Kong and China. Slowly but surely, I will share more, if time allows.
Below is the four gates book upcoming featuring Cheng Chiu Sifu, from Hong Kong. The video clip features Billy Li, Instructor, playing "four gates spring power."
Sidebar: Hakka Mantis covers 1, 3, 4, 8 directions, straight and circular, like the 24 cycles of a 365 day year, each the magic 15. One "sees" the opponent's shadow to know what time of the day it is... You see the opponent's shadow to know where his weakness is... Lam Sang had a vital point calendar" for each of the four seasons" which illustrated the 108 "weak points" according to each season...in the winter, the blood runs deep to keep the organs warm, in the summer it is in the skin...it is hard to find this transmission today, anywhere.
Yang Shou - 1st Generation Lao Sui Disciple - Yang Tanglu Sigong and Yang Wei Sifureturn to top
The Yang Clan, under Yang Wei, holds regular Chu Gar and Unicorn Celebrations at Yang Mei Gang, Dongguan, China. They are all Hakka.
Yang Tanglu SIgong
Yang Wei Sifu
Yang Jing Wen Sifu and the grandson, Yang Wen Dao (R) of the Late Yang Shou
RDH and the Yang Clan enjoy Brother-Friendship
Yang Clan Chu Gar Hong Kong - L-R) Yang Tanglu, Robet Ho, RDH, Neon Yang, Elsa (wife of Neon). Most photos courtesy of Neon and Elsa.
All the people above, of the Yang Clan of Chu Gar Mantis descend from Yang Shou, a first generation disciple of Lao Sui, In 1920s/30s Hong Kong. Yang Shou was a mysterious and powerful figure in Chu Gar and Hakka Mantis. I have even heard some in Kwongsai Mantis call him "uncle." There are no extant photos of him, even in his hometown but, it is known he returned to Qingxi, Dongguan, China, his hometown, in the 1940s, and passed. He, Yang Shou, taught five good students, including Wang Lai. Wang Lai was born in 1912 and died, at 96 years old. It is the Chu Gar transmission from his student Wang Lai, that the Yang Clan in Qingxi, Yang's hometown, in Dongguan, China, continues preserving and promoting Chu Gar Mantis and Hakka Unicorn culture. They are all Hakka Chinese. Chiefs of the Yang Clan today are Yang Tanglu Sigong and Yang Wei SIfu, as shown above.
Yang Wei SIfu accepted his first student, in 1981. In the beginning, he accepted only students with the same surname as his clan, Yang, but later decided to accept any and all.
Today, their Chu Gar transmission includes, horse, two man dui jong, san shou basics, forms Som Bo Gin, Four Gate, Six Gate, Eight Gate, Staff, and Hakka Unicorn culture. In fact, when I, RDH, cooperated with Chen Jianming Sifu last year to open the first public Chu Gar wuguan in Huizhou, Lao Sui's hometown, it was Yang Wei SIfu's clan who performed the Unicorn celebrations.
I plan to release a book detailing this clan, in the near future. And I will be including the Yang Clan in my comparative analysis of Hakka Mantis upcoming. There are similarities and differences in the various Hakka Mantis Schools, that when understood, increase one's ability, in boxing. One similarity is the "Hat Yi Sao" Beggars Hand posture.
Chu (Zhu) Jun San Sifu demonstrates Chu Family Mantis
The founder of Chu Gar Hakka Mantis was Chu Ya Nan. This is fact. Chu's ancestral home still stands in Meizhou City, Wuhua County, Zhuanshui Town, today, in 2014. It is well known there is no "Chow" - the relatives of Chu Gar's founder are still living, in this location. In fact, the founder's son, Chu Jin, lived near Lao Sui's hometown, in Boluo County, and today, in 2014, the great grandson of the founder, still lives there and keeps a shrine. You can go to visit them. Come along and I'll take you there!
Chu Jun San, above, is a member of this family and his Chu Mantis is said to be similar to the original. However, it needs further cooperation to determine to what extent Lao Sui's teaching differs. It is readily apparent that there are differences, but there are also similarities in technique. All Chu Gar we know today, in the western world, has descended from Lao Sui's transmission. Chu Jun San Sifu's occupation is a policeman, special agent. He lives in a coastal city on the China side, near Hong Kong. He has visited the Huizhou school grand opening and joined me, us, on several occasions. I have his invitation to join him, on the coast, and explore this Chu original family art more. I do plan to join him some time in the future, as part of my comparative analysis, and also because I enjoy his company!
Weng Chun Sifu Tony Wong, from Canada, trains Hakka Mantis, in Pingshan Town, with RDH return to top
Above: Wong's Kwongsai Mantis "Guang Wu Tang" (middle) receives Chu Gar SIfu Cheng Chiu (L) and Tong Wong, Weng Chun Sifu (R)
During April and May, Sifu Tony Wong, of Toronto, Canada, came to Pingshan to train Hakka Mantis, with me. Wong Sifu is a Weng Chun Teacher, but experienced, as a lifelong martial artist, in many styles. He is Hakka Chinese, with roots in Jamaica!
By coincidence, Chu Gar Sifu, Cheng Chiu, (above) from Hong Kong, was also visiting me. And together with my local student, Sean Robinson, from the UK (below), we all had a jolly good Mantis time! I took Tony and Cheng Chiu to the local "Guang Wu Tang" of Kwongsai Mantis, headed by Wong Yu Hua. Of course, Cheng Sifu's teaches Unicorn and so Wong Yu Hua and he examined the oldest of many Unicorn heads in Wong's possession. It was some 30 years old.
Later Tony, with his wife, left for Taiwan to visit relatives and friends. Among them Tony visited Sifu Adam Hsu and also Dr. Simon Han, an avid Hakka Mantis player who has also studied with me, in Pingshan Town. If you are in the Toronto, Canada area and interested in Hakka Mantis contact Tony Wong Sifu at the link above. He welcomes you.
RDH teaching twice a week at local Hakka Museum; International Students and Visitors, Local Students and Visitors
Pingshan Town Hakka Museum is on all GPS maps! Come to visit and train with us!
RDH, (R), has been teaching twice a week at the local Hakka Museum.
Sean W. Robinson (L), is in his second year of private, one on one, training with RDH
Toronto, Canada Sifu Tony Wong (L) comes to train with RDH, in Pingshan, at the Hakka Museum Outdoors
Above: L-R) RDH (Pingshan Local), Chu Gar Sifu Cheng Chiu from Hong Kong, and Tony Wong Sifu, from Canada, at the Pingshan Hakka Museum
Dawan Shijue, Pingshan Town Hakka Museum was established, in the 1700s, and is a large estate covering several acres. Inside, are various courtyards, with displays of ancient Hakka village skills, updated with multimedia tours! A very unique place that gives one a respect of ancient knowledge. I've been teaching twice a week here, especially on rainy days, for a little while now. This fortress was only inhabited by those with the surname Zhang. And today, it is the Zhang family who are its caretakers. Of course, they are all Hakka Chinese. In fact, one of the current caretakers tells me his grandfather there, some 100 years ago, also played Hakka Mantis! Come take a tour and join us in training!
If you are in the Shenzhen, Guangdong, China area and wish to study Hakka Mantis, you may contact Sean. He is a lifelong martial artist with black belts, in many arts, and has lived around the world studying. He is in his second year of private, one to one, training with me, RDH, now. To contact Sean, by email, click here.
Comparative Analysis of Hakka Mantis Transmissions - China-USA Kwongsai Mantis and 5 Clans of first and second generation Lao Sui Chu Gar Mantis
I have been working on a comparative analysis which not only involves the differences and similarities, in the boxing, but also, the mythology and symbolism. I'm not in a hurry and new revelations are expected. At present, an analysis of China's Kwongsai Mantis, in reference to Lam Sang's USA Kwongsai Mantis, is deserved. This may reveal some controversial facts. The late Grandmaster Lam Sang is the only person from Pingshan, China, the hometown of Kwongsai Jook Lum Temple Mantis, that has a "Som Bo Gin." form. There is no Kwongsai Mantis Som Bo Gin form, here, in China. Here, in China, Som Bo Gin is a Chu Gar Mantis form. The China "Three" forms and Lam Sang's Som Bo Gin are also quite different, in their sequencing of postures, bridging concept, turnarounds, and the use of force.
Additionally, the 5 transmissions of Lao Sui's first and second generation Chu Gar, that I have received, have their differences and similarities. And those differences, in the Chu Gar clans, once outlined, and then compared to China and USA Kwongsai Mantis will shed more light on the essence of Hakka Mantis boxing.
And in the study of Hakka Mantis, we should not exclude the Chu Gar lineages, that are not descended from Lao Sui, but earlier transmissions, before he received.
It is only by fully understanding, first hand, a comparative analysis, that one may increase further understanding and ability, in Hakka Mantis. I hope my efforts to preserve and promote Hakka Mantis will be to your benefit.
Upcoming Southern Mantis Press Books in Hardcover Collector's Editions
Sifu Anthony Chan's Chu Gar transmission of First Generation Lao Sui
Anthony is a living treasure of Hakka Kungfu. I'm not sure how yet, but I will pass along his transmission to you. Unless you come here hand to hand, it will likely be book and DVD. At least, you won't have to peek thru a hole in the wall! Welcome to join me.
MantisFlix Volume 1006 on DVD
I've completed this new MFLIX film, but I haven't released it yet. You will find it interesting and beneficial. It features Sean W. Robinson, in the intro and exits. It will be the format used in the upcoming release of some 100 hours of Hakka Mantis videos left to me by my late Chu Gar Sifu, by ceremony, Cheng Wan! Cheng Sifu appointed me standing chairman in 2002, and charged me to carry forward his transmission of second generation, Chu Gar Mantis, from Lao Sui and Chu Kwong Hua. He, Cheng Sifu, was like Anthony Chan, forward thinking, with a desire for you to benefit from Hakka Mantis!
Look for this! You can watch 35 years of Hong Kong annual celebrations by watching MantisFlix! Volumes 1001-1005 were video ebooks but, hereafter MantisFlix will be on DVD! Watch the Hong Kong annual celebrations, on MFLIX VOL 1006 - 1108, for 35 years and more - you have nothing to lose, but your understanding of traditional kungfu and Hakka Mantis!
Huizhou School Grand Opening
You have a good opportunity to join a Grand Opening, of a Hakka Mantis School, last year. I will release this 50 min documentary which shows the pomp and circumstance involved. In fact, it is historic not only by virtue of being the first public Chu Gar School opened in China, but also, because it was attended by Yip Sui's "Chow Gar" students headed by Li Tinloi. They saw Yip Sui listed, in the history of Chu Gar. There is no Chow Gar, in China.
Southern Mantis Press is a POD publisher of books, DVDs, eBooks, and various media and printed matter related to Kwongsai, Chu Gar and Iron Ox Southern Praying Mantis Kungfu. Our books are distributed by Ingram Book Company, the largest book wholesale distributor in the world. Distribution partners include Baker & Taylor, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Gardners and Bertrams among others.
What We Do
Preserving and Promoting Kwongsai Bamboo Forest Temple, Chu Gar and Iron Ox Southern Praying Mantis through an ongoing "hands on" Survey of the origins, history and practices in China for more than a decade!
Publishing electronic and printed media promoting and teaching Hakka Praying Mantis and Unicorn Culture!
News and Events
The Southern Mantis Press complete website and more new media is scheduled to be online July first. Keep an eye for more details. And a new blog will replace our news column on this site.
If you haven't, then check the latest China Mantis news and our news archive going back several years!