What is Monkey Kung Fu?
When it comes to the forms of Kung Fu, few are as popular or sought-after as Monkey Kung Fu. Unfortunately, Monkey Kung Fu is often the laughing stock of many martial art gyms.
So is Monkey Kung Fu a practical joke, or truly practical as a martial arts form? Let’s take a closer look at Monkey Kung Fu and see if this type of Kung Fu belongs in the gym.
What are the Different Types of Monkey Kung Fu?
From China to Brazil, Monkey Kung Fu has been around for hundreds of years. Some variations are more for show than anything else but the moves in these forms have their roots in actual martial arts and just like any other style taught today is constantly evolving.
The most common styles of “show” Monkey Kung Fu are Wushu Monkey and Hou Quan Monkey. These monkey styles make use of flips, cartwheels, high kicks, and more to create beautiful and amazing martial art forms.
These showy martial arts styles are very athletically-demanding. However, they are not practical in self-defense or combat-related situations.
Next, you have the Monkey Kung Fu styles that are found within in bigger styles of martial arts.
For example, Hung Gar has a monkey style that is often taught in some school curriculums. Other systems like Choy Li Fut, Shaolin, as well as some Mantis styles are also utilized.
These systems teach aspects of Monkey Kung Fu movements, but there are two main issues:
First, these systems teach you to act like a monkey rather than work on true, practical primal movements. This method simply looks silly and is never very practical.
Secondly, these systems rarely practice their monkey movements – which makes them sloppy, unrefined, and lack the dedication that makes the movements useful.
Is There a Practical Style of Monkey Kung Fu?
The good news is that there is a practical style of Monkey Kung Fu. Six Monkey Martial Arts teaches the deadliest of all Monkey Kung Fu styles: Tai Shing.
Also known as Da Shen Men, this style translates to “Great Sage” Kung Fu. Tai Shing is a very rare system with five sub-styles: Tall, Lost, Stone, Wood and Drunken Monkey. These five sub-styles all teach devastating martial arts techniques that allow you to break down opponents quickly.
What Makes Monkey Kung Fu Practical?
You read earlier that many martial arts systems only teach “showy” Monkey Kung Fu, while systems actually teach deadly techniques. However, if they are all technically “Monkey Kung Fu”, why is there any difference in practicality?
The answer is found in the training. As some systems only teach Monkey Kung Fun as a small part of their curriculum, their training in that area is very small and limited in scope and effectiveness.
However, systems like Tai Shing spend a great deal of time focusing on the primal techniques of Monkey Kung Fu in every class. This helps their Monkey Kung Fu to offer a more effective and practical methodology that can be used efficiently.
Breaking Down Tai Shing (Da Shen Men)
Many potential students search for information about Monkey Kung Fu, hoping to find a methodology that can teach them effective skills.
As the most effective of the methods, Tai Shing has students begin with stance and leg training. They will then move up to harmonizing body movements that help them make their strikes more powerful.
Next students learn two-man drills. Tai Shing teaches the three main principles for any practical martial art: distance control, timing, and reactivity. These are taught throughout all sash (ranking) levels. Tai Shing two-man drills teach these three main skills while also introducing specialty techniques like root snatching (breaking an opponent’s stance), bridge destroying (taking out an opponent’s guard), 12 alarm points (pressure points), and much more.
There is so much to Tai Shing that it cannot be put into one blog. If you would like to learn more about Tai Shing Monkey Kung Fu, we invite you to visit our website online sixmonkeymartialarts.com to unlock even more wisdom about the entire art of Monkey Kung Fu.
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