Monkey style kung fu is a fascinating and unique martial arts system that is based on the movement of monkeys and apes. It is a self-defense system that has been lauded for being both unique and effective. While the exact origins of the style are hard to trace, it is believed to have been mentioned in Chinese history as far back as 206 B.C.-220 A.D. Later during the Song Dynasty, Emperor Taizu, known for inventing the Long Fist style of kung fu, is also believed to have utilized a monkey style of martial arts.
Monkey Style Kung Fu
However, most today correlate the beginnings of Monkey kung fu with a man by the name of Kou Si, who was from a much different time period. Word has it that Kou Si was alive in China as the Qing Dynasty neared its end ( in the early 1900's). While in jail, he observed a group of monkeys who were acting as prison guards from his cell. He studied their movements, which he was able to possibly connect to the martial arts he had studied. By the time he was released from prison, Kou Si had already begun to develop a new style of fighting that emulated primate movement.
Monkey Style Kung Fu
The martial arts type Kou Si developed is called Da Sheng Men, or "Great Sage" Kung Fu. He named the style after the legendary Monkey King Sun Wukong from the Buddhist tale Journey to the West. Later, his student, Geng De Hai, morphed his prior knowledge of Pi Gua Kung Fu with the teachings of Kou Si to form a derivative monkey style called Da Sheng Pi Gua.
Monkey Style Kung Fu
There are variations of the monkey kung fu styles developed many years ago by Kou Si. The five best known are Drunken Monkey, Stone Monkey, Lost Monkey, Stand Monkey or Tall Monkey, and Wooden Monkey. Each style has its own unique characteristics and methods of fighting.
Drunken Monkey uses a lot of throat, eye and groin strikes as well as tumbling and falling techniques. It incorporates a lot of false steps to give the appearance it is defenseless and uses a lot of off balance strikes.
Stone Monkey is a "physical" style. The practitioner trains up his body to exchange blows with the opponent - Stone Monkey uses a kind of Iron body method.
Lost Monkey feigns a lot. Practitioners of Lost Monkey give the appearance of being lost and confused to deceive the opponent into underestimating his abilities, and he retaliates when it is least expected.
Standing Monkey or Tall Monkey is a relatively conventional monkey that likes to keep an upright position and avoid tumbling around. This style is more suited for tall people. Tall monkey likes to climb body limbs to make attacks at pressure points.
Wooden Monkey mimics a serious, angry monkey that attacks and defends with ferocity. The attitude of this monkey is more serious, and its movements are noticeably less light than the other monkeys. Wood monkey likes to grapple and bring its opponent to the ground.
Monkey style kung fu is known for its unpredictability and deceptive movements. It emphasizes low to the ground movements, swift attacks to vital areas, and a lot of rolling and tumbling. Practitioners of Monkey style kung fu also incorporate a wide array of facial monkey expressions into their fighting style, including happiness, anger, fear, fright, confusion and bewilderment.
Forms are an important part of Monkey Style Kung Fu. These forms are different than what most are used to. In fact, they can even be funny to watch, as practitioners may stop in the middle of doing swift movements of a dangerous nature to act like a monkey (scratch, etc.). Weapons like the sword, spear, and iron ring are also utilized within the style.
In terms of training, Monkey style kung fu requires a lot of physical conditioning and agility. Practitioners must be able to move quickly and gracefully, while also being able to execute powerful strikes and kicks. They must also be able to defend themselves effectively and counterattack with speed and precision.
Monkey style kung fu is not a hard art to learn, but it does require a lot of dedication and practice. It is important to find a qualified instructor who can teach you the proper techniques and help you develop the necessary skills. Monkey style kung fu can be a fun and rewarding martial art to learn, as it is unlike any other style and offers a unique set of challenges and benefits.
In conclusion, Monkey style kung fu is a fascinating and unique martial arts system that is based on the movement of monkeys and apes. While its origins are hard to trace, it is believed to have been practiced for thousands of years in China. Today, Monkey style kung fu is still practiced by many martial artists around the world, and is known for its unpredictability, deceptive movements, and effectiveness in self-defense situations. If you are interested in learning Monkey style kung fu, be sure to find a qualified instructor and begin your training today.