White Ape Steals the Peach
arm, control his head then jump up high to strike from
below and you have the uncanny technique known as White
Ape Steals the Peach.
The name White Ape Steals the Peach
is most widely known as a form of the Seven Star Mantis
style. This well known Seven Star Mantis form is named after this
technique White Ape Steals the Peach.
is also found under the same name within 'Zhai Yao yi
duan - Essentials Form
section one' of Seven Star, Plum Flower and Taiji Mantis.
What is not so well known is that
this technique is listed in the applications section of
Plum Flower Mantis under Seven Techniques of Upper
This section of hair restraining
techniques includes such moves
Inner Threading of the Needle
Rising Leak and Snatching the
Hanging Snow on Green Mountain
Gibbon Plucks the Melon
Braided Hair or Death!
times hair grabbing techniques are less popular as the
modern hair fashion is to keep the hair cut short.
During the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) all males were
required by law to grow their hair long and tie it in a
braid known as the queue. The penalty for cutting your
queue was death. This hair fashion was a sign of
subjugation of the Chinese under their Manchu rulers.
The only ones exempt from this law were ordained
We find many
types of hair grabbing coming from that era, with the
best known example being white ape steals the peach.
Raise the Body
complete name of the technique in the Essentials form of Plum
Flower Mantis is, 'qi shen bai yuan tou tao' which means,
'raise the body, white ape steals the peach.'
Raising the body refers to the jump that you perform
to take the head. The action of controlling arm and head
is performed in a graceful yet forceful manner similar
to how gibbons swing from tree to tree.
is actually the white gibbon, a type of ape.
Gibbons move by swinging gracefully
from branches and vines. When they swing, they use four
fingers of their hands like a hook, but not the thumb,
just like many of the hooking techniques of Mantis
The Hair Grabbing Gibbon
Ape Steals the Peach from the section Seven
Techniques of Upper Hair Restraining!
White Ape Steals the
with his right hand.
hand applies the yang hook to his outer hand.
close his right hand with the heel of my left palm.
I take his
hair from the outer gate.
body to the side and raise the right step. Pull to the
The first two of the twelve keywords of Plum Flower
Mantis Boxing are 'lai (come)' and jiao '(provoke).'
Most explanations of techniques start with the phrase
,'jen lai...' which means, 'he comes....' followed by
the opponent's actual attacking technique. In this case
it is, 'He comes with his right hand.'
My provoking is the method I use to control his arm and
snatch his hair so I can use his head as a handle to
pull my knee up.
Below Keri and Thomas from Jim Smyer's Tennessee Peng
Lai Mantis group demonstrate.
Keri Applies the White Ape Steals the Peach
attacks with a straight right punch to Keri.
Keri defends with 'xu bu bi shou - empty stance closing
Keri's grabs the hand at the wrist as it is coming in...
and her left hand seals at the
Snatching the Hair
She reaches her right hand out to grab the hair of
Thomas, shown here from two angles.
This is the way that the hair grab is described within Seven
Techniques of Upper Hair Restraining.
But, when we, Thomas in this case, practice this
technique we often defend against Keri's hair grab by
blocking with our left hand. Thomas does not defend in
time against Keri's hair grab this time. See below for
an alternate method.
Plucking the Peach and Throwing the Knee
As Keri grabs Thomas she leaps off her right leg, as her
left leg lands she sends her knee into his solar plexus.
More power is generated by using the sinking of your
body to pull the opponent into your knee.
Thomas can defend himself by sinking his
right arm and shifting his body out of the way.
As long as Keri can stay close to Thomas as he tries to
defend himself she can turn her right hair grab into an
elbow to the side of the head.
Thomas forgot that you should always keep your hands up
to defend your head!
An elbow to the temple can be
deadly! This type of technique should only be practiced
and trained under the close supervision of the teacher
to prevent serious injury, brain damage or even death!
In this series of pictures, Keri tries to grab Thomas'
hair, but he blocks her hand before she gets the hair
The Uncanny Stealing Hand
Keri uses her left hand to grab Thomas' left defending
hand. This will give her control of both of Thomas'
Now she can apply and chop or elbow strike (below)
before she does her hair grab.
Like the graceful swinging
from branches and vines of the gibbon Mantis Boxing
leaps up with the excitement of an ape snatching a peach
to inflict punishing damage on his, or her, opponent[