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White Ape Steals the Peach

Seize his 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.


This technique 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 Hair Restraining!

This section of hair restraining techniques includes such moves as:

  • Inner Threading of the Needle

  • Rising Leak and Snatching the Hair

  • Hanging Snow on Green Mountain

  • Gibbon Plucks the Melon


Braided Hair or Death!

In modern 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 Buddhist monks.


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

qi shen bai yuan tou tao

The 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.

White ape 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 Boxing.

The Hair Grabbing Gibbon

White Ape Steals the Peach from the section Seven Techniques of Upper Hair Restraining!

White Ape Steals the Peach.

He attacks with his right hand.

My right hand applies the yang hook to his outer hand.

I firmly close his right hand with the heel of my left palm.

I take his hair from the outer gate.

Turn the body to the side and raise the right step. Pull to the rear.

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

Thomas attacks with a straight right punch to Keri.

Keri defends with 'xu bu bi shou - empty stance closing hands.'





Keri's grabs the hand at the wrist as it is coming in...

and her left hand seals at the elbow.

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!


Thomas Defends

In this series of pictures, Keri tries to grab Thomas' hair, but he blocks her hand before she gets the hair grab.






The Uncanny Stealing Hand

Keri uses her left hand to grab Thomas' left defending hand. This will give her control of both of Thomas' hands.

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[

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