The Waist Chop
of Mantis Boxing
Chopping is one of the chief
characteristics of Mantis Boxing and can be found in Beng Bu, one of the
oldest and most well known forms of Mantis Boxing. Here it is
performed by famous master of Seven Star Mantis Boxing
Luo Guangyu from a book published in 1946 by his well known student Huang
Hanxun. With each movement of the form in this published book he
included a 28
character sonnet which Huang attributed to Luo Guangyu's famous shifu Fan
Xudong. Under the waist chop move he quoted,
'The right waist chop
and leaning hill climbing step,
To run out of skill while defending is
With the pasting body and fastening
strike there is no place to hide,
The method left behind by Jin Xiang
serves a worthy reference.
The 'leaning step / kao bu' means
that my leg is pressed against the opponent's leg. This goes together with the 'pasting
body / tie shen' of the third line. Leaning and pasting /tie kao
is a common term in Mantis Boxing. In this instance we get to see
the theory of pasting and leaning as it applies to a specific
About fastening it is said, 'It
is like the fastening of a button. Both hands fasten shut
order to guard the body.'
This brings to mind how a Chinese coat
is fastened shut and sealed with a button. The opponent's arms are
like the two sides of a coat. 'It is to shut his door making it
difficult for him to attack.'
As for Jin Xiang, he is the ninth
boxer within Founder's Surnames of Eighteen Pugilist
Styles where it talks about, 'The
colliding hands and unobstructed fists of Jin Xiang.'
Luanjie and the Waist Chop
Waist chop can also be found in some
versions of Luanjie, another of the oldest and most well known forms
of Mantis Boxing. Here my shifu performs a version of waist
chop that he learned while he was
training with Zhang Dekui. This shows a common element among the
varied styles of Mantis Boxing and is one of the moves that ties the
different schools and branches together.
Huang's Students Apply the
The application from Huang
Hanxun's book on the two person Beng Bu form. The man applying waist chop on the right has his left
foot hooked behind his opponent's right foot the leaning step
/tie bu from the sonnet above. Notice how he pulls his
opponent's right arm across his center line. A key point to making
the technique work.
Tea at Shifu's
One night while we were drinking tea
at Shifu's house he brought out his stack of old notebooks. It was
his own handwritten detailed notes on the technique names and their
applications. We looked at his detailed notes and all of us vowed to
make determined efforts to keep such a thorough record of what was
taught to us.
At the time my
Chinese writing skill was not up to par nor did I know enough
of the names to write them down. Instead of writing the methods in
detailed Chinese I put pen to paper and drew the
applications of the techniques as Shifu taught us.
Low Instead of High
the waist chop move does not work as planned then the right hand
seals as the left hand strikes a high point of the opponent's body.
This can be seen here from the application as it was made in the two
person Beng Bu form
started to learn the application of the waist chop technique my
some variations and escapes which were not included within the
Shifu taught that the left hand did not necessarily have to strike
high. Finding this to be quite important I illustrated it after
class that night. The drawing on top shows the application of waist
chop while just below shows a possible finish. The advantage of this
grab over a strike to nearby areas such as the kidney is that
sometimes you may find that you are not in a good position to
deliver a strike with sufficient power once the arms and legs begin
to tangle up.
Stealing the Beam and Exchanging the
technique which follows the same theory of leaning with the step and
pasting with the body is called 'stealing the beam and exchanging
the pillar / tou liang huan zhu. You can see that the opponent's
loss of hands seems to fit that definition very well. This technique
has important points in common with waist chop.
In the first drawing we make contact with the right hand.
Black pants left hand grabs white pants
In the second drawing black swings his right hand around in a hook punch or
White pants blocks with his left hand.
In the third drawing Black securely grasps
white's left hand block.
Black then passes his left hand under
whites left elbow to secure his left arm. As he does this his body
pastes to white's and applies the chao kick.
Deng Pu Defeats Stealing the Beam
we had been practicing this move for a while Shifu
then showed us how to defeat stealing the beam. Before black has
completely applied his move white can change it to deng pu as shown
in this drawing.
The training of defeating stealing the
beam can not begin until the students have met several requirements.
1. The have both mastered the
application of the stealing the beam move.
2. They can disengage themselves from
the opponent as he applies stealing the beam.
3. They have mastered the deng pu move
in a separate set of lessons.[