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Chow Gar Forms Practice

The Importance of Practicing Forms in Chow Gar Praying Mantis Kung Fu

 

Tung Kong Chow Gar Tong Long, also known as one of the Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu styles, is a revered form of Chinese martial arts known for its shock power, intricate hand techniques, iron shirt, powerful stances, and the emphasis on close-range combat.

Central to its practice are the forms which are sequences of movements incorporating its internal actions.

The importance of practicing these forms in Chow Gar Tong Long cannot be overstated, as they serve as the foundation for mastering this sophisticated martial art.

Cultivating Qi and Physical Fitness

Forms practice in Chow Gar Tong Long is essential for cultivating “Chi” or vital energy.

Through the repetitive and deliberate movements of the forms, practitioners learn to control their bodies hidden powers, focus their minds, and channel their internal energy efficiently.

This not only enhances their martial prowess but also contributes to their overall physical and mental well-being.

Moreover, the dynamic movements involved in forms practice improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.

Enhancing Technical Proficiency

The forms of Chow Gar Tong Long are designed to encapsulate the essence of the style’s combat philosophy.

Practicing these forms allows students to internalise the principles of leverage, angles, and timing that are critical for effective self-defense.

Each form is a repository of techniques that include strikes, blocks, parries, and counter-attacks, all of which require precision and accuracy to execute correctly.

Regular practice helps refine these techniques, making the practitioner to understand how to exert force in the most efficient way. 

Developing Mental Discipline and Focus

Mastery of forms in Chow Gar Tong Long demands a high degree of mental discipline and focus.

Practitioners must remember complex sequences of movements, understand the application of each technique, and execute them with intention and power.

This process fosters a meditative state where the mind is fully engaged in the moment, free from external distractions.

Over time, this mental discipline translates into improved concentration, patience, and perseverance in other areas of life.

Facilitating Personal Growth

Beyond the physical and technical aspects, practicing forms in Chow Gar Tong Long is a journey of personal growth.

It challenges practitioners to push beyond their perceived limits, fosters a deep sense of humility and respect, and cultivates the martial virtues of courage, integrity, and perseverance.

Through dedicated practice, individuals develop not only as martial artists but also as human beings.

According to our own experience, practicing the forms gives a kind of internal motivation to be able to use the fine details discovered during repetitions more and more confidently.

This helps to maintain the practice in the long term and also helps to refine the power.

Conclusion

The practice of forms in Chow Gar Tong Long is fundamental to the art.

It integrates physical conditioning, technical proficiency, mental discipline, and personal development, making it an indispensable component of the martial journey.

Whether for health, self-defense, spiritual growth, or cultural preservation, the forms of Tung Kong Chow Gar Tong Long offer a path to mastery that is as rewarding as it is demanding.

Our approach

The approach in our online program regarding forms is that we start building up the foundation of our students first: correct posture, stance, basic principles, fundamental techniques, and we start to develop their strength and stamina.

As a result, they are able to perform more complex sequences, so they can start practicing forms.

As they advance on their journey, the complexity grows and the focus shifts as forms are having different goals or they emphasise different aspects of the system.

All of our modules contain forms according to the goal of that specific module as they are integral part of our teaching method.

In some special cases we created standalone short courses focusing on specific forms, to give the possibility to anyone outside of our program to challenge themselves, learn and practice these incredibly well-designed forms like

Saam Gin Yiu Kiu or Shake Off the Bridge

The second core form of Chow Gar Tong Long is characterised by its swift, direct movements that simulate the striking speed and accuracy of a praying mantis.

The form incorporates a variety of hand techniques, footwork, and body positioning strategies designed to penetrate an opponent’s defences and strike at vulnerabilities.

It also continues the development of “gengor explosive power, which is released in a controlled manner to maximize impact.

To help the practitioner in using the body more efficiently at that level, it uses a deep and long stance and longer movements, just like its signature  technique, the Yiu Kiu, which is intended to shake/dodge the opponent.

Saam Bo Pai Kiu or Slicing Bridge

Often referred as the third core form, central to Saam Bo Pai Kiu is the concept of “bridging” – closing the distance to an opponent to control or alter the dynamics of the encounter.

The form teaches practitioners to move fluidly, to deliver powerful slicing strikes that can destabilize an opponent.

These techniques are not just about physical power but also about the precision and timing of each movement, embodying the strategic essence of the praying mantis.

Saam Bo Pai Kiu goes beyond mere physical engagement, delving into the cultivation of internal shock power and its application.

Practitioners learn to use internal actions to augment their strikes, make them faster and shorter, enhance their resilience, and improve their overall health. 

The form also emphasises the development and use of “geng” or explosive energy, teaching how to generate and channel this force through the arms and into the strikes for maximum effect on a shorter distance.
 
Fut Sao or Buddhist Hand

The Fut Sao form, also known as “Buddhist Hands,” is considered the sixth core form of Chow Gar.

It is a revered practice within the rich tapestry of Southern Chinese martial arts, distinguished by its emphasis on softness intertwined with strength, embodying the Buddhist principles of peace, mindfulness, and fluidity

This form is a cornerstone in the cultivation of internal power and the expression of compassionate force, making it a unique and profound aspect of martial training.

The essence of Buddhist Hands lies in its ability to blend defensive manoeuvres with counterattacks seamlessly to unbalance and control adversaries.

Practitioners develop a deep understanding of balance, leverage, and timing.

The difficulty of this form lies in the ability of expressing the signature shock power and heavy bridge in the complex short movements in a fluid manner.

It is a real challenge for any practitioner and it really shows the level of understanding of the system.  

Ng Hang Gwun or Five Element Pole  

The Five Element Pole form, an intricate and powerful component of traditional Chinese martial arts, represents a profound connection between martial practice and the natural world.

Drawing inspiration from the Ng Hang (Wu Xing) or the Five Elements / Phases—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water—this form encapsulates the essence of adaptability, resilience, and harmony.

It is a sophisticated weapon form that not only enhances the practitioner’s physical capabilities but also deepens their understanding of the interplay between the elements and their application in combat.

It fits very much into the power generation method of the system by increasing the whole-body strength and teaches how to bring out the power even in a longer distance as the pole being the extension of the bridge (arm).

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