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Monkey Kung Fu

Even though monkey kung fu is recognized as being created by Kou Sze in the late 1800s in China, its roots can be traced back to the mi hou wu dance of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.). During his 10-year sentence for murder, Kou Sze watched a monkey colony from his cell in a forest-based prison. After studying the monkeys’ behavior, Kou Sze was able to distinguish specific characteristics in how they fought. He categorized the monkey into five personality types: tall, wooden, lost, stone and drunken. From this, Kou Sze developed a unique hopping-and-squatting defense system that incorporated the maneuvering principles of agility, grabbing, falling, lunging, light jumping and tumbling into his novel art of monkey kung fu. On his release from prison, Kou Sze was dubbed the monkey master.

Later, kung fu martial artist Lee Shao-hau would create mad monkey kung fu because of his observation that monkeys were timid until made angry. Mad monkey kung fu is also sometimes known as angry monkey martial arts.

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  1. Praying Mantis Kung Fu Methods and Monkey Kung Fu Movements

    Praying Mantis Kung Fu Methods and Monkey Kung Fu Movements

    Various systems of praying-mantis kung fu can be found in the different locales and subcultures of China. Of them, the northern seven-star school is perhaps the most widely practiced.

    The art dates back to the end of the Ming dynasty, when the invading Manchus began to subjugate the Han Chinese.
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  2. The 5 Kung Fu Animal Styles of the Chinese Martial Arts

    The 5 Kung Fu Animal Styles of the Chinese Martial Arts

    To longtime readers of Black Belt, Steve DeMasco needs no introduction. A student of the martial arts since 1968, he’s been a fixture in the magazine since his debut in the February 1998 issue. Over the ensuing years, he’s espoused his views on the physical and philosophical sides of the
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