Classes held on:
Tuesday: 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Arborfield Cross Village Hall
Arborfield, Berkshire

Friday: 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Arborfield Cross Village Hall
Arborfield, Berkshire




Descended from a Shaolin Monastery

Southern Praying Mantis was first developed at a Shaolin Monastery (Sil Lum Jee) by a monk who focused on the hidden powers generated by short range gen movements. This monk by the name of Chow Ah Naan, harnessed and developed training drills to build and nurture the physique that was necessary to form the base for a powerful swift fighter. Through hard training & knowledge of circulation of breath with and without internal pressures, the Chow Gar Southern Mantis was formed. These skills were later taught to another monk by the name of Wong Fook Go.

It was common practice in those days for monks to travel and teach Buddhism. Whilst travelling Wong Fook Go met an accomplished martial arts master at Wai Yearn village on the east river called Lau Soei. Lau Soei was already a reputable fighter and gave many demonstrations of his skills, one in which Wong Fook Go had stated that his technique was only efficient enough for that purpose. Lau Soei then issued a challenge to the monk. The monk's hand techniques were too fast and powerful for Lau Soei (he stated after the fight that the Mantis method of powerful gen striking was like being hit by lightening). Lau Soei then became Wong Fook Go's student.

At the end of the Ching Dynasty business and growth attracted a number of mainland occupants to Hong Kong, this is where Lau Soei continued his teachings to the next generation of Chow Gar Mantis practitioners one of which was Yip Shui. During the second world war many of the masters went into seclusion from the Japanese that occupied Hong Kong, it was at this time that master Lau Soei passed away in 1942. Yip Shui became Lau Soei's successor, which he was challenged over by many others but to no prevail.

Yip Shui's school became a large success within Hong Kong with many students (including his own family members) and it was his son Yip Chee Keung that brought the art to England in 1974, where his teachings were found by Paul Whitrod in 1975. 4 years later Paul was invited by Grand Master Yip Shui and Sifu Yip Chee Keung to their home in Hong Kong to study under their watchful eye full time. Training three times a day, Paul Whitrod learnt the Chow Gar system along with dit dar (hit & fall) medicine and traditional striking techniques. In 1987 Yip Shui made a visit to the UK and made Paul Whitrod Sifu the UK representative.