The Ancestral Roots of the Mansuria Kung-Fu
This art of fighting draws its resources from the Qing Dynasty and never stopped developing through this dynasty (1644/1911) and its conquests. The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, was the last ruling dynasty of China. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty that was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han (an ethnic group native to China contrary to other ethnic minorities like the Manchus).
The establishment of the Manchu dynasty was the result of a long process of invasions and wars between the Ming army and the Manchu; it ended up with the fall of the Ming Empire and the introduction of the Qing Empire. The art of the Manchu warrior, from the north of the Chinese territory (a part located between Mongolia and Korea), is an aerial style, with many leg techniques, jumps, etc. Although this style reflects its northern origins, the historic conquests explain the use of certain animal skills or some traditional weapons from the South of China. Similarly, the different Qing emperors and imperial army generals present during this period of rule have left their mark on this fighting art practiced in the imperial army.
This art has also transformed and enriched the fighting techniques of the opponents of the Qing Dynasty in favor of rebellions that have marked the reign of the Manchus (for example, in 1660, a rebellion supported by the Shaolin Temple is led by supporters of the Ming dynasty took the city of Nanjing).
The Spread of the Mansuria Art of Fighting
It was only after the fall of the Qing empire in 1911 that this kung-fu started to spread somewhere else than in the army: Master Wong, a member of the imperial army, went to the USA and decided to create his own school in San Francisco in order to convey his art, called Mansuria Kung Fu regarding its origins. Without it all, this style would have probably disappeared.
Two of the best students of this school, Master Lee Ling Fu and Master Kalaï Achony Lee, allowed a wider spread of this style, especially thanks to the presence of Master Kalaï Achony Lee in Hong-Kong where he taught Mansuria Kung Fu. His best student, Master R. Shekhar, having indian origins, was introduced to the secrets of this ancestral art and then became a Master too. Back in India, he contributed to develop and spread this style. He founded a school near Madras; He called it “The International Mansuria Kung-Fu School”.
He also contributed to an international spread by forming representatives from different countries such as France, Nepal, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc. The official representative of Mansuria Kung Fu in France today is Mr Derosière.
Specificities of the Mansuria Kung-Fu
This Kung-Fu is based on 12 differents styles and 35 styles of weapons.THE STYLES: They are mainly inspired by animal behaviour (but not only). There are three major themes to classify most styles according to their main feature:
- The styles focus on FLUIDITY: there are styles of the Snake, the Drunken, the Monkey. Their characteristics (clever, unpredictable, acrobatic) are reflected in the movements corresponding to those styles.
- The styles focus on ACCURACY: there are styles of the Chicken and Mansuria (praying mantis) which are styles that require you to work on specific attacks mainly directed at strategic points.
- The styles focus on POWER: there are styles of the dragon, tiger, leopard, eagle, which themselves are fast, powerful and also stable. They often practice seizures and demonstrate a certain aggressiveness.
Addition to these three broad categories of styles:
- Buddha Style (representing wisdom, also called Formal Style);
- Fists Style (called Quan).
Each style is different: each animal has its own natural attitudes, their own strategies for attack, defence or survival. We rarely find a strategy of a style in the other.Those techniques are present in other styles of Kung-fu. What is the specificity of Mansuria Kung-Fu?
The specificity of Mansuria Kung-Fu is the fact that all of these styles are part of the art of fighting, all gathered in one school, they make an art of fighting powerful, fast, efficient and accurate. The diversity of styles practised makes it easier to fit between the morphology of the person who practice and a particular animal style: for example, a thin and tall person feel more comfortable in a style based on the fluidity (monkey, snake) then a robust and stocky person prefer rather a style based on power (dragon, tiger). It is in this sense that the diversity of technical component Mansuria Kung-Fu allows everyone to evoluate according to his/her morphology and personal aspirations.
The styles can be carried over into other disciplines. How to recognize Mansuria Kung-Fu while practising?
Besides the fact that Mansuria Kung-Fu is based on learning styles with hands to develop fluency, accuracy and power in one discipline, several characteristics of Mansuria Kung-Fu distinguish it from other disciplines:
- In self-defense the Mansuria skill always integrates a touch more compared to common techniques: the control of the opponent is the key before he is lying down, not when the opponent is on the ground.
- Biomechanics (or body action) is an essential foundation for the practice of Mansuria Kung-Fu: to understand and apply it optimize the power and the efficiency of a movement, using the existing relationships between structures and functions, that is to say between the body parts and the movements. This integration of biomechanics is reflected visually in the expression of the body of the person who practice and in the continuity of his/her movements.
- Adapting to all styles of the opponents is an important part of Mansuria Kung-Fu: there are numerous techniques for fighting, with fists feet, blockages, elbows, knees… We can say “classic” stuff (apart from the animal style) and in self-defense, the projections are belong to the art of Mansuria. These “fundamentals points” of martial arts allow the practitioner of Mansuria Kung-Fu to best adapt to the style of his opponent, while retaining different strategies unique to Mansuria Kung-Fu (rigid practice when it is justified or flexible one against an adversary with a rigid style).
WEAPONS: We also manipulate the well-known weapons in the world of Japanese martial arts such as the sai, tonfa or the yawara. While using weapons of Nippon origins, the techniques involved are unique to the style of Mansuria Kung-Fu. Weapons are divided into three distinct groups: short, long and articulated (or sections) weapons. This diversity gives practitioners a wide range of possibilities.
The Mansuria Kung-Fu Today
In the 80s, Mr Valabrègue, who practice martial arts, discovered Mansuria Kung-Fu when he did a trip. Seduced by this martial art, he went back to India several times to learn Kung-Fu, and later opened a school in Paris. In the 90s, Mr J. Tobo belonging to this school, a native of the Somme, went back in his region to teach this Kung-Fu by giving lessons. Both stopped this style of Kung-Fu and found their way in the internal styles.
Mr Derosière, from the Somme, discovered the Kung-Fu in 1993. He wanted to perfect himself, he went to India and discovered the true values and roots of this traditional martial art with the Grand Master R. Shekhar.
Based on values applicable in the sport but also in life (respect, serenity, self-control), the Mansuria Kung-Fu is an ancient art that allows any practitioner to progress little by little. With many years of practice, the practitioner may receive benefits in his daily life (insurance, self-confidence, adaptability) and will see a positive impact on his health.
At the sporting level, the completeness of Mansuria Kung-Fu gives the practitioner the knowledge of very diverse techniques in order to adapt to all situations.