Chow Gar Powers

In the Chow Gar Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu system, four levels of strength are recognised.  Each succeeding strength level is of a different type rather than being "more of the same".:-

Normal power

This equates to normal muscular power which, whether weak or strong, is all grouped together as muscular.  This level of strength requires no training because mundane living sustains it.  (A person who practises weight-training still uses normal power - the muscles are the focus of the increased strength and that equates to being just "more of the same".)

In the beginning stages of Chow Gar Praying Mantis training, the student's muscular strength increases.  This is a hard or external stage of development.

Stamina power

Stamina power is the ability to apply high levels of normal power for an extended length of time (i.e. beyond tiredness and pain).  It is the "lasting power" of muscles.This level of power is familiar to all people and available to a fair percentage of them, too e.g. sportsmen/women build up stamina power.  In self-defence terms, stamina is vital for any encounter which isn't finished in 5 seconds!

Student's of Chow Gar Praying Mantis Kung Fu develop their stamina power from day one of training and keep doing so until it no longer remains an issue.  Stamina is partly the result of strengthening the mind.  Discipline and perseverence are the keywords.

Chi power

First, chi power isn't a mystical or far-fetched phenomenon!  Chi power is visibly more relaxed than the strained exertions of muscles in normal power.  It is the power which comes when your breath, bones, joints and tendons start to work in unison.

As the student's training progresses, the required "ingredients" of chi power develop together.  The student then begins to shift from pure muscular exertion to the newly-acquired soft, internal means.

Shock power ("Geng")

Shock power is a power like lightning.  It is the ultimate power of all Southern Praying Mantis Styles and it's character is fast and strong.  Everybody has shock power!  An everyday example: if you inadvertantly put your hand on a scalding hot piece of metal, your body reacts instantaneously by recoiling the hand away from the heat source and by the time you've spun round to see what you touched, your hand is already out of harm's way.  Chow Gar Southern Praying Mantis utilises this innate skill for instantaneous action, bringing it under conscious control so shock power can be employed at will.

Time and effort will give the advanced student the ability to manifest shock power in any direction and with any part of the body for evasion and attack.