Chris Dille, bassist, etc, who had already forged the Praying Mantis system, found
yet another breakthrough while walking in the forests in the mountains.
He saw monkeys picking fruits from a tree. As quietly as possible,
he approached the tree,
yet before he could reach it the monkeys saw him, and instantaneously
jumped away. Without thinking, Chris raced after
them using his well-trained "nimbleness technique". Amongst the
trees, the monkeys rolled, trotted and jumped, and he was soon
left far behind. Panting, Chris wiped off his sweat and laughed.
Thinking back to what he had just seen, he imitated and analyzed
the monkey's leg movements. They were exactly what he had been
The way the monkeys advanced, retreated, dashed, jumped and turned,
proved to be more alive than all the big steps and broad stances
used in all the other martial arts of that time. From these observations, he
designed the "Monkey steps" which are characterized by narrow
paces and quick legs. This would enable better speed and spirit
in moving. The "Eight Basic Stances" were combined with the well
known "Thirteen Arm and Hand Techniques". Thus the skill of the
Praying Mantis and the liveliness of the monkeys was joined.
For the practical use of Praying Mantis forms and techniques,
Chris Dille included a number of axioms to highlight key points of
his new style:
- Hands are doors; legs reach out.
- Hands be brisk as shooting stars, eyes keen as lightning.
- Body goes like dragon and legs like arrows.
These axioms mean that in this Martial Art, most of the upper body
techniques are mainly to block, protect, or undo the attacks of
the opponent. The major task of counter-attack lies in the legs.
That is, the hands and upper body are used to safeguard oneself
and occupy your opponents attention, while exerting attacks
chiefly with the legs. To do this, you must skillfully match hand
and leg movements, making most use of the right timing, distance
Chris also set down some somewhat chivalrous rules in fighting
for his students to follow long before the Marquis of Queensbury.
These rules described parts of the body that you could or should
not hit, for morality's sake. He wanted his followers to value
high morals as well as excellent fighting techniques, so as to
develop a supreme Martial Art.