What is Tong Long
There are two distinct styles of Tong Long, a Northern style and a Southern style. The Northern style is characterised by low stances and much leg work, the Southern style has hardly any leg work, except for some low effective kicks, and reduces the footwork to ‘stepping’ with powerful and effective hits delivered from a solid ‘foundation’.
In Chow Gar Tong Long the ‘full fist’ and knuckles are hardly used when attacking an opponent, placing greater emphasis on the other parts (side and palm) or shapes of the hand (like the ‘one knuckle’ variation) to deliver force to ‘nerve points’ and the the more vulnerable areas of the body (like the neck).
Chow Gar Tong Long combines speed and power into some of the fastest and most devastating hits on earth. The Southern style is free of ‘fancy’ non-effective moves, instead it focuses on practicality, fast, powerful, direct techniques that deliver maximum force, with minimum effort, by returning the energy generated by an opponent back to it’s sender.
Every technique is designed for maximum power. Breathing techniques and relaxation exercises help harness the internal strength (Chi). Tong Long also employs ‘Sticky Hands’. Constant contact with an opponent through the sense of touch allows control and detection of openings in his/her defence. Tong Long’s style of fighting is ‘close range’. The practitioner prefers to be as close as possible to an attacker, yet far enough away to deliver effective strikes.
Chow Gar Tong Long focuses strongly on the improvement and co-ordination of both, body and mind. Maximum results can only be achieved if physical strength is combined with correct breathing and inner power (Chi). Philosophy is also an integral part of Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu & Wu Shu. As a student advances in the system, their training will begin to focus on internal energy with greater emphasis on personal development.
History of Dong Gong Chow Gar Tong Long
Dong Gong Chow Gar Tong Long, traces back some 300 years or so when a sick boy, named Chow Ah-Nan, travelled to North China for treatment of an illness. After he arrived at a Shoalin Temple he started to train the local style of Kung Fu and his health improved. He was cured within a month. One day in the woods, Chow Ah-Nan witnessed a fight between a praying Mantis and a bird.
Though the bird, being larger and heavier seemed to have the advantage, the Mantis with it’s strong hooked saw-like forearms defended itself and dealt a lethal blow, thus killing the bird. Chow Ah-Nan was very surprised that this relatively small insect was able to defend itself in such a way against a much larger animal. He started to study the Mantis movements and eventually developed a powerful new Kung Fu style based on the animal’s fighting techniques.
After several years of training and revising his new moves, Chow Ah-Nan returned to his home town. Chow Ah-Nan then taught a fellow monk named Wong Fook Go (2nd generation). The Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu style was part of the Shoalin Temple in Fukien. Wong Fook Go taught Lau Shui.
The third generation of Tong Long started with a very talented young man named Lau Shui. At the age of fourteen he started to train Kung Fu. He trained under seven well known Kung Fu Masters. Because he was very intelligent he learned all the instructors had to offer in only eight years. Although Lau Shui was brilliant at Kung Fu, he was not being noticed until something happened to him.
In the village region, snakes and wolves were known to come out in the evenings to hunt for food. One evening when Lou Shui was walking him a wolf chased him to be his delicious supper.
The wolf jumped sharply and powerfully towards the young man. Lau Shui however was not an ordinary man, and when he heard the strange noise of the approaching wolf, he quickly stepped aside and managed to avoid the vicious attack.
The wolf turned with the speed of lightning and attacked again. This time Lau Shui was ready. He thrust his right leg directly at the wolf’s throat. The wolf was hit so hard that it rolled several times on the ground. Lau Shui hurried forward and stepped heavily on the wolf, it stopped moving completely.
All the village people heard about this incident and wanted very much to learn from Lau Shui, who finally agreed to this. One day, as he was teaching some of his students, in the open ground outside his home, many passers-by gathered to see this well known young man demonstrate his Kung Fu.
Suddenly, from the middle of the crowd a monk stepped forward and said loudly “young man, your Kung Fu is just better than nothing. How can you stand so boldly in front of people and teach them?”
Lau Shui stopped his demonstration and looked at the monk. In this situation many would probably be very angry and ask the monk to leave immediately, but Lau Shui was a very modest young man, he politely replied: “From what you have said your Kung Fu must be at the very top level”.
The old monk answered: “If you want to, you are welcome to try me and you may hit me first”. Lau Shui thought that this might be a good opportunity for him to learn more about Kung Fu and decided to try it.
After they had both taken their stances, Lau Shui made the first move. He stepped forward and gave a straight punch. The monk moved his shoulder slightly and Lau Shui was sent flying a few yards away. Knowing his own standard, Lau Shui realised that this monk was far superior. He knelt in front of the monk and begged him to accept him as a student. The monk agreed.
When the monk was sitting comfortably in Lau Shui’s home Lau Shui told him “I felt as if I was struck by lightning when I made contact with you”, and he asked him how it was that he could move so fast. The monk laughed and said ” You have great strength but I was able to direct it back at you, hence, your great force was used on yourself. The power I used to divert is the type that comes from within called Chi power. The shock you received was due to the shock power I applied”.
“Think about a Praying Mantis, it has the power to overcome opponents three times it’s size. The Tong Long training system is designed to develop this kind of extraordinary power”.
When the monk first saw Lau Shui he knew that he had the potential to be a Master of Kung Fu, and later he also realized that this young man had a humble heart, so he made up his mind to teach this high level Kung Fu to him and he hoped that he could serve his people and his country.
In six years Lau Shui had learnt everything from the monk and then the monk told him that it was time for them to go their separate ways. Being a lover of nature, the monk whose name was Wong Fook Go went on to travel extensively.
Lau Shui was a man who greatly respected Wong Fook Go and the founder of Chow Family Tong Long – Chow Ah Naam. Though he was the top man in Kung Fu, he did not start a new style of his own. He used the name Chow Family Tong Long in recognition of the styles founder. Lau Shui had many Kung Fu schools in China and Hong Kong and thousands of students.