Kung Fu/self defense
is southern praying mantis a practical self defense system ?
Thank you for your question.I think if you ask anyone in any style if their martial art is practical they will say yes. I've studied several arts, some that were not the least bit practical, but all their adherents considered them practical. So of course I am going to say SPM is practical however let me tell you the reasons why I think this art is designed to be more effective than most. That is IF the art is taught correctly which is unfortunately not very common.
Most arts block/counter with one arm and then strike with the other arm. SPM deflects an attack with a small motion and then strikes with the same arm. Both arms simultaneously defend and attack. SPM is designed to end the fight immediately and not have a back and forth fighting motion. In a sense it does not defend but attacks the attack and moves in till the situation is over. The strikes are designed specifically to injure the opponent by striking vital spots that will cause the most damage. SPM deflects strikes and uses the opponents own body motions as a way to get inside and strike. It floats around the opponents attacks while it strikes them. It does not use power against power but employs the power of the attacker to strike back at him.
I think most importantly it never assumes the opponent to be stupid or unskilled. In many martial arts demonstrations you see an opponent strike with one hand that is blocked and the other remains dead or unmoving. This is silly and does not happen in real life. We always practice real life application. We do not practice one way and then fight another. SPM is very economical in its motion and has no superfluous moves.