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Topic: "Ship Pal Gi"
I have been told that Ship Pal Gi is Korean Kung
fu. What Chinese style if any can it be compared to
or what type of applications are used?
Ship Pal Gi (pronounced SIP Pal Gi) roughly translates
as "18 skills." The earliest references
to this art exist in a book called "Hyun Rung
Ji," which described 18 techniques for the use
of the spear. Later the art reputedly incorporated
horseback techniques. Although there is currently
an art existing by this name, its connection to these
original arts is anything but clear.
Sip Pal Gi as taught today is largely a Korean adaptation
of Northern T'ang L'ang (Northern Mantis Kung Fu)
often with the addition of classical Chinese weapons.
Although there are claims for this art dating back
to the Yi (Choson) Dynasty (1392-1910), this cannot
be confirmed to be the original art or a reconstruction.
Northern Mantis (to which many Sip Pal Gi adherents
claim lineage) is far easier to track historically
than its southern counterpart and can be recognized
as having been created by a Wang Lang (believed to
have been a Ming Patriot). Lang allegedly seeking
greater skill, went and trained at the Honan Temple,
and was reputedly inspired by the observation of a
Praying mantis locked in combat. Studying the movements
of this fascinating creature, Wang combined new movements
with several systems he had studied (often noted is
Monkey style footwork).
After it grew in popularity the original Northern
Mantis style (sometimes referred to as Temple style)
splintered into many derivatives or "offshoots,"
such as Seven Star, Jade Ring and Dragging Hand, amongst
others. The differences between these variations is
relatively minor, and one can easily recognize the
classic use of "Mantis Hands" (resembling
those of the creature itself) as well as its elbow
striking techniques and footwork. It should also be
noted that one interesting derivative, Plum Blossom
Mantis, uses closed fist technique more than other
Thus a Sip Pal GI practitioner would likely wish
to seek stylistic similarities in Northern Mantis
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