Drunken Monkey Kung Fu

Author: Dr Leung Ting
Publisher: Leung’s Publications
Subject: Martial Arts
Year: 1986

Synopsis

This “Drunken Monkey Kung Fu” book is essentially a training manual for a Kung Fu form aptly titled the ‘Drunken Monkey Form’. It is 162 pages long with the majority of those pages filled with photos of the form, how to undertake the movement and its applications. This manual is part of a series of books by Dr Leung Ting, and we’ve already taken a look at its sister book The Drunkard Kung Fu and its application our review of which you can read here.

Review

Similarly to “The Drunkard Kung Fu and its application”, this book is not a complete study on all Drunken Styles or even Drunken Monkey styles; it is very specific and only relates to a particular Drunken Monkey form.

The first few pages provide an introduction by the author, notes that convey his hopes that readers will enjoy learning the form and not to judge if it is practical or not. There is also reference to the Drunken Monkey Pole form and a little on the practitioners who are featured in the photos of the book.

Following this we then get a good 10 pages about Drunken Monkey Kung Fu – some history, notes on technique (including ‘Monkey Hands’ and ‘Monkey Claws’ techniques), a little bit about the ‘Pretty Monkey King’ with form, then an interesting explanation of the story of the Monkey King. This section closes with a couple of pages on the origin of the form and the naming convention of the movements.

We then jump into the form where there are 212 photos spread across 54 pages. These are clearly laid out with 4 photos per page and clear instructions to assist with learning the form itself.

As per other books in this series, after the form, we find 60 plus pages of application of the form, providing a clear analysis of the moves and demonstration of their position in the form. Again, this section is populated with many photos alongside the explanations and guidance.

The book then closes with a brief profile of Sifu Chiu Chung Yat.

Summary

With this series of books you do not get an extensive history of the styles, but you do get in-depth analysis and demonstration of a single form. This particular book is almost 30 years’ old and has been printed a few times, so it should be fairly easy to get a copy, perhaps as gift for your Kung Fu friend, as Sifus or Teachers of this style are comparatively rare in the west.
I enjoyed the book and the form, but felt more explanation of the style could have been included to help understand the blending of Drunken and Monkey styles.
I’d recommend this book for those who wish to study Drunken Monkey Kung Fu as it contains a whole form, some history of the style, explanation of the manoeuvres and techniques used within it.

Book Rating: 7/10

Favourite Quotes

“The rest of the movements include surprise attacks at the middle and lower levels of the opponent, such as attacks at his groin, lower abdomen, legs, etc. As a monkey does not attack people with its fists, that is why there are few punches being applied in this form. The few examples of punches being presented in this form are an addition to the main attacking movements, as a supplement to the low number of movements in the form.”

“The Monkey-hand movement can be converted to the monkey-claws movement by slightly bending the five fingers before launching a down-pawing attack at the opponent’s face.”

“In fiction, it is said that the Monkey King was derived from a large piece of rock which had for a long time absorbed the essence of the sun and the moon. That is why the Monkey King is described in the book as an active, strong, and clever animal. It has the physical form and character of a monkey, but it also has the wisdom and kind heart of a man.”

“In the Drunken Monkey Form, the movement called ‘The Heavenly Saint’ is a movement applied to block incoming attacks at the upper level. As for the movements called ‘The Saint looking at the sky’, ‘Spiritual Monkey Stealing a Peach’, and ‘The Monkey King Going To The Sea’, these are all movements meant for attacking the groin of the opponent.”

Stuart Grimes is a fan of all martial arts. He has studied Shotokan Karate for a few years as a teenager and also taken classes in Judo, boxing and Kickboxing. His children have inherited his love of martial arts and currently train over 12 hours a week, incorporating Chin Woo Kung Fu, Gymnastics and Sport Karate. His eldest two children compete regularly and either hold or have held English, British or European titles in the WTKA, WKU, ISKA, WKKC, WMO, WMKF and WKC, as well as a Unity International Games title.

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