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The Mantis Claw is an interesting hand formation that you will learn as part of your training in the BASIC EXERCISES. It was once used to deliver powerful attacks to the nerves, blood vessels and soft tissues of the body. It is still used in this way in certain advanced aspects of the art. Therefore, in these initial exercises, it is something that you should learn, for it will be of use to you in your training.
...VIEW THIS VIDEO TO LEARN THIS HAND POSITION, THE BASIS OF MANY ADVANCED TECHNIQUES...
USES OF THE MANTIS CLAW
The Mantis Claw is an ancient combat hand formation among the Gyokku Ninja. It originated in China, and indeed can still be found in many forms of Chinese martial arts. However, the Ninja use it in powerful attacks against the nerves and arteries, where an experienced practitioner can rip out an enemy’s nerves and arteries using the ‘Mantis Claw’, causing disability or massive blood loss. The Mantis Claw can also be used by a powerful exponent to rip out muscle and tissue, disabling an opponent’s limb.
However, in this beginners series of exercises you will not be learning such advanced techniques – though these techniques CAN be part of your ninja training when you reach advanced levels. For now, it is good to learn the hand formations necessary.
The ‘Mantis Claw’ is also used in basic exercises like TIGER PAWS AIR.
HOW TO FORM THE 'MANTIS CLAW'
The video shows you how to form the Mantis Claw. It is not difficult. Simply bend the outer fingers of the hand, that is to say, the ring and the little finger. Hold the middle and index finger stiff and slightly bent, like a claw. The thumb is held near the palm when an attack is not being made to prevent it from being injured. When the Mantis Claw is being used in an attack, the thumb is brought forward to form a sort of pincer with the index and middle finger, a ‘claw’.
Of course at this point you will only be using the Mantis Claw in simple beginner’s exercises, but it were well nonetheless to learn it correctly. Later in your ninja training, you will be taught how to strengthen the fingers to make the Claw a true weapon against your opponents.
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And now, please read and meditate upon...
Once, a great warrior contemplated seppuku.
All his life he had served his liege lord. Upon the death of this lord in battle, the warrior became as a 'ronin', a man without a master; and he was deeply shamed. For him, there was only seppuku, the ritual cleansing of his shame with his blood and bodily death. Yet as he kneeled upon the grass, he was suddenly attracted by the sound of a scuffle.
Looking up, he saw a dog battle some small creature in the grass. Curious, the warrior rose to his feet and approached the dog.
What was his astonishment to behold a small kamakiri - a mantis - battling the dog; holding it off with strikes and attacks from its hooked forelimbs. The warrior watched as the dog and mantis battled, and the dog could gain no advantage over the mantis.
Suddenly, the warrior extended the scabbard of his sword near the mantis. The mantis looked at him, and then quietly climbed upon the end of the scabbard. Slowly, the warrior raised it up to the level of his eyes, and ronin and kamakiri looked upon one another. Then the warrior walked to a nearby tree and placed the tip of the scabbard near the trunk. Calmly, the mantis climbed off. The warrior looked upon it awhile, and then walked away into the dusk. His death would not come to him that day.
What lesson is to be learned from this tale, my student, you must learn of yourself.
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