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About Us History

The history of Southern Mantis Kung Fu traces back over 300 years to a man named Chow Ah Naam. In his youth 
he was said to be beset by health problems. To cure himself he set out on a journey with his friend to find a good 
doctor. The journey was long and tiring with both friends falling ill to such an extent that Chow Ah Naam's friend died.
Chow having little money left then took a job cleaning in the kitchens at the nearby Shaolin temple (Sil Lum Jee).
At the temple Kung Fu was compulsory, the daily routine benefitted him and his overall health and fitness improved.
Chow was getting stronger and his kung fu was improving greatly. It was around this time Chow happened upon a 
malicious monk named Set, a bully who would repeatedly attack him. Chow would defended himself as best he could but was always beated by the bigger and stronger monk.
It was while walking one day that Chow happened upon a sparrow attacking a mantis insect. He was amazed how the much smaller insect was able to fight off the larger assailant with lightening fast strikes from his saw like arms,
cutting the sparrow causing it to flee. Chow took this as a sign and over the next three years studied and refined the 
movements of the mantis insect into techniques that could be used in combat.
Chow used these techniques in a later confrontation with Set and this time was able to defeat the larger, stronger 
man with his refined kung fu.
The then head monk of the temple Sim Yan witnessed the fight and was so impressed that he ordered Chow be 
given maximum co-operation by the martial hall of Shaolin to refine and complete his system to its highest level. the system then became known as Chow Gar Family Fist in his native hometown of Canton, becoming very popular in Southern China.

Here at our school we closely adhere to the same principles and resemble its origins in techniques taught to our 
Grand Master Yeung Yan Lon from his teachers Chow Gar Grand Master Yip Sui
and Hung Gar Grand Master Tang Yat Lon.
Passed down then to our present teacher here at the school Sifu Anthony Clements.
Sifu Clements has dedicated his life to kung fu. Here we are privilaged to have him teaching the Southern Mantis and also receive traditional teachings passed from Sifu Shi Yan Zhi and Shifu Shi Yan Li from Shaolin temple London.
The school is run and maintained by Sifu Clements Si Hing students Paul Jones and Ron Ashford. We are a closed school meaning that tuition is available by invitation only. This can be achieved by attending our traditional four week trial period details of which are on the home page.
We at the Tao Centre we regularily hold seminars from well respected martial artists from around the country and have been here in Birmingham at our location for over 17 years.