Chow Gar Southern Praying Mantis
Offically Paul Whitrod sifu started martial arts training at the age of 13 with Kyukushinkai Karate. (Though he had trained in Unarmed combat at the age of 9). Although at only 13 years old, he remembers the training being quite tough with lots of sparring and lots of students getting hurt as this particular form of Karate is famous for its knock down rules. He stayed with the system for 1.1/2 years. Later at the age of 15 years in early 1975 He started Chow Gar Praying Mantis Kung fu, under the tutelage of Yip Chee Keung Sifu, who came to London in 1974. Yip Chee Keung Sifu is the son of the famous Great Grand master Yip Shui, who was foremost authority on the Chow Gar Praying Mantis system until his death at 93 in 2004. After only 4 or so years in London Yip Chee Keung Sifu went back to Hong Kong, and from there he extended an invitation to Paul Whitrod to come and study in Hong Kong. Accommodation was no real problem as Grand master Yip Shui wanted Paul to stay in his Hong Kong home, so that He could be under the Grand master guidance 24 hours a day.
It was from here that Paul Whitrod was to complete the Chow Gar Praying Mantis kung fu system as well as Dit Dar medicine (fall & hit medicine) that deal with massage, and injuries due to martial arts practise.
He became a closed-door student and went through the ritual of giving the tea (sifu tea) to grandmaster Yip Shui so he could learn the finer things of this unique art and being situated right at the heart of system, placed him in a perfect learning environment. In the fall 1986 Paul Whitrod opened his first full-time school in London and the following year invited his Yip Shui Sigung and Yip Chee Keung Sifu to London. It was at this time they made Sifu Whitrod has the UK representative of the Chow Gar Praying Mantis kung fu of June 1987. In the early days of training in Hong Kong there many contests Paul Whitrod had to go through, some crossing hand, some testing of skill involving other martial artist. These were no hold barred contest and took place in Hong Kong and in UK.
Paul Whitrod has gone on to promote this unique system of kung fu through articles, videos, and UK television appearances etc., He now has many students of his own teaching in Australia, Europe, USA. He still continues to enlighten his followers and martial artists worldwide about the Southern Chow Gar Praying Mantis kung fu. He still goes to Hong Kong regularly keeping his roots strong and paying respects to the late Grandmaster Yip Shui and his family members who are also involved in training. This also includes Grandmasters students who have been an inspiration to his training. He currently travels and teaches the traditional martial arts that he has studied over the years