Skip to main content
Felix Flicker Email address for Felix Flicker

Kung Fu

I have been an instructor of Northern Seven Star Praying Mantis Kung Fu since 2006. I wrote this article for the July 2014 edition of Physics World about a move used in Kung Fu and related disciplines to get out of armlocks. The move, known as coiling, is better known to physicists as the “Dirac belt trick” used to demonstrate how it is that spin-1/2 particles can require two full rotations to bring them back to their original orientation. Here are a couple of out-takes from the photo shoot, one featuring my Kung Fu student Kit Hawes (better known as the lead guitarist from Sheelanigig). Both photos courtesy of Paul Blakemore.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The article has since been made into this video for the Physics World website.

I have been made aware of this write-up by the science section of Vice magazine(!).

I learnt the style from my instructor Damien Hackney in Devon (see his school's websites here and here). While he no longer teaches Seven Star Praying Mantis Damien does teach a range of other styles including Baguazhang, I Chuan, and Sanshou.

If you are interested in Praying Mantis Kung Fu in particular an excellent resource is the website of my friend (and 5th Dan black belt!) Josh Schaeffer in Winnipeg, which you can access here.