Hello fellow apes, this page will be about the Ho Mei Pai animal style known as ape/monkey.
The thing to remember is that it is still Ho Mei Pai and therefore doesn't have the same level of accrobatics as Pek War Tai Sheng does (I'm not sure if that is the correct spelling of monkey style kung fu but hey, what ya gonna do?). There is leaping, but it is to add power to over head strikes not for evasion or essence. the main purpose (tactic) of Ape is to throw the opponent down and then circle the body while raining blows down. There are not many throws as that would bring the opponent too close and take away the power of strikes. There are however many joint locks as this gets the person to lean over and present a bigger target. The major visual clue to ape is that all the strikes are double hits and at the advanced level this is used to hide all the other techniques. Most of the leg strokes are either knee strikes or stomps.
The personality of Ape is of cruelty and, well, more cruelty. the initial targets are chosen by the stylist looking for what is most valued by the opponent. This means that Ape will look for makeup, piercings, styled hair, expensive clothing, yadda yadda. Anything that will annoy or frustrate the opponent is a target, even to the extent of only causing facial bruising to someone who feels "good looking".
The favorite weapons of Ape are short axes, short hammers, iron rods, double daggers, in effect any short paired weapon that will add to the power/effect of the techniques. When swords are chosen they tend to be heavier than average and also paired.
As a style, Monkey is willing to let an attack go in order to line up a cooler move. The techninques tend to maintain or increase the strength of the opponent. You can't climb up the back of someone who keeps falling over. Joint locks and pressure points are often used to correct a target's flaws in order to set up a cool move.
One of the flaws of Monkey is that the limbs are not defined traditionally. Most styles narrowly define the limbs and assign skills. Hands are fast and legs are strong, etc. Monkey throws the whole body into a technique and the footwork is fast. This results in all the limbs having the same amount of power limited by the speed of movement. The footwork also limits time spent in stances which further hinders basic power generation. At higher levels this is no longer a problem. This is why most styles teach monkey later, after basic fighting capacity has been proven.
Monkey weapons tend to lean towards less defined concepts. This is to allow for maximum creativity on the part of the practitioner. The staff, ring/hoop, and knife are most common. Weapons which can hit in any direction without worry are favored. Other weapons are selected based on their capacity to humiliate.
The fighting techniques are selfish. The monkey takes weapons based on their value to him. A knife which looks cool will be disarmed and stolen faster than a cheep knife. The monkey does not react to the opponent. He does what he wants, when he wants and the fight starts and ends with his decision. The opponent who disagrees will have his opinion beaten from him and stomped on, for your opinion has no value to the monkey and will be destroyed.