To all seven star praying mantis (TangLang) family. This message is concerning the short video clip called (Mantis108) A.K.A Mantis "vs" Wing Chun. I was not aware of this information until I was searching the online internet on mantis. How this all happened, I was talking to a close friend of mine and his name is Sifu Nikita Young Johnson. His styles are Wing Chun/JKD/Praying Mantis. I told him that I meet a Wing Chun Sifu by the name of Milan Kecic, disciple of Grand Master William Cheung. Sifu Milan in my opinion, I would rate him as a top Kungfu fighter. If you don't know what you are doing when you are fighting him. You will get hurt. His master did a good job teaching him. Sifu Milan wanted to start his own Wing Chun classes at my temple (School). I told this to Sifu Nikita, he was very excited to meet Sifu Milan. Sifu Nikita, asked me if he could bring in his video camera. I told him Sifu Milan and I was training together in private. I'm helping him on his endurance and conditioning of his body. I told Sifu Milan with this type of training it would be hard for anyone to beat him. That's how I train my students. Sifu Milan asked me one day while we were training. Why do you play a defense all the time when we are sparring? I told him that a good defense fighter could attack at anytime. I also told him that in the past I would spar with top Martial Art Fighters. The fighters would leave the school feeling ok. The next day I would receive a call from the fighters stating that they woke up the next morning with injuries. Some needed to seek medical attention for these injuries which made me feel real bad. So my point is to Sifu Milan, if I do not feel that you are not on my level, I would not attack you. If I do it will be with extra control. That is why I am always concern of my opponent. I also stated to Sifu Milan that if you want me to attack, you must spar first with one of my disciples. Sifu Frank Gonzalez, a first degree black sash. Sifu Milan said ok, so we setup the match. The sparring match lasted 30 seconds. Sifu Milan bowed out stating that he has no medical insurance. Later on that day while leaving out of the temple (School), Sifu Milan called me "MASTER". I told him he does not have to call me master, I'm just a coach. Thinking back years ago I remember my first Kungfu master, Master Kwan telling me that my skills are too advance, that I should not spar people because they would get hurt. I also remember the first time I got hurt in training is when my last master. Master Raymond Ly, told me not to use my fighting skills in sparring one of his favorite disciples.
Getting back to the video clip, that day of sparring with Sifu Milan I noticed the look on Sifu Milan's face. When he seen Sifu Nikita bringing in the video camera, he became different in his actions. I told Sifu Nikita that I think Sifu Milan feels uncomfortable about the video camera. I explained to Sifu Milan that the camera was for Sifu Nikita private training and that he like to video different sparring matches. So don't worry about anything, I gave Sifu Milan my word. Due to the camera being setup I felt that Sifu Milan was intimidated and was actually attacking me with edger moves while I was playing a defensive role. That's why in the video clip I was asking Sifu Milan are you ok. At the end of the video you notice that I told Sifu Milan that I was only working on conditioning. Due to the fact I did not want him to feel intimidated by me. I was shocked!!! When I observed the video clip on the world wide internet. I do not own or have a copy of the video clip. I got in touch with Sifu Nikita about the situation of the private video clip, he stated that he let his student borrow the tape for practice and was not aware of him using it on the internet world wide. So my point is the video clip you see was only a friendly sparring match between two friends which was not for public viewing. The video just got into the wrong hands with out my permission. Traditional Praying Mantis was not used in this clip!!! Someone just made there own little movie.
I want to give special thanks to those out there who saw the video clip and knew what was actually going on. Also, I would like to stress in traditional TangLang or any other Martial Arts you can not use certain moves in sparring as your opponent will get hurt. For the person who put the video clip out there, I know this was done with good intentions. I've been teaching the Praying Mantis/TangLang system for over 20 years and my record speaks for it's self. I have no intentions to reply to future gossip. If you're ever in the city of Chicago you can visit me at my temple. For more information visit www.mantisfist.com
Sifu Lee Lera,
P.S. If one thing I learned from this is to never trust a so call friend to Video you, while play fighting with someone.