I feel like there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the mantis hook hand used in praying mantis kung fu. The main purpose of the mantis hook hand is for grabbing: just as a mantis will catch prey at incredible speeds. As I explain though in the video, we are using the hook just like a fishing hook; we aren’t actively trying to grab an incoming arm, as then we would be commited to that and if we fail will freeze up. In this video I have only shown the most basic application, which is a deflection to the outside wrist.
The most common misconception I see is people saying that the mantis hook hand is used to strike pressure points, however there are some obvious problems with this. Pressure point striking itself is an incredibly difficult skill, points are small, and an opponent will not just stand there and let you flurry attacks at them to various points of the body. We can strike to vulnerable points, although using one finger with the hand in a mantis hook is too weak, and if you miss will probably end up breaking your finger. I have known of people who have trained their fingers to be strong enough to do this, but the intense training left them with severely damaged joints and loss of dexterity in their hands.
Another use of the mantis hook which I will cover in a later video is striking. Not striking with the finger, but with the back of the wrist. With the fingers pulled down, the back of the wrist becomes extremely hard, and does not need conditioning to be used as a striking tool.
Other uses include as part of locking and controlling techniques, as part of a clinch and other grappling situations, and for grabbing the hair and clawing the face.