You are correct that I have no experience in kung-fu, but, just as paleontologists, who have no experience with dinosaurs, make judgments about dinosaurs from the evidence they have left behind, when I research the different styles of kung-fu, I make logical and reasoned judgments from the evidence they leave behind.
For example, the Northern Praying Mantis system was founded by Wang Lang, who, after watching a praying mantis overcome a much larger cicada, studied the insect and incorporated its movements into the new system. Most northern mantis kung fu styles use the mantis hook, where the hand being held in a shape to resemble a mantis' talon and is used for striking, blocking, and parrying. The style stresses that its movements are made in imitation of the movements of the mantis
“Snake” kung-fu stylists are taught to spring from a resting posture to full attack, such as does the snake. They are taught to bob and weave similar to a snake and then attack quickly, in succession, hitting the same opening repeatedly. Should the attacker block one of these snake-strikes, the snake changes targets and continues its barrage. Kicks are low, snappy, and aimed at the shins, knee, or top of foot such as the way a snake attacks