History Of Mantis Kung Fu
Northern Mantis Kung Fu is made up of 18 different Kung Fu arts. The founder of the
original Mantis Style was a Shaolin martial art student called Wang Lang.
The Praying Mantis style was originated approximately in 1620 AD; at the end of the
Ming Dynasty. During this time China had been going through turmoil at the hands of
the Manchu forces. However a young man by the name of Wang Lang decided to organise
a revolt against them and the new authority, the Tsing Dynasty, using the monks and
disciples of Shaolin. His scheme was discovered and the Tsing Government ordered the
armed forces to attack and burn the temples of Shaolin to the ground. Wang Lang with
some of the disciples, helped the Chief Monk to escape, they travelled far before
they finally settled down at Laoshan, Shantung province.
After the death of the Chief Monk, one of the elder monks called Feng was chosen
as successor to rule the temple at Laoshan. At leisure, Feng would always test his
fighting skill with Wang both for amusement and exercise. Wang was defeated all
the time and so sought to improve his skills, each time he tried harder to beat Feng
but failed. Fang would encourage his younger brother to practice harder whilst he
was out travelling the country, so that once he returned they could compete again.
One day during a hot summer Wang, whilst walking through the forest, heard the
chattering sound of some insects. He looked around until he found two insects,
a mantis and a cicada fighting each other. He was surprised how the mantis, being
the smaller insect, eventually subdued its opponent. He decided to bring the mantis
home with him, so to study its fighting method. From it he obtained tactics both
in attack and defence, as well as the fighting methods such as sinking, seizing,
blocking and catching. Wang was excited with what he had learnt, but still could see
that there was something missing. Whilst practising one day out in the forest, he
watched the monkeys at play, it fascinated him on how agile they moved, so he
continued to watch. He found that by copying their foot movements and combining
these movements with the forearm movements of the mantis, he had created a style
much faster and stronger to anything that he had already learnt.
Upon the return of the Chief Monk, another contest was again held. However this
time the outcome was different, and me Chief Monk was easily beaten. The Chief
Monk was so surprised to find that his brother had acquired his ability in so short
a time, and was very curious to know the reason why. Wang explained that by watching
both the mantis, and the monkey's he had combined what he had learnt, and so had
created what we know today as Mantis kung-fu.
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