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曲 培 文 社 会

The Qu Pei Wen Society  is a worldwide organization dedicated to the promotion of Traditional Chinese Kungfu and Qigong.

螳 蜋 拳
Tanglang Quan/ Mantis Fist

Mantis Fist demands that the head, shoulders, elbows, wrists and waist are flexible during practice. All the joints of the body need to stretch in order to practice effectively and cultivate internal abilities so it is useful for keeping the joints strong and flexible. It is effective for strengthening your body and prolonging your lifespan. The hand movements in Mantis Fist are mainly in an arc or a circle in order to reduce and counter the attack of an opponent. The movements are fast and continuous, so you can protect yourself effectively and beat stronger opponents.

Mantis Fist is an ideal martial art for both beginners and experts wishing to improve their health and fighting ability.

The Style of the Mantis Fist

The Mantis Fist has several hundred years of history. It is unique and excellent, absorbing the theory of Yin Yang, hard and soft .
Mantis Fist uses movements which resemble both the physical form of a mantis and its brave spirit. It alternates between upward and downward movements and coordinates internal and external movements. It is useful for short-range and long-range attacks. Hand, step and leg techniques are often used together in order to create an effective offence and defence. The movements are stable, agile and fast, with abundant and abrupt changes, hard but not stiff, soft but with power, fast but without disorder. The movements keep complete positions for different situations. Mantis Fist uses power abruptly and quickly, tense and loose, while flexible.

Mantis fist imitates the mantis’ front claw, so it is simply named “Mantis Claw”. The main hand techniques include hook (gou), embrace (lou), grab (cai), defence with mantis hook (gua), wind (chan), chop (pi), crush (beng) and cut (jie). The main steps include empty step, four and six step, jade ring step, slippery step, following step, triangle step and arrow step. The body techniques mostly develop around the hand and arm, moving in an arc, a circle, winding inward or outward, and spinning, the waist coordinates with the body and limbs through continuously twisting, wrenching, winding, and turning. The available power is great, as hard and soft is able to move in four directions, including upward and downward spirals. Traditionally, it is seen to be soft as a dragonfly skimming the surface of the water, or a butterfly flying across the flowers. It is brave and fierce like a tiger going downhill, like a dragon exploding from the water. It is fast like lightning in the night’s sky; it is stable like a mountain when still. The movements employ Yin and Yang aspects; the power is trembling, with continuous movements. It combines both attack and defence, using fist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and foot, often leaving no way for the opponent to escape.

The History of The Mantis Fist

The creation and origin of Mantis Fist have been told in many different versions, but the following version is most commonly accepted.
Mantis Fist has nearly 200 years of history and Yantai has been found the original home of Mantis Fist through much research. It’s well known that Mantis Fist was created by Wang Lang who lived in the late of Ming Dynasty and in the early of Qing Dynasty.

Yu Qi was a leader in the peasant uprising against the Manchu (Qing Dynasty). When the revolt was crushed, he was forced to seek refuge in one of the villages in the Laoshan Mountains (1133m high). Nevertheless, he was discovered by the Manchu Army and had to flee to Huayansi temple nearby where he became a true monk.. Throughout the whole time he was in contact with the rebel peasant leaders. His identity was kept secret on a piece of paper, on both sides of which was written his Buddhist name: Shang Shan Xia He. Upon folding the paper, the characters Shang and Xia combined to create the character Wang. This is the reason Yu Qi used to call himself Wang. He would also say that his name is Deyizi, nickname Qian Sisan. Character Qian combined with Yi are read as Wang. The characters Deyi mean to add one or to add the symbol, whereas Zi means son\boy, and another name for boy is Lang. The rebel leaders, in order to avoid mentioning Yu Qi, would therefore refer to him as, Wang Lang.

It is said that Wang Lang went to the Laoshan Mountain where he saw the ancient temple abode of some hermits and decided to enter for some food and water. The first thing he saw was Taoist monks practicing the art of boxing in the main plaza of the temple. Then a conflict broke out, and Wang Lang found himself fighting with the abbot, a fight that Wang Lang lost. Wang Lang realized the depth of the abbot’s martial skills and immediately left the temple.

Wang Lang went to the woods and lay down under a huge tree, wondering why he lost the fight. It was there he saw two white praying mantises on the tree, fighting for an insect. During the fight, one mantis was attacking while the other would jump from side to side, ducking and counter-attacking with lightning speed. Wang Lang concentrated wholly on this fight and suddenly realized the hidden principles and amazing agility of mantis attack and defence. He swiftly returned to the temple and challenged the abbot once more. This time Wang Lang won the fight. The abbot, surprised, asked how this was possible and invited him to live in the temple. They spent a long time observing mantises fighting and engaging in deadly battles. Eventually the temple developed a new, secret technique which was different from all other styles and regarded as the earliest Mantis Fist: Mantis Beng Bu Fist. Wang Lang continued to develop his own style, perfected through absorbing the essence of 17 other famous styles, called “the Mantis Gate”.

The Integration of 18 Styles of Fists

The following styles were integrated into Mantis Fist.

1. In the beginning there was "Long-range Boxing" (Chang Quan) style of emperor Tai Zu.

2. Master Han Tongs "Through the Back" (Tongbei) boxing.

3. "Rap Around and Seal" (Chan Feng) of Master Zhang En, extremely profound hand techniques.

4. The remarkable "Close-range Strikes" (Duanda) boxing of Master Ma Ji.

5. Master Huang You’s "Close Range Hand Techniques" (Kao Shou) were impossible to come close to.

6. The "Blocking Hands and Following Through Fist" (Keshou Tongquan) technique of Master Jin Xiang.

7. The hand techniques of "Hooking, Scooping and Grabbing Hands" (Gou Lou Cai Shou) of Master Liu Xing.

8. The "Methods of Sticking, Grabbing, and Falling" (Zhanna Diefa) of Master Yan Qing.

9. The extraordinary "Short Boxing"(Duan Quan) of Master Wen Yuan.

10. The renowned "Monkey Boxing" (Hou Quan) of Master Sun Hang.

11. The lightning fast "Cotton Fist"(Mian Quan) techniques of Master Mien Shen.

12. The "Throwing-Grabbing and Hard Crashing" (Shuailue Yingbeng) techniques by Master Huai De.

13. The "Ducking, Leaking and Passing through the Ears" (Gunlou Guaner) techniques of Master Tan Fang.

14. The "Mandarin ducks kick" (Yuanyang Jiao) strong leg techniques of Master Lin Chong.

15. The "Seven Postures of Continuous Fist Strikes" (Qishi Lianquan) techniques by Master Meng Su.

16. "Hand Binding and Grabbing" (Kunlu Zhenru) techniques of Master Yang Gun which attack instantly.

17. The "Explosive Strikes into the Hollow Parts of the Body" (Woli Paochui) techniques by Master Cui Lian.

18. "Mantis Fist" (Tanglang Quan) of Master Wang Lang which absorbed and equalized all previous techniques.

The Theory of Mantis Fist

The theory of Mantis Fist is wide and profound. It includes Seven Long and Eight Short (Qi Chang Ba Duan), Eight Hard and Twelve Soft (Ba Gang Shi Er Rou) plus the twelve character-guiding principles. At the same time, it absorbs many principles of psychology, astronomy, sports, Buddhism, Taoism, Chinese medicine and ancient military science.
The creator Wang Lang developed the twelve character guiding principles of mantis fighting techniques: zhan (contacting), nian (sticking), bang (linking), tie (pressing), lan (intruding), jiao (provoking), shun (moving along), song (sending), ti (lifting), na (grabbing), feng (blocking), bi (locking). Also they developed formal routines of mantis technique, such as: Beng bu (crushing step), Lan jie (obstruction), Ba zhou (eight elbows), Mei hua lu (plum blossom technique) and Bai yuan tou tao (white ape steals the peach). However, this new style for a long time was a privilege of the Taoists of the Lao Shan Taoist religious community and it was kept as a part of the secret Taoist doctrines, closed to layman. Wang Lang lived in the Taoist temple practicing self cultivation, developing Mantis Fist and following the way of the Tao.

 

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