Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu Training
The Northern Praying Mantis technique (“Tang Lang Quan” in Chinese) is one of the traditional martial arts forms that mimics praying mantis insect. The creation of Praying Mantis Kung Fu was inspired by the movements of the praying mantis insect. Other than that, it also incorporates elements of various Shaolin styles. However, it is unrelated to Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu.
History of Northern Praying Mantis Technique
Northern Praying Mantis Technique was developed over a thousand years ago by a martial artist named Wang Lang during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). It was originated in the area around Shan Dong, Jiao Dong.
As know, Praying Mantis Technique (“Tang Lang Quan”) was inspired by the striking actions of praying mantis’s claws. It derived from the principles of overcoming weakness with strength. In addition, it also integrated nimble footwork of monkey into offensive and defensive strategies, making Praying Mantis Technique a completed martial arts form.
Characteristics of Praying Mantis Form
Tang Lang Quan has strong combat applications. It emphasizes on drawing mainly metaphorical inspirations from the praying mantis. Hard and soft approaches are combine in this martial arts form, meaning it can be both the extreme hard and extreme soft, for both long and short ranges.
Being unpredictable in its changes and movements, Tang Lang Quan can be struck crossing between high and low, in and out. After extensive training, practitioner’s hand, leg and body movements could become continuous, ingenious, firm and strong, yet nimble and agile.
Agility, fastness and stability is another characteristic of this kung fu style. Its movements are powerful, fluid, supple, crisp and fast. When exerting force, it will be quick, sudden and full of elasticity.
Strong Points of Praying Mantis Technique
When punching, the practitioners often practise a rule of “eight hard and twelve soft”. Being soft, it means to be like a butterfly weaving through flowers, or like the wind caressing willows. Being hard, it means to be like a hammer smiting stone, crushing with the weight of a mountain. The extreme hard and extreme soft co-exist in this form.
When attacking, the striking force is transmitted via “three joints”. Firstly, make use of the force that arise from the leg, thrust forth with the hips. The force will then be transmitted through the shoulders, accelerated by the elbow, and finally delivered via the hand. The attacking range can be extended suddenly to strike afar.
Praying Mantis Training
Praying Mantis motion involves almost all parts of the body, which includes flexing, extending, winding, encircling, balancing, jumping, flipping, turning, etc. Thus, with systematic praying mantis training, one significantly improves strength, speed, agility, flexibility, endurance and other aspects of physical fitness.
Praying Mantis Technique is excellent and effective training for self defence and body fitness building. In addition, it is also fascinating to watch, never fails to grab attention for many viewers.
Among many martial arts forms, it nicely demonstrates its unique forms in attack and defense. What praying mantis kung fu exhibits is not just a majestic, valorous and indomitable fighting spirit, but also a lively and aesthetically pleasing martial arts form.
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