PRAYING MANTIS - TANG LANG

A great style with many branches such as Seven Star, Mei Hua, Eight Step and others. Check out our information page on the style and learn about its history and character.

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Praying Mantis H.B. UnBack in Stock! A202 TIGER-SWALLOW FIST
by Gao Tao Sheng
$14.95, 121 pages, softbound, lots of photographs
Note: This book is in Chinese and English!

A famous routine in Mantis circles, the Tiger/ Swallow is a form of contrasts. Essentially simple and easy to learn it specializes in "Big Opening and Big Closing", straight forward techniques typical of Mantis, and some quick changes. Beautifully laid out, each page of text opposite a high quality page of photos never more than two. Applications are covered in the text.

Master Gao Tao-Sheng: born in 1915. Training: Di Gong Men with Master Fan Zhong-ching, Praying Mantis at the Qingdao Martial Arts School, Northern Shaolin at the Jinan Martial Arts School, and Wu Dang under Taoist priest Fa Zhou.In FuXian he continued his Shaolin Long Fist and Praying Mantis training under Grandmaster Wang Song-ting for 8 years. 1949 he moved to Taiwan. 1961 he founded the Hsing-Sheng Martial Arts School in Taipei.

This introductory form shows key Praying Mantis skills. The photography is clear with only one or two pictures per page. The form is not long and includes not only basics actions but some poses particularilly good for demonstrating proper Kung Fu posture. Long out of print, we're glad to see this one back.

Straight forward English/Chinese breakdown.

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10 Road Spring Leg Tan Tui KP030 PaChi TangLang Chuan
by Su Yu Chang
Retail $36.95, PLUM price $25.95, 300+ pages,

One of the fun things about this job is that I get to "open the candy box" on books and DVDs I know are public for the first time. Of all the books we have been waiting for BaJi (PaChi) material is definitely in the top rung especially of people asking about whatever information they could get their hands on. Sometimes the first efforts are a little on the weak side, but here we have Su Yu Chang who has been practicing this fabulous art for most of his life. Not only that but his amalgamation of systems also cover PiKua and Praying Mantis styles, also his specialties.

In addition, there are stories, essays, and background pieces on the instructors he had had and the heritage they transported into the last century. Some are fascinating such as the information given on Li Shu Wen, definitely not a nice man. Grandmaster Liu Yun Chiao is remembered along with Su's top teachers and disciples.

The technical portions of the book show training sequences, marching practice, usage and more on all three systems that make up what is known as PaChi TangLang style. As a Chinese medical doctor and Qigong expert, he fleshes many of the practices out with his philosophy of energy and Chinese philosophical tenets. This is not like the repeated standards of most martial books. Su's view of what is happening in energetics is peppered with his own theories and speculations, some of them challenging some intriguing.

I won't even try to "sell" Baji to you. If you have never heard of it, just wait, you will. Through a trick of fate I was probably one of the first people to learn Baji in the Western Hemisphere. I literally did not know what I had but kept practicing it for a decade or so. Then I saw it performed by Liu Yun Chiao's students and was absolutely captivated by the signature blend of raw power, elegant movement and powerful spirit. Baji looks mystifyingly simple, for about ten seconds, then you begin to feel the quivering of the stage and the vibrations rising from the floor. Even the Qian Long Emperor considered this the most powerful art in his realm.

There's so much here I hardly have space to talk about PiGua, a great style in its own right. Then there is Su Yu Chang's involvement with Praying Mantis. This book explains entire styles that even mantis practitioners have hardly ever heard of. I was at a class with Su years ago and he said one of the great descriptions of the mantis, "It is so unusual that if you have to kill someone they will thanks you and say it was worth it to see this technique." How's that for intriguing?

In his youth Su performing Praying Mantis was one of the fastest human beings I had ever seen demonstrating Kung Fu. Even in his seventies, his hands are lightning fast and fluid.

Click here for Table of Contents

See Su Yu Chang's "Six Great Openings" DVD on Baji Quan

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KP023 Praying Mantis The Locking Hand
By Jose P. Chua
$12.95, 56 pages, softbound, published 1980 by Koinonia 10.95



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The introduction to this volume contends that Bruce Lee was also a knowledgeable Mantis practitioner. Be that as it may Chua is a student of Ngo Cho, Mantis and White Eyebrow. This Seven Star form has 83 movements and concentrates on the locking aspects of Praying Mantis. After the form there is a 9 page section on Seven Star applications from the form. Everything is followed by a nice close contemplating the role of adaptation and spontaneity in Kung Fu. This is from the Koinonia Publishing run by Leo Fong and is one of the first books in English on the Mantis style.
Praying Mantis H.B. Un

KT044 &KT045  Taiji Praying Mantis Kung Fu
by Lam Wing Kit and Ying Fun Fong

Praying Mantis H.B. UnFor the first time we know of in English (with facing Chinese) this series of two books covers the essence of the Taiji Branch of Praying Mantis. This style is also known as Taiji Mei Hua or Grand Extreme Plum Blossom style. Taiji Mantis was brought to Hong Kong in the early part of the 20th century by instructor Zhao Zhu Xi. In fact most of the Taiji Mantis players today come from the Zhao lineage. The book have small photographs but with excellent clarity. The Chinese/English text explains the names of the moves, the idea behind each form and some applications of the movements

Volume One: KT044
BaDaMa : a short beginning set covering the basic eight stances with accompanying hand strikes,
Wu Shou Chui: compiled of five sets of actions strung together ,
BengBu: the classic "core" set of the ShanDong mantis system, created by Wong Long himself, also called Monkey Step Mantis Boxing
DanZhi MeiHua: This selection of Plum Blossom Movements shows the combination of Mantis for charging and entering
LanJie: this set concentrates on the blocking and intercepting aspects of Mantis with the hook hand emphasized,
JieGen : this form concentrates on the root which, in the case of the upper body, means controlling the joints,
The book finishes with a detailed description of the short weapons in the Taiji Mantis system.

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$24.95 each with 10 % discount for ordering the pair
145 pages each, softbound, good quality photographs


Volume Two: KT045
QuanZhung ZhaiYao: the Mantis "compendium" form
Di TangLang : the ground rolling form for Mantis
BaZhou HsangLu : Eight Elbows, a major form of the system with advanced footwork so long it is divided into two sections),
The book finishes with a detailed description of the long weapons in the Taiji Mantis system.

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$24.95
each with 10 % discount for ordering the pair
145 pages each, softbound, good quality photographs

Remember: There's 10% discount for ordering both books. $49.90 - 5.00 = $44.90

Praying Mantis H.B. Un

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KP016 Praying Mantis Kung Fu
by H. B. Un
$15.95, 83 pages, softbound, lots of photographs



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At last! We've been looking for this book for a long time. We have a hardback first edition in our personal library (this goes on Ebay and Amazon for up to $90.00) but have just located a source for this soft bound edition. Student of both Wong Hon Fun (the Mantis King) and White Eyebrow master Cheung Lai Chun, H. B. Un authored this slim volume more than forty years ago making it one of the first English language editions on his art. Bong Bo, with applications, is the featured set. The photographs are large, not always easy to read (even in the first edition) and accompanied by some interesting historical notes. A student of the old school, ex-general Un refused to teach his art at the London Chinese Youth Club, preferring to keep it to himself. This is a landmark book in the history of Kung Fu in the West.

Pak Mei Kung Fu

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KI005 Inch Punch Power
Details and Training Methods
by Tyler Rea
normally $24.95, PLUM price $21.95, 191 pages, softbound,

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Here is a compilation of training methods, strategies and principles all revolving around a single subject: generating the famous "inch power" (Tsun Jin) so often associated with such signature styles as Wing Chun, Southern Mantis and White Eyebrow. Profusely illustrated with line drawings and photographs. Also a very large section on Kung Fu terms in Cantonese.

Table of Contents includes:
Details of Power
Four Energies (Sei Ging)
Mechanics of Inch Punch Power
The 12 Body Zones of Power: Body Drop, Round Back and Swallow Chest, Oblique Compression...
The Inch Power Exercises (Wing Chun, Southern Mantis, Crane, White Eyebrow and Six Elbows)
Martial Maxims
36 Stratagems
Device Training: Iron Ruler, Rolling Pole, Brass Rings, Chain
Southern Kung Fu terminology

See Tyler Rea's Bamboo Ring Book

7 Star Praying Mantis

KS015 Seven Star Praying Mantis Kung Fu
by Leung Ting
$15.95, English/Chinese , 194 pages, softbound, lots of photographs



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In many ways this is one of our favorite books on the Mantis. It is a Leung Ting book but really the instruction of a young Lee Kam Wing. In this we are NOT introduced to a form other than a selection from the Praying Mantis wooden dummy set. Instead teacher Lee shows the applications, but single, defensively and often partnered of the basics "formulae" of the Mantis style. In other words this book shows the hands on workings of what makes Mantis Mantis. It is an excellent text for someone wanting to absorb the flavor of the style through real exercises though, if you haven't seen much mantis, the flavor will be the most elusive aspect of this fine boxing form .
Seven Star Praying Mantis

K#011 SEVEN STAR MANTIS #1
by Lam Wing Kit & Ying Fun Fong
This is the FIRST VOLUME in a little series
$16.50 , English/Chinese , 96 pages, softbound, undersized

 

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Here's the question... why pay  16.50 for an undersized (about 3 1/2 X 6 1/4) with less than 100 pages? Because the photographs, though small are excellent. The page quality is superior. The covers are wrap arounds. All this is usual for a martial arts book. In addition it covers photographically with terse instruction THREE mantis forms. These are: Da Fan Che (Big Turning Cart), Xiao Fan Che (Little Turning Cart) and Li Pi Quan (Strong Split Boxing ). Side by side Chinese (traditional) and English and some Applications are thrown in. These first three are said to represent the Gang or Hard Mantis. Li Pi though uses principles from Tai Chi. All use smashing energy.
This is the SECOND VOLUME in a little series. Now here's the question. Why pay Seven Star Praying Mantis

K#012 SEVEN STAR MANTIS #2
by Lam Wing Kit & Ying Fun Fong
$16.50 , English/Chinese , 96 pages, softbound, undersized

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16.50 for an undersized (about 3 1/2 X 6 1/4) with less than 100 pages? Because the photographs, though small are excellent. The page quality is superior. The are wrap arounds. All this is usual for a martial arts book. In addition it covers photographically with terse instruction THREE mantis forms. These are: Da Jia Shi (Big Structure), Xiao Jia Shi (Little Structure) and Tang Lang Chui (Mantis Punch). Side by side Chinese (traditional) and English with some Applications thrown in.
Secrets of 7 Star Praying Mantis

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KS009 The Secret of Seven Start Praying Mantis
by LEE KAM WING
$15.50, English , 239 pages, softbound



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This is a survey book and quite complete. It shows a couple of forms such as Black Tiger Crossing and Mantis Comes from Cave sketchily and with some applications. But, more importantly, it gives a wide overview of the complete Mantis training including Iron Palm, Wooden Dummy, the essential Mantis theory (which is quite interesting), applications, basics training, history and more. A very good book to understand what Seven Star, probably the most widely practiced school is all about. Click for alternate cover.

Praying Mantis Sabe Arts with Wong Han FunKCS006 Praying Mantis Saber Arts
by Wong Han Fun (Huang Han Xun trans. Joseph Crandall)
$25.00, 101 pages with photographs



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Wong was known as the "Mantis King." This is a Northern branch Praying Mantis version of two bladed weapons, the Yan Qing Saber (Lost Track Saber) and the Jun Da Dao (Military Big Saber). The first is composed of 55 movements and is relatively simple and straight forward with some elegant stances and combinations.
Important: This book incorporates and duplicates the text from KCS003.

Tai Chi Praying Mantis Beng Bu

KT017 Tai Chi Mantis Peng Pu Chuan
by Tse Wing-Ming
$11.95 Plum price 10.50, Chinese/English en face, 85 pages, softbound

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Printed in Hong Kong this neat little book is EN FACE, that is, both Chinese and English versions are represented. Not only a nice set with clear illustrations but a good book for those wanting to improve their martial translation skills.
One of the key Mantis sets. This is the major surviving set from the creator Wang Lang (at least according to some). Every major style of Mantis has a version with - considering its 300+ year history - minor variations. Peng Pu or Beng Bu is most often translated as "thrust leg" but in the early days of Mantis more implied "capture leg". This essential set introduces some of the core concepts of Mantis: high and low simultaneous attacks, entering, complex angles and "hidden" moves. Peng Pu is the basic dictionary of Mantis. This is the rarer Tai Chi Mantis version.

Black Tiger Praying Mantis

KN001 Northern Mantis Black Tiger Intersectional Fist
by Yuan Man-Kai
$11.95 Plum price $10.50, Chinese/English en face, 72 pages, softbound

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Hei Hu Tiao Chai. Yuan Man Kai was a direct student of Wang Hon Fan. His sets follow the method of Northern Mantis Boxing , of which he is considered an inheritor. Printed in Hong Kong this neat little book is EN FACE, with both Chinese and English versions represented. THE BLACK TIGER is an intermediate set in the Praying Mantis system. It generally follows Beng Bu, 18 Old Men and Zuo Gang. It is not difficult to learn and the postures are relatively simple and straight forward. Mantis hooking actions are emphasized and it is said to have more hook hands than any other mantis set. It also has some more severe strikes such as eye shots. A relatively short set with 38 postures. This slim book is nicely filled out with notes about the mantis style and the authors comments on its history and place in the martial world.


Volley Catch Praying Mantis

KT018 Tai Chi Mantis Volley-Catch Fist
by Tse Wing-Ming & Yan Sang
$11.95 Plum price 10.50, Chinese/English en face, 134 pages, softbound



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Lan Chieh Chuan. This book is EN FACE:, both Chinese and English versions are represented. Not only a good form with clear illustrations but a nice book for those wanting to improve martial translation skills. One of the more advanced Mantis sets. This is another version from our Northern 7 Star Intercepting Fist. The footwork is of the "rushing" variety. Of the first three core sets of Mantis this is said to be the one with the most "Mantis flavor". This is due to its complex and ingenious multiple layered movement, very representative of mantis.
Intercepting Fist Praying Mantis

KN002 Northern Mantis Intercepting Boxing
by Yuan Man Kai
$11.95 Plum price , 10.50, Chinese/English en face, 73 pages, softbound,

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Yuan Man Kai was a direct student of Wang Hon Fan. His sets follow the method of Northern Mantis Boxing, of which he is considered an inheritor. This book is EN FACE, that is, both Chinese and English versions are represented. Not only a nice set with decent photographs but a good book for those wanting to improve their martial translation skills.
INTERCEPTING FIST is a higher level Mantis form. As the program goes it is a compact, highly coordinated set that utilizes the "seven long and eight short" motions in a closely linked manner. There is a lot of leg Chin Na hidden in the "seizing leg actions." The hand emphasis is on compact motion which interrupts on the beat of the opponent's attack. This boxing, one of the major mantis sets, is also known as Lan Jie Quan. There are only 36 postures in the set but each has a level of complexity. The form is demonstrated by the author.

Praying Mantis Killing Fan Play

KT004 T'ai Chi Tanglang Killing FanPlay
by Tse Wing Ming
Chinese/English en face
$15.95 Plum price, 13.50, 83 pages, softbound

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This little book is EN FACE - both Chinese and English versions are shown face-to-face. Not only a nice volume with clear illustrations but a good piece for those wanting to improve their martial translation skills. An intermediate set in the Praying Mantis system. Mantis hooking actions and fist actions are coordinated with a lot of hooking steps (Seven Star stances). A relatively short set with 53 postures.In case you are unfamiliar with Mantis it specializes in "point striking" that is, acupuncture points used in martial application. The design of the fan allows this along with its "fanned out" form to confuse the eye. This is not a fancy or balletic version but an authentic mantis form with conservatives moves mostly relating to self defense. Tse Wing Ming claims lineage from Chui Chuk Kai .
Study of Praying Mantis Kung Fu

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KT007 The Tang-Lang Praying Mantis Martial System
History and Introductory Forms
Edited by James I. Wong
$16.50, 90 pages, photographs, softbound and oversized

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This is a reprint and compilation of a series of books that came out in the early 80's by Koinonia Press in association - as we recall - with Leo Fong (the well known Choy Li Fut stylist and one of the first full-contact Kung Fu stylists in America). For a long time the Koinonia books were about all you could get on certain subjects. This large book has Four Directional Fist and Intercepting Fist in pretty clear photographs. James Wong wrote one of the first scholarly pieces about Kung Fu in English which started, we recall, as a college thesis. This book, too, is a cut above in text; more in the tradition of William C.C. Hu. Unfortunately Wong didn't write in the characters but he takes the translation of key elements of the mantis system a step further than most. This book is bound black and white so no matter how perfect the condition is when we mail it will look worn. Black covers are the worst!
Chinese Praying Mantis #1

KC021 Chinese Praying Mantis Boxing
Volume #1
Translated and compiled by H. C. Chao
$12.50, 76 pages, softbound with photos

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Here's the thing with McLisa who originally published this book many years ago. They would translate a Chinese text on Kung Fu then go out and hire the two least talented practitioners they could find to pose in the same positions as the earlier photos or line drawings. They would then CUT OUT the photos so they floated, as though in a Kodak limbo, on the page. They probably felt this increased the reality of the presentation but they were terribly wrong. Nonetheless these are not only somewhat collector's items but they do show some interesting basic mantis work. Volume One is graced with Jab and Punch fist. In Volume Two it is Beng Bu and Two Person Beng Bu (which they just call routine one). It's all pretty basic Seven Star and is of interest mostly to the collector as some of the first Mantis in English (the book is entirely in English). The practitioners, though definitely Kung Fu stylists, may not have sullied themselves with actual practice in the Mantis Fist itself. On the other hand it could just be the fault of bad layout and somewhat muddy photography.

Chinese Praying Mantis Boxing #2

KC022 Chinese PRAYING MANTIS Boxing
Volume #2
Translated and compiled by H. C. Chao
$12.50, 167 pages, softbound with photos,


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Here's the thing with McLisa who originally published this book many years ago. They would translate a Chinese text on Kung Fu then go out and hire the two least talented practitioners they could find to pose in the same positions as the earlier photos or line drawings. They would then CUT OUT the photos so they floated, as though in a Kodak limbo, on the page. They probably felt this increased the reality of the presentation but they were terribly wrong. Nonetheless these are not only somewhat collector's items but they do show some interesting basic mantis work. Volume One is graced with Jab and Punch fist. In Volume Two it is Beng Bu and Two Person Beng Bu (which they just call routine one). It's all pretty basic Seven Star and is of interest mostly to the collector as some of the first Mantis in English (the book is entirely in English). The practitioners, though definitely Kung Fu stylists, may not have sullied themselves with actual practice in the Mantis Fist itself. On the other hand it could just be the fault of bad layout and somewhat muddy photography.





















 

 

 



This is the alternative cover for the SAME BOOK as the above Secret of Seven Star.

 

For the chinese version...

Chinese edition of Luo Han Gong