Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu - Chinese Martial Arts

Join this free martial arts wiki. Add info on Shotokan Kata, Taekwondo Forms, Kicks, Punches, Grappling, Aikido, Goju-Ryu, Krav Maga, Bo Staff, Kyokushin, etc. Talk with martial artists by joining our Wiki Community.

Wiki Revision Date - 14 Jun 2017 20:22

Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu - Chinese Martial Arts

Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu originated in the northeastern province of Shandong, China. Although Hong Kong movies popularized the notion of the style being about mimicking the movements of an insect, this is in fact a misunderstanding. Praying Mantis style instead takes the principles of how a mantis uses its hooks to catch prey; the hooked shape hand (Mantis Claw) is excellent for latching onto an opponents limbs or body as a setup for the finishing blows.

Legend has it that the style was created by a man named Wang Lang, who supposedly having lost a fight gained inspiration on how to beat his opponent after seeing a mantis catch a cicada while strolling in the woods. There is very little historical references to this story, or who Wang Lang was, however current research puts the earliest documented master of Praying Mantis Kung Fu as a man named Li Bing Xiao, from mid Qing Dynasty.

Praying Mantis Kung Fu focuses on combinations of fast strikes, which are used to set up for a throw or sweep. Kicks are generally low, and grappling is used sparingly. There is an even mixture of long range and short range fighting techniques; long range focusing on large swinging type movements to generate maximum power, and short range using the body to generate explosive power.

The oldest recorded forms of Mantis are Beng Bu 崩补, Luan Jie 乱接 and Fen Shen Ba Zhou 分身八肘. Another core form to the system is the six sets of Zhai Yao 摘要.

There are three major branches of Mantis practiced in Shandong, and any others can be said to be offshoots of these. They are: Seven Star, Taiji-Plum Blossom and Six Harmony. Seven Star tends to use slightly more linear and longer movements, due to its influence from Long Fist. Taiji-Plum Blossom tends to use more circular and whole body movements, and Six Harmony is considered the "softest" of all the styles, as it has had a large influence from other styles such as Xinyi Quan.

For additional Chinese martial arts styles, please visit the main Chinese Martial Arts section.

Reference Sources

  1. Information kindly provided by Will at Monkey Steals Peach, https://monkeystealspeach.com/


Martial Arts Gear - Books | DVDs | Flexibility | Food | Kata | Kids | Seniors | Shoes | Sparring

Join the Wiki Community!

We hope you become a wiki member. You can join via the wiki or via Facebook.
Talk to fellow martial artists on the wiki community or read recent replies. Members can ask questions, post answers & videos and even tell the occasional martial arts joke!



Latest Informational Pages Added to the Wiki

Popular & Highly Rated Community Posts

Recent Member Posts Added to Community

  • training as a WTF black belt at a Karate studio Well today was my second day training at a Karate Studio as a TKD black belt. So far the training is similar for most activates and I am picking up there forms. But getting use to punching I am finding quite difficult. My first reaction when the targe...
  • Tradition in Karate With my research in karate I am personally finding the word "traditional" to not meet my personal definition of the word. For those of you that practice a traditional form of karate where does your tradition start? What is that point where you say "t...
  • Leg Stretching Machines Since there have been a couple of recent posts about getting better splits and/or stretching, I thought that I would post a Youtube video focused on leg stretching machines. These machines look like medieval torture devices but are used by some martial...
  • Leg injury. How to continue martial arts training? If someone severely injured their leg (i.e. broken bone, torn ACL, ruptured calf muscle, etc.), how would you advise them to continue their martial arts training? What advice would you give them to offset their lack of mobility? Their inability to trai...



At no extra cost to you, Black Belt Wiki makes a small commission if you buy products via these links. Your purchase helps keep this wiki free for all visitors. Thank you for your support!






Material on this wiki may not be copied or reproduced without the written approval of Black Belt Wiki.
All rights reserved. For other terms & conditions, please read our legal disclaimer. This site is for informational purposes only. All martial arts techniques and fitness exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting or continuing any martial arts and/or physical fitness program.


This is a free martial arts newsletter that is sent out approximately once per week.
The newsletter provides wiki and community updates.


Martial Arts Gear