What is 7-Star Praying Mantis?
Northern Praying Mantis Boxing (Fist)
art is known for imitating the movements of a praying
mantis insect in combat, in particular using the hands in a “praying mantis forelegs”
shape. Praying Mantis is especially famous for its speed and continuous
attacks. Another prominent feature of the style is the complex footwork,
borrowed from Monkey
Gung Fu. There are several styles of Praying Mantis, of
which the most famous is, Seven Star Praying Mantis. This style is
widespread in Shantung, Province and surrounding areas. Luó Kwang Yù (羅光玉)
is famous for having passed down this style to Hong Kong and other parts of
South China, where it is still practiced today.
Star Praying Mantis Boxing
Seven Star is known as the 'hardest'
of the Praying Mantis styles. Seven
Star Praying Mantis Boxing, also known as "Arhat
Praying Mantis Boxing", is said to have been created by Wang Yongchun (1854-1926) from Fushan
of Shantung. The majority of the existing curriculum of Chut Sing Tong Long
Kuen was developed by Wang Yongchun. Boxing sets such as Chahp Cheui Kuen, Seung
Chahp Fa and Say Louh Bung Da arise from this period and are largely absent
from the Kuen Po (boxing scrolls), of the other Tong Long sects such as Mui Fah, Tai
Gik, and Mui Fah Tong Long. Wang Yongchun is regarded as the source of the Siu Lum (Yinching
Kuen, Long Fist) influence that becomes so strong in the 7-Star Mantis
tradition, especially evident in the next generation of disciples.
Star Praying Mantis is considered the "hardest" of the Mantis styles
certain aspects of it are very internal compared with other external styles of Gung
on the essence of Praying Mantis Boxing, Wang integrated his own achievements
into the skills, forming a style of his own, which was named "Seven Star Praying Mantis Boxing". In this style it is important to train the waist and legs
consistently as much of the Mantis power is generated from them. It is a
combination of softness and hardness (yang/yin), with the softness concealed inside
the hardness. A practitioner must move lightly and heavily in transition capturing
and leaking, using lek, ging and gik in
linked attacks. The basic posture of this style is the
"Seven Star Step"”, which is full of force and characterized by
horizontal wrapping and vertical striking.