Tanglangquan, or Praying Mantis kung fu can trace its roots back to a secular disciple of the Shaolin Monastery during the
Ming Dynasty called Wang Lang.
Wang practiced the Lohan style with all the other monks and disciples but he couls never beat his classmates, no matter
how hard he trained, perhaps because of his small stature and the fact that the Lohan style favours large powerful fighters.
One evening while he was resting der a tree after being beaten by his eniors in sparring Wnag Lang noticed a Praying Mantis
fighting with a Cicada; he was greatly inspired by what he saw. He then went out and caught a few Praying Matises so that
he could study their movements, and he began to incporporate what he learnt into his kung fu. Wang Lang's fighting skill and
sparring performances improved dramatically and his master began helEnter content hereping him to refine his Praying Mantis
style and eventually sent him out from the Monastery to travel the country learning other martial arts and using this knowledge
to refine his new Praying Mantis style. Wang Lang did this and selected the best parts of 17 different styles of kung fu,
such as the footwork of the Monkey style to incorporate into his system; he then returned to the Shaolin Monastery and taught
the new Praying Mantis style to the other monks and disciple who were so enamorred with it that it even replaced Lohan Quan
as the main style of kung fu taught at the Shaolin Monatery, at least for a while.
Today this original Praying Mantis has branched out into a number of separate schools with quite distinct styles: Seven
Star Praying Mantis is perhaps the most widely practiced, there are also distinct northern and southern styles of Praying
Mantis, Six Harmonies Praying Mantis contains more internal Qi Gong practices, and Steel Wire Mantis has a heavy emphasis
on fore-arm conditioning and Steel Jacket practices and practitioners often throw their arms in first as a kind of aggressive
form of blocking.