Despite being somewhat under represented in the West, Praying Mantis is one of the most famous and revered external styles in China. The reason being its efficiency when striking, grappling, moving
and defending, all conducted at extreme speed.
At Shengjing Shan we place a great emphasis on ensuring good form from all of our Mantis students, as well as developing speed, power, accuracy and mental flexibility. Furthermore the exploration
of each movement you learn serves to deeper the practitioner’s understanding of the art. Praying Mantis is an aesthetically unique style, founded on a devestating arsenal of techniques which can be
applied in any situation.
The original Praying Mantis system was first developed by Wang Lang(王朗) who originally lived in Shanxi province during the Ming dynasty. He started practising kungfu at an early age an was familiar
with both Shaolin and Tongbeiquan. However despite his proficiency in these arts he was humiliated by an opponent at a martial arts competition.
One day whilst walking home, still suffering from the shame of his defeat, he observed a praying mantis battling a bird. Despite the bird’s size, the mantis was able to deter the would-be predator
through a combination of technique, speed and indomitable spirit. Inspired by this scene, Wang Lang began to deeply analyse the movements of the mantis and incorporate the essence of its character
into a new style of kungfu. Havnig refined his new system, he returned to challenge his rival who had humiliated him before and swiftly defeated him in combat.