Tanglang Quan History
Tanglang Quan (Praying Mantis Fist) is an old Chinese martial arts style, it was
said to have began during the emperor Liang Wu time, since then Tanglang Quan
have developed into several styles like Qixing Tanglang Quan (Seven Star Praying
Mantis Fist), Meihua Tanglang Quan (Plum Flower Praying Mantis Fist), Liuhe Tang
Lang Quan (Six Harmony Praying Mantis Fist) and others. Even though Tanglang
have divided into several styles with their own distinct characteristic, but
these styles still share the same roots and acknowledged one founder - Wang
The historical development of Tanglang Quan can be divided into two parts, the
early period and the modern period. The early period is from the time Wang Lang
created Tanglang Quan up to the time of Li Zhijian, while the modern period
began from Li Zhijian time up until the present time.
of Tanglang Quan
Tanglang began during the time of emperor Liang Wu, the creator was Wang Lang
also known as Fa Ming of Taiyuan, Shanxi. Once the Shaolin temple of Song
Mountain was a place where martial artists meet to developed their skills. Wang
Lang desired to enter the temple, so befriended the Shaolin monks and exchange
martial art skill, for many time they would test their skills, Wang Lang would
always be defeated and be laughed by the monks, felt humiliated he went away.
One day while Wang Lang was resting in the woods, he was disturbed by the noise
caused by the fight between a cicada and a mantis, though the cicada have six
feet was not able to overcome the two hook claw of the mantis. Finally the
mantis seized the cicada (a verse later use in mantis technique). Wang Lang took
home the mantis, where he studied the defensive and offensive movements of the
mantis. He was able to observed the mantis' two front hook claws executing
split, slash, cunning hook, dodge techniques and he created the hook, grasp,
pluck, hang, crush, split, cunning hook, intercept and other techniques, he
would further practice and develop the art of Tanglang Quan. After years of
training, he went back and fought with the monks, the monks was no match to Wang
Lang new fighting skill. The Shaolin Abbot was impressed with Wang Lang's
Tanglang Quan, he invited Wang Lang to teach Tanglang Quan inside the temple.
While in the temple he created a mantis form called "Beng Bu". Wang
Lang taught at temple for three years before retiring to Mao mountain. Tanglang
Quan was kept and taught only inside the premise of the temple before a monk
called Fu Chi would further develop Tanglang Quan and later taught it to a
wandering Taoist priest named Sheng Xiao, who introduced and taught Tanglang
Quan to the common people.
development of Qi Xing Tanglang in the modern period
Tanglang Quan founder Wang Lang retired to Mao mountain after teaching at
Shaolin temple, Tanglang Quan was only taught within the confines of the temple.
Later the wandering Taoist priest Sheng Xiao brought Tanglang Quan to the
masses, thus begun the widely propagation and development of Tanglang Quan.
During the Dao Guang period, Li Zhijian of Pingdu learn Qixing Tanglang
Quan from an anonymous person, after completing his martial art studies, he
opened a security agency at Jinan, he became very famous and was
nicknamed“Lightning Hands” and “Fast Hand Li”. In the thirteenth year of
Guan Xu period, Li retired and wished to pass on his skill to a successor. He
heard of a great boxing personality named Wang Yunsheng and decided to give him
a visit. During his visit Li asked Wang to give a sample of his fame boxing
skill. After performing, Li was not impressed of Wang‘s
skill, Wang was in rage, in retaliation he challenge he old Li in a fight, which
Li readily obliged, the fight ended with the defeat of Wang. Wang eventually
begged Li to accept him as his disciple, Wang was able to quickly learned from
Li the boxing system of Qi Xing Tanglang Quan. After Wang learned Qixing
Tanglang, Li left Wang and continued to wander towards northern China.
Wang Yunsheng was born in 1854 and died in 1926, Wang was from Foshan, Yantai,
he initially studied Mizhong Quan, at age 23 open his own boxing school. In the
fourteenth year of Guang Xu period, he began to learn Qixing Tanglang Quan under
Li Zhijian, after Li left, he continued to practice and further improved the
art. Wang most senior disciple was Fan Xudong.
Fan Xudong was also called Xiang Sheng, he was from Da Haiyang village, Yantai. Because of his huge physical appearance, he was given a nicknamed called “Fan the Great Strength”, he was skilled in Iron Palm and Luohan skills. Once while crossing a field he was attacked by two bull, the first bull to attacked him was kill by a kick to the stomach by Fan, the second bull died instantly with a strong hand slap by Fan. The owner of the dead bulls asked Fan to pay him for his dead bulls, but Fan argued that he only acted in self-defense, after that the farmer dared not pursue for his compensation. This incident brought fame to Fan Xudong.
During the later part of Guang Xu period, Fan competed in a boxing
competition in Siberia, in which he won the championship, in which furthered
boost his popularity.
Fan taught Qixing Tanglang Quan to Guo Jialu of Laiyang, Yang Weixin of Penglai,
Lin Jingshan of Laiyang, Luo Guangyu of Panglai and Wang Zhuanyi of Yantai.
Guo Jia Lu of Laiyang , is the most senior of Fan Xu Dong's disciples, he died
Second senior disciple Yang
and Shandong club in Shanghai.
taught Xiao Shu Bin,
Xiao taught at Dalian where his students were Zhang Qinghe, Fu Yougui and a few
Third senior disciple Lin Jingshan taught at Tianjin and later return to
Yantai, to teach at Fan Xudong boxing school, among his students were Hu Yongfu,
Shao Huating, Wang Chunshan, Lin Chunsheng (eldest son), Mou Zhuanzu, Ling
Huatang, Yu Tiantang (Yu Hai) , Zhong Lianbao and others. Hu Yongfu taught at
Dalian, his students were Li Hiutang (Li Zhanyuan), Li Ruinian, Xu Hongxun, Wang
Qinggang. Li Zhanyuan taught at Qingdao, Wang Qinggang also taught in Qingdao.
Another student of Lin Jingshan was Wang Zhuanlan also called Wang Xiaofei his
student was Wang Qingzai.
Fourth senior disciple was Luo Guangyu, he was the chief instructor at
Jingwu club in Shanghai, later reassigned to different Jingwu club branches at
Guangzhou, Foshan and Hong Kong. His teaching stints in Jingwu produces him many
students that would later spread Qixing Tanglang throughout Southeast Asia.
Among his students were Ma Chenxin, Zou Xigong, Yu Lejiang,, Lin Boyan, Fan
Yongzhen, Chen Zhenyi, Cui Kuisan, Cui Shouting, Zhang Baohou, Chi Lunzhi, Guo
Zuchao, Huang Hanxun, Huang Jinhong, Fan Yongchang, Guo Zishi and others.
Fifth senior student was Wang Zhuanyi, the grandson of Wang Yunsheng.
Wang Zhuanyi also taught at Jingwu and Shandong club in Shanghai for eight
years. In 1952 he began teaching at his own boxing school in Dalian. His
students were Wang Maosheng, Ma Guangyou, Wang Wenzhang, Chi Xueyuan and others.
Qixing Tanglang Quan Characteristics
flexibility are gather together, long and short are simultaneous, light yet not
floating, steady yet not stagnant, rigid yet not stiff, flexible yet not weak,
fast but not disarray, frail yet not short. Stressing on long defeats short,
fast beat slow, hard stopped the weak. Emphasis must be given in footwork training
and hand technique
strike should be in synchronization with the steps. Every movement have
usable application, closely penetrate, with a breath. They can be divided into
rigid, flexible, long, short, fast and slow and they should not be muddle, long
and short are separable. When attacking and retreating are mix up, use the seven
long techniques in attacking and eight shorts for retreating, in attack there is
retreat, in retreat there is attack, pointing high striking low, strike low pass
high, point left strike right, strike right protect left, high low should be
protected, technique of immediate strike, the strike of immediate technique,
continuity of techniques bring strike, continuity of strikes produce technique,
mind should be clear and calm, closely examine situation, protect against
opponents feint and attacks, application of skills should be agile and quick,
the body moves in synchronization with the steps, long short are inter use, hand
and feet in harmony, mind wish to advance the feet and hands must move in
unison, long punches short strikes are remarkable incomparable.
speaking, the style has these special characteristics:
strength, revolving power, whole body in unison.
fist, relaxed body, both light and sinking.
closely in rhythmic speed.
4) Rigid and
flexible in harmony, long and short in coordination.
5) Open and
close, receive and release, store and send interchanges.
6) Moving or
dodging with agile body movements.
grasp and twinning grab, changes are infinite.