TaijiMeihua Tang Lang (Grand Ultimate Plum Blossom Mantis) (HaoJiaMen)
Taiji Meihua Tang Lang Quan has the striking feature of flexible changes of steps, which are like plum flowers, especially the five petals of the flowers. That's how the boxing got its name. There are no breaks between the relatively soft movements, so the boxing is also called "Taichi Praying Mantis Boxing" or "Taiji Plum".
Tai Chi Plum Blossom Mantis Boxing is a combination of two different lineages of Mantis fist: Taiji Mantis (Tai chi Mantis) and Plum Blossom Mantis fist. This style is widespread i
n Yantai, Shangdong. What is now called Taiji Plum Blossom Tong Long Quan Hao Family traces its lineage to Hao Lianru (founder of Hao family mantis style) to his sons Hao Henglu, Hao Hengxin and then to his grandson Hao Bin. Who then to taught it to Master Sun Deyao. (see lineage) Tai Chi Plum Blossom Mantis is well-known for its large, two-handed sword, and for being somewhat 'softer' than Seven Star Mantis.
Mantis fist historically it was created by Wang Lang and was named after the praying mantis, an insect, the aggressiveness of which inspired the style. One Mantis legend places the creation of the style in the Song Dynasty when Wang Lang was supposedly one of 18 masters gathered by the Abbot Fu Ju a legendary persona of the historical Abbot Fu Yu (1203–1275), to improve Shaolin martial arts.
This particular fighting style involves the use of whip-like/circular motions to deflect direct attacks, which it follows up with precise attacks to the opponent's vital spots. These traits have been adopted into the Northern Mantis style, under the rubric of "removing something" (blocking to create a gap) and "adding something" (rapid attack).
One of the most distinctive features of Northern Mantis is the "mantis hook" a hook made of one to three fingers directing force in a whip-like manner. The hook may be used to divert force (blocking), adhere to an opponent's limb, or attack critical spots (eyes or acupuncture points). These techniques are particularly useful in combination, for example using the force imparted from a block to power an attack. So if the enemy punches with the right hand, a Northern Mantis practitioner might hook outwards with the left hand (shifting the body to the left) and use the turning force to attack the enemy's neck with a right hook. Alternately, he/she might divert downwards with the left hook and rebound with the left wrist stump to jaw/nose/throat. The "mantis hook" is also part of some of the distinctive typical guarding positions of the style.
Northern Mantis is especially known for its speed and continuous attacks. Wrist/arm techniques in particular are emphasized, as well as knee and elbow strikes. Another prominent feature of the style is its complex footwork, borrowed from Monkey Style Kung Fu.
Other styles of Mantis include:
Seven Star Mantis Boxing, Plum Blossom Mantis Boxing, Taiji Mantis Boxing, Six Harmony Mantis Boxing, Eight Step Mantis Boxing and Southern Mantis Boxing.
Tim is grateful and blessed to have been introduced to this style by Master Nick Gracenin and is currently training under Master Sun Deyao's Direction.