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History of Praying Mantis



 The Praying Mantis System is a Traditional Kung Fu system from China, rich with a long lineage and diverse history.

The history dates back over 400 years and initially began with a Kung Fu master named Wong Long. Wong Long trained in the art of Shaolin Kung Fu and after many years he acquired an incredible amount of talent at his art. Throughout his entire training, no matter how he excelled at his art, one of his older Kung Fu brothers was always slightly better. Time after time, Wong Long would test his skills against the other monks, only to be beaten by the same classmate. 

Eventually, Wong Long decided that if he was going to ever beat his classmate, he would have to train even harder than his friend. One day while he was out in the forest training, he sat down to rest and began hearing a very strange screaming noise coming from the trees. Upon closer inspection, he found the noise coming from a cicada, which was being attacked by a Praying Mantis. Much to his surprise, it was the mantis which was winning the fight over the much larger cicada.

Wong Long was totally amazed that such a small insect could defend and defeat this larger opponent. He decided to catch the Praying Mantis and put it in a cage, so he could observe its movements more closely. Day after day, he would poke at it with a reed watch the mantis to see how it would react. 

Eventually, Wong Long developed a number of basic movements which the Praying Mantis used, that he could imitate and incorporate into the Kung Fu system which he already practiced.

Day after day Wong Long would practice these new techniques, all the while still observing the Praying Mantis defend and attack the reed. Gradually, his repertoire of techniques continued to increase until he had enough to establish a new style of Kung Fu. This style he called the Praying Mantis Style.

Soon Wong Long decided he had trained long enough with these new techniques and now it was time to test them against the other monks. So he requested a match with his older classmate (who always seemed to be able to best him) and decided not to tell him of his new discovery.   

As the match began, Wong Long continuously used a strange fighting stance and unfamiliar fighting techniques. No matter what his classmate used against him, Wong Long always had some new way of defending and countering. Soon, his classmate decided he would not be able to defeat this strange new style, and so he stopped the match and awarded Wong Long the winner.

 Once the match was concluded, his classmate and all the other monks began questioning Wong Long about this strange style. He told them it was movements he had learned from watching a Praying Mantis defeat a cicada. Furthermore, he had developed enough techniques so that he could create a system called "Praying Mantis Style."

From that time on, all the Shaolin monks gathered together to help Wong Long in his efforts to develop this style even further. Today, there are twelve separate styles of Praying Mantis Kung Fu. One of them is the "Jut Sow (wrestling hands) Style", more commonly known throughout the USA as: Wah Lum Kung Fu.