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Standardized 8-Step Forms
Over 20 years after Grandmaster Wei's death, a number of his students came together in Taiwan to remember his teachings and standardize the 8-Step forms. Grandmaster Wei had always encouraged each student to develop a unique understanding of the forms that reflected each student's understanding and body type. Grandmaster Wei considered it the sign of a bad teacher if all the teacher's students looked identical when performing the same form. After Grandmaster Wei died, his students continued to progress, each viewing the same forms with a unique perspective based on their own personal understanding of Grandmaster Wei's teachings. In 2004, Grandmaster Wei's students came together to share their individual understandings of Grandmaster Wei's teachings and consolidate them into a standardized version of the forms. Although the standardization effort is still on-going for some of the forms, most of the forms have now been standardized.


"From the Brink of Extinction" (An 8-Step.com exclusive)
8-Step Praying Mantis and Grandmaster Wei Hsiao Tang were both born at a time when China was cursed with warlords, bandits, foreign conspirators, revolutionaries, drug lords, and a collapsing empire. This remarkable style of kung fu would have become extinct within a couple of decades if not for Grandmaster Wei's lifelong dedication to perfecting and spreading his knowledge. Learn about the life and times of Grandmaster Wei and how he saved 8-Step Praying Mantis from the brink of extinction, despite the attacks against his life in Korea and Manchuria, the Japanese invasion of China, and the Chinese communist revolution.

"Foundations: Why the Basics Aren't So Basic" (Originally published in Mantis Quarterly)
A fundamental tennet of 8 Step Praying Mantis is that kung fu mastery comes only from a mastery of the basics--stances, punches, kicks, and basic techniques. Find out why the basics are often more important than advanced techniques, and how to cultivate a mastery of the basics no matter which kung fu style you study.

"Internal Mantis" (Originally published in Mantis Quarterly)
While every style of kung fu includes both internal and external facets, 8 Step Praying Mantis was created specifically to emphasize the internal arts within a Praying Mantis style, incorporating techniques from Plum Flower (Mei Hua) Praying Mantis with internal principles from Ba Gua, Hsing Yi, and Tong Bei. Learn more about the most internal of all the Praying Mantis styles.

"The Physics of Jing" (Originally published in Mantis Quarterly)
Mystery and mysticism surround the much sought-after power of jing. Yet, despite the mystery, jing can often be explained in terms of basic physics. Learn how jing can be categorized into 3 basic types, and how one form of fa jing can be fully understood in terms of simple physics.

"Cultivating Jing" (Originally published in Mantis Quarterly)
Understanding jing is quite different from incorporating jing into kung fu techniques. Learn how relaxation, slow practice, and a good teacher are the keys to cultivating jing in any style of kung fu.


Ba Bu Tanglang (http://www.wutang.be/babu/indexflash.html) is perhaps one of the best web sites dedicated to Grandmaster Wei and traditional 8-Step Praying Mantis. The site includes information about 8-Step history, forms, techniques, and fundamental principles, as well as a variety of downloadable videos.

© Copyright 2005 John Chang. All rights reserved.