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A Brief History of 8-Step Praying Mantis

Inspired by the natural ability of the praying mantis to defeat larger and more powerful adversaries, Wang Lang created the Northern Praying Mantis style of Chinese martial arts in the mid 17th century. Since that time, many generations of kung fu masters have refined Wang Lang's original art form, giving birth to a wide variety of styles, all based on Wang Lang's original teachings.

Around the turn of the 20th century, Chiang Hua Long, a master in the style of Plum Blossom Praying Mantis, became fascinated with internal styles of kung fu. Chiang Hua Long wanted to unite the mainly external Praying Mantis style with internal principles from styles such as Bagua, Hsing Yi, and Tong Bei. Together, Master Chiang Hua Long, Master Wang Zhong Qing of Bagua, and Master Chen De Shan of Hsing Yi and Tong Bei, created a new style known today as 8-Step Praying Mantis.

Master Feng Huan Yi was the first and only known student to learn 8-Step Praying Mantis from Master Chiang Hua Long. Master Feng in turn passed his knowledge down to the young Wei Hsiao Tang before eventually dedicating the remainder of his life to Daoist studies.

Until his final days at over 80 years of age, Grandmaster Wei Hsiao Tang practiced and taught 8-Step Praying Mantis. If not for his lifelong dedication to the style, 8-Step Praying Mantis may not have survived to modern times.

Today, a small number of Grandmaster Wei's students continue to practice and teach 8-Step Praying Mantis to a new generation. This web site is intended to give a voice to Grandmaster Wei's students, so that the knowledge of 8-Step may be shared with future generations.

If you would like to contact members of today's 8-Step Praying Mantis community, or you would like to suggest additions or improvements to this web site, please feel free to drop us an e-mail at admin @ 8-step.com.

© Copyright 2005 John Chang. All rights reserved.