NORTHERN MANTIS BOXING KUNG FU
Created more than 350 years ago, Praying Mantis Boxing, or Mantis Boxing for short, is an aggressive form of Kung Fu famous for its rapid aggressive striking paired with grappling techniques and agile footwork.
A combination of 18 styles at the time of its conception, Mantis Boxing is completely at home in today’s world of Mixed Martial Arts training. Students are fully trained in striking with the entire body, Wrestling/Throwing, controlling techniques (joint locks, constrictions and pressure points) and weapon fighting. Training in Mantis Boxing ensures that you are learning highly effective self-defense that will prepare you for any attack.
With our philosophy of being a modern school that teaches traditional methods, we focus on a limited, proven set of training forms. This, in our eyes, is a return to the basics of what makes a martial art effective vs. overloading a practitioner with countless material that does not add value. We believe in quality basics over quantity in our training, in that a fighter who is well versed in their core training does not need to know endless flashy variations that only water down their skill set.
Our class is further refined to take advantage of the depth of Sifu Paul’s training in Jujitsu & Kajukenbo under Vinson Holck and includes a full throwing / ground fighting curriculum.
Instructed by Sifu Paul LaPointe
Praying Mantis Boxing Kung Fu Lineage
Shen Xiao Dao Ren
Li San Jin
Wang Rong Sheng
Fan Xu Dong
Luo Guang Yu
Chiu Chi Man
Stephan H. Laurette
Abbot Ching Yeung
Lee Kwan Shan
Yu Zhou Dao Ren
San Jian Dao Zhang
Li Bing Xiao
Zhao Chi Lu
Liang Xue Xiang
Jiang Hua Long
Wei Xiao Tang
Shyun Guang Long
Shen Xiao Dao Ren
Shen Xia Dao Ren was a traveling herbalist and surgeon who while traveling stopped into the Shaolin temple to consult with other herbalists there. Upon entering the temple Shen Xia Dao Ren noticed that the monks were practicing a fighting style that he had not seen before. Eager to discern the effectiveness of this style he asked for a test of skills. At first the monks would not agree to this, however after taunting by Shen Xia Dao Ren, they agreed. He was quickly defeated. Fascinated by a style that could defeat him so easily, Shen Xia Dao Ren negotiated with the abbot of the temple to let him train in the style which turned out to be praying mantis style.
Li San Jin
After leaving Shaolin, Shen Xia Dao Ren came across a caravan that was being attacked by bandits. While the caravan was being guarded by armed security guards lead by Li San Jin, Shen Xia Dao Ren quickly joined the guards in order to defeat the bandits. During the encounter both Shen Xia Dao Ren and Li San Jin became equally impressed with the other’s martial aptitude. They quickly became friends.
Realizing the sincerity and skill that Li San Jin possessed, Shen Xia Dao Ren taught him the entire praying mantis system that he had learned in Shaolin.
Li San Jin went on to continue his services as a traveling body guard. During this time that he came to be known as Li Kuai Shou (Li Fast Hands) or Li Dian Shou (Li Flash Hands) by bandits who were defeated by him. It was rumored that caravans that boasted his flag during transports were often avoided by bandits completely.
Li San Jin retired in 1891. His students would go on to create sub systems of the original praying mantis system, such as Seven Star, Grand Ultimate Plum Flower, and Shuai Shou.
***Li San Jin was born in Pingdu village in Shantung province in the year 1821.
Wang Rong Sheng
Born in Fushan county (Shan Dong province) on May 13, 1854.
Wang Rong Sheng began his training in Long Fist and Ground Boxing under Sifu Li Yu Chun in 1862 and was a local champion in Fushan.
In 1888 Wang was approached by Li San Jin when the latter happened to be traveling through Fushan. Hearing about Wang being a local champion, Li asked Wang for a demonstration of his skill. After observing Wang’s technique, Li commented that the techniques exhibited should not have won him a championship.
This angered Wang and he immediately challenged Li to a fight. Without waiting for an answer, Wang attacked, but all he met was air, as Li effortlessly evades all his attacks. Realizing that he faced a person of considerable skill, Wang humbly asked Li to accept him as a student. Wang spent the next three years learning all that Li had to teach him.
Having been born to a wealthy family Wang was able to devote a large amount of his time to his practice. This allowed him to develop his skills to an advanced level. Never lacking for money, Wang never taught the art openly and had only a few disciples, the most prominent of which was Fan Xu Dong.
Wang Rong Sheng passed away in 1926.
Fan Xu Dong
Born in 1841 in Shandong province.
Fan was reputed to have had extraordinary skills and in fact was nicknamed "King of the Mantis Boxing". Being a large man who weighed about 300 pounds he was also known as "Giant and the broadsword" or "Giant Fan".
Fan gained notoriety for an incident in which he was confronted by two angry bulls when crossing a farmer’s field. Reportedly, the bulls charged him and in defense he kicked the first bull and used a palm strike on the second. The bulls died from his attacks and the farmer became angry at the loss of his bulls. Fan was quick to point out that he acted in self-defense and begrudgingly the farmer accepted this. Word of this encounter spread and Fan became famous.
His fame grew during the years of 1874-1908, during the Qing dynasty, when he travelled to Russia, where he won a challenge match against a Russian boxer. It is said, after his win, he picked up a broadsword and waved it about his head. The people started chanting "The Giant With the Broadsword" and thus another nickname was born. This match made him a national hero.
Fan hand wrote five books on the art of Kung Fu called "Shaolin Authentic". One book was on herbalogy, another was about Luo Han Gong (Arhat Boxing) and the others were on the principles and concepts of northern praying mantis boxing.
Because of his fame, in 1918, Fan was asked to come to Shanghai to be an instructor for the Ching Wu Athletic Association. However, due to his advanced age at the time he declined and sent one of his students by the name of Luo Guang Yu.
Fan Xu Dong passed away in 1936 at the age of 95 years old.
Luo Guang Yu
Born in Shandong Province in 1888, Luo Guang Yu started training under Fan Xu Dong
While Fan Xu Dong had many students, only nine of them were considered disciples,
Luo was the fourth of which and was Fan’s chosen to represent him at the Shanghai
Ching Wu Athletic Association in 1918. Luo would teach there for ten years.
Luo, arriving in the shadow of his instructor, had to answer many challenge matches
to gain his own resect and in 1919 he won a fighting Grand Championship held in
Shanghai. In addition to his own accomplishments, his students also became fighting
Because of his fighting ability, Luo was called one of the three "Three major boxers of
Ching Wu" and was requested by the Hong Kong Ching Wu to come to Hong Kong and
teach in 1932. Luo accepted and became one of the "Four Super Lords" of the Hong
Kong Ching Wu Association.
Luo is largely credited as being the main propagator of Praying Mantis Boxing Kung
Fu to areas outside of Shandong province by bringing the system south to the port
cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong. This was start of the are being disseminated to the rest of the world.
Luo Guang Yu's favorite fist set was Tang Lang Tou Tao (Praying Mantis Steals the Peach), which is famous for developing fluid and quick, continuous attacks.
As a side note, it should be noted that Luo changed the system as he taught to make it more functional, more adaptable to actual combat against the fighting systems that existed at that point in time. Luo’s sifu Fan being a large man relied upon his overwhelming strength to overcome many of his opponents. Luo, not being the size of his instructor and being exposed to many other systems, shortened the movements, raised the stances and made the forms match more of his personal fighting style. Another speculated reason is, Luo was partially crippled in one leg and did not favor low stances. Regardless of the reason, he was not known as a forms man, rather was regarded a Sanda specialist.
Luo passed away in 1944, while traveling back to his home county in China to retire. He was 56 years old.