Praying Mantis
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        Jut Sow and Baat Bo Praying Mantis Kung Fu History and Its Lineage to the Author

        

Wong Long

             Currently, the author is an 8th generation student/descendent in the Wah Lum Praying Mantis system. The Wah Lum Style from Shantung can be traced to the Shaolin Monastery in Northern China (Chan, 1980). The techniques of this style were handed down from Wong Long, founder of the praying mantis system. Legend states that Wong Long mastered the Shaolin system but sought to further improve his fighting abilities. This quest for improvement transpired after he observed a praying mantis fighting a cicada. Even though the cicada was much larger in size, the mantis had better skills and movements which lead to its victory. Impressed and enlightened by the great performance, Wong Long incorporated variations of the mantis moves into his kung fu techniques. As a result, the kung fu system of Praying Mantis was born.

Grand Master Lo Kwang Yu demonstrating the traditional technique of "Mantis Catching the Cicada"

        The Praying Mantis techniques were eventual handed down to Abbot Ching Yeung, at the Wah Lum Monastery in Shangtung province (Chan 1993). At this point, Ching Yeung became the 4th generation descendent of the original Praying Mantis system. In the early 1900ís Lee Kwan Shan sought refuge at the Wah Lum Monastery where he committed himself to a 10-year discipleship in the Praying Mantis system. He was also an accomplished martial artist in his family system of Tam Tui (seeking leg). After leaving the monastery, Lee Kwan Shan incorporated the Praying Mantis techniques from Wah Lum with his family art of Tam Tui. In 1948 and before his death, Lee Kwan Shan took in his last and youngest disciple. This student was Pui Chan. Grand Master Chan is responsible for bringing the Wah Lum Tam Tui Northern Praying Mantis System to the United States.

Lee Kwan Shan (Left) picture from Wah Lum Member Handbook

Grand Master P. Chan (Right) picture from Wah Lum Kung Fu Tornado Broad Swords

        As the Wah Lum System spread throughout the United States, it eventual made its way to Columbus, Ohio.  This is where the author began his studies in the Wah Lum System.  To do heuristic research on the martial arts, the author was required to immerse himself into the combat arts. What a better way to understand what transpires during training than to start a new martial system. This was one impetus why the author began his training in the Wah Lum Praying Mantis (Jut Sow) system. The other reason was his strong and long lasting desired to train in a traditional Chinese Kung Fu system. This training is in its 4th year and is continuing  beyond the authorís doctoral research requirement. The author is also training under Yang Shu Ton a 10th generation descendent of the original praying mantis system and a 4th Generation successor of the Baat Bo (Eight Step) System of Praying mantis  

 Edward Overchuk, Ph.D. (Left) and Master Yang Shu Ton (Right) picture taken at the Wu Tang Center for Martial Arts 

References

Chan P. (1980) Wah lum kung-fu: Tornado broad swords. Orlando, Hanny P. Chan

Chan P. (1993) Wah lum kung fu of usa: Member hand book. Orlando, Wah Lum Kung Fu Temple.