Liu He Tang Lang Resources
Liu He Tang Lang Quan (Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing) is the third major school of Praying Mantis Gong Fu along with Qi Xing Tang Lang Quan (Seven Stars Praying Mantis Boxing) and Mei Hua Tang Lang Quan (Plum Blossom Praying Mantis Boxing). Master Liu is currently a student of Grandmaster Liu Jing Ru, a seventh generation inheritor of the Liu He Tang Lang Quan lineage.
The special characteristic of this school is its use of continuous vertical (and sometimes horizontal) circles which permit either striking, trapping or defending. It is not related to Liu He Men boxing but instead shares the same philosophy in regards to structure of its movements (the six harmonies).
The fast vertical 'running hands' allow a range of offensive and defensive techniques. Arm strikes to the opponent can use the edge of the hand or the forearm. If the opponent blocks or parries, the leading (circling) hand may grab while the other continues the attack.
This vertical circle, combined with advancing steps, provides speed and Jin (power). Horizontal circling hands make use of the edge of the palm or the wrist. There are seven empty fist forms in Liu He Tang Lang and one weapon form. Each form has its own characteristic and may be learnt and practised individually.
Liu He Tang Lang Quan Forms
Hidden Flower Form
Immortal Hand Ax Form
Intercepting Hand Circle Form
Double Seal Form
Short Hammer Form
Face the Lamp Form
Stick & Stab Form
Pure Yang Sword
Liu He Tang Lang Duan Chui (Short Hammer)
Short Hammer Form
Liu He Tang Lang Cang Hua (Hidden Flower)
Hidden Flower Form
Liu He Tang Lang Cang Hua (Hidden Flower)
Hidden Flower Form
Liu He Tang Lang - Jie Shou Quan
Master Han Yan Wu
Introduction of Six Harmonies Liu He Tang Lang
Praying Mantis Boxing
- by Jian Gao www.harmoniousart.com/history.html
Brief history and its characteristics
Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing (or Liu He Tang Lang Quan in Chinese) was first brought to Chinese Kung Fu society by a hermit named Wei De Lin of Lai Yang county,Shan Dong province in China during Qing Dynasty.No one at that time knew the exact background of Wei De Lin,he was normally called Wei San.His martial art was only witnessed by Lin Shi Chun family when Wei stayed in Lin's home in Zhao Yuan county (Shan Dong province) for wound nursing.
Wei called himself as a grand disciple of Praying Mantis Boxing founder: Wang Lang and Wei's amazing Kung Fu only passed on to one man,his sole disciple Lin Shi Chun.
Lin Shi Chun was brought up in a martial art aficionado? family and had practised traditional Liu He Quan since his childhood, he then learned Liu HeTang Lang Kung Fu from Wei De Lin for ten years and becam an accomplished martial artist.
Lin Shi Chun passed his skill on to his three disciples:
Ding Zi Cheng & Wang Ji Chen,both from Huang Xian county,and Zhao Tong Shu of Zhao Yuan county,all of them from Shan Dong province.Of the three,Ding Zi Cheng had more students and disciples as he owned a well known martial art academy at that time ( year1923~1928).Hence the awesome Kung fu made itself known in the world.
Many famous contemporary Chinese martial artists like Zhao Qian Yi,Zhang Xiang San,Liu Yun Qiao, Shan Xiang Ling, Chen Yun Tao and so on are the disciples of Ding Zi Cheng.My master Ma Han Qing's Praying Mantis Kung Fu comes from both Shan Xing ling and Chen Yun Tao.
In Praying Mantis Boxing family,"Qi Xing Tang Lang" (seven star Praying Mantis), "Mei Hua Tang Lang" (plum blossom Praying Mantis) and "Liu He Tang Lang" (Six Harmonies Praying Mantis) are three major branches. Among the three styles,"Liu He Tang Lang" used to be the most secretly reserved one. It was seldom seen publicly as its no frills forms hide some of the most powerful and harmful techniques.
Compared with other styles of Praying Mantis Boxing,Six Harmonies Praying Mantis has its unique characteristics.
From its appearance,it is looked a little mellow and soft,but once you are attached, you can feel its powerful hidden vigour which is issued in a spiral or a circular form called "chan si jin" or "silk reeling power".It is this "silk reeling power" that gives Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing a "Soft Mantis " name.
The footing stance of Six Harmonies Praying Mantis is also unique in mantis boxing family.Its basic stationary stance is very similar to "Xing Yi" stance --- "San Ti Shi" which requires the practitioner's 30% ~ 40% body weight being on front foot and 60% ~70% body weight being on rear foot.Its major mobile stance is a sliding form of its basic stationary stance, plus those quick deceiving monkey like foot work being seen in Monkey boxing system,Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing therefor is called "Ma Hou Tang Lang"( Monkey Style Mantis) as well.
Its basic body manner is similar to those "Internal Martial Arts"and that of "Pi Gua Quan".It requires that practitioner's head to be naturally erected like what required in Tai Chi; the shoulders,the chest and waist should be naturally relaxed which are similar to those in Tai Chi except the chest not to be reserved; the hips should be sunken and lower abdomen area should be solid like what required in "Xin Yi"; both arms should be as extended as possible which is similar with "Pi Gua Quan".
The essentials of the style are a set of three "outer" (or physical) and a set of three "inner" (or more spiritual) harmonies.They are:
Outer : 1,the hands harmonise with the feet,
2,the elbows harmonise with the knees,
3,the shoulders harmonise with the hips,
Inner : 1,the heart harmonise with the intent,
2,the intent harmonise with the Qi energy,
3,the Qi harmonise with the power,
Altogether, there are Six Harmonies.
These above mentioned characteristics safeguard a significant movement rhythm of Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing: tidal waves behaviour. This overwhelming behaviour made Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing one of the most sought afterKung Fu in Chinese Martial art history.
Key skill points
According to master Ma Han Qing , the characteristics and essentials of Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing mentioned in part one are represented by 16 key words. They are:
1, Guo --- hook. 2, Gua --- suspend. 3, Ju --- saw. 4, Cuo --- file.
5, Zhan --- paste up. 6, Nian --- stick on. 7, Bang --- bind up 8, Tie --- adhere to.
9, Kun --- tie up. 10, Feng --- seal off. 11, Gun --- roll over. 12, Lou --- leak out.
13, Shan --- dodge around. 14, Zhuan --- turn around. 15, Teng --- jump over. 16, Nuo --- shift over.
Like a string running through beads, these key words link up all routine forms and their applications. In many ways, these key words are closely related with those key points in classical Tai Chi scriptures.
As mentioned in part one, most movements in six harmonies praying mantis boxing work in circular or spiral planes, these kind of movements accumulate combined powers while neutralising opponent's attacks. Once the accumulating is done, the hidden potential is released as a form of wave like power.
This wave like power is generated from both feet, coiled and stored through both legs, adjusted and converted by the hips and waist,then transferred into both arms and hands while the hands and arms emphasise on "sticking" and "listening"(Ting jin) in a relaxed sunken state.
It is said that as a qualified six harmonies praying mantis boxer,one's hands and arms should be like drilling bits and steel whips, the waist should be like a driving shaft, while the whole should be like a rolling steel ball which rolls in all directions with an universal axle and the power should be like tidal waves --- overwhelming.
Master Ma Han Qing once said that he regarded six harmonies praying mantis boxing as being like a fast form of Tai Chi.
He said that Liu He Tang lang Quan has strong wave rhythm because it has a strong nature of running water, once it stars,it advances wave after wave, wherever the resistance is met, it either turns around or overturns the resistance smoothly without stopping until to the end. He further pointed out 10 key points on performing six harmonies praying mantis boxing routine, which are as follows:
1) Correct postures.
2) Intent guided forms.
3) Smooth movements.
4) Concentrated spirit.
5) Correctly transformed power.
6) Coordinated body shifting.
7) Harmonized eyesight with hands.
8) Clearly demonstrated fighting methods.
9) Distinct waves like rhythm.
10) Natural breathing.
My personal practising experience in Six Harmonies Praying Mantis is this: the true flavour of the awesome Chinese Kung Fu style is based on these 16 key words plus the 10 key points.
Key fundamental training
The core of Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing system is based on its key fundamental training called "Liu He Tang Lang Ji Ben Gong".
This "Ji Ben Gong" consists of three parts:
(A) Basic body conditioning training.
(B) Basic techniques training.
(C) Basic routine forms training.
(A) Basic body conditioning training
The purpose of the body conditioning training is to cultivate practitioner's fighting ability and endurance under attack.
Traditionally, the major conditioning training includes:
1, Stick tapping --- cultivates practitioner's endurance under attack.
2, Iron palms --- toughens practitioner's palms and forearms.
3, Iron ball catching or jar gripping --- cultivates practitioner's gripping ability.
4, Rubbing beans --- toughens practitioner's fingers and palms.
5, Cardboard punching --- develops practitioner's fists and cultivates practitioner' s punching power.
Most of these body conditioning training methods need 1~3 years constant practising under supervision.
(B) Basic techniques training
The purpose of the techniques training is to condition the basic skill needed in both routine performance and in real application.
Traditionally, these conditioning training include:
1, San Chui (slipping fists) --- basic posture and attack techniques.
2, Mo Pan Shou (milling/sweeping hands) --- basic catching and locking techniques.
3, Feng Shou (sealing hands) --- basic blocking and seizing techniques.
4, Gou Shou (hooking hands) --- basic rolling, catching and hacking techniques.
5, Quan Chiu (hooking fist) --- basic attacks techniques.
6, Zuo/You Da Zhan Pai (left / right wing spreading) --- combination of hand and foot attack.
7, Fu Ren Jiao (hatchet foot) --- basic foot attacks.
8, Zuo You Deng Ta (paddle kicks) --- combination of kicks.
As these techniques are the foundation of routine work and real application, they need to be done before any routine forms started.
(C) Key routine forms
There are 7 key routine forms in Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing training. Although these routine forms are independent sets and can be practised in any order, they are still related each other from basic set to the advanced ones. In my opinion, they should better be practised in an order of starting from shorter or easier ones to longer or more complicated ones. The names and natures of these forms are explained as follows:
1, Zhe Shou Quan (intercepting ring) --- basic routine form. Focusing on frontal breakthrough at middle level.
2, Tie Ci (iron pricks) --- basic routine form. Focusing on frontal breakthrough from upper and middle levels.
3, Xian Shou Ben (raiding hands of immortal) --- lower intermediate routine form. Focusing on frontal and flanks breakthrough from
upper, middle and lower levels. Contains Pi Gua flavour. Multi-directional and multi-functional.
4, Cang Hua (hiding / hidden flowers) --- intermediate routine form. Focusing on frontal and flanks breakthrough from upper, middle and lower levels with full blast. Multi-directional and multi-functional.
5, Zhao Mian Deng (lightning fist) --- upper intermediate routine form. A combination of above mentioned routine forms. Vigorous and fierce. Multi-directional and multi-functional.
6, Shuang Feng (double whips) --- advanced routine form. A typical Liu He Tang Lang style. Subtle and tough. Multi-directional and multi-functional.
7, Duan Chui (short punches / thumps) --- advanced routine form. A typical Liu He style. Dangerous and ferocious. Multi-directional and multi-functional.
Beyond these "Ji Ben Gong", there is a "san shou" summary training based on a confidential manuscript called <<The secret of 93 shou>>,(or <<The secret of 93 hands>> in English) which is directly passed on from elder grand master Ding Zi Cheng.
By Jian Gao