Developed in the mid 1600's by a Shoalin monk named Wang Lang after observing a praying mantissuccessfully defending itself against a much larger cicada. Wang feeling there was something to learn from the fast and aggressive movements of the small insect took the mantis back to the temple where he would prod the mantis with a piece of straw, and studied its movements. Taking what he learned from the mantis Wang added that to the 17 systems of fighting to create Tong Long Ch'uan (Praying Mantis Boxing).Wang Lang tried his new system in a sparring match against his Kung Fu brother Feng, the Abbot of the Lao Shan temple whom Wang had never bested in a match before. Feng quickly found himself thrown to the ground from Wang's new aggressive style. After the match, Wang explained to Feng what he had discovered, and with Feng's help refined the system even further.Praying Mantis kung fu trains all aspects of self-defence; kicks, punches, grappling, and weapons while working on the basis of striking without being struck. The system does not discriminate against a student's age, sex, or physical capabilities, and allows a person to progress at their own pace. Mantis starts by building the student's core strength and flexibility. In the beginning a student learns much of the offensive side of combat to gain an understanding in how to defend properly and efficiently against an attack.