The Qixing Tanglangquan (Boxing praying mantis of the seven stars) is a traditional Chinese Gongfu style born around the second half of the nineteenth century.
The style is one of the three main branches of the praying mantis style and is currently present in many parts of China and the world.
Tradition has it that in the period between the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) lived a certain Wang Lang, a renowned warrior.
It is said that Wang Lang repeatedly challenged the warrior monks of Shaolin Monastery, to remain often defeated.
Whenever Wang Lang was knocked down, the monks mocked him, making him feel ridiculous, which upsetted him tremendously.
One day, yet after another defeat, Wang Lang was resting in the shade of a tree.
Suddenly he heard a chirping cicada on a branch, he looked up and saw the big cicada fighting a small mantis.
Despite the cicada possessing six legs, he could not keep up with the two hooks of the deadly mantis, so he fell from the tree defeated.
The mantis pushed the cicada away, attacked and killed it fiercely.
Wang Lang caught the mantis and took her away with him.
Using a stick began to tease while watching the dexterity and the vicious attacks, and had an insight: watching the movements that the mantis fulfilled by using the front two long ‘legs’, hook, split, hang and dodging, he formulated some techniques like guo, lou , cai, gua, pi, and jie diao.
Taking the techniques that the mantis used to grab the cicada, Wang Lang fully understood its methods completely.
Two years later, he returned back to the Shaolin temple to challenge the monks and see who was the best. Wang Lang, using hand techniques of the Praying Mantis, managed to block the shots of opponents by hitting them repeatedly throughout the body.
The defeated monks retreated and went to call the abbot.
These invited Wang Lang to become a part of the temple and teach the Tanglangquan techniques to his monks.
Wang Lang thus created the first Taolu: Bengbu.
After three years in the Shaolin temple, Wang Lang retired as an hermit on Mount Maoshan (at Jurong, Jiangsu Province).
A Daoist monk named Shengxiao, arrived to his place at a later stage, learned the secrets art of Wang Lang, to then spread them amongst people.
That was only the beginning of the era of the spreading of Tanglangquan throughout China.
During the era of "Dao Guang" (1821-1851), in Pingdu District, in the village of Cui family, a man named Li Zhijian met a stranger who taught him the art of Tanglangquan.
Following Li went into the guard in Jinan (Shandong).
His reputation as a fighter was so great, that everyone knew him with epithets of "Shandian shou" (lightning hand) and "Shou Kuai Li" (Li quick hand).
In the third year of Guang Xu (1878), Li Zhijian returned to his native place, in the North.
As he was getting old, Li Zhijian tried for long to find a valid disciple to whom hand down his teachings.
He had heard of a young Fushan, with excellent fighting techniques, and decided to visit him.
Li asked the young Wang to show him what he was capable of, and watched him without saying a word.
Wang, not being accustomed to that kind of shots, was unable to parry the techniques of Master Li, thus, understanding its superiority, he asked him to be his student.
Wang studied for many years with Li Zhijian.
Master Li then set off to the north.
It is said that he had come up to Fengtian (now Shenyang) and it was later returned to Tianjin, until they lost track of him.
Wang Yongchun, called Yunsheng, passed the provincial exam for a military career in recent years - Guanxu era (1875-1908).
He was born the fourth year of Xianfeng (13 May 1854) and died at the end of the eleventh month of the fifteenth year of the Chinese Republic (1927).
He was born and lived in the 'Hutong (traditional Chinese alleyways System) family of Yantai Wang out of the west door.
He studied in the third year of Tongzhi (1865) the Mizu Changquan with Li Yichun, prior of the temple of Yuhuang Ding.
In the third year of Guangxu (1878) he opened a martial arts school.
In the seventh year of Guangxu (1882) he took as his teacher, Li Zhijian, and began the study of Tanglangquan.
Once learned master Li’s art, he trained for a long time and with much patience sought by optimizing and blending together different fighting styles.
Developed the Tanglangquan inserting some principles of movement inside and outside together, mutually combined hard and soft, large expansions and extensions, fast and insightful hands, great speed and a lot of changes.
He put together the the seven points of the human body with which you can hit (head, shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee and foot) and united them by creating a specific position; he then assembled such points of this position with the seven stars of the constellation of the ‘Great Bear’.
So he created the Qixing Tanglangquan (Boxing of Seven Star Praying Mantis).
Wang Yunsheng’ school was part of his house, it was called "De Kui Tang" - the room of excellent virtues.
The character "Kui" (excellent) indicates also the first star of the constellation Ursa Major.
Later the school was called "Qixing" (seven stars).
Wang taught this style to a great disciple, "Gu Yuli" Fan Xudong.
Fan Xudong, also known as "Xiangsheng", was the village of Dahaiyang at Yantai.
Given its massive physique was surnamed Fan "From them" (Fan the mighty).
He excelled in the steel palm exercises "Tiesha zhang" and in the "Luohan Gong exercises."
About him it is said that one day, while walking in a field, two bulls had attacked him.
Fans put forth to defend the first with a kick to the stomach.
When the second one approached, Fan took him with the left hand by the horns and hit him with the palm of his right hand.
To hit the bull's fans immediately fell to the ground.
The Bulls boss thought that Fan had shot the bulls, so he asked for compensation.
Master Fan replied: "I have acted only to defend myself, if it were me rather to die gored by your bulls, you would have compensated me?"
Thanks to this episode's fame Xudong Fan grew dramatically, spreading far and wide.
Towards the end of the era of Guang Xu (before the '900 decays) the Fan teacher was invited to Siberia for the wrestling matches.
Here he defeated the local champions and through many duels won several titles.
He later returned to China, leaving behind a reputation as the undisputed champion.
Fan teacher taught several students.
The first was Guo Jialu, the second Yang Weixin, the third Lin Jingshan, the fourth and the last Luo Guangyu Wang Zhuanyi.
Guo Jialu, unfortunately died young. Yang Weixin taught in the academy "Jingwu" in Shanghai and in the "Shandong Huiguan".
Luo Guangyu, was called to teach at the academy "Jingwu" Shanghai and then in the other branches of this in Guangzhou, Foshan, Hong Kong and Macao.
Wang Zhuanyi, grandson of Wang Yunsheng, also taught at the Shanghai "Jingwu" and the "Shandong Huiguan" for eight years, then in 1952 began teaching in Dalian (Liaoning Province).
Lin Jingshan, took the place of Master Fan in Yantai of the school "Qixing"which ran just 23 years.
For over sixty years, he devoted himself to teaching and to the development of the tradition left to him by his teacher, giving an invaluable contribution to the conservation and research of the Qixing Tanglangquan.
His dedication to art and his mastery in the style became the proverbial time in the environment of early '900 martial.
To this day, the name of Lin Jingshan teacher arouses respect and veneration, being considered the heir and guardian of the entire ancient style.
He spent a lifetime in research and in the transmission of Qixing Tanglangquan in all its aspects, maintaining and developing the entire style.
To him, master Fan Xudong bequeathed Quanpu (martial manuals), handwritten by the same Wang Yunsheng, style creator, and donated by him to the Fan master.
In these precious books they are preserved all the technical and theoretical principles of the style, as well as the history and genesis of the techniques.
Master Lin Jingshan had many students, some of whom later became famous masters themselves, however, he left the legacy of the whole style to his children and his grandchildren, making sure that the Qixing Orthodox Tanglangquan was perpetuated and protected within the family Lin.
The reasons for this are twofold: on the one hand the value of the family in the traditional Chinese mindset, on the other historical upheavals that China lived throughout the '900.
Lin Jingshan, while not sparing in teaching to many of his closest students, only bequeathed the entire technical and theoretical corpus of style to his three sons (Lin Chunsheng, Lin and Lin Chunfa Shangwei), as a priceless legacy to the family, essential value in traditional Chinese mindset.
In addition, the Japanese occupation, the civil war and finally the terrible years of the Cultural Revolution changed significantly the way of practicing and teaching martial arts in China.
Many students of Lin teacher who studied with him since the early 50s, while still getting excellent teaching and high level, being bound by the restrictions and prohibitions by the government, were not allowed to study the ancient form of the style, as it was handed down until a few decades prior to that.
The three sons of Lin teacher, during the civil war and for the duration of the Cultural Revolution, had to leave the native country and his own father to escape in various parts of China.
Only at the end of the 60’s were they able to return in Shandong and reestablished the teaching of pure Qixing Tanglangquan.
For this reason, only the Lin family style is called a Qixing Tanglangquan "orthodox".
Thanks to the work of Lin Jingshan and his sons, the style created by Wang Yunsheng, was been able to maintain its appearance and characteristics.
Qixing Tanglangquan within the Lin family therefore, maintains the method and the archaic movements.
Having crystallized in the early decades of the '900, the residual method in the Lin family managed to escape to those changes and upgrades suffered from other lineages and other traditional Gongfu styles during the' 60s and '70s.
What has been preserved is an old style, powerful and explosive, with great ferocity and speed in execution, without any semblance of modernism.
A Feature of the Orthodox Qixing Tanglangquan method of the Lin family, is the attention to "Fajin", resulted from the use of the whole body and the particular positions that helps the movement.
Today the Orthodox style has remained in the hands of Grandmaster Lin Dongzhu, grandson of the venerable master Lin Jingshan and son of the master Lin Shangwei.
He is the direct successor of the eighth generation of Qixing Orthodox Tanglangquan, only master of this style to be awarded by the Chinese government to appoint representation of the style Qixing Orthodox Tanglangquan, Inviolable Cultural Heritage of the Nation.
Grandmaster Lin Dongzhu is at present the only depositary of the Qixing Tanglangquan unorthodox style of Lin family, as the last living member of the family.
In Europe, the style Qixing Orthodox Tanglangquan, transmitted within the Lin family, is taught by Maestro Maurizio Zanetti.
He was a student of Grandmaster Zhong Lianbao Yantai for many years, from whom he learned the full style.
Since 2002, following the Grandmaster Lin Dongzhu style, which he accepted in 2013 as his disciple, unique in Europe, and appointed successor of the Orthodox style.
The Lin Jingshan Europe is a secure point of reference for schools and practitioners from around the globe.
Its technical programs reflects a traditional and orthodox way of understanding the art of Gongfu.
The programs of the Orthodox style of Qixing Tanglangquan of the Lin family developed by our Association, shows the great strength of a school that, despite the "considerable size", remains a big family, very united, sharing respect and openness towards others as fundamental values.
The technical program of the Qixing Tanglangquan style that you study in our Association is as follows:
Tanglangquan de Yundong
Shi Er Zi Jue
|History of Praying Mantis style
Features of Tanglangquan
Theoretical principles of Tanglangquan
Tiē Shēn Kào Da Gōng
Shíbā Lóhàn Gōng
|Model of the positions
Iron Body Exercises
Eighteen Arhat Exercise
|3||Naked hand Forms|
Dà Fān Chē
Xiǎo Fān Chē
Shí Bā Sǒu
Sì Lù Bēn Dǎ
Xiān Rén Zhǐlù
Bái Yuán Tōu Táo
Bái Yuán Rù Dòng
Bái Yuán Xiǎn Táo
Bái Yuán Chū Dòng
Bái Yuán Xiàn Shū
Hēi Hǔ Chuí
Yī Lù Zhāiyào
Èr Lù Zhāiyào
Sān Lù Zhāiyào
Sì Lù Zhāiyào
Wǔ Lù Zhāiyào
Liù Lù Zhāiyào
Yī Lù Bā Zhǒu
Èr Lù Bā Zhǒu
Sān Lù Bā Zhǒu
Sì Lù Bā Zhōu
|Stick the Fists
Turn the Big Dipper
Turn the Little Dipper
The Eighteen Elderly
Shots in the 4 Directions
The Immortal shows the way
The White Monkey steals the Peach
The White Monkey enters the Den
The White Monkey offers fishing
The White Monkey comes from den
The White Monkey offers to book
Defeat the Hard
Fists that split
Mantis grabbing the cicada
Form of the Plum Blossom
Stick the flower
The Soft Circle
Fist of the Black Tiger
Fist that Intercepts
First Form Summarizing
Second Form Summarizing
Third Form Summarizing
Fourth Form Summarizing
Fifth Form Summarizing
Sixth Form Summarizing
First of Form 8 Elbows
Second Form of 8 Elbows
Third Form of 8 Elbows
Fourth Form of 8 Elbows
Shape of the 8 Elbows Summary
|4||Forms with Weapons|
|Wǔhǔ qúnyáng gùn
Yān Qīng Dāo
Chūn Qìū Dà Dāo
BaiYuán zhuī fēng jiàn
|Stick of the 5 tigers and the flock of sheep
Stick of 6 Harmonies
Sabre of Yanqing
Sabre of Plum Blossom
Sabre of the 2 Hands
Sword of the Seven Stars
Sword of the Praying Mantis
Spear of Plum Blossom
Sword chasing the wind Bái Yuán
|5||Forms in Couples|
|Tánglángquán Wu Shǒu
Táohuā Sǎn Duì Dǎ
Zhāi Kuī Duì Dǎ
Bēng Bù Duì Dǎ
Gǔn Duì Gùn
Pū Dāo Duì Qìǎng
Shuāng Dāo Duì Shuāng Tóu Qìǎng
|The 5 Hands of the Mantis
Slapping the table
Spread the Peach Flowers
Collect the Hat
Fight of Beng Bu
Stick against stick
Great Sabre against Lance
Double Sabre vs. Launches 2 Heads