Mantis Kung Fu is Old School Mixed Martial Arts

There are many styles in the world claiming to be the original Mixed Martial Art.  

Many of them embraced the idea of change early on in the development of their style.  Bruce Lee is said to be a pioneer for Mixed Martial Arts in the U.S.     

MMA competition is exposing the effectivity and combative side of the modern and traditional styles.  MMA is also showing the differences between the two.  Some believe the traditional values are being lost in the new MMA world. This is not always true.  I run a modern MMA program for those who want to compete and I run it with traditional values.

There are martial arts for fitness, self-defense and competition.  

One traditional system is Tong Long Chuan which is translated as Praying Mantis Boxing.  

Tong Long Chuan incorporates fighting such as

  • trapping hands,
  • kickboxing,
  • joint locks,
  • sweeps and 
  • takedowns.  

Mantis is known for and specializes in close-range stand-up fighting.  

400 years ago, Wong Long gathered the best of 17 other styles at the time to create the Mantis system of Kung Fu.  

Wong Long also studied the movements of the vicious Praying Mantis insect, watching it defeat bigger, stronger insects with strength, speed and accuracy.  People spent more time in nature and were more regularly exposed to the elements back then.  Being in harmony with nature has always been an important part of Chinese martial arts.

Taking the best of the best and creating one of the most effective fighting systems of its time, a modern style was created.  Like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Mantis was revolutionary for its time and changed the standard for fighting.

Today in Mantis training, heavy emphasis is put on flexibility and power speed training.  We also do “Iron Body” conditioning for the arms, palms, fingers, torso, and limbs.  This traditional art also incorporates the healing arts which include tai chi, qigong, herbs and meditation.  

Low stance training for strength and flexibility improve balance and fluidity.  Flexibility improves kicks, throws and takedown defense. Flexibility helps speed and reduces injuries.  Breathing exercises help get oxygen to the body and helps calm the mind.  Iron body training strengthens the body for offense as well as for defense and also for healing.  Traditional forms training is good for the soul, it brings happiness, it’s fun and it improves health.   

Iron Mantis training includes the 12 Virtues –

  • patience,
  • self control,
  • integrity,
  • loyalty,
  • respect,
  • humility,
  • righteousness,
  • kindness,
  • will,
  • endurance,
  • perseverance and
  • courage.

kungfurnThe 5 internal & 5 external elements, 12 keyword formula for attack and defense, 8 Hard and 12 flexible methods make up the concepts, principles and theories of the Iron Mantis system.

Community service has been a big part of a traditional martial artist’s schools.  We give back to society by teaching people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.  We donate of time and energy to help our community.  

A modern martial arts school may include training in: 

Life skills, stranger danger for kids and women’s self-defense programs, gun and knife defense, personal development, and cross training like Sports Performance or CrossFit which includes medicine ball, modern weight training apparatus, cycling, and track work with heavy emphasis on sprinting.  

Most high level martial artists have trained various styles due to living in different areas, traveling, or befriending other martial artists. The goal for many has been to be the best by any means necessary and embrace change as a means to progressing.

The one thing that stays the same is change.

These days we are very fortunate to have access to many styles:  books, instructional videos, YouTube and the UFC, etc.  We are lucky to have so many martial arts masters and practitioners sharing their art.  This also puts “good pressure” on all teachers and students to train properly and effectively.

Train Hard, Train Smart, Finish Healthy

Jeff Hughes