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Thread: oldest style of mantis around

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofei View Post
    One of the four legends of Wang Lang associates him with a historical former Ming Dynasty General named 于孟禧 Yu Mengxi who is commonly known as 于七 Yu Qi (Yu 7) as he was the 7th child born in his family but the first born male.
    This links to a thread started by me.
    Since that time I have found more information.
    Wang Lang is not Yuqi, but there was a confusion about who these two people were so they have been mixed up.

    The Chinese article is trying to make a case that Wang Lang is related to General Qi Jiguang, the most famous and arguable important military general of the Ming. Made the more famous by his having achieved tremendous success against piracy in the 1550's as well as writing a book about how he did it.

    This sort of pseudo history is harmful. Trying to elevate your own family tradition by cobbling together bits of folklore and history and hoping the readers don't look to closely.

    On a side note, many generals who didn't surrender to the Manchurian army settled in Tainan (the city where I live). There are still many temples praising the work of Koxinga and his removal of the Dutch from this city. Taiwan and especially the city of Tainan was the last holdout of the Ming Dynasty.

  2. #32
    In Shandong there are typically four different stories about the legend of Wang Lang and people tend to mix them together.
    One story attributes Wang Lang as Yu Qi who went on to become an abbot of Huayan temple on Lao Mountain. His pagoda/grave resides at the temple. Today there is a statue there for Yu Qi which people often refer to as the Wang Lang statue.
    Another story attributes Wang Lang as coming from Jimo county in Shandong and creating Mantis Boxing in Shaolin temple.
    Another story attributes Wang Lang as 王文成 Wang Wencheng from 淳化县 Chunhua county in 陕西省 Shaanxi province.
    The last story attributes Wang Lang as 大盗 Da Dao. The same Da Dao from the stories we hear of Li Bingxiao.
    Not everyone understands that there are four different legends which are told in Shandong about Wang Lang.
    Master Tunks briefly mentioned “historicity of WL is still debatable”. It was my intention to let the reader know a little bit more about the debate that Master Tunks was referring to. In doing so I mentioned that there were four legends and gave a little bit of detail on the Yu Qi legend. That detail from the Yu Qi legend and the information that I posted in the Mantis Quarterly forum does not come from the article you linked to which is:
    http://csxb.bandao.cn/data/20130730/...content_1.html
    I barely glanced at this link and had little interest in even looking at it.
    There is a group of people who claim they are actually the descendents of Yu Mengxi. They have done quite a thorough and detailed job of researching and writing about him and the uprisings.

    I have assembled an easy to reference list of pages for his website for the readers of this forum. This is not an endorsement for anything said within.
    Please feel free to have a look:
    Main page of the researcher:
    http://tieba.baidu.com/home/main?un=...ie=utf-8&fr=pb
    Commentary:
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2586875693
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2567347731
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2521688127
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2602353861
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2605468810
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2622364052
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2635557930
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2639280657
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2640611501
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2644972469
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2660001933
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2743959025
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2752586802
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2762319162
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2801119914
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2967648821
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/3080332315
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/3080386826

    In the Mantis Quarterly posting I also listed some sources they used for their information which are:
    辞海 Cihai
    中国通史•明清史 Chinese history Ming and Qing history
    中华历史名人大辞典 Chinese history people big dictionary
    于七抗清史 Yu Qi fighting the Qing annals
    栖霞县志 Xixia county annals

    It was my hope by listing these sources that people would not just take anyone’s word for it and instead do some research for themselves and come to their own conclusion. What is most important is to research the sources used and not his website or commentary.

    By listing the Wang Lang legends and various sources for the information on Yu Qi I hope it is becoming clear that my intentions certainly were not “cobbling together history, or hoping that people don't investigate things for themselves”.

    I do not know the name of the possible identity of Sheng Xiao Daoren of which Master Tunks speaks. However, I am familiar with some of the speculation in Shandong about Sheng Xiao Daoren. I wrote: “There are some people in Shandong who speculate that 李炳霄 Li Bingxiao wrote under the pen name of Sheng Xiao Daoren. There are, however, other differing speculations.” all of which is true in that there are some people in Shandong who speculate that Li Bingxiao wrote using the pseudonym Sheng Xiao Daoren. It is also true that some people have different speculations about the situation as well. I am agreeing with Master Tunks when he says “The history of Sheng Xiao Daoren is debatable” and only slightly elaborated on one thought that some people have. I myself do not have this thought and I do not believe that Li Bingxiao wrote under the pseudonym of Sheng Xiao Daoren at all. It certainly was not my intention in the slightest bit to try to “elevate your own family tradition”. My apologies if there was any misunderstanding.

    Warm regards,
    Darin / Maofei
    Last edited by Maofei; 08-07-2015 at 08:04 PM.

  3. #33
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    G'day Darin.

    All good mate! No need to apologise. I'm pretty sure Kevin was referring to the people/authors/'researchers' that push certain story lines in respect to the identity of these figures and not actually to you at all (but he can confirm that).
    Keep posting because its always really informative stuff. I don't normally get time to contribute to these discussions but thought I'd throw something on here in the interests of balance as there are many sides to these arguments, as you are very well aware. In fact you definitely seem up to date with what's going on research-wise. Nice one.

    No need for the formalities either - I'm certainly no Master

    Cheers.

    BT

  4. #34
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    Going back to Richard's comments regarding Mantis being all passed down through Liang Xue Xiang...... is anyone familiar with Shanxi province Mantis and Hebei province Mantis? Very different arts..... Slawomir told me he had briefly trained in Hebei and that the style was totally different to anything done in Shandong, there were no forms, just lines, and that all the terminology followed Shaolin Authentics almost exactly. Boris also knows somebody who is training the style formally, so might be worth asking him more about that.

    Shanxi Mantis is also very different again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwiprXzWVCI looks a lot like Xingyi.

  5. #35
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    Darin, I think Kevin was calling the article in question Pseudo-history, nothing to do with you personally.

  6. #36
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    Darin,
    Great collection of information that you have assembled here. I was motivated enough to make a post...

    This sentience....

    Quote Originally Posted by Tainan Mantis View Post
    This sort of pseudo history is harmful. Trying to elevate your own family tradition by cobbling together bits of folklore and history and hoping the readers don't look to closely.
    ...is to directed to any person who writes any controversial or non-verifiable sort history on Wang Lang, or any other martial arts figure, without giving their sources.

    I keep reading from so many sources that Wang Lang is 'this guy' or Wang Lang is 'that guy.' How are we supposed to know which is the correct Wang Lang? Your listing of specific legends is a good way to try and track it down but...

    Not one single bit of Mantis history that I have seen have touched on the fact that Sheng Xiao Dao Ren was a fan of poetry and theater. He left behind a large body of work and sprinkled it with references to poetry from the Tang Dynasty and popular story telling during his lifetime.

    I have spent the last ten years tracking down these sources. I feel like driftwood on an ocean...not a single historian has taken to looking at the literary context of martial writings. The Ming dynasty history of martial arts with strong literary connections starts with General Qi Jiguang and his reference to Chen Xiang, a popular story of the time. Even the great Meir Shahar has missed Shaolin's idolization of Sun Wukong and Er Lang during the Ming (last I checked).

    Though Mantis is a Qing dynasty creation some aspects are solidly based in the Ming era.

    Today I took from the Local University library a series of copies of woodblock printings of masters of the mantis family tree. The goal is to incorporate this into a book of Mantis and verify that, yes, these characters were popular in the Ming dynasty and were the stars of literature.

    More later...

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofei View Post
    In Shandong there are typically four different stories about the legend of Wang Lang and people tend to mix them together.
    One story attributes Wang Lang as Yu Qi who went on to become an abbot of Huayan temple on Lao Mountain. Today there is a statue there for Yu Qi which people often refer to as the Wang Lang statue.
    Another story attributes Wang Lang as coming from Jimo county in Shandong and creating Mantis Boxing in Shaolin temple.
    Another story attributes Wang Lang as 王文成 Wang Wencheng from 淳化县 Chunhua county in 陕西省 Shaanxi province.
    The last story attributes Wang Lang as 大盗 Da Dao. The same Da Dao from the stories we hear of Li Bingxiao.
    Not everyone understands that there are four different legends which are told in Shandong about Wang Lang.
    Master Tunks briefly mentioned “historicity of WL is still debatable”. It was my intention to let the reader know a little bit more about the debate that Master Tunks was referring to. In doing so I mentioned that there were four legends and gave a little bit of detail on the Yu Qi legend. That detail from the Yu Qi legend and the information that I posted in the Mantis Quarterly forum does not come from the article you linked to which is:
    http://csxb.bandao.cn/data/20130730/...content_1.html
    I barely glanced at this link and had little interest in even looking at it.
    There is a group of people who claim they are actually the descendents of Yu Mengxi. They have done quite a thorough and detailed job of researching and writing about him and the uprisings.

    Please feel free to have a look:
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2521688127
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2567347731
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2586875693
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2602353861
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2605468810
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2622364052
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2635557930
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2639280657
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2640611501
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2644972469
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2660001933
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2743959025
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2752586802
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2762319162
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2801119914
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/2967648821
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/3080332315
    http://tieba.baidu.com/p/3080386826
    http://tieba.baidu.com/home/main?un=...ie=utf-8&fr=pb
    http://tieba.baidu.com/f?ie=utf-8&kw...9%89&fr=search

    In the Mantis Quarterly posting I also listed some sources they used for their information which are:
    辞海 Cihai
    中国通史•明清史 Chinese history Ming and Qing history
    中华历史名人大辞典 Chinese history people big dictionary
    于七抗清史 Yu Qi fighting the Qing annals
    栖霞县志 Xixia county annals

    However, I am familiar with some of the speculation in Shandong about Sheng Xiao Daoren. I wrote: “There are some people in Shandong who speculate that 李炳霄 Li Bingxiao wrote under the pen name of Sheng Xiao Daoren. There are, however, other differing speculations.” all of which is true in that there are some people in Shandong who speculate that Li Bingxiao wrote using the pseudonym Sheng Xiao Daoren. It is also true that some people have different speculations about the situation as well. I am agreeing with Master Tunks when he says “The history of Sheng Xiao Daoren is debatable” and only slightly elaborated on one thought that some people have. I myself do not have this thought and I do not believe that Li Bingxiao wrote under the pseudonym of Sheng Xiao Daoren at all. It certainly was not my intention in the slightest bit to try to “elevate your own family tradition”.

    Darin / Maofei
    Fascinating stuff Darin! Thank you!
    Richard A. Tolson
    https://www.patreon.com/mantismastersacademy

    There are two types of Chinese martial artists. Those who can fight and those who should be teaching dance or yoga!

    53 years of training, 43 years of teaching and still aiming for perfection!

    Recovering Forms Junkie! Even my twelve step program has four roads!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tainan Mantis View Post
    Not one single bit of Mantis history that I have seen have touched on the fact that Sheng Xiao Dao Ren was a fan of poetry and theater. He left behind a large body of work and sprinkled it with references to poetry from the Tang Dynasty and popular story telling during his lifetime.
    Your work in this area is interesting.
    Richard A. Tolson
    https://www.patreon.com/mantismastersacademy

    There are two types of Chinese martial artists. Those who can fight and those who should be teaching dance or yoga!

    53 years of training, 43 years of teaching and still aiming for perfection!

    Recovering Forms Junkie! Even my twelve step program has four roads!

  9. #39
    Brothers,
    Thank you for the great support and for the clarification.

    Since everyone seems alright and encouraging here's a little more info:
    If Wang Lang and research are the topic: I haven’t seen anyone mention a supposedly real person named 王朗 Wang Lang (using 朗 instead of 郎) from Shandong province from the three kingdoms period named 王严 Wang Yan, style name 景兴 Jingxing (Wang Jingxing) whose granddaughter 王元姬 Wang Yuanji went on to marry Sima Zhou whose son 司马炎 Sima Yan became the first emperor of the Jin Dynasty 司马炎 Jin Wu Di Emperor Wu of Jin.

    Additionally he is found in the famous Chinese classical work of fiction: 三国演义 Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

    I’ve researched him in depth myself and written a lot privately on the subject so the above info is just a small intro.

    You can read an overview about it if you would like:
    http://baike.baidu.com/subview/109690/5566018.htm

    You will find the sources listed as well.

    One source used for 王朗 Wang Lang’s name being 王严 Wang Yan:
    《三国志·卷十三·魏书十三·锺繇华歆王朗传第十三》裴松之注引《魏略》:朗本名严,后改为朗 。

    Not that this real 王朗 Wang Lang from the three kingdoms period created mantis boxing. But, you never know, someone could always later speculate that his history or appearing in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms could have had an effect in the creation of the Wang Lang legends.

    It was said "Wang Lang is not Yuqi, but there was a confusion about who these two people were so they have been mixed up." Maybe the above info is what was being referred to. This 王朗 Wang Lang also helped lead some battles just as Yu Qi did. However, this 王朗 Wang Lang was primarily a politician.

    Warm regards,
    -Darin / Maofei
    Last edited by Maofei; 08-07-2015 at 07:52 PM.

  10. #40
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    關于于七“觀螳螂捕蟬,悟螳螂拳法”一說,目前雖無文字可考,但追溯于七的
    出身和家世以及整合各類民間傳說,于七在嶗山創螳螂拳是完全可信的。
    As for Yu Qi's "inspiration of the mantis fist from observing a mantis seize
    a cicada," at present there is no written documentation to prove this.
    But, to trace the family history of Yu Qi and its relationship to popular
    folk legends we can confirm without a doubt that the story of Yu Qi creating
    Mantis fist at Lao Shan is true.

    And with logic like this all credibility goes out the window. This is historical analysis at its worst.

    A proper article would first seek to establish who he is. Then try to make a connection between him and whoever from some old text that is publicly available.

    But a story that starts out with, "This is what I heard as a kid when the Liberation Army came to town in 1947 (over 300 years have passed)..." is not believable. So, for this reason I am reserving judgement until something more concrete materializes that links Yu Qi to anything beyond folklore.

  11. #41
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    "Chinese masters I have met have various opinions also and are little help in the matter. I do not believe there will ever be a definitive answer. Nor do I believe it matters."

    And what opinions would those be please? Is the split equal between 7 star and PB for the first sub family? More to the point..am I the only one who expresses an interest in this subject?
    Last edited by LaterthanNever; 08-05-2015 at 01:53 PM. Reason: misspelled word

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaterthanNever View Post
    "Chinese masters I have met have various opinions also and are little help in the matter. I do not believe there will ever be a definitive answer. Nor do I believe it matters."

    And what opinions would those be please? Is the split equal between 7 star and PB for the first sub family? More to the point..am I the only one who expresses an interest in this subject?
    Every family of mantis has their legend on the origins of mantis. Some agree, some are very different.

    As you can see from Sifus Sun, Tunks, Brazier and myself there has been some studying on the subject.

    However, myths, legends and partial histories have little to do with our day to day attempts to try and master our family's mantis style.

    What was, is lost more and more each generation. What is, is what we can master!
    Richard A. Tolson
    https://www.patreon.com/mantismastersacademy

    There are two types of Chinese martial artists. Those who can fight and those who should be teaching dance or yoga!

    53 years of training, 43 years of teaching and still aiming for perfection!

    Recovering Forms Junkie! Even my twelve step program has four roads!

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaterthanNever View Post
    "Chinese masters I have met have various opinions also and are little help in the matter. I do not believe there will ever be a definitive answer. Nor do I believe it matters."

    And what opinions would those be please? Is the split equal between 7 star and PB for the first sub family? More to the point..am I the only one who expresses an interest in this subject?
    There's no doubt that what is shown in the clip (Lin Tanfang's material) is about as old as it gets as far as what's still around today in Shandong. Then again, the styles from Hebei - Tongbei TL/Shaolin TL could be even older. Whether that kind of TL is connected to Shandong TL - apart from being connected via foundation manuscripts - is another question.

    As far as what's older between MH and QX, the name MH was probably coined earlier if we take Wang Yunsheng as the creator of QX. Names are funny though, as at various periods direct descendants of LXX used the QX name as well. They are really just brands and people didn't obsess about them as much as we do. Many names have also been administered retrospectively.

    The thing is, some of what is at the core of QX came intact from Kuaishou Li - in other words, not entirely created by or introduced by WYS. Some of that material was/is also common to MH and predates the branding/split. So, there are parts of what is considered MH or TJTL today that are older than parts of QX (even that's debatable as things introduced from other boxing styles such as Mizong also have a substantial history) and there are parts of QX today that are as old as the parts of MH/TJ that predate the split.

    There are a handful of forms that we can fairly safely count amongst the oldest extant routines of Shandong TL and these are well known - Ba Zhou, Luanjie/Lanjie, Zhaiyao (though there was an earlier version than the ones we see today) and Beng Bu. Some say Beng Bu actually came later but it looks like it was actually one of the earlier ones and is one of the commonalities between QX and MH.

  14. #44
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    As always..thank you all for your input!


    What was, is lost more and more each generation. What is, is what we can master!"

    Yes. I am not going to lie. I think that what some masters have done and refuse to teach everything they know and take 10% (arbitary number) with them to the grave is one of the most callous and spiteful things one can do. This is a great way for an art to dilute or even worse..become extinct. I have even heard that the late GM Ip Mans' Wing Chun teacher did not teach GM Ip the entire style(who knows?). One cannot say the same thing about GM Shum Leung of the Ying Jow Pai style..he has the opposite approach(thank the Good Lord).



    There are a handful of forms that we can fairly safely count amongst the oldest extant routines of Shandong TL and these are well known - Ba Zhou, Luanjie/Lanjie, Zhaiyao (though there was an earlier version than the ones we see today) and Beng Bu."

    Yes, Master Brazier mentioned to me once that a more interesting question to ask is not what the "oldest" style was, but the oldest *form* was/is(I am paraphrasing here Master Brazier so if I am taking your comment out of context, I apologize). Some have said the first documented form was Lan Jie and others say it was Bung Bu. Master Stuart Alve Olson says in his book that the earliest know style of manti was "Lan Jie praying mantis", which I found both interesting(and a bit confusing). Am I to understand that forms back then were considered separate styles in and of themselves?

    As for me, I am an 8 step(Ba Bu) practitioner. Some has said that the late GM Wei did not learn Lan Jie since it is not a form in the 8 step curriculum. My thoughts are that his teacher GM Feng Huan Yi(who was a high level Ying Jow practitioner) learned it as "Jeet Kune" (Jie/Jeet same word). I believe that the form is the same though perhaps was modified when Lan Jie was conceived.

    Apologies for my ignorance..was Lin Tan Fang a 7 star of PB practitioner? Thank you.
    Last edited by LaterthanNever; 08-06-2015 at 04:39 PM.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaterthanNever View Post
    was Lin Tan Fang a 7 star of PB practitioner? Thank you.
    Meihua/PB. He was student/disciple of Xiu Kunshan, so a direct descendant of Liang Xuexiang.

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