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Thread: Wang Lang the Big Reveal is Coming

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  1. #1
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    Wang Lang the Big Reveal is Coming

    In 1989 I began my search into the history of Wang Lang and the Mantis style starting from the list of eighteen masters as presented in the Wah Lum handbook.
    Since then I have collected a lot of material in the hopes of finding out about the kung fu of Wang Lang. For a long time I thought that to find out about Wang Lang would be impossible. In Taiwan, my shifu Shi Zhengzhong even said that some of his mantis teachers had never even heard of Wang Lang.

    In China I presented to my shifu, Zhou Zhendong, some Ming era tentative research on the history of Wang Lang, to which he said that I needed more confirmation and should keep digging before I could go public, lest I be wrong and damage a reputation.

    In handwritten manuals and published books on mantis is the name "Wang Lang", but can he be connected to any written material outside of the Mantis style? That is the objective in the hopes of learning more about the style that we love.

    Wang Lang is an unusual name in its "common-ness." It is sort of like calling someone "Mr. Wang" and trying to find them and their ancestry, you can imagine the difficulties.
    I decided to search out all people in history named Wang Lang and see if any of them might be the mythical legend of Wang Lang. After much searching Wang Lang was found.

    Part of my methodology was to trace all references in Mantis material to non mantis material. To do this I used historical records and facsimiles of books and manuals dating from around 1000 C.E. to recent.
    Along the path of this search, the history and techniques of other famous and/or mysterious masters was discovered.

    Wake Up Call
    Recently I found that some details of one of them, "Han Tong of Muling Pass" and his exchange of hands with Zhao Kuangyin was published in a book for sale on Amazon.
    As an aside, if you are not familiar with these two people, most kung fu practiced now in Northern China, and to a lesser extant in Southern China can be traced to these two masters. Many styles have techniques that are descended from these masters to a greater or lesser degree.

    So, in the interest of honest presentation of the material and proper attribution of authorship I need to find a safe way to publish the findings and history of Wang Lang so that I can share it with other schools that share a common heritage with Wang Lang. I welcome others with their suggestions on how best to do this.

    The schools that can honestly and truthfully be related to Wang Lang based on this research, that I personally can verify through my own training are the following:

    • Wah Lum Tan Tui Praying Mantis
    • Secret Door Praying Mantis
    • Eight Step Praying Mantis
    • Long Fist Praying Mantis
    • Seven Star Praying Mantis of Hong Kong and Shandong
    • Taiji Praying Mantis of Hong Kong and Shandong
    • Plum Flower Praying Mantis
    • Hao Family Praying Mantis.


    There is no Six Harmony Mantis because my experience in that style is small and I dare not speak on, but leave that to experts of Six Harmony Praying Mantis.

  2. #2
    Greetings,

    Is the volume enough to be presented as an academic dissertation? a la Kang Ge Wu's dissertation on Bagua? If so, why not get the degree and the prestige to go with it?

    mickey

  3. #3
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    About Wang Lang it is just an article. Enough to be an academic dissertation? I never did learn about that aspect, so I don't know.
    A student of mine said that it needs to change the way that we look at history and culture, something that this article does, but about the academic hoops, I would need assistance as the translation work and teaching takes up all my time.

  4. #4
    Greetings,

    Well, if you are going forward with it, you may want to consider presenting it in a way that encourages dialogue. There may be more info out there that will support your findings. Are there any annual symposiums on Northern Mantis in the Republic of China or on Mainland China?

    Whatever you choose to do, PLEASE don't do it the way it was done in the Wing Chun forum by Hendrik. The guy was chopped up and luggaged in small suitcases. He is still rotating on the baggage carousel at the Denver International Airport.. with tags.


    mickey

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickey View Post
    Greetings,

    Well, if you are going forward with it, you may want to consider presenting it in a way that encourages dialogue. There may be more info out there that will support your findings. Are there any annual symposiums on Northern Mantis in the Republic of China or on Mainland China?

    mickey
    Mickey, thanks for your advice. Dialogue and unifying the Mantis family is my hope. I think that there is still information out there that can support findings as well as theories. Hopefully in the future more info will help to corroborate.

    I hadn't thought of a symposium. Actually I had been thinking to have the book translated into Chinese and have it published in Asia also as I think that would help to promote Tang Lang in Asia.

    But, for now just working on the final details of the thesis.

  6. #6
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    I suppose this depends on the scope you wish this to reach. But since you seem to have been working on this for so long, I would think any extra difficulty in more cementing the validity of the findings would be a welcome hurdle for you. That being the case, it would be good to review the ways in which historians go about presenting their work and their methodology. There's mainstream historical academics that have been in work for the last century or so, but then there is a more modern approach that has been developing more recently which involves methods we often find in natural sciences, Bayesian stats and such. The idea is to weigh various hypotheses and utilizing internal data (your mantis related materials) with external data (all the other stuff) and work out probabilities for the different competing hypotheses in being most likely to explain the patterns in the materials.

    I'm not really a good person to ask about utilizing this type of thing in historical model comparison, better to ask someone in the field. But, if you want to hit a more sophisticated audience base as you seem, that would be my suggestion. Not the easiest of tasks I realize. But it would go a long way in solidifying the findings if they hold up to the math. If you decided that it were too much, you may find some reception of interest if you reached out a graduate researcher with whom to collaborate. Plenty of universities in FL, surely one of them must have someone looking into Chinese history. They could do that part of the work based off your materials and you could co-author the results in whatever way you publish for yourself. And of course, they'd also need to be able to publish the material for their thesis/dissertation. I guess that latter suggestion depends upon how willing you are to share the limelight.

    Summary: I'd look at the methodologies of academic historians in how they present their arguments and ultimately get it published. Even if you're only going for a shorter reveal than expected of academic publication, following established protocols, I'd think, could only help you.

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