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.