Praying Mantis Kungfu

Liu He Tanglang Quan: Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Fist
The Six Harmonies Style is an internal style of praying mantis kung fu. It is one of the 3 main branches of praying mantis, the other two are Plumblossom Style and the Seven Star praying mantis.

It is said that praying mantis kung fu was developed in and around the Shaolin temple centuries ago by monks who observed the motions of the praying mantis insect in combat. The praying mantis insects are specially big in china, they get almost 15 centimetres long.

Liu He Tanglang is soft in forms practice but ferocious in combat application. The tactics are meant for life and death combat, although soft applications are also possible. The basic tactics are unbalancing the opponent and striking him in vital points (eyes, groin, throat, face, solar plexus, joints and nerve centres) or locking up joints, or throwing the opponent.

Blocks, grabs and strikes happen simultaneously, by the use of circular motion. The arms and legs attack in horizontal, vertical and diagonal circles.

The cleverness is in the way the body is used as a unit. This is the meaning of Liu He, the six harmonies - to move the body as one unit and the unification of body, mind and spirit.

Six Harmonies Theory
The six harmonies have various interpretations but the all denote whole-body motion. This is similar to the Tai Chi concept “when one finger moves the whole body moves” or the Xing Yi concept “when the fist arrives the whole body arrives”.

The six harmonies consist of three internal and three external harmonies:

•    The eyes with the intent (yi)
•    The intent with the vital energy (chi)
•    The chi with the body power (li)

•    The hands and the feet
•    The knees and the elbows
•    The hips and the shoulders

Liu He Tanglang has 7 unarmed forms (taulu) and one pure Yang sword form. The most important form in the Short Hammer form, it is also the longest. It is said that the basics of the system are found in this form and if it is understood the other forms will be easy.