What has become abundantly clear to me through the research for my book on Mantis Boxing; along with the discovery and extrapolation of more and more techniques from within the forms, as well as the examination of the historical data surrounding the collapse of a dynastic period of a major civilization in world history, is the following…
The following takes all of the data laid out from my timeline research (people, places, events, catastrophes, wars, rebellions, etc), as well as the mantis family tree, and assembles it into a condensed re-write of a more grounded history for mantis boxing. This is a brief overview notating some discoveries and answering questions, as there were many. For the purposes here, I removed mythical backstories and unsubstantiated people. Beginning instead with verified living representatives/associates.
This podcast is a re-recording of a talk I gave at the 5th Annual Martial Arts Studies Conference held at Chapman University in Los Angeles, California in May 2019. The event was hosted by Dr. Paul Bowman, and Dr. Andrea Molle. A two day extravaganza of martial arts history, politics, and culture. There is amazing research into the martial arts taking place around the globe today. It was an honor to be a part of this significant event, and contribute in some small way to the Martial Arts Research Network. Below is a copy of the…
A true Mantis Boxing Historical Timeline from the Qing dynasty to the Republican Era. This tool was pivotal in drawing conclusions in my research on the history of Praying Mantis Boxing. Months of investigation culminated and presented in this beautiful chart designed by Bruce Sanders. Now available for your own research or enjoyment.
Sure enough, they were the same character. This lead to further research and comparisons, and soon I had a series of principles and sub-principles that drew a solid link between the two styles. The English translations people used can vary, but the character is found to be the same for each style. Below is a work in progress but it is far enough along that I can share it.
Update - 10-MAR-2019
Below is an essay from May of 2013. After 14 years in Chinese boxing styles, thousands of hours of training, and a year into my journey of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in 2012 my ideas and approach to the art of praying mantis boxing began to shift. I was not happy with the ‘status quo’, the failure of the art (meaning the methods within forms) to ‘work’ in fighting, and I began to approach mantis from a different angle - a grappling mindset. What you are about to read, is written during this early period in my transformation. Some of this (the history in particular) is incorrect, or incomplete. Later, through further training, research, and sparring, I was able to more deeply develop an understanding of the art. This is the foundation, the beginning of the evolution. I consider this to be when my art truly began. While I could delete this, hide it, or pretend I was never ‘new’, I leave this here to demarcate a point in time on my journey in martial arts. - Randy
The history of Tai Chi, correctly called Tai Ji Quan, disseminated to the masses, is often a mythical story that involves an art form thousands of years old with Taoist immortals, monks, and fairies. Commonly it is propagated that a non-existent type of magical energy, will heal the practitioners body and/or throw opponents without ever touching them. This is a fictional portrayal that in the West we call a fairy tale and in the East they call wu xia.