TANLAN-QUAN, or GOD-Mantis
As a result of imitating the habits and movements of a mantis in fights and combining them with traditional tactical and technical techniques of martial arts, a very peculiar and amazing style of chuan-shu emerged - the style of a mantis or, in Chinese, tanlan-chuan. It is divided into northern and southern directions.
According to legend, Van Lang, who lived in the middle of the 18th century in Mo County, is considered to be the "father" of the northern direction. Since childhood, Wang Lang fell in love with Wushu and went to the Shaolin Monastery to study martial arts. Later, for the same purpose, he went to the mountains of Emeishan and Kunlunshan in Sichuan province and found many teachers and friends there, but eventually returned to Shandong province. Wang worked very hard on Wushu, but he was weak in health and body, so he always lost in battles. However, he did not lose heart, but rather constantly practicing and inquisitively delving into the essence of each technique. Once in the field, he saw a mantis attacking a cicada, brandishing both paws, using both long and short strokes, defensive and attacking, grabbing and letting go, and then Van realized that this observation could be used in his practice.
Tirelessly exploring the habits of a praying mantis, Van Lang tried to understand the specifics of his attack and to feel his “crown” tricks from the inside: sticking, touching, caving in, injections, dodging, pressing, cutting off, deceiving actions, closing, using a hook-hand and a blade-hand. In the end, the basic Shaolin Quan technique, combined with the habits of a mantis, resulted in a separate, peculiar style of the mantis. Three years of hard training and improving his skills, Wang Lang achieved remarkable results and in the end became invincible.
In the process of development, tanlan chuan gradually split into two directions - north and south.
Five schools are distinguished northward:
1. Seven stars of a praying mantis or, in other words, a male praying mantis, in which a seven-star stance is often used (meaning seven Ursa Major stars, the arrangement of which resembles a stance). The content of the training is divided into three parts: basic equipment, taolu complexes and the so-called opening training (this includes practicing strikes on piles and sparring). This style is distinguished by strength and power, assertive open collisions, as well as straight racks.
2. Meihua Tanlan Quan (a fusion of Meihua and Mantis styles) and Tai Chi Chuan Tanlan Quan (a fusion of Tai Chi Quan and Mantis). In these schools, the most common is the yulinbu stand (scaly step). These schools are distinguished by speed, swiftness, an abundance of U-turns. The content of training here is similar to the seven-star praying mantis, but the emphasis is on the use of inertia, agility and softness. Its peculiarity is its proximity to the real image of a mantis, clarity and rhythm.
3. Liuhe tanlan-chuan (fusion of the styles of six correspondences and a mantis), also known as mahou tan-lan (monkey horse and mantis). Here the emphasis is on observing three internal and three external correspondences (internal: correspondence of the heart and will; will and chi energy; whether chi and strength energy; external: correspondence of the hands and feet; elbows and knees; shoulders and hips). In “softness to reveal hardness”, direct power through internal energy, pay special attention to the principles: “the will AND directs the body, the body does not oppose the will”; "Alternate actions at the upper and lower levels"; "The unity of internal and external."
4. Shuishou tanlan-chuan (mantis-throwing hands) or the full name of meihua shuayshou tanlan-chuan is the result of the merging of the styles of the mantis and meihua, but since it has a lot of throwing hands, they added shuishou-throwing hands.
5. Yuanyang Tanlan (Yuanyang and Praying Mantis style) - is also a derived style of Meihua Tanlan. The stances and actions here are symmetrical, which is why the name Yuanyang (literally, tender spouses) is given. .
The northern areas of the mantis style also include: tunebiy tanlan-chuan, guanban tanlan-chuan, babu tanlan-chuan.
The southern directions are also called zhoujia tanlan-chuan (mantis of the genus Zhou). According to legend, the founder of this trend is Zhou Yanan, who lived in the Qing era in Guangdong. In the southern direction there is both a similarity and a difference with the northern counterpart.
All tanlan-chuan currents cannot be counted; nevertheless, they all have common features. First of all, it is an imitation of the actions of a praying mantis, an internal attitude towards resistance to mortal danger, and bold attacks. "Hands like a praying mantis - quickly and abruptly, striking suddenly." The technique of working with the corps borrowed mobility and spasmodism from the mantis. Hardness and suppleness are equally important in this school, long strokes are intertwined with short ones, and there is confidence and resourcefulness in actions. A lot of sudden transitions, powerful and temperamental attacks.