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A Strange Teacher

Wang Lang tired of going through the Dan Dao broadsword form. He had been working on both his unarmed skills and weapons techniques every spare minute since his Kung-fu brother, Feng, had left to visit other monasteries. Feng, the Abbot of the Lao Shan Temple, had many duties, being the succesor of the Shao-Lin Buddhist heritage. He was also a master martial artist, defeating Wang every time they met in practice

As Wang rested in the woods surrounding the temple he heard the faint sounds of something in the nearby grass. Turning, he saw the strange sight of two insects locked in combat. The mantis was clearly outsized by the other insect, and Wang thought that it would be a matter of time before the fragile creature would be overcome. Instead, to Wang's astonishment, the mantis engaged the larger insect aggresively. It grabbed and damaged the cicada's legs and antenna with its forearms, literally climbing its opponent.

Wang reached out and interrupted the mauling, taking the tiny mantis into his hands. "Maybe you have something to tell me," he said softly to the still struggling insect. Carefully, he grabbed up his belongings and returned to the temple.

During its stay at the temple, the mantis was prodded with straw, and Wang observed how it grabbed and its aggresive approach to defense. To this idea, he combined the seventeen systems of fighting in which he had trained for years.

Upon the return of Feng, Wang engaged him in practice once again. However, this time Feng found himself on the defensive and quickly thrown to the ground. Rising, he was intrigued by Wang's new ability, the strange postures and aggresive tactics. Wang explained all, and together they refined the system, which they named Mantis Boxing (Tang Lang Ch'uan). Wang liked to call the style Seven Star Praying Mantis (Chi Xing Tang Lang) because he hoped that the followers would become as many as those who could see the Ursa Major constellation (which has seven stars).

The year was 1644, the Ming Dynasty (Han) had been overthrown by the Ching (Manchurians). Wang desperately hoped that the system would enable the Han Chinese to successfully revolt and to be free once again.

Within the next ten years, both Wang and Feng died. Before passing on, though, Wang put the most fundamental ideas of this new style into a form called Bung Bo (the Crushing Step).