7 Star Praying Mantis


According to tradition Wong Long, an unshaven monk, at the Shaolin temple, developed the 7 Star praying Mantis style. Wong Long studied at the temple during the period between the Ming and the Ching dynasties.

Although he practiced his Kung fu diligently, he found that he could not beat his kung fu brothers at the temple.

While traveling he consistently sought masters of different styles who would teach him in order to improve his skill. Even though he trained hard and eventually became proficient in 17 different styles he found that his Kung fu brothers at the temple were still able to beat him.

It is said that while walking he came across a Praying mantis fighting with a Cicada.

While the Cicada was obviously bigger, Wong Long noticed that the mantis was very skilled at evading the powerful attacks of the Cicada and was able to use its extremely strong forearms to eventually pin and defeat the Cicada.

Wong Long then started collecting praying mantis in order to study their defense and attack strategies while he was teasing them with a reed.

From these observations he developed a fighting style that improved his skill as a fighter.

The next step was to develop his footwork in order to coordinate with the rapid and powerful techniques of his hands.

For this he looked to the trees where he found that the monkeys had quick and nimble techniques for moving through and fighting in the trees.

And so, after combining the footwork of the monkey with the arms and hands of the Mantis as well as the best techniques of the 17 styles, Wong Long had creating a new fighting style.

It is with this method that he eventually returned to the Shaolin temple and beat his Kung fu brothers.

The praying mantis style became very popular and spread throughout China and in so doing evolved into the following styles:
  • 7 star praying mantis
  • Plum blossom praying mantis
  • Six combination praying mantis
  • Flat plate praying mantis
  • Secret door praying mantis
  • Jade ring praying mantis
  • Dragging hand praying mantis
  • Tai chi praying mantis
  • Rigid praying mantis
Today our Lee Kam Wing Sigong is the Grandmaster of the 7 Star praying mantis style and has many followers around the world.

Sifu Derek Frearson of the International Taijiquan and Shaolin Wushu association has trained under Sigung since 1984 and has completed the syllabus for the 7 Star mantis style.

It is with honour that he has been accepted as a closed door disciple of Lee Sigong.

The South African chapter of the ITSWA goes back to 1986 when Leslie sifu sought out Derek Sifu and began the training of 7 Star Mantis.

Wayne Sifu joined the Association in February of 1988 having previously been a student of the Goju and Kyukushinkai styles of Karate.

Moving quickly through the ranks, Leslie Sifu allowed Wayne Sifu to begin teaching under his guidance at the end of 1988. A year later, he was allowed the open his own school which is still operating today.

After the untimely death of Leslie Sifu (03/03/03), Wayne Sifu now continues his training under the direct guidance of Derek Sifu.

Wayne sifu accepts all students be they beginners or advanced and in so doing continues to spread the style of 7 Star praying mantis in South Africa.