The region of the middle and down stream sections of the Yellow River is the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilization. It has also helped forge the richness and wonder of Chinese Martial Arts, especially in many Northern styles. Northern styles are popular in the northern part of China and most of them have the characteristics of being elegant and confident, emphasizing movements with coordination and completeness, stylishness and power, clarity and rhythm, and strength and fluidity. Other than Cha Chuan, Hua (flower) Chuan, Pao Chuan, Hong Chuan, Hoa Chuan and other Long fist styles, Norther styles of Chinese Martial Arts also include Ba Chi Chuan (Eight Extremes Fist), Tong Bei, Fanzi Chuan, Praying Mantis, Mian Chuan and Mui Fa (Plum Flower) Chuan, etc., each with its own unique characteristics. The well-known Shaolin Style also has its own distinction of northern style. which are distinguished by the characteristics of “Southern Fist and Northern Kick”.
Fanzi Chuan was originally called Eight Shan Fan because this particular Chinese Martial Arts style has eight main techniques. “Shan” refers to the swiftness of movements which are like lightening. “Fan” refers to the movements being executed one after another in succession. The Fanzi Chuan forms are usually short and concise. They are swift and foreceful with fist attacking as dense as a heavy rain, low stance moving like a flash, and movements executed in non-stop succession. Therefore, it also has a nickname “One Whip Fanzi”. Fanzi Chuan emphasires the sharpness, swiftness, power and recoiling of the movements.
Chinese Martial Arts Praying Mantis Fist belongs to the family of animal imitating styles. It is said that this Chinese Martial Arts style was founded by Wang Lang from Jimo, Shandong Province who lived during the end of the Ming to the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. It was said that he was inspired by the techniques that a mantis uses to pray on a cicada and created this particular Chinese Martial Arts style. Chinese Martial Arts Praying Mantis Style was first spread in Jiaodong area in Shandong province and was later developed into Plum Flower, Seven Star, Six Harmony and other Chinese Martial Arts Praying Mantis styles such as Seven Star Mantis Martial Arts, Five Star Mantis Martial Arts, Chinese Martial Arts Wah-Lam Mantis, etc.