Today would be the 69th birthday of my beloved teacher KANG ZHIQIANG 康志强 (26/2/49 - 11/11/02).
I've started an Instagram page this week as another avenue for sharing material. Of course, kicked off with an image of the man in question. Never to be forgotten! Feel free to add and follow, either at: www.instagram.com/mantisboxingsociety/ or by clicking the icon in the footer below.
Drink one in his honour. Ganbei!
Brief overview of the Mantis Boxing Society (螳螂拳社)
Shandong Qixing Tanglang was first introduced to Australia by Dr Wang Xiaohua. After studying Mantis Boxing intensively under GM Li Zhanyuan during his university years in Qingdao, Wang won a scholarship to study for his PhD in Oceanography at James Cook University in 1987. After graduation, he moved to Canberra to take up a position at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), not long after, taking his first students Brendan Tunks, David Cuthbert and Ki Lam.
Formed in Canberra in 1992, the Mantis Boxing Society was officially incorporated in April 1996. The Society was modeled on the original Mantis Boxing Society, formed in Shanghai, China in February 1933 with 80 founding members. The aim of the Society is the propagation and uplifting of traditional Mantis Boxing both locally and internationally, through research, training, competition and public demonstration. Society members have won multiple international and national titles in various avenues of competition (bare hand, weapons and combat) since 1998.
Wang Xiaohua is the founder and Honorary Lifetime Chairman of the Society, Brendan Tunks is the President and Chief Instructor, David Cuthbert is Vice President and Senior Instructor. The Society is represented in Melbourne, Victoria by Senior Instructor Nang Ho.
The Mantis Boxing Society is joined by the Polish Praying Mantis Kung Fu Society and the Finnish Praying Mantis Kung Fu Society in the Mantis Boxing Tri-Nation Union.
25th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Ceremony
The Society held it's 25th anniversary dinner on 11 November 2017 with Master Li Qiyu of Qingdao as the guest of honour, with many past and present members, associates and guests in attendance. The night also marked the 15th anniversary of the death of Master Kang Zhiqiang (RIP), which was duly honoured throughout the evening. There were a number of speeches accompanied by the presentation of the following certificates of achievement and awards:
Acknowledgement of Outstanding Achievement in Competition
In Recognition of Fighting on Behalf of the Mantis Boxing Society
Acknowledgement of Outstanding Achievement in Combat
Acknowledgement of Dedication and Perseverance
Appreciation of Ongoing Support of the Mantis Boxing Society
Appreciation of Ongoing Support of the President
The Kang Zhiqiang Memorial Award for 25 Years of Dedication to the Mantis Boxing Society
The Li Zhanyuan Memorial Award for the International Propagation of Mantis Boxing
Dr Wang Xiaohua
Honorary Appointment to the Position of Chief Advisor of the Mantis Boxing Society
Master Li Qiyu
The Society is extremely grateful to have received congratulatory messages and salutations (compiled in a commemorative booklet) from the following brothers-in-arms from across the world:
Slawomir Milczarek – President, Polish Mantis Boxing Federation
Arnold Buenviaje – Chief Instructor, Philippine Mingsheng Wenyang Sports Association
Esko Ronimus - Finnish Tang Lang Men Society
Kazumi Nemoto – President, Japan Old Mantis Boxing Association
Yo Katagiri – President, Balance Academy, Yun You Kung Fu Gym Japan
Claudio Fabbricatore - Zhong Lianbao Qixing Tanglang, Italy
Khoo Kheng Chiang - Penang Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association, Malaysia
Davide Schiatti - Taiji Meihua Tanglang, Italy
Kevin Brazier - Taiwan Peng Lai Mantis Association
Will Wain-Williams - Zhou Zhendong Taiji Tanglang, Shanghai
Robert Hui - Chiu Chuk Kai Tai Chi Praying Mantis, Canada
Mike Dasargo - San Diego Fighting Arts Academy
Diego Klosinski - Shuai Jiao Association of Argentina
Miles Henderson - Holistic Combat Arts
Wang Dapeng - Principal, Taichi & Mandarin Solutions
The newest member of the Society, Dave ‘Axe’ Atkins was also named on the night.
Many thanks to all involved. Your ongoing support is much appreciated. Special thanks to Master Li Qiyu for making the trip to Australia and for overseeing a couple of weeks of intensive training leading up to the anniversary. Eternal gratitude to my teachers Dr Wang Xiaohua and the late Kang Zhiqiang.
Here's to 25 more years - Gan Bei!
A heartfelt tribute from my teacher Dr Wang Xiaohua to his late father, Taiji master Wang Yongsheng of Hangzhou:
10th Anniversary Memorial
I had the good fortune of visiting Mr Wang in Hangzhou over 20 years ago. He was a great man and major influence in my teacher's life, setting him on the martial path - also linking him with Qixing Tanglang master Li Zhanyuan in Qingdao in the 1980s. I am indebted to him for his role in producing the man who went on the be so influential in my own life. May his memory live on.
Good luck to brother Adem 'Phoenix' Yilmaz for his upcoming bout against current Lethwei (Burmese Boxing) World Champion, Dave Leduc in Tokyo on April 18th.
For those that don't know, the brutal sport of Lethwei is similar to Muay Thai, but with only hand wraps worn instead of gloves and with headbutting allowed. Lionheart Adem recently took on the previous and long-reigning champ, Tun Tun Min, in his first ever Lethwei bout with no previous experience in the sport, putting on a gutsy show and going out on his shield. Adem's preparation for this fight has been solid and he's in peak condition and more than ready to go to war.
Best wishes Adem. One love from the Mantis Boxing Society, Phoenix Gym and all of your family and friends back home. Go hard kid!
Live stream available on the night at: www.fite.tv/
I'm pleased to share this very informative interview with my teacher, Qingdao martial arts luminary - Master Li Qiyu:
Taiji Tanglang aficionado Will Wain-Williams of www.monkeystealspeach.com was kind enough to interview me on the subject of Seven Star Mantis and Mantis Boxing in general. Apologies in advance for my overly long answers but as you may know, its a subject that's close to my heart and I could go on for days if left unchecked. Big thanks to Will for his interest and for sharing my perspective. Thanks in advance to all those who take the time to read.
Please feel free to check it out, leave a comment, share at will and maybe to continue the discussion elsewhere. Also check out the rest of Will's site and Facebook page of the same name for more interviews and a wide range of information on martial arts and travel throughout Asia.
Here's an early Christmas present to all of our followers, friends and family. I am pleased to present my latest interview with professional MMA coach and proud Yu family Qixing Tanglang representative, Brother Piotr Jeleniewski of Warsaw, Poland:
Adem Yilmaz (Phoenix BKK) goes to war in Tokyo on Thursday 27th of October with Myanmar National Lethwei Champion Tun Tun Min at the Lethwei GP Japan.
For those that are unfamiliar with the Burmese art of Lethwei, it is basically equivalent to Muay Thai, minus the gloves (competitors wear hand wraps only) and with the addition of headbutting and rules that allow combatants to be revived after KO, with the option to continue fighting. Bouts can only be decided by KO, by referee stoppage, submission or fighter's corner throwing in the towel. Matches at this event will be 5 x 3 minutes with 2 minute round breaks.
About this event (in Japanese): www.boutreview.com/2/schedule/lethwei/161027lethweigp.html
About Lethwei: www.thaing.net/kachin-system-of-burmese-martial-arts/lethwei/
On behalf of myself, the Tunks and Ho families, the Mantis Boxing Society and Phoenix Gym, I wish Brother Adem the best of luck for this battle. Although it's pretty much just another day in the office for you, you're doing things most men can only dream of - so make sure you enjoy every second of it and put on a magnificent display of 'beautiful boxing' for the people of Japan (and put Tun Tun's lights out in the process).
A short clip just to test out some blog functionality. Some more random clips and interviews coming shortly.
2006 was the first of three unforgettable trips to Poland to teach Mantis Boxing alongside my brother Shifu Slawomir Milczarek of the Polish Praying Mantis Kung Fu Society in the forest of Urle. Daily training consisted of two long sessions of several hours duration (each morning, incorporating all jiben gong/fundamental exercises), averaging approx. 6 hours a day. The camp was attended by both Polish and Finnish practitioners with a couple of others making the trip from elsewhere in Europe. I came away extremely impressed by the work ethic, determination, skill and toughness of all attendees.
I am eternally grateful for the opportunity and will always treasure my days in both Poland and Finland working hard with my Northern brothers.
The following clip contains some snippets of the large amount of material that was covered in our time in the Urle camp. You can see a few examples of sweeping and 'knocking' throws, takedowns off kicks, a section from a series of progressive Bi Shou (闭手) - 'Closing Hand' / Zhan Nian Shou (粘黏手) - 'Sticking Hand' drills, followed by Zhan Nian Tui Shou (粘黏推手) - 'Sticking and Pushing Hands', all of which can aid in the development of sensitivity and enhance reactivity.
I've only recently been able to edit the particular file type of the footage taken during the first couple of camps (2006 and 2007), most of which was originally filmed by Shifu Milczarek. I'll put a few of these short compilations together in coming months if I happen to come across anything worth sharing.