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Hao Lianru and the Hungry Tiger

Hao Lianru is the first Praying Mantis master of the Hao family. He taught his style of Praying Mantis to his family at Hao Village. Several of his descendants became famous for their skill and so the name of Hao family Mantis became well known across Shandong.


Originally, Hao Lianru's family style only contained Luohan Quan and Monkey Boxing. The combination of those styles with Praying Mantis is what makes it unique.

  Lin Yushan famous for tiger paintings and grand uncle of April Brazier. Paintings on display at the National Palace Museum.


One Hundred years ago when Hao Lianru was training his sons he must have thought that his style of kung fu would be the precious treasure of his village for generations. Now Hao family mantis is widely known and faithfully practiced today by enthusiasts all over the world.


Hao Lianru's Teachers and Friends


Hao Lianru's great skill and creation of Mantis Boxing comes from his time with Liang Jinchuan and his father Liang Xuexiang, one of the most important people on the tree of Mantis genealogy. Hao Lianru's training and collaboration with the two Liang masters had a profound impact on his Luohan Quan and Monkey Boxing. Luohan Quan contains the cream of Huang Lianru's Luohan method and combines it with moves from the original mother forms of Mantis, Luanjie and Eight Elbows.


The Buddhist Kungfu of a Taoist


At the top of the family tree of Mantis sits Heaven Ascended Taoist. He left behind a book called Robe and Bowl Authentic Transmission. In this book we discover that his style of kung fu was Luohan Quan with Praying Mantis making up one part of it, along with other styles such as Longfist and Tongbei.


An illustration and description of Mantis Boxing from Heaven Ascended Taoist's book shown at right. (read about it here)


The development of a Luohan comes from hard physical training and the cultivation of mind and spirit through meditation. The style of the Luohan is so named owing to its spiritual aspect and is therefore the perfect style for warrior monks and spiritual adepts. Luohan is part of the method of purifying the mind. The martial aspect of Heaven ascended Taoist's Luohan Quan contains techniques such as fanche, coiled elbow strike and Hungry Tiger Beats its Food. These are also all part of Hao Lianru's Luohan Quan. This implies a clear connection between the Luohan Quan of Heaven Ascended Taoist and Hao Lianru.


The theme of Hao Lianru's Luohan Quan is built on the technique dian chui 'tap of the fist,' so named owing to the speedy method of setting up the strike. Heaven Ascended Taoist calls these punches 'rushing punches' and tells us that they should follow each other with their speed.

Attacking with straight rushing fists and the interconnected stepping always relies on the hands following each other.
Change the maneuver and the Mantis strikes cleave open the gates and change to the supporting hands.

The Hungry Tiger Beats its Food


For the articles of the last two months I presented chapter seven of an epic novel depicting the life of Zhao Kuangyin before he became first emperor of the Song Dynasty in 960 A.D. Their battle contained the following depiction,

”You tyrannical thieving convict, how dare you behave so rudely!” He ran up to Dongda and with just one pull yanked him off his saddle. Dongda felt Kuangyin’s force and knew him to be a formidable adversary. Dongda jumped up from the ground with his ‘carp leaps from the water’ and opened wide his two eyes to attack with ‘hungry tiger beats its food.’ (read the full story)

Hungry Tiger Beats its Food as it appears in Hao Lianru's form Luohan Quan.

Tap a punch starts with the left punch here

Tap a punch finishes with the right punch here

Lift and fall stars with the lift here.

Lift and fall ends with this falling punch

Applying the coiled elbow

Jump up in the air and land in a squatting position. This is Hungry Tiger Beats its Food


Shown here just before he falls over my leg.


These techniques start from long range and end up with short range-moving from longfist to short strikes.


Though the kungfu of Luohan Quan is not so different from other styles it is the mental and spiritual aspect that makes it unique


Thanks to Marcio and Jared for help with the pictures.

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Article quick links

The Immortal and the Blackwhirlwind

The Challenge of Master Cui

Taste the Air

The Heavenly Taoist's Praying Mantis Strikes

Why All Kids MUST learn Martial Arts

My First Taiji Tournament

A Barbarian Splits Wood

The Tiger Swallow Flies to Brasil

Little Four Hands

Zhong Lu Fan Che

My Trip to Shandong

First Rule of Pugilism

Mind Posture-Body Posture

The Magic of Tai Chi

Secret Spear of Shaolin

FIst of Luohan

Iron Door Bolt

Tyrant Pulls the Bow

Invitation to Brasil

The Golden Hook Hangs the Jade Vase

Pluck the Star Exchange the Moon

Intuition through the Kick of Zhong Ji Fist

Two Thousand Years of Mantis Warriors

Kung Fu Fit for an Army

Stealing a Horse

Entering the Sea of Awareness

Jing Ke the Undercover assassin

One Step Three Punches

Double Palm Strike of Mantis Boxing

General Yu and the Escaping Pirates

Tai Mountain Crushes the Top

The Barbarian Surrendering Maneuver

The Yin Yang Hook of Plum Flower Mantis

Long Punches and Short Elbows of Iron Fist

Weituo Offers his Vajra

The Mandarin Duck Kick

Dig Out the Cave

Hide the Peach Under the Leaf

Dangerous Flowers of Double Saber

Deng Pu the Smashing Step

The Cleaving Staff Method


Leaking From the Bottom

Tyrant Takes the Helmet

The 7 Hands of 8 Step Mantis

Mantis Hands Topple the Earth

No Block No Defense

Hooked Step of Mantis Boxing

Opposing 10,000 Men

Wang Lang and his Pair of Swords

Sweeping Away the Rebels

Kicks Of Peng Lai

The Double Sealing of the Mantis

Defeating the Legs

The Shaking Step of Mantis

A Weekend in Tennessee

Shaolin Eighteen Movement Stick

Clever Leaping and the Folding Elbow

The Luan Elbow of Shaolin Luohan

The 400 Year Old Iron Fist

Seizing the Opportunity

Sparrow Brushes the Water

The Waist Chop of Mantis Boxing

The Revolving Wheel of Water and Fire

The Rising and Falling of the Mantis Fist

Pan Zhou-The Coiled Elbow

The Method of Stick Fighting

Bi Zhou-The Outer Forearm Elbow

Young Master Luan Opens A School

Hard Can Defeat Soft

Deception Within the Boxing of Shaolin and Mantis

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