Kung Fu – Circular Preying Mantis Style

Circular Preying Mantis Kung Fu (Circular Tong Long) is a very fast, direct, and effective fighting style built upon the fundamentals of the Kung Fu styles of Southern Preying Mantis, Eagle Claw and Cotton Palm as well as the principles of Yang and Chen style Tai Chi.

In this system, speed is essential and we train students to be able to deliver maximum power through correct external and internal body mechanics. The progressive practise of Ying (shape), Yi (mind), Hai (breath), Sun (focus), Gung (power) in our training allows for devastating power to be produced in our strikes from very short distances.

Next Introduction to Kung Fu Course starts 24th January - click here to learn more...

Our Kung Fu classes can help you to improve your:

  •   Self-defence
  •   Fitness levels
  •   Strength
  •   Speed
  •   Power output
  •   Self-esteem
  •   Confidence
  •   Discipline


The traditional Southern Kung Fu system takes its power from the correct stance, or ‘ma’. This stance involves grabbing the floor at just the right moment to generate and deliver maximum power to the striking surface.

The power then moves from the feet through the legs and body, and up out the fist. The entire body becomes the driving force. Basically a close-in fighting system, Southern Preying Mantis is known for its “one-inch strikes”, similar to the one-inch punch made famous by the legendary Bruce Lee.


Mantis practitioners do not give their opponents a chance to deliver more than one blow. The practitioner turns defence into attack by striking immediately. The theory is to get your opponent off-balance and not let him regain it; at the same time, shift in close and attack with many rapid-fire short strikes.

Many of the strikes are open palm attacks, which are a faster strike to deliver. The characteristic fist of the system is the phoenix eye fist, which the mantis practitioner uses to attack pressure points.

The distance needed to provide the devastating power of Southern Preying Mantis becomes shorter over time as the training moves from externally generated power to internally generated power. In this system with regular discipline it will become possible to knock someone out with your palm already contacting the head, without the need to physically draw back your arm.


Essentially, Circular Preying Mantis Kung Fu doesn’t practice blocking. Instead, our ‘blocks’ are initiated as attacks.

To defend ourselves we will strike any incoming limbs with a ferocity that immediately puts the attacker on the back foot. The initial ‘block’ can be used as an attack to redirect the force of their attacking blow, but it is still hit with maximum power.

This power is not used directly against force in the Preying Mantis system; again, that wastes valuable time. Using Tai Chi principles we redirect the blow and immediately counterattack with rapid, multiple strikes.

What better way to deter a would-be attacker than delivering power that instantly produces fear. If you can hit hard enough a person will faint, whether you hit their head, arm, or body.


Historically, Southern Preying Mantis Kung Fu was used in the South of China, which was often wet and required secure footing to the ground. Therefore Southern Praying Mantis kicks are mostly delivered low, below the waist, in order to maintain balance and speed.

Low kicks are harder to block. This is also because the mantis will punch and attack the head, while kicking below at the same time. The mantis will kick the groin, knees, ankles, calf, and stomp to crush the feet and toes.


Weapons in the Southern Mantis Kung Fu fighting style include, the Staff, Tridents (or Sai’s), Walking Stick, Single and Double Short Sticks, Single Broadsword, Butterfly Swords, Tai Chi Sabre, and Tai Chi Fan.

Weapons are taught to students after they have spent time on the basics, and specific weapons are introduced in certain grades to enhance the understanding and power of the techniques.

Tridents walking stick IMG_0281 IMG_0578


Training equipment includes iron rings, metal dummies, hanging bags, wall bags, wooden poles, hand and body pads, finger, wrist, and forearm tools.

All training equipment is designed to improve power, speed, co-ordination, body conditioning, and balance.

For show we will often break stacks of concrete roofing tiles.

The Power of Tong Long

These videos feature Tong Long Kung Fu masters from the CKFA, training and demonstrating high level practices and tile breaks.

Here is what visitors from our Branch in Mayapur, India had to say about visiting our Brisbane HQ and Grandmaster Henry Sue and his Tong Long Yuen Mo Pai (Circular Preying Mantis) Kung Fu.