The beginning of the twentieth century was the golden age of Praying Mantis Kung Fu and the Three Mountains of Laiyang were paramount to its fame. During the Qing Dynasty the style was practiced by few people, in relative secrecy. However with the founding of the Republic of China things changed, and martial arts were being promoted as a national sport that all should practice. During this time Song Zi De, along with his teacher and sworn brother, Jiang Hua Long, began to openly teach the art. Song had 8 top disciples, however three of them gained a reputation unrivaled, being known far and wide for their martial prowess. They were Cui Shou Shan, Wang Yu Shan and Li Kun Shan. Together they were known as the “Three Mountains of Laiyang”, or Laiyang San Shan, as their names all shared the character Shan 山.

three mountains of laiyang - cui shou shanCui Shou Shan 崔寿山

Cui Shou Shan was known for the complexity and explosiveness of his movements, as well as his skills with the Sabre. He also wrote the most complete manuscript on Mantis Kung Fu to date. He taught mostly in Dalian and Yantai. Read more here….



three mountains of laiyang - li kun shanLi Kun Shan 李坤山

Li Kun Shan was the eldest of the three, and was technically a student of Jiang Hua Long, although all of three had trained under both. He was the nephew of Li Dan Bai. He was renowned for his skills with the spear, and became the national champion in Nanjing, getting a medal from Chiang Kai Shek himself. Due to his connection to the KMT government, in 1949 he fled to Taiwan after the communist takeover.


three mountains of laiyang - wang yu shanWang Yu Shan 王玉山

Wang Yu Shan was known for his rough temperament and love of fighting. He took part in many competitions and his reputation was well known. He taught mostly in Qingdao.Read more here….