I was just catching up with a recent episode of Will Wain’s trip to Taiwan to visit various martial arts schools. The episode I was watching was about a style called Six Harmony Mantis. Six Harmony Mantis looks like (and is!) a combination of Xing Yi/Xin Yi and Preying Mantis Kung Fu.
What I like about it is that the way the two arts have been combined is exactly the same way I would have done – take the best bits of both. So, it’s the Xing Yi footwork and body method with a few cool Mantis techniques on top. It’s a great idea!
But what really caught my attention about this episode was the second half, which is a fascinating look into the living tradition of Chinese Folk Religion and how its practiced in Taiwan. I mentioned in a previous post that there are a lot of influences on Chinese Martial Art that don’t come from a military background, and this is a strong one – Chinese Folk Religion. It’s a blend of all sorts of things, and a good contender for being the most widely practiced religion in the world.
In this episode you can learn about family temples, the gods that are honoured on them, spirit possession and more. I think spirit possession and martial arts have a big connection. Often when a person is possessed by a war-like god they perform war-like movements. A bit like marital arts forms…