The Evolution of Tang Lang Kung Jutsu

The Martial Art is a drawing together of techniques from traditional Chu’an Fa Kung Fu and modern Ju-Jitsu, hence the title of Kung Jutsu.


Tang Lang refers to the powerful and revered Praying Mantis techniques that are housed within the Chu’an Fa style of Kung Fu, and a range of complete styles of Kung Fu in their own right.  This style of Kung Fu has always been associated with the arts of Atemi or Dim-Mak (the striking of nerve points or weak spots within the human anatomy).  This therefore brings Atemi based striking into the Art.

 Chuan Fa Kung Fu

The following is a history of Chu’an Fa as passed to me by my Si-Fu, Phillip Barnes, when my training with him began in 1988:

The Chu’an Fa, or to give call it by its full name Chu’an Fa, has been practiced by the southern Chinese for many hundreds of years.  The exact date the system was first given its name is uncertain.  From my personal research the name has changed many times as it has incorporated different arts and systems into the style.  Many of the old masters have insisted on their own names being part of the title.  I feel this is fine, as long as they have contributed something to the style to justify this.  The present Grand Master is Tang san Wu who inherited the title when Grand Master Ch’i died in 1990.   He is the first non-direct descendent Grand Master, as Grand Master Ch’i had no children, Wu is a first nephew.

The first traceable Grand Master I have been able to find is Ch’iang Tao Li who was born in 1585 and died in 1663 the art then had the name Lang Shou.

The history of the Chu’an Fa system is a complex thing as there are differing views and arguments as to how and when the system originated. 

Chu'an Fa contains many different facets, ranging across various animal styles including Monkey, Tiger, Praying Mantis, Horse, Crane, Snake, Cat and many others too.  This allows the use of many different fighting methods, all with different techniques, including stances, blocks, strikes, and even ways of moving.

The Chu’an Fa way is to adapt and re-learn where necessary to do otherwise is to stagnate and to fall into the trap of traditionalism.  I have every respect for the traditional systems of Karate and Kung Fu, but if they refuse to move with the times they will soon only be teaching tradition for tradition’s sake, and some of the more enlightened masters and instructors have started to look at other systems in an attempt to broaden their horizons.

This inclination to change and adapt was my motivation to create the Tang Lang Kung Jutsu style, an Art incorporating Atemi into almost every strike, whilst using the traditional techniques of Chu’an Fa Kung Fu and the modern techniques of Ju-Jitsu.

 Ju-Jitsu

The art of Chu’an Fa, is fundamentally a striking art.  (The name gives it away, “The Way of the Fist..”)  There is limited grappling, locks, throws, and holds, but in true traditional Chu’an Fa, these are primarily “set ups” for the “Coup-De-Grace”.  

The emphasis on Ju-Jitsu is in grappling to throw, lock, choke, and generally immobilise an opponent through these and many other techniques.  (But striking is also MOST DEFINATLY included in this too!)

The Ju-Jitsu way of grappling and dealing with an opponent without the need for big strikes helps to further expand and strengthen the art.  Ju Jitsu combines many different physical techniques and methods of escapes from thousands of locks, strangles, strikes and other forms of attack that then allows you to deal with the opponent without unnecessary force or personal exertion.

Atemi-Jutsu

Atemi-Jutsu is the art of striking.  This art includes all manner of strikes with thumbs, fingers, hands, arms, feet, elbows, knees, or other body parts.  Atemi Jutsu techniques were developed for fighting opponents in armour.  The strikes had to penetrate the armours weak points, which to a degree mirrors those of the human body.  Atemi Jutsu teaches the practitioner about the hundreds of nerve or Atemi Points throughout the human body and how to expose the weak points in the body’s natural armour, so that the strikes have a far greater and devastating effect.

Kobu-Jutsu

Kobu-Jutsu is the Art of weaponry.  It teaches you the way to correctly use the weapon using speed and power, whilst maintaining mental focus, and still keeping the technique correct.

In this day and age, I believe it is imperative that all Martial Artists learn and train with weapons.  This gives the Martial Artist an in-depth idea as to how to use the weapon, and therefore give them an idea how the weapon could be used.  This in turn gives the Martial Artist an idea of what may be coming, and this gives a greater chance of a safe defence to the situation.

Kobu-Jutsu covers many weapons, from edged weapons, knives, swords, broken bottles, to blunt weapons, Escrima, Kwon, and pick axe handles, to the more unusual, the Nunchuku, the three sectional staff, and the nine section chain whip, and even projectile weapons, of throwing knives, stars, darts, bows and even firearms.

This as mentioned above gives a huge amount of knowledge as to how a weapon could be used against you. This greatly improves your chances of defending against that weapon safely, and in this day and age, that chance of survival is imperative.