|Shen Xiao Dao Ren
|Li San Jian
|Wang Rong Sheng
|Fan Xu Dong
|Low Kwang Yu (Luo Guang Yu)
|Chiu Chi Man (Zhao Zhi Min)
|Raymond Ly (Ming Loy/Lei Ming)
|Michael Lee Wang
|Low Kwang Yu (5th generation) and Chiu Chi Man (6th generation)
|Chiu Chi Man (6th generation) and Raymond Ly (7th generation)
|Raymond Ly (7th generation) and Yamel Torres (8th generation)
|Yamel Torres (8th generation) and Michael Lee Wang (9th generation)
Low Kwang Yu (Luo Guang Yu) – 5th Generation
Low Kwang Yu (1889-1944) was born in Peng-lai of Shandong Province and passed away at the age of 55. At age 18 in 1907, Low followed Fan Xu Dong to practice the Seven-Star Mantis Style.
In 1909, Huo Yuanjia helped to establish the Chin Woo Athletic Association (Jingwu) in Shanghai. A request was sent to Fan Xu Dong to teach there. Because he was at this time already in his 80s, Fan Xu Dong sent Low Kwang Yu, who taught at the Chin Woo for ten years starting in 1919. This was the first time that the style of Seven-Star Praying Mantis was taught openly outside of Shandong Province. Among the four greatest styles in the Shanghai Chin Woo Athletic Association are the Mantis Style, the Eagle Claw Style, the Tan Tui Style and the Tai Chi Chuan Style. The Shanghai Chin Woo is the subject of many popular kung fu films including Fist of Fury starring Bruce Lee, as well as Fist of Legend and Fearless starring Jet Li.
In 1919, Low’s reputation grew even further when he won the grand championship in a fighting competition held in Shanghai. Low Kwang Yu became one of the “Four Super Lords” of the Chin Woo. In 1928, one of Low’s students, Ma Xian Chiu, won first place in a national kung fu tournament in Nanjing.
In 1930, at the request of the Hong Kong Chin Woo Athletic Assocication, Low Kwang Yu moved south to further spread the Seven-Star Mantis Style. The martial arts fraternity in Hong Kong was buzzing with anticipation at the news of Low’s arrival.
Later, due to an economic crisis in the colony, the Chin Woo Athletic Association was forced to close down. In 1938, Low instructed Chiu Chi Man and his other students to set up the Man Keung Athletic Association in Hong Kong. Low was appointed as the chief martial arts instructor of the executive committee of the association.
In 1941, the Pacific War broke out and Hong Kong fell into the hands of the Japanese. The Man Keung Athletic Assoication was forced to close down. Low returned to his hometown in 1942 and passed away in 1944, leaving his wife and children. He was buried in Shandong Cemetery in Shanghai.
Chiu Chi Man (Zhao Zhi Min) – 6th Generation
Chiu Chi Man joined the Hong Kong Chin Woo Athletic Association in 1924 and began learning the style of Tan Tui under Cheung Shu Ching. Chiu Chi Man continued to follow several Tan Tui masters until he developed an interest in Eagle Claw Kung Fu. At this point, Chiu Chi Man felt content to expand his knowledge by studying the popular Eagle Claw and exploring Tai Chi Chuan.
In 1930, Chiu Chi Man heard that Low Kwang Yu, a teacher of the Seven-Star Praying Mantis Style was coming to the Hong Kong Chin Woo Athletic Association to take the post of instructor-in-charge. Because Low Kwang Yu’s reputation preceded him, one of Chiu Chi Man’s Tai Chi Chuan teachers recommended that he ask Low Kwang Yu to teach him his style. Thus, Chiu Chi Man became Low Kwang Yu’s student.
In 1933, Chiu Chi Man was given a position of “Martial Art Supervisor” for the Hong Kong Chin Woo Athletic Association and was conferred by Low Kwang Yu to act as an “Assistant Instructor” to the Seven-Star Mantis Style. Chiu Chi Man was responsible for teaching when Low Kwang Yu traveled outside the country. He also had the privilege to travel with Low Kwang Yu to Canton and other neighboring provinces to give kung fu demonstrations.
In 1938, Chiu Chi Man and his kung fu brothers set up the Man Keung Athletic Association in Fung Wong Terrace, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Chiu Chi Man was elected as the first chairman.
In April 1956, Chiu Chi Man and representatives of other kung fu styles formed a visiting demonstration troupe and went to Taiwan to perform for Chinese troops stationed at Penghu Islands. They also visited Ping Tun, Kaohsiung and Tainan.
Raymond Ly (Ming Loy/Lei Ming) – 7th Generation
Born in Canton, China, Raymond Ly became interested in the martial arts at a very young age. His father moved to the United States and served in the Army during the Second World War. As a result, in 1961, Raymond Ly moved to the United States to be reunited with his family. Ly studied and practiced various styles of kung fu, but yearned to return to his native soil to further augment his training. After a short period of time, Ly found his way to Hong Kong. It is there where he met Chiu Chi Man, the teacher he would follow for the rest of his life.
In 1983, Chiu Chi Man took Raymond Ly as his last closed-door disciple and honored him with the coveted flag as proof of his legitimacy. Thus, Ly was recognized as an authentic 7th generation successor of the Seven-Star Praying Mantis Style of kung fu. He also presented Ly with hand-written copies of his treasured books: Origins of Shaolin Kung Fu, Basic Structure of the Iron Palm Techniques, Boxing Theories of the Northern Shaolin Seven-Star Praying Mantis Style, and Methods on Bone-Setting. This deeply impressed Ly, and he promised to maintain his training and knowledge of the Seven-Star Praying Mantis Style and teach it to others. After a short teaching stint in New York City, and later in Toronto, Cananda, Raymond Ly opened a school in Chicago, Illinois. Raymond Ly passed away in November of 2002.