Mantis Kung Fu Among the Bushmen

In researching the origins of movement in animal kung fu styles, I found that the Bushmen of South Africa had a mantis dance which was supposed to help them in warfare. Chinese mantis systems might have started similarly as these totem dances which were for warfare when martial arts was more restricted to sword and spear, but over time, as the empire formed, and blatant shows of martial arts became forbidden and could land you in jail or slavery on the western frontier, mantis societies slowly introduced mantis movements into the actual military arts.

From Hambly’s Tribal Dancing, 1927