As with most traditional styles of Kung Fu, the history of Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu are often shrouded in mystery and legend. Each school has a history that is passed from Sifu to student and over time.
There are differing accounts of the creation of Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Some assert that it is a descendant of the Shaolin system of Northern Mantis. Others state that it was the creation of a Monk from a Taoist monastery on Omei Mountain in China. The question of the origin of Southern Mantis will probably never be satisfactorily answered.
There is similar debate over which of the various branches of Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu was the original system:
* CHI GAR TONG LONG
* CHOW GAR TONG LONG
* CHU GAR TONG LONG
* IRON OX TONG LONG
* JOOK LUM TONG LONG
However, there are many parallels, which run through all Southern Mantis systems, including forms, exercises and weapons. So it is probably safe to say that they are all related in one way or another.