His name is also romanized as: Yu Hai
Born in 1942, shifu Yu Tian Tang studied under Li Jing Shan. In addition to his Qi Xing Tang Lang Quan training he also studied Mei Hua Tang Lang Quan for some time.
He started training in 1954 and joined the Shandong wushu team in 1958, specializing in bare-hand mantis boxing and Long Xing Mei Hua Jian (Plum Blossom Dragon Sword). He competed in the Chinese nationals in 1963 (3d place in sword and traditional bare-hand sets) and 1964 (2nd places in sword and traditional bare-hand sets). Took over as head coach of the Shandong team in 1966.
Shifu Yu Tian Tang was instrumental in creating the mantis forms that are taught in the modern sport wushu curriculum. He has completely standarized the Tang Lang Quan at the Wushu Institute. But we can not blame him for changing the traditional style. We have to understand the modern wushu creation process. He was following orders to create a showy, attractive style. That was the only purpose. If he would not have done this he would probably end up in prision or working in a manufacturing plant (what happened to many traditional masters that did not want to accept the modern Wushu).
Shifu Yu Tian Tang is also a movie star and has appeared in many kung-fu movies, for example Shaolin Temple 1 to 3 (with Jet Li/Li Lian Jie), The Tai Chi Master,Tai Chi 2, Ninja over the Great Wall, Deadend of Beseigers, Super Reverant Monk, etc.
Shifu Yu Tian Tang served as a bodyguard to Mao Ze Dong and Zhou En Lai.
His performance of Seven Star is impressive but unfortunately it does not have the traditional flavor of Mantis. He changed his mantis boxing a lot and added his own moves and modern wushu flavor. There is a wushu tape filmed in 1976 that shows shifu Yu Tian Tang playing praying mantis. His technique is excellent and resembles traditional wushu. The current modern wushu tang lang exponents show excellent athletic conditions but they are not so good technically.
In spite of this, he studied long time under shifu Li Jing Shan and I am sure that Yu Tian Tang still can teach the unchanged, traditional Seven Star Praying Mantis.