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List of Chinese martial arts

The hundreds of different styles and schools of Chinese martial arts ( 中 國 武 術)

are collectively called Kung Fu (功夫), Wushu (武術), Kuoshu (國術), or Ch'uan Fa (拳
法), depending on the persons or groups doing so. The following list is by no means

• Bafaquan (八法拳) - Eight Methods

• Baguazhang (八卦掌; Bagua Zhang) - Eight Trigrams Palm
• Bajiquan (八極拳) - Eight Extremes Fist
• Bak Mei (白眉拳) - White Eyebrow
• Black Tiger Kung Fu (黑虎拳)
• Chaquan (查拳) - Cha Fist
• Changquan (長拳) - Long Fist
• Chuo Jiao (戳腳) - Poking Feet
• Choy Gar (蔡家) - also known as Rat Kung Fu
• Choy Li Fut (蔡李佛; Càilǐfó)
• Dachengquan (大成拳) - Great Achievement Boxing (Yiquan)
• Ditangquan (地躺拳) - Ground-Prone Fist, Ground Tumbling Boxing
• Do Pi Kung Fu (道派)
• Dragon Kung Fu (Lung Ying) (龍形拳)
• Duan Quan (短拳) - Short Range Boxing
• Emeiquan (峨嵋拳, O Mei Ch'uan)
• Fanziquan (翻子拳) - Overturning Fist, Tumbling Boxing
• Five Ancestors (五祖拳) - Wuzuquan or Ngo Cho Kun
• Five Animals (五形)
• Fujian White Crane (白鶴拳)
• Fu Jow Pai ( 虎 爪 派 ) - Tiger Claw System (also titled Black Tiger Kung Fu or
Hark Fu Moon)
• Fut Gar (佛家)- Buddhist Palm
• Gouquan (狗拳) - Dog Fist
• Hakka Kuen (客家拳)
• Hong Cha
• Hop Gar (俠家)
• Houquan (猴拳) - Monkey Fist
o Drunken Monkey (醉猴)
• Heihuquan: see Black Tiger Kung Fu (黑虎拳)
• Hsing-i Ch'uan: see Xingyiquan (形意拳)
• Huaquan (華拳) - China Fist
• Hung Fut (洪佛) - Hung and Buddha style kung fu
• Hung Gar (洪家拳; also known as Hung Ga or Hung Kuen) - Shaolin Style and
ancestor to many southern styles
• I Liq Chuan (意力拳) - Mind-Body Art, founded by Chin Lik Keong of Malaysia
• Jeet Kune Do (截拳道) - Way of The Intercepting Fist
• Jian Shou - "splashing hands"; the oral history claims was developed for
Shaolin guards in the 1700s.
• Jin Lian Pai (金蓮派) - A modern hybrid system
• Jing Wu Men ( 精 武 門 ) - Jing Wu, a famous school founded in Shanghai that
teaches several different styles.
• Jing Quan Do (精拳道) - a modern synthetic style
• Jow-Ga Kung Fu (周家) - Jow family style
• Kuntao (拳道 or 拳頭) - Way of the Fist, a Hokkien term referring to Chinese
martial arts practiced in Southeast Asia and in Indonesia in particular
• Lau Gar (刘家) - Lau family style
o Lai-Ga-Sau - A recently created separate branch based in the United
• Lai Tung Pai- Shaolin Style that mixes long and short fist
• Lama Pai (喇嘛派)
• Leopard Kung Fu (豹拳)
• Li Gar (李家) - Li Family or Lee Family style
• Liu Seong Kuntao (also Liu Seong Gung Fu, Liu Seong Chuan Fa) - A Chinese
art with Indonesian influence, practiced primarily in the United States
• Liuhebafa Chuan ( 六 合 八 法 ; Liu He Pa Fa, Lok Hup Ba Fa) - Six Harmonies,
Eight Methods or Water Boxing
• Luohan Quan (羅漢拳) Arhat Boxing, Law Horn Kuen
• Mei Hua Quan (梅花拳 Plum Blossom Fist)
• Mian Quan (棉花拳擊 Cotton Boxing)
• Mizongyi (迷蹤拳; Mízōngquán) - Lost Track Fist (also known as My Jong Law
Horn; 迷蹤羅漢拳)
• Mok Gar (莫家拳) Mok family style
• Monkey Kung Fu see Houquan
• Nam Pai Chuan (南北拳) - North South Fist
• Nan Quan (南拳) - Southern Fist
• Northern Praying Mantis (北派螳螂拳)
• Northern Shaolin (北少林) - Bei Shaolin
• Pai lum (白龍) - White Dragon, Pai Family Method, a modern style based on
Kenpo with Chinese influences found mainly in the US and Canada
• Paochui (炮捶) - Cannon Fist, Sanhaung Paochui
• Piguaquan (劈掛拳) - Chop-Hitch Fist, Axe-hitch boxing
• Praying Mantis: see either Northern or Southern Praying Mantis
• Sanshou (散手) or Sanda (散打) - Free Fighting
• San Soo (散手)
• Shaolin Quan (少林拳)
• Shequan (蛇拳) - Snake Fist
• Shuai Chiao (摔跤; Shuaijiao) - Chinese and Mongolian styles of wrestling
• Southern Praying Mantis (南派螳螂拳)
o Chow Gar (周家)- Chow Style Southern Praying Mantis
• Tai Chi Chuan (太極拳 Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan) - Supreme Ultimate Boxing
o Chen style tai chi chuan
o Yang style tai chi chuan
o Wu/Hao style tai chi chuan
o Wu style tai chi chuan
o Sun style tai chi chuan
• Tantui (彈腿/譚腿) - Spring Leg style
• Tibetan White Crane (白鶴派)
• T'ien Shan Pai (天山派)
• Tongbeiquan (通背拳) - Through-the-Back Fist
• White Crane: see either Fujian White Crane or Tibetan White Crane
• Wing Chun (詠春 or 永春) - See also Wing Tsun
• Wudangquan (武當拳)
• Xingyiquan (形意拳; Hsing-i Chuan) - Form-Intent Fist
• Yau Kung Mun (软功門) - Flexible-Power Style
• Yingzhaoquan (鷹爪拳) - Eagle Claw Fist
• Yuejiaquan (岳家槍) - Yue family Fist/Boxing
• Yiquan (意拳; I Ch'uan) - Mind Boxing
• Zi Ran Men (自然门) - Natural Boxing or "fist of nature"

[edit] General terms

• Chi Gerk ( 黐腳) - Term used for sticky legs sensitivity training most notably
used in Wing Chun. Similar concepts are also practiced in Hung Gar and
other Chinese martial arts
• Chi Sao ( 黐 手 ) - Term used for sticky arm sensitivity training most notably
used in Wing Chun. Similar concepts are also practiced in Hung Gar and
other Chinese martial arts
• Zui Quan (醉拳) "Drunken Fist" - Term used for "drunken" techniques in many
styles of Chinese Martial Arts
• Dim Mak (點脈) - General term for point striking
• Iron Palm (Chinese: 铁 掌 功 ; Cantonese: tit1 zoeng2 gung1) is a body of
training techniques in various Chinese martial arts.
• Iron Shirt (Traditional Chinese: 鐵衫; Simplified Chinese: 铁衫; Pinyin: tiě shān;
Cantonese: tit1 saam3) is a form of hard style martial art exercise for
protecting the human body from impacts in a fight.
• Lei Tai { 擂 台 ; Lèi tái) - Full Contact competition platform used in Chinese
Martial Arts.
• Qinna (擒拿; Chin Na) - General term for joint locks
• Sanshou (散手) - General term for sparring methods, but also another name
for the sport, San da (散打)
• Tuishou (推手) - Term used for the "push hands" partner exercises used in the
Neijia arts.

[edit] Internal and external styles

Chinese martial arts may be divided into Neijia (內家, internal family) or wàijiā (外
家, external family) styles.

Many styles combine both internal and external techniques; Chow Gar is a good
example of this.
There is an ongoing debate within the martial arts community at both the popular
and scholarly level over the distinction between "internal" and "external" arts.
Consequently, the list of styles considered internal or external may vary greatly
from source to source. There are only three Chinese styles that are universally
recognized as internal, and they are sometimes referred to as the "Orthodox
internal styles." These three styles are Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, and Tai Chi
Chuan, the three arts counted as internal and set apart by Sun Lutang, who greatly
popularized the terms "nèijiā" and "wàijiā" as a method of classifying martial arts.

[edit] Styles often considered internal styles

• Baguazhang (八卦掌 Pa Kua Chang) - Eight Trigrams Palm

• Liuhebafa Chuan (六合八法 Liu He Pa Fa, Lok Hup Ba Fa) - Water Boxing
• Tai Chi Chuan (太極拳 Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan) - Ultimate Supreme Fist
• Xingyiquan (形意拳 Hsing-i Chuan) - Shape-Intent Fist
• Yiquan (意拳 I Chuan) - Mind Boxing

Chinese martial arts

Chinese martial arts, sometimes referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term

wushu (traditional Chinese: 武 術 ; simplified Chinese: 武 术 ; pinyin: wǔshù) and
popularly as kungfu (Chinese: 功夫 pinyin: gōngfū), consist of a number of fighting
styles that were developed over the centuries. Those fighting styles can be
classified according to common themes that are identified as "families" ( 家 , jiā),
"sects" ( 派 , pai) or "schools" ( 門 , men) of martial arts. Example of themes are
physical exercises that mimic movements from animals or a history and training
method that gather inspiration from various Chinese philosophies, myths and
legends. Some styles focus on the the harnessing of qi and are labeled internal (内
家拳), while others concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness and
are labeled external ( 外家拳). Geographical association, as in northern (北 拳) and
southern ( 南 拳 ), is another popular method of categorization. Each fighting style
offers a different approach to the common problems of self-defense, health, and
self-cultivation from a Chinese perspective.

[edit] Terminology

Kung fu and wushu are popular terms that have become synonymous with
Chinese martial arts. However, the Chinese terms kung fu (Chinese: 功夫 pinyin:
gōngfū) and wushu (simplified Chinese: 武 术 ; traditional Chinese: 武 術 ; pinyin:
wǔshù listen (help·info); Cantonese: móuh-seuht) have very different meanings.
The Chinese literal equivalent of "Chinese martial art" would be 中國武術 zhōngguó

In Chinese, kung fu can be used in contexts completely unrelated to martial arts,

and refers colloquially to any individual accomplishment or skill cultivated through
long and hard work.[1] In contrast, wushu is a more precise term for general martial

Wǔshù literally means "martial art". It is formed from the two words 武術: 武 (wǔ),
meaning, "martial" or "military", and 術 (shù), which translates into "discipline",
"skill" or "method."
The term wushu has also become the name for a modern sport involving the
performance of adapted Chinese bare-handed and weapons forms (tàolù 套 路 )
judged to a set of contemporary aesthetic criteria for points.[2]

[edit] History

Ancient depiction of fighting monks practicing the art of self-defense.

Chinese martial arts may possibly be traced to the Xia Dynasty ( 夏 朝 ) which
existed more than 4000 years ago.[3] Their origin is attributed to self-defense
needs, hunting activities and military training in ancient China. Hand-to-hand
combat and weapons practice were important components in the training of
Chinese soldiers.[4][5] From this beginning, Chinese martial arts proceeded to
incorporate different philosophies and ideas into its practice—expanding its
purpose from self-defense to health maintenance and finally as method of self-
cultivation. The influence of martial ideals in civilian society spread into poetry,
fiction, and eventually film.

According to tradition, the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi, traditional date of ascension

to the throne 2698 BCE) introduced the earliest fighting systems to China.[6] The
Yellow Emperor is described as a famous general who, before becoming China’s
leader, wrote lengthy treatises on medicine, astrology and the martial arts. He
allegedly developed the practice of jiao di or horn-butting and utilized it in war.[7]

Shǒubó (手搏), practiced during the Shang dynasty (1766–1066 BCE), and Xiang Bo
(similar to Sanda) from the 600s BCE,[8] are just two examples of ancient Chinese
martial arts. In 509 BCE, Confucius suggested to Duke Ding of Lu that people
practice the literary arts as well as the martial arts[8]; thus, wushu began to be
practised by ordinary citizens external to the military and religious sects. A combat
wrestling system called juélì or jiǎolì (角力) is mentioned in the Classic of Rites (1st
c. BCE).[9] This combat system included techniques such as strikes, throws, joint
manipulation, and pressure point attacks. Jiao Di became a sport during the Qin
Dynasty (221–207 BCE). The Han History Bibliographies record that, by the Former
Han (206 BCE – 8 CE), there was a distinction between no-holds-barred weaponless
fighting, which it calls shǒubó (手搏), for which "how-to" manuals had already been
written, and sportive wrestling, then known as juélì or jiǎolì (角力). Wrestling is also
documented in the Shǐ Jì, Records of the Grand Historian, written by Sima Qian (ca.
100 BCE).[10]
A hand to hand combat theory, including the integration of notions of "hard" and
"soft" techniques, is expounded in the story of the Maiden of Yue in the Spring and
Autumn Annals of Wu and Yue (5th c. BCE).[11]

In the Tang Dynasty, descriptions of sword dances were immortalized in poems by

Li Bai. In the Song and Yuan dynasties, xiangpu (a predecessor of sumo) contests
were sponsored by the imperial courts. The modern concepts of wushu were fully
developed by the Ming and Qing dynasties.[12]

The ideas associated with Chinese martial arts changed with the evolving Chinese
society and over time acquired a philosophical basis. Passages in the Zhuangzi (庄
子), a Daoist text, pertain to the psychology and practice of martial arts. Zhuangzi,
its eponymous author, is believed to have lived in the 4th century BCE. The Tao Te
Ching, often credited to Lao Zi, is another Daoist text that contains principles
applicable to martial arts. According to one of the classic texts of Confucianism,
Zhou Li (周禮/周礼), Archery and charioteering were part of the "six arts" (traditional
Chinese: 六 藝 ; simplified Chinese: 六 艺 ; pinyin: liu yi, including rites, music,
calligraphy and mathematics) of the Zhou Dynasty (1122–256 BCE). The Art of War
( 孫子兵法), written during the 6th century BCE by Sun Tzu ( 孫子), deals directly with
military warfare but contains ideas that are used in the Chinese martial arts.

Daoist practitioners have been practicing Tao Yin, physical exercises similar to
Qigong that was one of the progenitors to Tai Chi Chuan, at least since as early as
500 BCE.[13] In 39–92 CE, "Six Chapters of Hand Fighting", were included in the Han
Shu (history of the Former Han Dynasty) written by Pan Ku. Also, the noted
physician, Hua Tuo, composed the "Five Animals Play"—tiger, deer, monkey, bear,
and bird, around 220 BCE.[14] Daoist philosophy and their approach to health and
exercise might have influenced, to a certain extent, the Chinese martial arts.

With regards to the Shaolin style of wushu, it is regarded as the first

institutionalised Chinese martial art[15]. However, the oldest evidence of Shaolin
participation in combat is a stele from 728 CE that attests to two occasions: a
defense of the Shaolin Monastery from bandits around 610 CE, and their
subsequent role in the defeat of Wang Shichong at the Battle of Hulao in 621 CE
From the 8th to the 15th centuries, there are no extant documents that provide
evidence of Shaolin participation in combat. However, between the 16th and 17th
centuries there are at least forty extant sources which provided evidence that, not
only did monks of Shaolin practice martial arts, but martial practice had become
such an integral element of Shaolin monastic life that the monks felt the need to
justify it by creating new Buddhist lore.[16] References of martial arts practice in
Shaolin appear in various literary genres of the late Ming: the epitaphs of Shaolin
warrior monks, martial-arts manuals, military encyclopedias, historical writings,
travelogues, fiction and poetry. However these sources do not point out to any
specific style originated in Shaolin.[17] These sources, in contrast to those from the
Tang period, refer to Shaolin methods of armed combat. This include the forte of
Shaolin monks and for which they had become famous — the staff (gun,
pronounced as "goon").The Ming General Qi Jiguang included description of Shaolin
Quan fa (Pinyin quánfǎ or Wade-Giles ch'üan2 fa3, 拳法 "fist principles") and staff
techniques in his book, Ji Xiao Xin Shu ( 紀 效 新 書 ) that title can be translated as
"New Book Recording Effective Techniques". When this book spread to East Asia, it
had a great influence on the development of martial arts in regions such as
Okinawa [18] and Korea. [19]
The fighting styles that are practiced today were developed over the centuries,
after having incorporated forms that came into existence later. Some of these
include Bagua, Drunken Boxing, Eagle Claw, Five Animals, Hsing I, Hung Gar, Lau
Gar, Monkey, Bak Mei Pai, Praying Mantis, Fujian White Crane, Wing Chun and Tai
Chi Chuan.

In 1900-01, the Righteous and Harmonious Fists rose against foreign occupiers and
Christian missionaries in China. This uprising is known in the West as the Boxer
Rebellion due to the martial arts and calisthenics practiced by the rebels. Though it
originally opposed the Manchu Qing Dynasty, the Empress Dowager Cixi gained
control of the rebellion and tried to use it against the foreign powers. The failure of
the rebellion lead ten years later to the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the creation of
the Chinese Republic.

The present view of Chinese martial arts are strongly influenced by the events of
the Republican Period (1912–1949). In the transition period between the fall of the
Qing Dynasty as well as the turmoils of the Japanese invasion and the Chinese Civil
War, Chinese martial arts became more accessible to the general public as many
martial artists were encouraged to openly teach their art. At that time, some
considered martial arts as a means to promote national pride and build a strong
nation. As a result, many training manuals ( 拳 谱 ) were published, a training
academy was created, 2 National examinations were organized as well as
demonstration teams travelled overseas [20] and numerous martial arts associations
were formed throughout China and in various overseas Chinese communities. The
Central Guoshu Academy (Zhongyang Guoshuguan, 中 央 國 術 館 / 中 央 国 术 馆 )
established by the National Government in 1928 [21] and the Jing Wu Athletic
Association (精武體育會/精武体育会) founded by Huo Yuanjia in 1910 are examples of
organizations that promoted a systematic approach for training in Chinese martial
arts.[22][23][24] A series of provincial and national competitions were organized by the
Republican government starting in 1932 to promote Chinese martial arts. In 1936,
at the 11th Olympic Games in Berlin, a group of Chinese martial artists
demonstrated their art to an international audience for the first time. Eventually,
those events lead to the popular view of martial arts as a sport.

Chinese martial arts started to spread internationally with the end of the Chinese
Civil War and the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949.
Many well known martial artists chose to escape from the PRC's rule and migrate
to Taiwan, Hong Kong,[25] and other parts of the world. Those masters started to
teach within the overseas Chinese communities but eventually they expanded
their teachings to include people from other ethnic groups.

Within China, the practice of traditional martial arts was discouraged during the
turbulent years of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1969–1976).[26] Like many other
aspects of traditional Chinese life, martial arts were subjected to a radical
transformation by the People's Republic of China in order to align them with Maoist
revolutionary doctrine.[26] The PRC promoted the committee-regulated sport of
Wushu as a replacement to independent schools of martial arts. This new
competition sport was disassociated from what was seen as the potentially
subversive self-defense aspects and family lineages of Chinese martial arts.[26]
Rhetorically, they also encouraged the use of the term Kuoshu (or Guoshu meaning
"the arts of the nation"), rather than the colloquial term gongfu, in an effort to
more closely associate Chinese martial arts with national pride rather than
individual accomplishment.[26] In 1958, the government established the All-China
Wushu Association as an umbrella organization to regulate martial arts training.
The Chinese State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports took the lead in
creating standardized forms for most of the major arts. During this period, a
national Wushu system that included standard forms, teaching curriculum, and
instructor grading was established. Wushu was introduced at both the high school
and university level. The suppression of traditional teaching was relaxed during the
Era of Reconstruction (1976–1989), as Communist ideology became more
accommodating to alternative viewpoints.[27] In 1979, the State Commission for
Physical Culture and Sports created a special task force to reevaluate the teaching
and practice of Wushu. In 1986, the Chinese National Research Institute of Wushu
was established as the central authority for the research and administration of
Wushu activities in the People's Republic of China.[28] Changing government
policies and attitudes towards sports in general lead to the closing of the State
Sports Commission (the central sports authority) in 1998. This closure is viewed as
an attempt to partially de-politicize organized sports and move Chinese sport
policies towards a more market-driven approach.[29] As a result of these changing
sociological factors within China, both traditional styles and modern Wushu
approaches are being promoted by the Chinese government. [30] Chinese martial
arts are now an integral element of Chinese culture.[31]

[edit] Styles

The Yang style of Taijiquan being practiced on the Bund in Shanghai

China has a long histories of martial arts tradition that includes hundreds of
different styles. Over the past two thousand years many distinctive styles have
been developed, each with its own set of techniques and ideas.[32] There are also
common themes to the different styles, which are often classified by "families" (家,
jiā), "sects" (派, pai) or "schools" (門, men). There are styles that mimic movements
from animals and others that gather inspiration from various Chinese philosophies,
myths and legends. Some styles put most of their focus into the harnessing of qi,
while others concentrate solely on competition and exhibition. Each style offers a
different approach to the common problems of self-defense, health and self-

Chinese martial arts can be split into various categories to differentiate them: For
example, external (外家拳) and internal (内家拳).[33] Chinese martial arts can also be
categorized by location, as in northern (北拳) and southern (南拳) as well, referring
to what part of China the styles originated from, separated by the Yangtze River
(Chang Jiang); Chinese martial arts may even be classified according to their
province or city.[34] The main perceived difference between northern and southern
styles is that the northern styles tend to emphasize fast and powerful kicks, high
jumps and generally fluid and rapid movement, while the southern styles focus
more on strong arm and hand techniques, and stable, immovable stances and fast
footwork. Examples of the northern styles include changquan and xingyiquan.
Examples of the southern styles include Bak Mei and Wing Chun. Chinese martial
arts can also be divided according to religion, imitative-styles (象形拳), and more.
There are distinctive differences in the training between different groups of the
Chinese martial arts regardless of the type of classification. However, few
experienced martial artists make a clear distinction between internal and external
styles, or subscribe to the idea of northern systems being predominantly kick-
based and southern systems relying more heavily on upper-body techniques. Most
styles contain both hard and soft elements, regardless of their internal
nomenclature. Analyzing the difference in accordance with yin and yang principles,
philosophers would assert that the absence of either one would render the
practitioner's skills unbalanced or deficient, as yin and yang alone are each only
half of a whole. If such differences did once exist, they have since been blurred.

[edit] Training

Chinese martial arts training consists of the following components: basics, forms,
applications and weapons. Each style has its own unique training system with
varying emphasis on each of those components.[35] In addition, philosophy, ethics
and even medical practice[36] are highly regarded by most Chinese martial arts. A
complete training system should also provide insight into Chinese attitudes and

[edit] Basics

Basics (基本功) are a vital part of the training, as a student cannot progress to the
more advanced stages without them; without strong and flexible muscles including
the management of the concept of "chi" (breath, or energy) and proper body
mechanics, many movements of Chinese martial arts are simply impossible to
perform correctly.[38][39] Basics training may involve a series of simple movements
that are performed repeatedly over a short interval; examples of these basics
training include stretching, stance work, rudimentary conditioning, meditation and
basic kicking and punching techniques.

A common saying concerning basic training in Chinese martial arts is as follows:[40]


Which can be translated as

Train both Internal and External.

External training includes the hands, the eyes, the body and stances.

Internal training includes the heart, the spirit, the mind, breathing and strength.

[edit] Stances
Stances (steps or 步 法 ) are structural postures employed in Chinese martial arts
training.[41][42] They represent the foundation and exaggerated form of a fighter's
base. Each style has different names and variations for each stance. Stances may
be differentiated by foot position, weight distribution, body alignment, etc. Stance
training can be practiced statically, the goal of which is to maintain the structure of
the stance through a set time period, or dynamically, in which case a series of
movements is performed repeatedly. The horse riding stance ( 骑 马 步 / 马 步 qí mǎ
bù/mǎ bù) and the bow stance are examples of stances found in many styles of
Chinese martial arts.

[edit] Meditation

In many Chinese martial arts, meditation is considered to be an important

component of basic training. Meditation can be used to develop focus, mental
clarity and can act as a basis for qigong training.[43][44]

[edit] Forms

Forms or taolu (Chinese: 套 路 ; pinyin: tào lù) in Chinese are series of

predetermined movements combined so they can be practiced as one linear set of
movements. Forms were originally intended to preserve the lineage of a particular
style branch, and were often taught to advanced students who were selected to
preserve the art's lineage. Forms were designed to contain both literal,
representative and exercise-oriented forms of applicable techniques which would
be extracted, tested and trained by students through sparring sessions.[45]

Today, many consider forms to be one of the most important practices in Chinese
martial arts. Traditionally, they played a smaller role in training combat
application, and were eclipsed by sparring, drilling and conditioning. Forms
gradually build up a practitioner's flexibility, internal and external strength, speed
and stamina, and teach balance and coordination. Many styles contain forms using
a wide range of weapons of various length and type, utilizing one or two hands.
There are also styles which focus on a certain type of weapon. Forms are meant to
be both practical, usable, and applicable as well as promoting flow, meditation,
flexibility, balance and coordination. Teachers are often heard to say "train your
form as if you were sparring and spar as if it were a form."

There are two general types of forms in Chinese martial arts. Most common are
"solo forms" which are performed by a single student. There are also "sparring"
forms, which are choreographed fighting sets performed by two or more people.
Sparring forms were designed both to acquaint beginning fighters with basic
measures and concepts of combat, and to serve as performance pieces for the
school. Sparring forms which utilize weapons are especially useful for teaching
students the extension, range and technique required to manage a weapon.

[edit] Modern forms

[edit] Wushu
As forms have grown in complexity and quantity over the years, and many forms
alone could be practiced for a lifetime, modern styles of Chinese martial arts have
developed that concentrate solely on forms, and do not practice application at all.
These styles are primarily aimed at exhibition and competition, and often include
more acrobatic jumps and movements added for enhanced visual effect[46]
compared to the traditional styles. Those who generally prefer to practice
traditional styles, focused less on exhibition, are often referred to as
traditionalists. Many traditionalists consider the evolution of today's Chinese
martial arts as undesirable, saying that much of its original value is lost, and refer
to the newer styles as "flowery fists and embroidered kicks". [47][48]

[edit] Controversy of modern form work

Even though forms in Chinese martial arts are intended to depict realistic martial
techniques, the movements are not always identical to how techniques would be
applied in combat. Many forms have been elaborated upon, on the one hand to
provide better combat preparedness, and on the other hand to look more
aesthetically pleasing. One manifestation of this tendency toward elaboration
which goes beyond combat application is the use of lower stances and higher,
stretching kicks. These two maneuvers are unrealistic in combat and are utilized in
forms for exercise purposes. [49] Many modern schools have replaced practical
defense or offense movements with acrobatic feats that are more spectacular to
watch, thereby gaining favor during exhibitions and competitions. [50] This has led to
criticisms by traditionalists for endorsing the more acrobatic, show-oriented Wushu
competition.[51] Even though appearance has always been important in many
traditional forms as well, all patterns exist for their combat functionality.
Historically forms were often performed for entertainment purposes long before
the advent of modern Wushu as practitioners have looked for supplementary
income by performing on the streets or in theaters. Forms designed solely for
demonstration first appeared during the Yuan dynasty.

Many traditional Chinese martial artists, as well as practitioners of modern sport

combat, have become critical of the perception that forms work is more relevant to
the art than sparring and drill application, while most continue to see traditional
forms practice within the traditional context—as vital to both proper combat
execution, the Shaolin aesthetic as art form, as well as upholding the meditative
function of the physical artform.[52]
Another reason why techniques often appear different in forms when contrasted
with sparring application is thought by some to come from the concealment of the
actual functions of the techniques from outsiders. [53]

[edit] Application

Application training refers to the training of putting techniques to use. Chinese

martial arts usually contain a large arsenal of techniques and make use of the
whole body; efficiency and effectiveness is what the techniques are based on.[54][55]
When and how applications are taught varies from style to style; in the early
stages of a student's training, most styles focus on drills in which each student
knows what range of combat is being practiced and what attack to expect.
Gradually, fewer and fewer rules are applied, and the students learn how to react
and utilize technique. 'Sparring' refers to the major aspect of application training,
which simulates a combat situation but usually includes rules and regulations to
reduce the chance of serious injury to the students.

The subject of application training is a controversial one, and is the subject of a

raging debate between the Neo-Traditional Martial Artists and Sports and
traditional martial artists. In the neo-traditionalist view, martial arts training should
eventually lead to and be proven by actual combat as well as being governed by a
moral philosophy; neo-traditionalists often believe sparring to test techniques is
either irrelevant because of their disbelief in the validity of a regulated test setting,
or because the system's techniques are supposedly too dangerous to use outside
of a real combat situation. In contrast, the sport-competition and traditionalist view
suggests that all of the techniques in Chinese martial arts should be repeatedly
time-tested through sparring to insure their effectiveness.[57]

An example of this approach in the Chinese Martial Arts is the tradition of Lei tai (擂
臺 / 擂 台 , raised platform fighting) and Sanda ( 散 打 ) or sǎnshǒu ( 散 手 ).[58] Lèitái
represents public challenge matches that first appeared in the Song Dynasty. The
objective for those contests was to knock the opponent from a raised platform by
any means necessary. San Shou and Sanda represents the modern development of
Lei Tai contests, but with rules in place to reduce the chance of serious injury.
Many Chinese martial art schools teach or work within the rulesets of San Shou and
Sanda, working to incorporate the movements, characteristics, and theory of their

[edit] Weapons training

Most Chinese styles also make use of training the broad arsenal of Chinese
weapons for conditioning the body as well as coordination and strategy drills.[60]
Weapons training (qìxiè 器 械 ) are generally carried out after the student is
proficient in the basics, forms and applications training. The basic theory for
weapons training is to consider the weapon as an extension of your body. The
same requirements for footwork and body coordination is required[61] The process
of weapon training proceed with forms, forms with partners and then applications.
Most systems have training methods for each of the Eighteen Arms of Wushu
(shíbābānbīngqì 十 八 般 兵 器 ) in addition to specialized instruments specific to the
[edit] Martial arts and morality

Traditional Chinese schools of martial arts, such as the famed Shaolin monks, often
dealt with the study of martial arts not just as a means of self-defense or mental
training, but as a system of ethics.[62][63] Wude (武 德) can be translated as "martial
morality" and is constructed from the words "wu" ( 武 ), which means martial, and
"de" (德), which means morality. Wude (武德) deals with two aspects; "morality of
deed" and "morality of mind". Morality of deed concerns social relations; morality
of mind is meant to cultivate the inner harmony between the emotional mind (Xin,
心 ) and the wisdom mind (Hui, 慧 ). The ultimate goal is reaching no extremity
(Wuji, 無 極) (closely related to the Taoist concept of wu wei), where both wisdom
and emotions are in harmony with each other.

[edit] Morality

Yale Traditional Simplified Putonghu Cantones
romanization Hanzi Hanzi a e
Humility Qian 謙 谦 qiān him
Sincerity Cheng 誠 诚 chéng sing
Li 禮 礼 lǐ lai
Loyalty Yi 義 义 yì ji
Trust Xin 信 xìn sun
Yale Hanz Putonghu Cantones
romanization i a e
Courage Yong 勇 yǒng yung
Patience Ren 忍 rěn jan
Endurance Heng 恒 héng hang
Yi 毅 yì ngai
Will Zhi 志 zhì ji

[edit] Use of qi
Main article: Qigong

The concept of qì or ch'i ( 氣 / 气 ), the inner energy or "life force" that is said to
animate living beings, is encountered in almost all Chinese martial arts.[64] Internal
styles are reputed to cultivate its use differently than external styles.

One's qi can be improved and strengthened through the regular practice of various
physical and mental exercises known as qigong. Though qigong is not a martial art
itself, it is often incorporated in Chinese martial arts and, thus, practiced as an
integral part to strengthen one's internal abilities.

There are many ideas regarding controlling one's qi energy to such an extent that
it can be used for healing oneself or others: the goal of medical qigong. Some
styles believe in focusing qi into a single point when attacking and aim at specific
areas of the human body. Such techniques are known as dim mak and have
principles that are similar to acupressure.[65]

[edit] Notable practitioners

See also: Category: Chinese martial artists and Category: Wushu

Examples of well-known practitioners (武术名师) throughout history:

An alleged photo of Wong Fei Hung. Some dispute this, however, pointing to the
striking similarity to a photo of a man known to have been a son of Wong Fei Hung.

• Yue Fei (1103–1142 CE) was a famous Chinese general and patriot of the
Song Dynasty. Styles such as Eagle Claw and Xingyi attribute their creation
to Yue. However, there is no historical evidence to support the claim he
created these styles.
• Ng Mui (late 1600s) was the legendary female founder of many Southern
martial arts such as Wing Chun Kuen, Dragon style and Fujian White Crane.
She is often considered one of the legendary Five Elders who survived the
destruction of the Shaolin Temple during the Qing Dynasty.
• Yang Luchan (1799–1872) was an important teacher of the internal martial
art known as tai chi chuan in Beijing during the second half of the 19th
century. Yang is known as the founder of Yang style tai chi chuan, as well as
transmitting the art to the Wu/Hao, Wu and Sun tai chi families.
• Ten Tigers of Canton (late 1800s) was a group of ten of the top Chinese
martial arts masters in Guangdong (Canton) towards the end of the Qing
Dynasty (1644 – 1912). Wong Kei-Ying, Wong Fei Hung's father, was a
member of this group.
• Wong Fei Hung (1847–1924) was considered a Chinese folk hero during the
Republican period. More than one hundred Hong Kong movies were made
about his life. Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li have all portrayed his
character in blockbuster pictures.
• Huo Yuanjia (1867–1910) was the founder of Chin Woo Athletic Association
who was known for his highly publicized matches with foreigners. His
biography was recently portrayed in the movie Fearless (2006).
• Yip Man (1893–1972) was a master of the Wing Chun and the first to teach
this style openly. Yip Man was the teacher of Bruce Lee. Most major branches
of Wing Chun that exist today were developed and promoted by students of
Yip Man.
• Bruce Lee (1940–1973) was a Chinese American martial artist and actor who
was considered an important icon in the 20th century.[66] He practiced Wing
Chun and made it famous. Using Wing Chun as his base and learning from
the influences of other martial arts his experience has exposed him to, he
later developed his own martial arts philosophy which evolved into what is
now known as Jeet Kune Do.
• Jackie Chan (b. 1954) is a Hong Kong martial artist and actor widely known
for injecting physical comedy into his martial arts performances, and for
performing complex stunts in many of his films.
• Jet Li (b. 1963) is the five-time sport wushu champion of China, later
demonstrating his skills in cinema.

[edit] Popular culture

References to the concepts and use of Chinese martial arts can be found in popular
culture. Historically, the influence of Chinese martial arts can be found in books
and in the performance arts specific to Asia. Recently, those influences have
extended to the movies and television that targets a much wider audience. As a
result, Chinese martial arts have spread beyond its ethnic roots and have a global

Martial arts play a prominent role in the literature genre known as wuxia (武侠小说).
This type of fiction is based on Chinese concepts of chivalry, a separate martial
arts society (Wulin, 武 林 ) and a central theme involving martial arts.[69] Wuxia
stories can be traced as far back as 2nd and 3rd century BC, becoming popular by
the Tang Dynasty and evolving into novel form by the Ming Dynasty. This genre is
still extremely popular in much of Asia and provides a major influence for the
public perception of the martial arts.

Martial arts influences can also be found in Chinese opera of which Beijing opera is
one of the best-known examples. This popular form of drama dates back to the
Tang Dynasty and continues to be an example of Chinese culture. Some martial
arts movements can be found in Chinese opera and some martial artists can be
found as performers in Chinese operas.

In modern times, Chinese martial arts have spawned the genre of cinema known
as the martial arts film. The films of Bruce Lee were instrumental in the initial burst
of Chinese martial arts' popularity in the West in the 1970s. Martial artists and
actors such as Jet Li and Jackie Chan have continued the appeal of movies of this
genre. Martial arts films from China are often referred to as "kungfu movies" (功夫
片), or "wire-fu" if extensive wire work is performed for special effects, and are still
best known as part of the tradition of kungfu theater. (see also: wuxia, Hong Kong
action cinema).

In the west, Kung fu has become a regular action staple, and makes appearances
in many films that would not generally be considered "Martial Arts" films. These
films include but are not limited to The Matrix Trilogy, Kill Bill, and The Transporter.
Martial arts themes can also be found on television networks. A U.S. network TV
western series of the early 1970s called Kung Fu also served to popularize the
Chinese martial arts on television. With 60 episodes over a three-year span, it was
one of the first North American TV shows that tried to convey the philosophy and
practice in Chinese martial arts.[70][71] The use of Chinese martial arts techniques
can now be found in most TV action series, although the philosophy of Chinese
martial arts is seldom portrayed in depth.

Hard and soft (martial arts)

Hard and soft in martial arts refer to the way techniques deal with the force of an attack.

[edit] Techniques

Martial arts techniques can be effected in a 'hard' or a 'soft' manner. This applies to both unarmed
combat and to the use of martial arts weapons.

Examples of techniques used in unarmed combat include strikes such as punches and kicks, along with
traps, locks (see chin na), footsweeps, throws and takedowns, used in grappling. Examples of martial
arts weaponry include knives, swords, and spears. In use these may be thrust, swept, hooked, etc. See a
list of martial arts weapons for more details.

[edit] Soft techniques

Taijiquan Pushing Hands, Shanghai, circa 1930

In a soft technique the receiver uses the aggressor's force and momentum against him by leading the
attack in a direction where the receiver will be positioned in advantage, then, in a seamless movement,
effects an appropriate martial arts technique. In some styles, a series of progressively difficult training
drills such as pushing hands or sticky hands teach students to exercise this concept. While less
physically conditioned students may be encouraged to undertake soft style martial arts on the belief that
it does not take any strength to apply them, this is not technically so. The goal of soft arts is said to be
able to turn an adversary's force to their disadvantage, and to use the least possible amount of force

Note following points.

1) The receipt of the incoming force is dealt with in a soft manner thus: This 'leading' of the incoming
attack redirects forces from the aggressor either back at the aggressor or away from the defender instead
of meeting the force with a block. Soft defenses are usually circular: The way this works is similar to the
way a projectile may glance off a round or slanted surface without damaging it. The lack of resistance
while meeting of the incoming force is usually referred to as yielding.

A front sacrifice throw tomoenage used against an assailant pushing from the front

2) The final application of a technique is soft: A technique applied in a soft manner is often applied
when the person is off-balance (see kuzushi) which makes it easy for the person effecting the technique.
This ‘ease’ of application was termed ‘maximum efficiency’ by Kano Jigoro, who founded judo. The
Taijiquan classics report a concept known as "a force of four taels being able to move a thousand
catties" which refers to the Taiji principle that a mass in motion can seem weightless. Techniques
applied in this manner may superficially appear similar to those used in hard martial arts, e.g. throws,
armlocks, etc. but it is the softness in their application which makes them different. No more force than
is needed should be applied.

• In Fencing, a parry is an example where the opponent's blade is guided away

rather than a clash of forces in a block. This is likely to be immediately followed by a
riposte and that by a counter-riposte.

• When an aggressor (uke) pushes towards the recipient (tori), tori drops under uke
while lifting uke over him with one of his legs to effect the throw Tomoe Nage. The
technique is categorized as a front sacrifice technique, and is used in judo and other forms
of jujutsu. The push from uke can come directly, or in response to a push from tori. If tori
pulled uke over by sheer strength, then it would not be a soft technique.

[edit] The principle of ju

The principle of Ju (柔 Jū, Yawara?) underlies all classical Bujutsu methods and was adopted by the
developers of the Budō disciplines. Acting according to the principle of Jū, the classical warrior could
intercept and momentarily control his enemy's blade when attacked, then, in a flash, could counter-
attack with a force powerful enough to cleave armour and kill the foe. The same principle of Jū
permitted an unarmed exponent to unbalance and hurl his foe to the ground. Terms like "Jūjutsu" and
"Yawara" made the principle of Jū the all-pervading one in methods catalogued under these terms. That
principle was rooted in the concept of pliancy or flexibility, as understood in both a mental and a
physical context. To apply the principle of Jū, the exponent had to be both mentally and physically
capable of adapting himself to whatever situation his adversary might impose on him.
There are two aspects of the principle of Jū that are in constant operation, both interchangeable and
inseparable. One aspect is that of "yielding", and is manifest in the exponent's actions that accept the
enemy's force of attack, rather than oppose him by meeting his force directly with an equal or greater
force, when it is advantageous to do so. It is economical in terms of energy to accept the foe's force by
intercepting and warding it off without directly opposing it; but the tactic by which the force of the foe is
dissipated may be as forcefully made as was the foe's original action.

The principle of Jū is incomplete at this point because yielding is essentially only a neutralization of the
enemy's force. While giving way to the enemy's force of attack there must instantly be applied an action
that takes advantage of the enemy, now occupied with his attack, in the form of a counterattack. This
second aspect of the principle of Jū makes allowance for situations in which yielding is impossible
because it would lead to disaster. In such cases "resistance" is justified. But such opposition to the
enemy's actions is only momentary and is quickly followed by an action based on the first aspect of Jū,
that of yielding.

[edit] Hard techniques

A hard technique by contrast meets force with force, either by directly blocking the technique with a
head-on force or by cutting through at an angle with one's own force. This can also serve as an example
of the receiver using the aggressor's force and momentum against them. It is sometimes claimed that
"hard" styles rely primarily on superior strength or conditioning to be successful, but practitioners of
these styles would claim that it is the mechanics of their blocking actions that results in success rather
than raw power as such.

• A Taekwondo kick to break the arm of a person throwing an incoming punch.

• Perhaps "hardest" of all is Shotokai with low, lunging attacks and brush blocks,
all committed to the most vigorous, straight-line attack possible.

[edit] Hard and soft styles or arts

Some martial artists refer to styles or arts as being hard or soft.

A hard style or hard martial art, such as Muay Thai and Tae Kwon Do, employs predominantly or
exclusively hard techniques.

Soft styles or soft martial arts, such as Aikido and the Chinese internal martial arts, employ many soft
techniques. For example, in Yin Style Baguazhang, a Chinese internal martial art which derives its
philosophy from the I-Ching, the Kun trigram represents pure yin and it tends to yield to force.
However, the Qian trigram represents pure yang and its techniques tend to be very hard. For instance,
one might use a sweeping strike (an attack method of the Qian trigram) to block and break the arm of an
incoming punch. Thus, while some might consider Baguazhang to be a "soft" martial art, it includes
"soft" and "hard" techniques.

Many martial arts combine 'hard' and 'soft' techniques, such as Uechi Ryu Karate (which was derived
from Pangai Noon meaning "Half-hard, Half-soft" in Chinese), Goju Ryu or Goju Shorei karate. (The
name Goju is derived from 'gō' (剛 Hard) and 'jū' (柔 Soft) in Japanese). Similarly the vietnamese
Vovinam Việt Võ Đạo is base on a principle of hard and soft ("Iron Hand over benevolent heart").

Such arts are usually called 'hard/soft'. The Chinese martial arts emphasize a balance of yin and yang. In
some styles these represent softness and hardness, respectively. One should yield (yin) to hard force
(yang); inversely, one should attack (yang) a soft (yin) opponent. Other uses of this doctrine state the
study of yin and yang involve offensive and defensive responses; if one is struck on the left, one can
effectively counterstrike from the right, if a low kick comes in, strike high, if a high punch comes in,
kick low. As well, if one initiates these sorts of attacks, one should be aware of the simultaneous
defensive liabilities involved.

[edit] "Hard/Soft" vs "External/Internal"

There is disagreement among different schools about how the two concepts of "Hard/Soft" and
"External/Internal" apply to their styles. Among styles that this terminology is applied to, traditional
Taijiquan equates the terms while maintaining several finer shades of distinction (see quotes below)
while students of some other styles consider the two concepts distinct. In the latter case you will hear
that "internal arts" tend to be "soft" but "soft" arts are not necessarily "internal"[2]. Differences in opinion
may be influenced by the national origins of a particular martial art and the use of the terms by those
schools or nationalities - but in any case the debate can be quite fierce. An example of a soft martial art
not generally acknowledged to be internal is judo.

[edit] Quotes

• "Here he names the five words: before (attack), after (defense), weak (soft), strong (hard),
interim; in these words lies all art of master Liechtenauer and they are the fundament and core of
all combat." gloss on Johannes Liechtenauer, recorded 1389.[3]
• "As a martial art, Taijiquan is externally a soft exercise, but internally hard, even as it seeks
softness. If we are externally soft, after a long time we will naturally develop internal hardness.
It’s not that we consciously cultivate hardness, for in reality our mind is on softness. What is
difficult is to remain internally reserved, to possess hardness without expressing it, always
externally meeting the opponent with softness. Meeting hardness with softness causes the
opponent’s hardness to be transformed and disappear into nothingness..." From chapter twenty of
the "Forty Chapters" preserved by Taijiquan's Yang family.[4][5]

• "Those who practice Shaolinquan leap about with strength and force; people not proficient at this
kind of training soon lose their breath and are exhausted. Taijiquan is unlike this. Strive for
quiescence of body, mind and intention. ...The greatest taboo when practicing Taijiquan is to use
force. If one can make the entire body loose and open, and be absorbed in the circulation of
blood and qi, then after a while one's practice will naturally develop inner jing. This inner energy
is extremely soft, so when encountering an opponent one doesn't need to resist at all. The ability
to extend and contract in order to follow the opponent's energy is referred to as elastic power
within softness. Taijiquan theory states: "From the greatest softness comes the greatest
hardness." This is what is meant by softness." Wu Jianquan in his essay Features of Taijiquan[6]

• "In Randori we teach the pupil to act on the fundamental principles of Judo, no matter how
physically inferior his opponent may seem to him, and even if by sheer strength he can easily
overcome him; because if he acts contrary to principle his opponent will never be convinced of
defeat, no matter what brute strength he may have used." Kano Jigoro[7]

• "I may venture to say, loosely, that in Judo there is a sort of counter for every twist, wrench, pull,
push or bend. Only the Judo expert does not oppose such movements at all. No, he yields to
them. But he does much more than yield to them. He aids them with a wicked sleight that causes
the assailant to put out his own shoulder, to fracture his own arm, or in a desperate case, even to
break his own neck or back." Lafcadio Hearn[7]

• "True spirit of Judo is nothing but the gentle and diligent free spirit. Judo rests on flexible action
of mind and body. The word flexible however never means weakness but something more like
adaptability and openmindedness. Gentleness always overcomes strength." Kyuzo Mifune[7]
• "Do not think of attack and defense as two separate things. An attack will be a defense, and a
defense must be an attack." Kazuzo Kudo[7]

• "Another tenet of randori is to apply just the right amount of force--never too much, never too
little." Kano Jigoro[8]

• "If you do not contest with something, you can not lose to it." Morihei Ueshiba

Advice from Our Past Grandmasters

Jing Mo Association H.K., 1922

Chinese Proverb:
"A well tempered sword never gets rusty.'"
Today, historians have an insight on the teachings that were held within the wall of the Shao lin
Monastery. Some monks wrote down some martial ideas and principles with the hope that they would
be passed down through the generations. Their thoughts are interesting and can be applied to today's
martial arts.
Philosophy on Chinese Martial Arts
From the 1500's:
On force, Monk Chueh Yueh states, "Improvement of kung fu techniques can be obtained through
programmed training. A practitioner should learn step by step, always refrain from making haste.
Besides, he should not indulge in applying brute force in his practice. Brute force is nothing better
than without force, for it will never last long. It is only applied by rough natives living in the
mountains. An aptly applied force is one like that of running water, it is sustaining and long lasting. A
practitioner knowing how to apply a force will never hurt himself."

Monk Shien Hsu takes the same concept further and states, "A practitioner should not over emphasize
the application of force only. He should pay attention to keeping a calm mind. For an over exerted
force is always out of control of the mind, while a calm mind can always keep one's movements under
control so that they may become effective. A practitioner who over stresses brute force is always hot
tempered so he seldom concentrates on what he aims at and so his attacks will not be effective. A
practitioner who is calm can always concentrate his thoughts so that his movements are always
effective. A force is like fire. It will be a servant to man when applied correctly. It will bring fatal
calamity to a user when it is not suitably used."

On the subject of behavior, Monk Tung Sham states," A pre-requisite for a practitioner is to refrain
from being proud of his own attainment. Proud ness leads to failure. A man who is proud of his
wealth fails because of his wealth. One who is proud of his position fails because of his position. One
who is proud of his wisdom fails because of his wisdom. One who is proud of his physical power fails
because of his physical power. Why? Because since there is something for him to be proud of, he is
always impudent, careless, and risking, so all the time he's endangering himself."

Monk I Kuan adds, "A good craftsman always conceals his skills. A learned gentleman looks as if he
is foolish. A competent kung fu practitioner, similarly should be humble, polite and respectful towards
others, no matter how skillful he is. This is the correct way to become self-cultured and to keep
oneself safe."

Sun Yu Fung’s Philosophy (Late 1920's)

"If you learned the boxing arts but do not known the boxing rules or have learned fencing but not the
fencing rules, then you could learn for years without fully understanding what you are doing. Against
an enemy, you must be extremely fast. Your actions are all reflexes and you cannot think in battle; just
act. If you slow for an instant, your chance for victory will be poor."

To his son, Sun Wen Yung, Sun Yu Fung stated, "To learn anything, you must learn from those with
experience. You must always be thinking of situations of attack and being attacked, of direct attacks
and of sneak attacks."

Wan Li Sheng’s Philosophy (1930's)

"In my observations and thoughts, the most useful are boxing and the sword arts. Boxing can
strengthen the body and can be used in self defense. Among all the weapons, the sword is the most
elegant. Gentlemen of my country associate the flute and the sword to be companions of the scholars
who chant poems and songs. It can be seen as both elegant and good exercise for the people. When I
practice the sword at night with a bright moon and a gentle breeze, it is a happy feeling for me. It is
alright to use a stick or a branch in place of a sword to practice. The most refined and sharpest of all
is given the name, Precious Sword."

"Whoever practices boxing or weapons, no matter how one moves his feet, or jumps, he has to be
calm. If you are excited, you are like a nervous swan. If you are calm, you are like a mountain. In
practicing the sword, one must especially be calm. When you are opposing an enemy, you must be
even more in control and not be flustered. Only then will the movements be easier. You can advance
and retreat at will."

Shui Hon Sang’s Philosophy (1970's)

“To what purpose is to learn kung fu? If mastery is not used for fighting what good is it? True martial
arts are more than ordinary fighting skills. Kung fu virtues and finesse must prevail. If there is only
kung fu but no moral refinement in a practitioner then the person is no better than a savage bull. Kung
fu should be used whereas other mediating means fail and when danger is imminent. There is no
satisfaction to fight someone needlessly just because one is skillful in kung fu.”

“Kung fu not only contributes to good health, but it also offers techniques in self defense and offensive
actions. Water does not only keep the boat afloat but it also sinks boats. Similarly, evil and good is a
gee of choice for an individual. For thousands of years kung fu has been taught with secondary
importance while virtuous principles are the primary importance. Most practitioners today ignore this
and will set back their kung fu attainments. Kung fu is to be respected and not feared.”

Tai Chien's (A.K.A. Sik Kuen) Philosophy (1970's)

“Two things which impeded kung fu are the instructors themselves. Many follow blindly to the way
they were taught. Some are not open minded enough to accept other styles as their equal and
overcome the superiority syndrome. We must bear in mind that in every style there is benefits for
everyone to gain.”

"The position of Sifu is not for the purpose of the Sifu to show off but to cultivate new students and to
help persevere the Chinese martial arts.”

“The knowledge of martial arts is not just reading a few ancient novels of martial arts. It is important
to the martial art cultivation of a person. One can never make great achievements if one confines the
learning to one style and pay no respect to the strong points of other styles. Therefore a martial artist
must have a broad knowledge and he must be modest technically, not contenting himself with one style
of his own and negating other styles. In short, one must have a rich knowledge of martial arts.”

Yim Shan Wu’s Philosophy (1960's)

"To teach kung fu is to teach kung fu".

Wong Chia Man’s Philosophy (1970's)

"A good defense is a strong offense. Be aggressive in attacking, whether it is a
feint or a direct attack. Keep in mind, a good fighter defeats his opponent in
three (3) to five (5) moves. If this condition is not met, then the opponent's
abilities are either equal or better than yours. Whenever possible, counterattack
at angles by side stepping towards the opponent's weak side. The three (3)
components of combat are 1) Speed, 2) Guts and 3) Techniques. All three (3)
components must go hand in hand. One component cannot survive without the
others." (WJM - June 14, 1974)

"The mind is the quickest and it must transmit its intent to the Ch'i. When the
mind is clear of its intent (not confused), then the Ch'i has direction on where to
flow. Without direction, the Ch'i will flow to anywhere it wants. When the Ch'i is
focused in one direction, then one's strength emerges."

Staff Arts
There is an old saying for Staff Techniques:

“A staff that has been struck out is difficult to take back

An unattached staff is a difficult to move

Entangling a staff is liable to make on forget the enemy

Moving the staff in a disorderly matter will show signs of weakness

Bring both ends of the staff into combination

The wrist must be flexible

The action of the body, waist and legs must be quick”

Ching Chung Do (1500's):

"Lots of people trained in the Shao Lin Staff. But what they have learned is very different from
each other. Is it because their masters have learned the staff techniques from different sources?
No, the Shao Lin staff techniques were derived from one source only. It is only because during
the course of history that different masters had a personal liking of combining together favorite
and different pole techniques. This led to various forms and names." We can conclude that the
different staff sets were the results of different masters developing their favorite staff techniques
and then passing them on to their disciples."

Saber Arts
"A saber is like a Tiger.

It sees RED the moment it strikes.

When the saber is drawn from its scabbard,

The struggle has come to a life and death situation.

The sound of the saber ringing

startle even the toughest opponents.

When the saber ceases to ring,

The opponents head is already on the ground."

Sword Arts
Li Ching Lin (1920's):
"When practicing the Wu Tang Sword, one must never have evil thoughts. When
fighting, one must not have thoughts of killing or harming one's opponent. This is
true with all swordplay, including throwing and spitting swords. The Wu Tang
Sword appears plain because it stresses the Form, Will and the Spirit." The other
two families, Shao lin and Omei, are more flowery in their techniques and rely on
external power."

Secrets Of The Sword Arts

"The body has to flow like fluid
Never having any stalling moves
After a long time of practice, the body and the sword becomes one
The mind and the sword become one
Where ever you are, you become the sword
If you know this, you are almost at the top knowing what the sword art
is about
Whatever you want the sword to do, it will react
When there is no sword, there are swords everywhere
You can pick up any object and use it as a sword
Everything after this is my teaching to you."

Tsung Wei I (1890's):

'When he (opponent) moves a little, I move fast. From fast to change, from
change to bulls eye'. This demonstrates how to evade and attack."

Spear Arts
"Spears hitting but the spears never met
They start like the wind and retreat like nails.
When the spears meet, they stick.
One does not see the other.
It goes like the wind when you start to move."

Wong Chia Man (1970's):

"The spear is the King of all the weapons. It must attack in like a thread line and
go out and disappear like a ghost. "
Grandmaster Sun Great Great GGM Wan Li Great
Lu Tang Grandmaster Grandmaster Sheng:Three grandmasters
Ma Ching Wan Li Sheng: Rings Harness Yim Shan Wu
Fung and Art of the Moon, cir and Lung Tzu
Grandmaster Lightness, cir 1925 Hsiang
Wong Jack 1925

Grandmaster Great
Wong with his Grandmaster
Triple Staff, Wan Li
cir. 1973 Sheng:Lui Ho
Saber, cir.

Tue, September 22, 2009

Interview with White Crane Master YingHan Su

by Chen Pengcheng

Nearly 370 years ago, a Chinese female martial artist named

QiNiang Fang gained valuable insights from the movements of a
crane and, by bringing these insights to her Shaolin kung fu, she
created a new kung fu system?White Crane Boxing. She and her
husband later moved to a place called YongChun, where they
began to teach White Crane Boxing. Since then, the name of
YongChun County has become synonymous with White Crane
Kung fu in the world of Chinese martial arts. Like an evergreen
tree, White Crane Boxing took root and prospered in the quiet
mountainous region.

On November 20, 2006, PengCheng Chen set his feet on this

legendary soil and paid a visit to the prestigious White Crane
Master YingHan Su in Fujian. As a 7th Dan folk kungfu master,
Master YingHan Su is a representative Chinese White Crane
Master. He currently holds such titles as President of YongChun
YiYun Martial Arts Research Institute, Vice President of
YongChun Martial Arts Association and Executive Director of
Fujian WuShu Association. Master YingHan Su welcomed
PengCheng Chen warmly into his own house and impressed
PengCheng Chen with his eloquence, as well as his deep
knowledge of White Crane Boxing. The interview was conducted in a relaxing manner. A day and a half
of talk resulted in a great deal of laughter and joy.

PengCheng Chen: How did you start your journey into the White Crane world?

Master YingHan Su: I was born into a martial art family. When I was a boy, I often heard the ancestral
anecdotes of our clan. Those live stories inspired me a lot. Moreover, by then I read some martial art
novels. Consequently, I often dreamed of being a chivalrous knight who went out and righted wrongs.
What is more, I was weak at that time. These combined factors turned out to be the inner drives for me
to learn kung fu. My actual kung fu life did not start until I met my friend who later became my sworn
brother. My sworn brother had got a grand-uncle who was a celebrated White Crane master in
YongChun. His name was RuiDang Pan, the fourth son of the White Crane Grandmaster ShiFeng Pan.
My sworn brother introduced me to Master RuiDang Pan and he accepted me as his disciple. I trained
under Master RuiDang Pan for several years and later I got another sifu whose name was LianJia Zheng.
Before his return to YongChun in 1948, Master LianJia Zheng taught White Crane kung fu in Malaysia.

PengCheng Chen: Since you had two sifus, what was your first sifu?s reaction when you got the second
sifu? Did your first sifu get angry?

Master YingHan Su: Actually, something happened there. After my second sifu, LianJia Zheng, returned
to YongChun, he began to teach kung fu for free. He was actually one of my distant relatives. He lived
quite near my house. At that time, my father had passed away, so I had to work hard to support my
family. I had a big family of eight persons and life was hard in that era. My first sifu was very nice to me
and in my eyes, he acted like a grandfather. However, he lived 18 miles away from me. It was quite hard
for me to travel that far to his house for daily training. Because of all of these factors, I intended to learn
from Master LianJia Zheng. On the first day of my training with Master LianJia Zheng, he stopped me
suddenly. He looked at me and said, "You have learned White Crane kung fu before. Who was your
sifu?" I first did not tell him the truth and said that I was a White Crane beginner. He shook his head and
remarked, "No, no. You are not a White Crane beginner. I can see that you have learned White Crane for
several years. You must tell me who your sifu is. Otherwise I will not teach you." Then he went on to let
me know that the reason being that was that he did not want to offend my first sifu and it was the code
of conduct that he had to follow. I then told him that my sifu was Master RuiDang Pan. Upon hearing
the name, he remarked, "RuiDang Pan is a good master. I can teach you White Crane, but you must get
your sifu?s permission." The following day, I came to my sifu, RuiDang Pan and explained my poor
situation. My sifu RuiDang Pan gave me a full understanding that it was quite hard for me to travel 18
kilometers to his house for training since I had to work full time to struggle with my life. He also highly
appraised Master LianJia Zheng?s kung fu and said that he was a true master. He also mentioned that
they were friends, and they often gave kung fu performances before the public in the city of QuanZhou
in the 1950s. With his approval, I then later trained under Master LianJia Zheng. Luckily enough, I
became Master LianJia Zheng?s last disciple, the so-call close-door disciple. Though later I trained
under my second sifu, I kept a close relationship with my first sifu. In reminiscence, I had to give my
special thanks to both sifus for their unselfishness and understanding.

PengCheng Chen: Along with being a White Crane master, you are a traditional Chinese doctor, giving
treatments to those patients who suffer from bone diseases. Just being curious, can I ask who taught you
your medical knowledge, as I know that in the past, kung fu masters had a profound knowledge of
Chinese traditional medicine, especially for bone treatments?

Master YingHan Su: It was my first sifu, RuiDang Pan, who taught me how to give treatments for bone
diseases. My sifu, RuiDang Pan, was a professional kung fu coach. He lived on teaching White Crane
kung fu. He taught White Crane kung fu for more than five decades in his life. Besides, he also gave
treatments to the folks suffering from bone diseases. Actually, my second sifu, Master LianJia Zheng,
was good at treating bone diseases as well. I inherited both the formulas and the Chinese medicine
classics from them.

PengCheng Chen: When you adopt a disciple, what is your expectation? Have you got any particular
requirements for such a disciple?

Master YingHan Su: First of all, I would like to say something on the differences between a disciple and
a student. For those who come and train occasionally and whose purposes are for the health-keeping, I
would like to group them as "students." As with the disciple, we have got several kinds of disciples. In
YongChun County, the first disciple that a sifu has is called "KaiShanMen Disciple" -??-, which can be
translated as, "Open-the-door-of-the-Mountain Disciple." The last disciple that a sifu has is known as
"GuanShanMen Disciple -??-, which literally means, "Close-the-door-of-the-mountain Disciple." The
third kind of disciple is those who train and live with a sifu for a period of long years?we name it as
"DengTanRuShi Disciple," From these three kinds of disciples, only the prominent and the skillful will
have the opportunity to become the so-called "ChuanRen." ChuanRen is a person who can inherit White
Crane kung fu in a systematic manner.

Up to now, most of those training under me are just students. Even for those students, we have to make
sure that each individual is an honest and upright person. However, it usually takes several years to gain
a deep understanding of a person. Therefore, a student will have a long way to go before he becomes a
formal disciple. Nevertheless, to be a disciple he just needs to go through a rite. It does not mean that he
has mastered all of the White Crane knowledge. So in a real sense, a disciple refers to a person who has
got a deep knowledge of White Crane kung fu, and at the same time, his moral character is worth
commending. To be honest, it is now hard to get the disciples. It is mainly because most of the students
do not make an incessant effort on White Crane kung fu. In YongChun, there is a widespread saying
which goes, "A White Crane Master, Ten Years." This means that it will take as long as ten years to
become a true White Crane master. You can imagine how hard it is to draw the students to come and
train regularly. I expect that some promising talents will appear in my sight in the coming years.
PengCheng Chen: In the White Crane book that you wrote years ago, I can find such a phrase as, "Li
You San Ting," which literally means that the internal energy stops at three different points. I'm
confused by this phrase. Can you explain it in more detail?

Master YingHan Su: Oh, I think that you misunderstand the meaning of "San Ting" in that phrase.
Actually, the word "ting" means "to accumulate," or "to gather," instead of "to stop," as you understood.
Therefore, this phrase implies that the internal energy is gathered at three different points. These three
different points are known as the tips of the shoulder, the tip of the elbow and the tip of the wrist. As you
know, these three points are the body weapons. So when each of them is put in use, the energy should be
led to and then gather in such a certain body part, in order to secure a devastating effect.

PengCheng Chen: As it is widely known, you are the founder of the YongChun YiYun Martial Arts
Research Institute. Can you tell me something about the establishment of such a kung fu organization?

Master YingHan Su: The YongChun YiYun Martial Arts Research Institute was officially founded in
October of 1999. It mainly focused on foreign White Crane kung fu exchange and research into White
Crane kung fu. Since the first day it was established, it has received a number of martial arts teams from
the west. Besides, we have been devoting our time and energy to the compiling and writing of articles
and books about White Crane kung fu. We have done a lot of research into its origins, principles, and
applications of its techniques, as well as collecting stories about the old masters. In addition, the
YongChun YiYun Martial Arts Research Institute serves as an open window for the public so that more
and more people, especially young pupils, have a better chance to learn White Crane kung fu. Here I
would like to give my special thanks to my students and disciples who have been funding the institute so
that it can keep running all the time.

PengCheng Chen: What are your expectations for the future?

Master YingHan Su: As you know, the YiYun Martial Arts Research Institute is in my apartment. It is a
very small place. It only covers a floor space of 120 square meters. Obviously, it can not meet our needs.
I am looking forward to a bigger place of our own where I can call in more White Crane masters and
enthusiasts and then sponsor a bigger White Crane event. Also, it can be used as a gym for routine

PengCheng Chen: Up to now, how many books or videos have you published?

Master YingHan Su: Years ago, I worked with Professor ZhengFu Hong and Professor YinSheng Lin on
the writing of a White Crane book called YongChun White Crane Kung Fu. That book was released in
1990. In the book, we included such contents as origin, strategies, principles and some forms. It gave
readers an overall view of White Crane kung fu. Later, that book was listed by the Chinese WuShu
Association as one of classic Chinese kung fu books. Since then, I have been devoting my time and
energy to the compilation and proofreading of six ancient White Crane books. In 2004, these six ancient
White Crane books were published in Taiwan. Last year, invited by the G.Z Beauty Publishing House
and the China?s People?s Sports Audio-Visual Publishing House, I filmed fourteen bare-hand patterns
and one training drill. So altogether there are over 18 discs coming out. As far as I know, these 18 discs
will be released by the end of this year.

(Note: These videos were all released by January of 2007 and are available in international markets.)
PengCheng Chen: Concerning the set of six ancient White Crane books, what provided the inner drive
for you to compile them?

Master YingHan Su: My sifu once said to me, "You are young. If you have got chances later in your life,
please don?t forget to compile the Crane books. Should they be lost, it will be a great pity." By then, I
had already trained under him for several years. However, I had never seen a single written Crane book
before. Actually, I never expected a book for my "Fist," as all the lessons were taught in a rather oral
way. My suspicion was later cleared away when my sifu presented to me the old Crane manuscripts. The
old manuscripts were great gifts for me as they exposed me to a vast world with profound knowledge in
White Crane kung fu.

My initial work on the compilation and proofreading of the old Crane manuscripts actually began before
the Cultural Revolution. I paid numerous visits to the masters of that age and requested to see the old
copies that they held in their possession. It was not an easy task, as some of the masters refused to share
the old copies. Most of them thought that I intended to get the old manuscripts. I explained to them over
and over that I just wanted to compile and then to correct the mistakes in the texts as I myself had
already got one. Luckily enough, with the old masters? help and with the oral narration of my sifu, I was
able to work on this project and pushed it forward in a gradual way. In 1963, the whole work was

PengCheng Chen: As you starting compiling the old manuscripts before the Cultural Revolution, what
happened to the corrected copies during the Cultural Revolution?

Master YingHan Su: The Chinese Cultural Revolution had a great influence on me. They took away all
my weapons. Luckily, I stored my corrected Crane manuscripts in other places and due to this, the
manuscripts didn?t suffer such misfortune and were able to survive.

PengCheng Chen: Master Su, you certainly have achieved a great during your deep research into White
Crane kung fu. Can I ask what your next field is for your research?

Master YingHan Su: At the moment, I am writing some other stuff and I would like to make it into a
complete collection of White Crane kung fu. It will be a big collection. This time I will include more
contents, such as the 108 JiShou techniques (JiShou means hand fighting techniques based on Pushing
Hand strategies) and more patterns. I think that White Crane fans will love it.
PengCheng Chen: White Crane kung fu in YongChun is a vast system with a lot of patterns. I once
witnessed wonderful performances given by your students years ago. In addition to bare-hand patterns,
I was also greatly impressed with the weapon demonstrations. How many kinds of traditional weapons
are there in White Crane kung fu in YongChun?

Master YingHan Su: We have various weapons in White Crane kung fu, such as double broadswords,
single broadsword, Guan broadsword (kwan do), GouLian spear, long staff, tui (a kind of long staff with
one large end and one small end), cai and iron-toothed rake.

PengCheng Chen: When it comes to weapons, I recall a remark by the prestigious old White Crane
Master Uncle Li Zheng, which says, "Fist is the root of Crane kung fu, while long staff can be the gem
of the art." What is your understanding of his remark?

Master YingHan Su: The term "Fist" refers to the bare-handed patterns. The first half of the remark
implies that bare-handed patterns are the foundation of the complete system. Besides, these bare-handed
patterns are the steps leading to the weapon patterns, as there is a great deal in common between them.
For instance, the long staff pattern has such fighting techniques as kun, tiao and sha, which are the same
as such techniques in the bare-handed patterns as splitting down diagonally, pushing horizontally and
striking downward vertically. As the same principle dominates both the bare-handed patterns and the
weapon patterns, from time to time we can hear such a saying: "One should get enlightenment from the
fists for the weapons, and from the weapons for the fist." Therefore, if one is good at bare-handed
patterns, it will be much easier for him to work on the weapons.

With the weaponry, the wooden long staff has been widely recognized as one of the most primitive
defensive weapons. Due to easy availability of a long wooden staff, it is the most common weapon not
only in White Crane but in other martial arts schools as well. If one is good at long staff, one will find no
difficulty with other any weapons, because any other weapon can be an extension of the long staff. For
instance, when you attach a piece of sharp metal to the tip of the long staff, you make a spear. When you
attach a hook-shaped piece of metal to the tip of the long staff, a GouLian spear will appear before you.
As all of the weapons are governed by the same fighting principles, the elements of long staff technique
can be introduced into other weapon techniques. For those who have already learned long staff, as long
as they know where the sharp edge and the black of the blade are, they will soon master the new
weapon. Therefore, the long staff is considered the gem of White Crane kung fu.

PengCheng Chen: In the White Crane book, there are such terms as "Wind Force," "Rain Force," and
"Cloud." What are their actual meanings?
Master YingHan Su: First of all, let?s imagine a rainy day. When there is no wind, the rain will drop
down vertically. When the wind blows, it brings a change to the course of the dropping rain. These are
the folk sayings. So when the rain awaits the wind to make a change to its moving nature, it is called the
Rain Force. When the wind blows up and totally alters the course of the dropping rain, it is called the
Wind Force. Therefore, rain force actually refers to "the stillness that awaita the coming moving force,"
while the wind force refers to "the moving force seduces the stillness."

Both the rain force and the wind force come from the same source; that is, the Cloud, which actually
means the waist. When there are clouds, there will be rain. When the clouds move, the winds blow. If
energy is like a coin, the rain force and the wind force are like both sides of the coin. What makes each
side of the coin is the cloud?the waist as the point where internal energy originates. The relationships
among one another actually teach us how to make a good use of the opportunity in a real fighting

PengCheng Chen: I read that these eight characters are crucial in White Crane kung fu: that is, xiao,
die, shou, chu, zhan, zhuan, fan, and ce. Could you tell me their meanings?

Master YingHan Su: These eight characters reflect the eight

fighting principles. Xiao literally means "to remove," or "to
eliminate," in Chinese. So xiao can be used to deflect a coming
attack and make it land empty, thus posing no threat. Die can be
translated as "continually," or "nonstop," in Chinese. The die
principle is closely associated with energy manifestation. It
requires a continuous releasing of internal martial energy. Shou
can be translated as "to draw in." Therefore, the shou principle
refers to defense strategies. Chu is also translated as "to remove,"
or "to eliminate," in Chinese. However, it actually means to break
down the so-called "bridge" formed by an opponent?s arm. Zhan
can be translated as range of movement while zhuan means "to
move in an arc or in a circle." Therefore, these two words
actually refer to deflecting strategies. Fan can be translated as
"reverse," or "opposite." The fan strategy teaches how to attack
the two opposite ends of a joint. The last word, ce, means "to turn
to the side." The ce principle teaches how to deflect a coming
attack and let it in. These eight principles are not independent of
one another. Instead, they are always used together.

PengCheng Chen: As it is widely known, the Crane systems in Fuzhou have a close link with the
ancestral Crane kung fu in YongChun. However, there is an obscure notion about how Crane kungfu in
YongChun was brought to Fuzhou. Do you have any particular information about the history?

Master LingHan Su: In the old days, Fujian Province was divided into eight administrative zones. There
were the so-called Eight Fus. (Fu is a term for "administrative zone"). These Eight Fus were divided into
two groups; that is, the First Four Fus and the Last Four Fus. The First Four Fus referred to the
administrative zones around what is known as Fuzhou City today and to other places in the north and
west of Fujian Province. The Last Four Fus referred to the MinNan area, which included our YongChun
County. When I was young, I was told that the old masters once taught Crane kung fu in the First Four
Fus. So I personally believe that the Crane kung fu in the Fuzhou area does come from YongChun
County. What is more, the masters of the Shaking White Crane in Fuzhou admitted that their old Crane
books came from YongChun and they claimed the old masters DaXing Wang and Zheng Chong as their
remote forefathers. The old Master Zheng Chong was the disciple of old Grandmasters Zheng Li and
Bai Jie in YongChun. Though there are no written records about how Crane kung fu was spread from
YongChun to the areas around Fuzhou City, we can infer that it was old masters such as Zheng Chong
and others of that age who brought the art out of YongChun.

PengCheng Chen: How should we understand the Crane saying, Du pi ruan ru mian, du nei ying ru tie?

Master YingHan Su: This saying can be translated as "the skin or the surface of the belly is as soft as
cotton wool while the inside of the belly is as hard as an iron block." This phenomenon is the result of
long practice of one's breathing exercises. White Crane kung fu asks for soft, even, and lasting
breathing. When breathing in, the dan tian contracts. When breathing out, the dan tian area goes loose
and qi flushes the area. This kind of breathing exercises the belly muscles and makes them hard, while
when the belly goes loose, it can be very soft. Either being hard or being soft is just the influence of qi.

PengCheng Chen: What is the difference between the term duan qiao and the term li qiao?

Master YingHan Su: First of all, let me start with the term qiao. Qiao can be translated as "bridge" in
Chinese. It is an important term in White Crane kung fu. It actually refers to the forearm. When a person
sticks out his hand and intends to fight, we call this "setting up the bridge." If the other person fights
back by sticking out his hand as well, when their hands touch, it is known as "linking the bridge." The
term duan can be translated as "to break," and the term li means "to leave." Broadly speaking, duan qiao
and li qiao both refer to "breaking the bridge," or "disconnecting" in modern language. However, there is
a small difference between these two terms.

Suppose that you and your opponent are in the state of "linking bridges."

You can entice him in and lead his forward hand to where he will be put in the most unfavorable
situation. The guiding strategy is to make him off the ziwu lin or center line, in which your opponent
will find himself being unbalanced with his awkward movement. At this point, you can use that energy
to fight back and move your opponent?s attacking hand off yours. This is duan qiao. However, suppose
your opponent attacks you right after you two link the bridges. If your opponent is very strong, you may
find it hard to directly push him off. At this point, what you need is to adopt an elusive fighting
technique by removing your hands from his and applying a new fighting strategy. This is li qiao. The
difference between li qiao and duan qiao is that li qiao is used when you are in the unfavorable condition
while duan qiao puts you in the strong position. In particular, li qiao is used to change from an
unfavorable situation to a favorable situation and then gain the initiative.

Master YingHan Su: Suppose that you are in the "link bridges" situation. If you are on the top, you may
find it easy to attack your opponent. At this point, you are in the strong position. The hand on the top is
like a knife while the hand below is like the meat. The knife will cut the meat and mince it. That is why
we will not go under the "bridge." The latter part of the saying refers to a situation in which you and
your opponent stand face to face. However, your opponent remains calm and does not launch the attack
first. To start the fight, you can stick out your hand, or even make a faint movement, and see how your
opponent reacts to your movement. That is what we describe when we say, "When there is no bridge, try
to set up a bridge."

PengCheng Chen: How am I to understand the term shi, in such a phrase as, "Use shi to confront a
coming attack" Is it a typical MinNan word?

Master YingHan Su: Yes, the word shi is in the MinNan language. Actually, when we mention shi, it
goes with the other term, fa. Fa means a certain technique while shi means posture. When the opponent
launches an attack, he will apply a certain technique. Therefore, fa can be understood as a single
movement. When confronting a coming attack, you can use many potential techniques to fight back. So
your shi, or posture, can produce a great number of potential applicable techniques. That is why the
phrase says, "Use the shi to confront a coming attack."

PengCheng Chen: There is another phrase in the old White Crane manuscript which I can not
understand very well. That is chen shen zhu qi -?-. What does it actually mean?

Master YingHan Su: Chen shen zhu qi is a dominant principle in routine training. The first two
characters chen shen mean "to draw the waist." It requires that the cervical vertebrae and the spinal
column and the coccyx should be in a vertical line. As you know, the waist is the source of internal
martial energy. Any awkward movement, such as leaning forward or leaning back, inclining leftward or
inclining rightward, will impair the flow of qi and then the manifestation of energy. Moreover, when the
waist drops, it promises a firm stance. The latter two characters zhu qi mean "to concentrate or to keep
the mind focused." Zhu qi requires smooth breathing and a calm mind. Avoid being impatient or
nervous. Always try to keep a kind and pleasant countenance.

PengCheng Chen: Could you give some advice to a White Crane beginner?

Master YingHan Su: For those White Crane beginners, I think that the most important principle they
should bear in mind is that they should never give way to impatience at any time. Keep calm and do
kung fu as if it is a very common thing that you must do every day. Kung fu is not equivalent to various
movements. People can mimic the movements quickly, but these movements are within the realm of
gymnastics. However, kung fu can not be learned in a short period of time as it embraces many factors:
the particular posture, speed, strength, and so on. These factors can only be obtained through long-term
training. What is more, training requires repeating movements and the process can be dull. Take the
Three Wars for instance; one should do it many times a day. There are no variations to this simple set of
movements which may keep one excited. There is nothing but repetition.

Moreover, one should continue this dull, routine training throughout one's life. So you can imagine what
will happen to a quick-tempered learner. On the other hand, White Crane kung fu is a quite soft system.
At the beginning stage, all learners? movements are still or hard. It will take a long time to remove the
stillness from their movements. Even when their movements become soft, they will have to push their
levels to the state of hua. When they reach the state of hua, their movements become very natural and
they can command their energy at will.

It is apparent that kung fu is not an easy task. In YongChun, there is a wide-spread saying: "A decade of
hard training makes a White Crane Master possible." So it is especially important for beginners to
remain patient.

The Shaolin Dharma of Fighting

by Shi Yan Lei

My main motivation for studying martial arts at the Shaolin

Temple was to learn how to fight. But when I got to the temple
the only techniques my teachers taught me were forms and
acrobatics. These looked beautiful and impressive but they didn't
take me any closer to my goal of learning how to fight, so I began
to get into street fights outside the temple gates to see if I could
learn how to fight this way. My master - the Shaolin Abbot Shi
Yongxin - soon grew tired of dragging me out of the local police
cell and sent me to a Chan Temple in the hopes that I would calm

Fighting Meditation
There was no martial arts taught at this temple, and my Chan
master would wake me in the early hours of the morning and ask
me to come and chant with him. I told him I couldn't concentrate.
He asked me what I could concentrate on, and I told him: my
training. He then instructed me to let my training be my

That one sentence changed my life forever. Suddenly I understood why the Shaolin arts are linked with
Buddhism. I realized that the true purpose of training the body was to train the mind. It didn't matter
what we did - meditation, forms, calligraphy, fighting, chanting - it was about the motivation behind
what we did and how we did it. From that day on, while he chanted I trained.

Shaolin Steel Jacket

When I went back to the temple, my master asked me to choose one of the seventy-two different Shaolin
styles. Because I'm only 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m), my opponents were nearly always taller than me,
which made it hard for me to go in and attack. This is one of the reasons why I decided to study Shaolin
Steel Jacket.

I had seen monks demonstrating this skill at the temple. They would do a qigong form, and then monks
would kick them and break sticks over their torso. But I wanted to see if it was possible to use this
technique in a sanshou fight, which is so much quicker than a traditional demonstration. Could I control
my qi instantly without the need to do a qigong form beforehand? Could I make my body into a weapon
in a modern fighting environment? Those were the questions I set out to answer.

As a disciple of Shaolin I feel it is my responsibility to not only learn what has been passed down to me
generation by generation but also to take it to a new level. Olympic athletes constantly break records and
run at new speeds. I didn't want to train just to stand still, but I wanted to push the boundaries of
Turning The Body into a Weapon
My training program consisted of four sessions a day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. I
would begin my day like the other disciples with a run up the Songshan Mountain, but I would wear a
10-pound weighted shirt. When I came back from the run, I would then skip for thirty minutes. I used
the weighted vest for the same reason long distance runners run at high altitudes. Not only did my
punches and kicks become much quicker, but my footwork did too.

I would then finish my first session with Shaolin Steel Jacket. It's only when the body is hot that it's safe
to practice body conditioning. I would begin by doing a qigong form especially designed for Steel
Jacket, then I would use different instruments to beat myself: a brick, an iron bar, a club of wood, and a
canvas sack full of metal ball bearings.

It is very difficult to get through the first three months of body conditioning, as this is the time when it is
most painful. There were many times when I wanted to stop. I felt nervous in the beginning because
body conditioning is potentially dangerous; if done incorrectly, it can end a person's martial life. An
injury can take months to heal, but an internal injury may never heal completely. I became very worried
when my skin started to go from black to blue to red and then completely peel off. Beating a brick on
raw skin pushed my pain barriers to the maximum, and when I went to see my master to tell him my
concerns, he gave me a recipe for a body conditioning tincture. I applied this to my skin and it started to

Bamboo Block
For my second session I trained on different weights of bags, and
I also kicked bamboo posts with my legs and blocked them with
my arms. I would then have lunch, sleep, and in the afternoon my
third session would begin with my kung fu brothers. We would
practice throws, kicks and punches. If one of my brothers was
better at throws, then I would get him to throw me over and over
again so I could try to work out how to block his throw. We
would also do combinations, sparring and pad work.

For my fourth session I did some basic Shaolin training, and then
my Shaolin Steel Jacket training again. I completely stopped
doing kung fu forms and acrobatics and focused on turning my
body into a weapon. I trained like this for nine months, and then
my master said I was ready to compete in sanshou fights.
Sanshou Fighting
I felt apprehensive in my first fight because my opponent was taller and heavier than me, and I still
didn't know whether I would be able to use my Shaolin Steel Jacket. I'd used it against my kung fu
brothers, but could I use it in a real situation?

I started off by allowing my opponent to attack me. I didn't defend and I didn't block. Because I had
trained so intensely in Shaolin Steel Jacket, I found that I could harness my qi immediately. The training
I had done on the bamboo meant my arms and legs were harder; not only did this protect me, I could see
that it was painful for my opponent to kick or block me. When my opponent punched and kicked me,
this opened up a gap, allowing me to go in and attack. I was very happy to discover that my traditional
Shaolin skill could be used so successfully in a modern sanshou fight.

Unlocking the forms

I continued to compete in sanshou fights in China, and I also
went back to the forms I'd learnt as a boy. I began to unlock them
and discover the self-defense, blocking and attack techniques
hidden in the forms. I could never have discovered these without
the experience of fighting.

I began to practice these techniques against my kung fu brothers

and adapt them so they could be used in a modern fight situation.
As I began to master them, I slowly introduced some of these into
my sanshou fighting too.

Coming to the West

I came to the UK ten years ago to help my brother Shifu Shi
Yanzi set up the first Shaolin Temple in Europe. He was also a
sanshou champion in China. We set about teaching a unique
combination of traditional Shaolin skills as well as sanshou skills.
Many people argue that traditional skills take too long to master.
It's true that it's much easier and quicker to learn how to punch,
kick and throw, but in China we say that if you take three years to
master your skill, then your opponent will need three years to
figure out what you are doing and beat you.

The Shaolin Dharma of Fighting

Since coming to the West, I am surprised that most fighters don't train in qigong and body conditioning.
Combining modern fighting with one or two traditional techniques means that not only do you have a
kick, punch or throw as a weapon but also you have additional weapons and defenses - which are hidden
and harder for your opponent to defeat. I believe all fighters should train in traditional techniques. Not
only does it enrich their fighting experience and help them to respect themselves and their opponent
more, it gives them the edge and helps them to compete at the highest level.

From Outdoor to Indoor

by Feng Wu (translated by Chen PengCheng)

"Outdoor to Indoor" is an important phase that some Chinese martial artists have to go through. Those
outdoor students are informal followers, while those indoors are formal followers recognized both by the
master himself and the sect. It takes a long time for most Chinese people to become formal students. I
remember well what happened in the days when I was with my master. At that time, a dozen followers
learned martial arts from my master. Since my master didn't want to make a living by teaching martial
arts, he didn't charge them at all. The lessons moved on slowly, some of the followers did not acquire
even the JiuLu Striking Leg Style (basic skills in our sect), although several years had passed. Two years
later, there were still a dozen followers around the master, but they were not those of two years ago. One
day, my master said to me, "I teach you the JiuLu Striking Leg Style today."

Actually, Movements of the JiuLu Striking Leg Style are quite simple. I acquired the skills after only
several minutes. But I knew there was an underlying meaning. The JiuLu Striking Leg Style was not
taught to followers gratuitously. In our sect, being taught it meant formal admission, an honorable status.
My master had made me a formal follower and my status changed.

After the lesson, my master said, "We have got different movements of the JiuLu Striking Leg style for
different followers, different features mean different statuses in our sect." Then he moved on and said,
"If you happen to meet someone who practices the martial art style belonging to our sect when you
travel to somewhere, you can display the JiuLu Striking Leg Style. Someone from our sect will contact
you and look after you. And you can also prove your own status with it." I know that such regulations
have existed for a long time in our sect. Not only do we have this special practice, it can be found in
other sects as well. I am acquainted with one senior master whose forefather was good at both martial
arts and making a drug for traumatic injuries, which had an ideal curative effect. Every formal follower
is required to make the drug. If someone proclaims that he is the formal follower of the sect, his
identification and status can be obtained by simply asking the name of the drug and the way to make it.

After a person becomes a formal follower, the relations between the master and him change. The
follower will call the master ShiFu (master) instead of LaoShi (teacher) and their relations are much
closer than ever before, which are vividly expressed by the old saying, "Master is like the father." From
this point forward, the master will bend all his efforts in teaching him instead of being conservative.
Some other sects even hold ceremonies to honor the masters when the follower becomes a formal one.
In the ceremonies, the follower shall knock his head on the ground and present a small note bearing his
day of birth and the eight characters of his horoscope, together with the names of his family members in
the previous three generations, accompanied by a host who reads out the regulations of the sect.

Every sect has its own way of adopting the formal students. Some even make it simple by demanding
fees, although head knocking and a note are required as well. But the serious master doesn't accept the
nominal followers. The so-called nominal followers are those who have relations with the master, but
learn little from the master and are poor at martial arts. In addition to the nominal followers, a serious
master generally turns down registered students as well (who admire and follow the master, but don't
have any chance to learn from the master, though they are good at martial arts.) It takes a long time for a
serious master to formally accept a student.

I have a master who practices "XinYi Quan". He once told me that his master didn't accept him as a
formal follower until he practiced the PiQuan (splitting hands style) for three years. Later, he said that it
wasn't a long time if the student could get the essence of PiQun. In fact, if the student is skillful at
PiQuan, he has acquired nearly half of the XinYi Quan. Students who don't understand this fact will
think the master is conservative and doesn't want to teach them.

In fact, there are two reasons why the master proceeds in this fashion. First, he really cherishes the
martial art skills of the sect and doesn't want to pass on the skills to those who are poorly-behaved and of
ordinary natural disposition. My master once said that it would be a crime not to pass on the martial arts
to those who deserved it. And it would be an equal crime to teach those who did not deserve it. (There
are some other sayings as well, such as "The masters would rather make the martial arts lost in the world
than teach abusively.") Second, it is the traditional method of teaching handed down for generations.

This way of teaching seems too slow for many students, but in fact it is a shortcut. Many students leave,
unable to endure the boredom and hardships inherent in correct training. Those who are always with the
master are most likely to be successful. If they are accepted as formal students and given more advice,
they will make rapid progress in their works. At this phase, they can get advice not only from the master
but from others in the sect, such as the master's junior and senior apprentices, etc. After being made
formal students, they must follow the regulations of their own sects. If they act against the regulations,
they will be ejected or punished. But when my master accepted me as a formal student, he did not read
out the regulations. He once said, "Normally, I take one or two years to accept a formal student. During
this period, I will evaluate both his quality and natural endowment. If I accept the wicked as my formal
student, it not only means that he has got some problems, but also means that I make a big mistake."By
the way, he has not had a single wicked student in his life, though he has been teaching martial arts for
more than twenty years.

Nowadays, more and more martial arts institutes and training centers have been established in China.
Actually, the traditional way of teaching is not very popular with the students. But it still makes sense as
a way of accepting formal students and of teaching, developing and inheriting Chinese martial arts.


ShaoLin Regulations on accepting students

Since the founding of the ShaoLin Temple in the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, we have taught martial arts to
our followers. Followers shall use martial arts as a mean of defense. At the same time, followers shall
make great efforts to defend the state whenever it is in trouble. Followers are not allowed to bully the
weak and the good by depending on the martial arts they learn. Our followers shall abide strictly by the
regulations, love the common people and be benevolent to them.

Some of the regulations are as follows:

1. Followers shall honor the masters and respect their teaching. They shall give priority to royalty
and filial piety.
2. Followers shall spare no efforts in mastering first-rate skills and understanding the thoughts of
masters in previous generations.
3. Followers are not allowed to engage in rape. They shall be smartly dressed.
4. Followers are not allowed to insult the elderly by waving the fists.
5. Followers are not allowed to laugh for no reason and spread rumors.
6. Followers are not allowed to bully the weak and abuse public power to retaliate against a
personal enemy.
7. Followers are not allowed to strike at one by reviling others and arguing loudly.
8. Followers are not allowed to adopt an arrogant attitude by curling up the legs and breaking into
9. Followers are not allowed to instigate wrongdoing in others.
10. Followers shall not be greedy for small gains and commit robberies or burglaries.
11. Followers shall be modest enough to consult others' inferiors.

Followers shall overcome their own shortcomings and be agreeable to others.

The followers shall keep these regulations in mind, or they will be punished.

There are also Ten Not Alloweds, to which the followers shall pay great attention.

1. Followers are not allowed to bully and rape the women.

2. Followers are not allowed to compel a girl to marry.
3. Followers are not allowed to bully the good man.
4. Followers are not allowed to loot others' belongings.
5. Followers are not allowed to make troubles after getting drunk.
6. Followers are not allowed to cripple others with the martial arts.
7. Followers are not allowed to act absurdly.
8. Followers are not allowed to betray their closest family member and relatives by depending on
the martial arts.
9. Followers are not allowed to act against the elderly.
10. Followers are not allowed to associate with gangsters.

In case followers violate one of the above-mentioned Ten Not Alloweds, they will be punished heavily
and suffer fatal disasters. Followers shall pay great attention to them.

There are an additional Ten Wishes made afterwards as well. When the follower is made the formal one,
he shall kneel down before a spirit tablet on a lucky day and read out the Ten Wishes. After that, he is
required to repeat the Ten Wishes before his master and make a promise that he won't forget them;
otherwise he will be executed by heaven.

The Ten Wishes are as follows:

1. I wish that I could secure the state and comfort the people with martial arts.
2. I wish that I could curb the violent and assist the weak with martial arts.
3. I wish that I could save and help others with martial arts.
4. I wish that I could fight against evildoers and bring peace to the people with martial arts.
5. I wish that I could assist with the orphans and widows with martial arts.
6. I wish that I could donate money for worthy causes with martial arts.
7. I wish that I could do boldly what is righteous with martial arts.
8. I wish that I could help bring prosperity to the sect with martial arts.
9. I wish that I could sacrifice myself for others when they are in need of help with martial arts.
10. I wish that I could pass on martial art skills to virtuous students.

Welcome to our Jing Mo (Chin Woo/Ching Wu)

Web site
Shanghai's Ching Mo School 1909 - 1915
The original Jing Mo (Chin Woo or Ching Wu) Schools in Shanghai, China. 1909 and
Welcome to our Jing Mo Web site which is also known as Chin Woo and Ching Wu. This Web site
offers you the opportunity to learn more about our school curriculum at the San Bruno Jing Mo Physical
Culture Association (Jing Mo Athletic Association), our services and our products. We can assist you in
advancing your studies and development in the traditional chinese martial arts or gung fu. We offer you
an inside look at Jing Mo starting with the history of the original Jing Mo Physical Culture Association,
founded in 1909 in Shanghai, China. Since then many branches of the original school have opened their
doors through out many regions of China, Southeast Asia and around the world. In 1935 the Kowloon
(now is Hong Kong) branch of Jing Mo sent Great Grandmaster Sifu Lai Hon Kuai to San Francisco to
start up a Jing Mo school. Due to a lack of interest in gung fu at that time none was started. Later the
first Jing Mo Physical Culture Association in the United States was started in San Francisco by
Grandmaster Sifu Wong Jack Man in 1963. The San Bruno branch school was established by Sifu Herb
Leung and Sifu Robert Louie in 1995. Sifu Arthur Chin was invited to the San Bruno Jing Mo School as
special guest instructor, following the tradition of the original Shanghai Jing Mo Physical Culture
Association. Sifu Robert Louie, Sifu Herb Leung and Sifu Arthur Chin are disciples of Grandmaster
Sifu Wong Jack Man.

To learn more about us, click on any item on our menu. If you have comments or questions, write or e-
mail us at the addresses in the Contact Us section of our Web site. Thanks for visiting and be sure to
check back often for updated information.

Grandmaster Wong Jack Man Sifu

Grandmaster Wong Jack Man

Northern Shao lin, the 32nd Anniversary of Kuo Yu Chang's Death
By Chen Hsin Mon

Source: Wu Lin,#2, 1984

Translated by Benton Dere, 1985
Edit by Robert Louie, January 15, 1992

Note: Chen Hsin Mon was a disciple of Kuo Yu Chang and was rated as one of the top ten disciples.
This article is very important because it contains some insight about the style and about Kuo Yu Chang
from someone who directly learned from him. It also gives us some idea of what the status of Northern
Shao lin is in China today.
Shao lin kung fu took root and grew in Southern China and Ku Yu Chang played a major role in this.
Kuo Yu Chang was from Huning Chiang Su. He was born in 1894 to a poor peasant family. At that time
the country was in terrible shape. When he was 8 years old, Kuo Yu Chang started to learn kung fu from
a Shangtung master, Yim Chi Wen. Yim Chi Wen was a man who lived during both the Ching dynasty
and the beginning of the Republic. He was well verse in the Shao lin arts. People called him "Great
Spear Yim". Kuo Yu Chang became well known for his Shao lin kung fu in several provinces such as Su
Chiang, Che Chiang, Hunan, Hupei, etc.

In 1928, Nanking Central National Arts Institute held a national arts competition. Kuo Yu Chang came
out with very high praise.
When Kuo Yu Chang was in his twenties, he no longer feared hardship. He traveled all over Chiang nan
province,and spread the Shao lin arts. In the late 1920's, he and four other men , Wan Li Sheng, Li Hsien
Wu, and Fu Chen Sheng, who were all famous northern style masters, went to Kwangtung province.
This was noted in the book of Wu Lin Chen Ku:, "Five Tigers heading south of Chiang nan." In 1928,
Kuo Yu Chang was appointed instructor for both of the Kungtung and Kwangsi National Arts schools.
In 1929, Kuo Yu Chang formed the Kuang Chou National Arts Society with himself as the chief
instructor. It was from here that Shao lin Kung fu began to spread into Southern China.

Kuo Yu Chang's kung fu was at a very high level. Anyone who saw him perform were really amazed.
His kung fu was lively and people felt involved in the kung fu when they watched him perform. Because
his iron palm was so good, he was nicknamed "Iron Palm Kuo Yu Chang". His hands were soft as cotton
which was not unusuall. But when he used his hands, it smashed rocks into many pieces and could bend
raw iron. His palm strength reached a high level of development and it always amazed people when he
demonstrated. When he used his Iron Palm, he could used different levels of force, that is, he had the
ability to control the amount of force coming from his palms. Many Kwangchou people have seen him
take ten tiles, one on top of another, strike the first tile, and the tiles between the top and the bottom tiles
broke into pieces, but both the top and bottom tiles remained intact.

In 1931, a strong man from Russia came to Kwangchou at west Mellon Garden (now located at the
People's Southern Road Kwangchou's Daily News Neighborhood), to demonstrate strength feats. We
accompanied Kuo Yu Chang to see the strong man. When he came on stage, he pulled along a wild
horse which no one could get near. If anyone could withstand a kick from the horse and not get killed,
he would receive $200.00. Then someone in the audience shouted, "Russian, don't be so smug. Iron
Palm Kuo is here to cut the strong man down to size and to show how proud Chinese are." Kuo Yu
Chang went up on the stage.
The strong man observed that Kuo Yu Chang appeared to be an uncommon man. Since the Russian did
not know Kuo Yu Chang's background, he demanded Kuo Yu Chang have an examination by a medical
doctor to insure that he was a normal human. Finally Kuo Yu Chang went to confront the wild horse. He
got near the horse and using his palm lightly slapped it on the back. Immediately the horse did not move.
On the second day, the horse did not eat and died. The doctor autopsied the horse and found severe
internal injuries. The Russian quietly packed and left. This event of the 1930's is still much talked about
among the old Kwangchou people today.

In Kwangchou, Kuo Yu Chang taught the 10 Shao lin sets, 10 rows of Tan T'ui, Plum Blossom Double
Sabres (This is not to be confused with Ti Tung Double Sabers...Editor), Raise Blocking Spear, Twenty-
four Spear, Dragon Shape Sword, Ta Mor Sword (This sets was also taught at Ching Wu.School..Ed.),
Five Tiger Catching the Sheep Staff (This set was also taught at Ching Wu.School..Ed.), Internal Hsiao
Chin Chung Sixteen parts (Golden Bell Techniques..Ed) and some other styles.
Of all the above, the ten Shao lin sets are the most famous, and the mostly exemplifies the characteristics
of Shao lin. The ten sets are arranged in ascending order. There names are:Open Door, Leading Road,
Sitting on the Horse, Piercing Heart, Martial Skills, Short Strikes, Plum Flower, Eight Steps and Three
Palms, Connecting Leg and Heart of Fist set. The Shao lin system is preserved in these ten sets. The sets
are strong in attack forms,and are not flowery. Each move and form demonstrates attacks and defence.
When doing the exercise, the legs and fists exhibit power. Shao lin Wu Shu is:

Steady as a nail,
Cocked like a bow,
Turns like a wheel,
Fast as the wind
Light as a leaf,
Heavy as metal iron
Moves like a wave
Quiet as a mountain.

The ten Shao lin sets are arranged and structured with deep meaning and the different parts are each
specified. At the present time, these ten sets are the most popular and practiced northern style kung fu
among the Southern Chinese. Kuo Yu Chang was a great teacher. He greatly emphasized the basic
training of Shaolin and developed a complete training in the basics. His training program was extremely
tough. Kuo Yu Chang created a group of basic exercises, and based on his personal experiences, trained
the southern people properly. This was important because southerner people were shorter than northern
people, and needed extra exercises to adapt to shao lin. We are all old now, but we still teach the way
Kuo Yu Chang taught us,which is emphasizing strenuous training in basics.

Kuo Yu Chang was famous in the kung fu world, but he didn't show off. In demonstrations, he would
ask other people and students to demonstrate. He loved watching his students perform and even hoped
that they would some day become better than him. When I (Chen Hsin Mon) was 16 years old, Kuo Yu
Chang asked me to teach kung fu. Kuo Yu Chang taught me how to teach correctly. Because of Kuo Yu
Chang's teaching back then, the current kung fu teaching is good. Kuo Yu Chang was very polite and
never look down on anyone. Kuo Yu Chang lived in Kwangchou for six to seven years. Kuo Yu Chang
even had a very good friend, a Southern style teacher. Kuo Yu Chang studied some southern styles and
selected the good points to keep. In Kuo Yu Chang's time there was a Choy Li Fut teacher named Tam
San. Kuo Yu Chang sent some of his students to learn from him. Tam San had a student who wanted to
learn northern style and Kuo Yu Chang was happy to teach him. Kuo Yu Chang had many kung fu
books and he let any of his students study them, unlike most teachers who keep books hidden away. Kuo
Yu Chang was an honest man and helped anyone in need of help. In Kwangchou many kung fu people
were given favors or helped by Kuo Yu Chang. In 1952, Kuo Yu Chang died a poor man with no
possessions. But he left a great legacy in his kung fu students in the south. This is the 32nd anniversary
of Kuo Yu Chang's death and many people are still learning Northern Shao lin. Kuo Yu Chang could
never have imagined that so many people have learned Shao lin now. The seed Kuo Yu Chang planted
in the south has now grown into a gigantic tree. Now in Hong Kong, Macao, and overseas, (many people
are) all learning Shao lin and are KuoYu Chang's decendents.
Kuo Yu Chang's (Gu Ruzhang's) Early Life

Gu Ruzhang's Early Life

Gu Ruzhang was born in 1893 in Huning County in Jiangsu Province to a poor peasant family. His father, Gu L
Hidden Weapon Arts such as flying darts. Many people wondered how Gu Ruzhang learned the mysteries of iro
discussing their skills in martial arts. During the discussion, Gu Lizhi attacked and injured the monk. The monk
Gi Lizhi, who was counting the years as they passed, sent out spies to find out what the monk had been practicing
unconquerable iron palm. He knew he was no match for the monk so he devised a plan. On the day the monk ca
Protection Agency, the workers stated, "Unfortunately two days ago, the chief had passed away. His coffin is in
with his hand by sweeping the coffin and then left the scene. Later, Gu Lizhi's men opened the coffin and they co
itself was undamaged, but the rocks which were inside the coffin, were pulverized into dust. Gu Lizhi sent some
his name and go learn the mysteries of Iron Palm. However, the above story is false.

The Northern Shaolin Style survived the destruction of the monastery. The style was saved by Monk Zhi Yuan w
taught many villagers and the Shaolin Style was passed on to Feng Shaochen. Later, Feng Shaochen passed the s
Kiangsu Province and taught the Northern Shaolin style to the Yan Family. The Yan Family kept the Northern S
escort business. They would teach their techniques to their hired hand in Shandong Province. They operated an
Yan Bo was the head of the business. In his autumn years, he left the business to his son and returned to Kiangsu
to his grandson, Yan Jiwen. Later, Yan Jiwen replaced his father as the chief of the escort in Shandong Province

Trouble in Guling

Once, Yan Jiwen had to protect a shipment of silk that was going from Northern China to Canton in Guangdong
was a particular area where bandits robbed and killed any traveler on their land. Instead of going around the area
time. He was not afraid of the bandits. As Yan Jiwen and his men were walking through the area, Yan Jiwen no
There were lots of birds, trees and flowers. Soon Yan Jiwen and his men came to a large hill with a fort on top o
they were stopped by the sight of one hundred men standing on the hill, looking down at them. Suddenly a man
assumed that this man was the leader of the bandits. The man on the horse pointed his big staff at Yan Jiwen and
that his business was escorting valuables and he was on his way to Canton to deliver some cargo of silk. Yan Jiw
was to him and requested that he step aside so he could pass.

The man on the horse introduced himself as Gu Hu, and that he was the owner of all the area. Gu Hu stated his r
through his land, must fight him. If Gu Hu wins, he takes everything. If Gu Hu loses, the convoy can pass freely

Yan Jiwen knew that he and his men were out numbered and did not stand a chance against Gu Hu's men. There
expert in the Northern Shaolin Liu He style and his specialty was the staff. Yan Jiwen was an expert in the Shaol
Shaolin Monastery in Henan. Both men knew the same style, Northern Shaolin, but each learned from different m

As the two men started to fight, Yan Jiwen was surprised that Gu Hu used his iron staff as if he knew Shaolin Liu
skills in the spear were superior to his staff techniques. Gu Hu found himself only defending against Yan Jiwen's
attack on his own. Gu Hu became afraid and ran away. Yan Jiwen let Gu Hu get away and felt it would serve no
wondering about Gu Hu's techniques.

Later, Yan Jiwen was feeling better and was glad that he took this route. Winning the fight against Gu Hu made
a dense forest. Yan Jiwen warned his men to beware of Gu Hu's men as they made their way across the forest. U
Yan Jiwen could not ride his horse because the ground had many deep holes, which would cause a horse to slip a
trap which sprung up and tied him up in ropes. When Wan Guowu and Liu Tanfan tried to rescue him, they wer
Liu Tanfan retreated to the city of Kiu Kiang. They discussed how they could try to rescue Yan Jiwen but were a
liquor. Sitting near by was the Jin Lin Li Convoy Chief of Nanjing, Gu Lizhi, who overheard their conversation.
Lizhi listened, he discovered Yan Jiwen was the hero who destroyed the Jin Ji Chui in Shandong Province and ki
over to the two men and asked if he could assist them in anyway. The two men looked at Gu Lizhi and they knew
physical build. The two men told Gu Lizhi of their problem and asked for a solution. Gu Lizhi was an intelligen
approached plan would not work because Gu Hu had too many men. The plan involved a trick, which would get
Gu Lizhi needed only a split second alone with Gu Hu and he would be able to kill him.

The next morning, several men rode out to Guling and hid in the forest while Wan Guowu and Lin Tanfan went a
outside the fortress. When Wan Guowu and Lin Tanfan saw the guards, it only made them angry and they furiou
scrambled into the fortress to tell Gu Hu, who became enraged. He called out his men, mounted his magnificent
of the fort. Outside, Gu Hu saw Wan Guowu, Lin Tanfan and his dead grandson laying on the ground. Gu Hu sw
staff. He chased Wan Guowu and Lin Tanfan who ran back to where the others were hiding as planned. As Gu H
he was surprised to see the hidden men confront him. Fearful, Gu Hu tried to retreat to where his men were. Ins

The two men sprung at each other. Gu Lizhi was surprised that Gu Hu's staff techniques were of Shaolin. As the
staff techniques. Since all Shaolin disciples were brothers, he could not understand why Gu Hu was a bandit. As
ability was great and he became fearful. Gu Hu turned away and started to run. Before Gu Lizhi realized what h
ran after Gu Hu but realized that he could not catch him. Gu Lizhi picked up a bow and arrow from a near by co
Lizhi wanted Gu Hu alive. But to Gu Lizhi's disappointment, the horse and its rider, fell over a steep hill. Gu Hu
to the dead horse and saw that Gu Hu was crushed. Gu Lizhi held Gu Hu's head in his arms as Gu Hu died. Gu L
In the meantime Yan Jiwen's six men fought Gu Hu's men. They fought hard and nearly killed all of Gu Hu's me

When Gu Lizhi returned to the fort, Yan Jiwen was already freed by his men. Yan Jiwen was grateful to Gu Lizh
and Yan Jiwen said that someday he would return the favor.

The Favor is Returned

At the end of the Qing Dynasty, in Nanjing, Gu Lizhi opened a security bureau, The Lizhi Escort Service, which
native of Founing County in Jiangsi Province. His name spread far and wide because he defeated countless band
Greenwood Forest would shuddered whenever Gu Lizhi's name was mention. So when the Lizhi Escort House's
Lizhi's escort business prospered and engaged in more than two hundred escorts a year. Because Gu Lizhi was il
receipts and payments. He decided that his children, Gu Yumen, the eldest son, Gu Ruzhang the second son, and

When Gu Ruzhang was seven, he was sent to private school. At the age of twelve, Gu Lizhi taught his youngest
establish a good basis for the martial arts. Gu Ruzhang had an early interest in the martial arts. He was also very
Gu Yumen, who reflected the glory of his ancestors and Gu Ruzhang, who would carry on his work. Gu Lizhi be
have a dog - like son." Two years later (1904), Gu Lizhi was taken ill and was confined to bed. The doctor could
eyes, Gu Lizhi called for his sons. He told them that none of his medications had worked and that he did not hav
that he was unable to teach all of his martial arts to them. He told them of a friend, Yan Jiwen, in Feicheng, Shan
wanted to be martial artist. A few days later, Gu Lizhi succumbed to his illness and died.

Beyond words, the family grieved, and Gu Ruzhang, who was only fourteen years old, went on his knees and wa
and dismiss all the escorts. They then carried the spiritual tablets of Gu Lizhi back to their native villages to mou
learned martial arts from his mother which proved to be inadequate for him. He then left for middle school in Na

In Nanjing, Gu Ruzhang became close to a classmate, Ba Jingxiang. Ba Jingxiang's father had a business in Nan
be a permanent guests in the shop. After two years in middle school, Gu Ruzhang was tired of schoolwork and fe
his father said on his deathbed and decided to locate Yan Jiwen in Feicheng, Shandong. Gu Ruzhang knew that B
him about his secret desire to leave school and go north to Shandong. Ba Jingxiang expressed his desire to follow
returned home for a short family reunion. After a few days, he left a note for his mother stating his intentions.

Together, Gu Ruzhang and Ba Jingxiang went north to Shandong Province. When they arrived in Tsinang, they
Taian County. After a days travel, they reached Feicheng. They had to travel another thirty miles to the north to
reached the Yan family village. When they inquired about Master Yan Jiwen, a small boy replied, "You must be
which had a porch and three courtyards. Weapons of all sorts could be seen mixed with wooden human figures,
the walls of the court yards. A colorful old man, who was in high spirits, was teaching martial arts to some of his
'Big Spear' Yan Jiwen. Gu Ruzhang and Ba Jingxiang went up to the old man and bowed with their hands raised
came to learn and that they heard of his great fame. Yan Jiwen could not figure out where their native area was b
inquired who they were, Gu Ruzhang stated he was the second son of Gu Lizhi, head of the Lizhi Escort Service.
ago and had mentioned the grandmaster of today was Yan Jiwen. Since his father's death, he had stopped practic
distance place to Feicheng, Shandong, to learn again. Yan Jiwen realized Gu Ruzhang was like a nephew. He re
saved his life from the bandit chief, Gu Hu. A very strong friendship developed between Gu Lizhi and himself th
recalled when he went south to Kiangsi Province to visit Gu Lizhi, he saw Gu Ruzhang when he was a very smal
away but was glad to see the small boy grown to be a man. He wanted to return the kindness of Gu Lizhi for sav
accepting Gu Ruzhang and Ba Jingxiang as his disciples.

During the first six months, Gu Ruzhang and Ba Jingxiang learned ten rows of Tan T'ui Shaolin. This was the ba
They practiced hard and with diligence. After six months, Yan Jiwen saw that both of them had their hearts in m
Northern Style of Shaolin from Henan Province. Gu Ruzhang was quick to pick up techniques and was never em
this, his development and his achievements advanced quickly.

Nine years passed by in a wink of an eye. Time had flown like an arrow. Ba Jingxiang received a letter from ho
Jiwen that he had to return home to help with the family business and could not continue with his lessons. In the
(1921), Gu Ruzhang was twenty seven years old and had been practicing for eleven years under Yan Jiwen. Gu R
Shaolin, flying knives, flying darts, flying spears, iron sand palm, breathing techniques of Qigong (Golden Bell),
from home and was told that his mother had passed away and both his brother and sister were married. The news

Before Gu Ruzhang left for home, Yan Jiwen gave some words of wisdom to him. Yan Jiwen told him that his s
stand on his own feet. He cautioned Gu Ruzhang that the world is a large place and that beyond this mountain, th
with care because great skills and cracked hands were everywhere. Gu Ruzhang assured Yan Jiwen that he woul

Gu Ruzhang returned to Nanjing and stayed with his friend, Ba Jingxiang. Everyday, they would practice togeth
practice with the heavier weapons such as Guandao, Flying fork, etc. Gu Ruzhang, on the other hand, preferred t
sword, tiger hooks, etc. The spear became Gu Ruzhang's favorite weapon and soon he earned the title -`God of S
which is similar to the Liu He Spear set, became closely associated with Gu Ruzhang. Many scholars believe sin
ability to compose and develop the Raise Blocking Spear set. According to Wong Chia Man, who is an expert on
not exposed to the many varied Northern Shaolin sets. It was not until Gu Ruzhang demonstrated the Raise Bloc
set existed. Today, martial artists still confuse the Lui He Spear set with the Raise Blocking Spear set.

Many people wondered why Gu Ruzhang loved the spear. According to Wong Chia Man, "The spear is the King
and go out and disappear like a ghost. Besides Liu He Spear, Raise Blocking Spear is the only spear set that cont
Blossom Spear. The original Pear Blossom Spear set is lost to posterity."

The King of Weapons - The Spear

According to legend, Liu He Spear was created by Yue Fei. It was told that he used the Liu He Spear techniques
Tribe leader, Black Wind Prince, with the Liu He Spear, it became famous. However, the spear techniques Yue F
which became known as Yue Fei's Spear.

The Liu He Spear is a combination of six families, Yang, Gao, Sha, Ma, Luo, and Liu. Together, these families o
Combination Spear. Out of the six families, Yang was the most popular. The Yang's Spear had two spear sets, P
seventeen feet and Flower Spear, which used a spear less than seventeen feet long and contained circular techniqu

The Yang's Spear had a steel head and a wooden handle. It weight about four pounds and was nine Chinese feet
was two feet long and not tapered while the shank from the handle to the spear head was tapered. This allowed a
was not heavy so as not to effect its flexibility. According to Wan Laisheng, "The main theme of Yang's spear w
body has to be quick like a ghost sticking its head out. The force is like rolling beans. In a standing position, thr
formed with the nose, the tip of the toe and the tip of the spear. Observe the three weak points in the middle bala
2.) holding the spear not right, 3.) the nose, the tip of the spear and the tip of the toe are not in the correct position
seven inches in diameter. As one begins to learn the spear, the circles are large. As one advances to the next lev
of counter attack and the blocking technique." Wan Laisheng offered his advice on spear fighting. "When your o
spear him. If the spear moves fast and hard, but is not fluid and continues, it will not be able to recover from an a
Therefore, block and attack together. Always spear at the middle level. The spear is the king. It can go high or l
principles: First, if the opponent spears low, hold (Grab = Na) it. Secondly, if the opponent spears high, do not b
to defend. Always follow three steps: 1.) the spear should move in like an arrow. It should move out like a thread
be able to see it. 2.) Use the waist as a brace. 3.) Hands are locked and the feet are moving together as one unit.
the spear will be too slow. Set the hands and the feet quickly."

Both Gu Ruzhang and Wan Laisheng instructed their students on an ancient saying:

"Spears hitting but the spears never met

They start like the wind and retreat like nails.
When the spears meet, they stick.
One does not see the other.
It goes like the wind when you start to move."

Both Sha and Ma families had their own advantages in their spear techniques. However, they were still no match
Yang's Spear can be used in long and short range fighting. In fighting, both Wan Laisheng and Gu Ruzhang used

The Nine Methods of Yang's Spear

1. When the opponent Cha (pierces) me, I Na (grab) his spear.

2. When he Cha at my foot, I reverse my spear.
3. When he Cha me, I Lan (block) his spear.
4. When he Cha at my upper body, I Cho (lift) his spear.
5. When he Cha at my lower body, I sweep like I'm rowing a boat.
6. When he Cha high, I Cho (lift) his spear.
7. When he Cha low, I reverse my spear.
8. When he raises his spear, I wrap it.
9. When he Cha me, I Lan (block) it.

The Nine Methods of the Yang's Spear are tactics used when using the Flower Spear whose length is only as long
arm over the head. These Nine Methods are tactics used in straight line attacks and are stressed in the Liu Ho spe
Eight Mother Spear Methods of Yang are used by the longer spears that are over seventeen feet long. The techni
the weapon. These methods were used during the 1500's in the Ming Dynasty. Monk Zhang Chozhong (1522 - 1
his book, The Shaolin Staff, Spear and Saber. These tactics are closely related to another method called the Thirt
counter attacks. The Eight Mother Spear Methods were part of the Pear Blossom Spear set.

The Eight Mother Spear Methods

1. When the opponent attacks with inside circles, I Lang (grab) his spear.
2. When he attacks with outside circles, I Na ( block) his spear.
3. When he attacks with a inside circle (clockwise) to hook my foot, I Cho (lift) his spear.
4. When he Ch'a me, I Lang (grab) down his spear.
5. When he attacks with a circle outside (counter clockwise) to my foot, I sweep down.
6. When he seizes my spear, I block down.
7. I follow attack and hook his inside circle (clockwise), he counters by Lang (grab) my spear.
8. He returns his spear, I Lang (grab) his spear.

Some of the techniques can be found in both charts. However, because of the difference in size of the two spears
spear, the Flower Spear. According to Wong Chia Man, during the Ming Dynasty, the long spear was shortened
When this occurred, many of the Pear Blossom Spear techniques were lost or modified. Today, the complete Pea
poem, written during the Song Dynasty, gives a description of the Pear Blossom Spear set.

Pear Blossom Spear

First it goes through the fingers and through the sleeves,
Then it has Pear Blossom moves over the head.
Some moves are strange and some are logical.
Double fake, double real attacks,
Double strange moves, double logical moves.
If it is sharp forward movements, it has fast retreats.
Dangerous moves, short subdivision.
When I do not want to move, I'm like a mountain before yo
When I want to move, it is like thunder and an earthquake

Some of the Pear Blossom Spear techniques can be found in the Shaolin Plum Blossom Spear set. It is said that t
Blossom Spear set except the Thirteen Taiji Spear. However, the Liu He Spear and the Raise Blocking Spear are
sets to contain all twenty four moves and the nine methods of Yang's (Long) spear.

The Twenty-Four Moves

1. Night Demon Searches the Sea

2. Conquest of the Four Barbarians Tribes
3. Compass Needle Points South
4. Ambush From All Sides
5. Green Dragon offers its Claws
6. Side Block
7. Flip Over the Iron Shaft
8. Jump Over the Sword
9. Fine Cloth Covers the Floor
10. Face the Heaven
11. Iron Ox Plows the Ground
12. Dip into the Water
13. Sitting astride on a Dragon
14. White Monkey Drags the Blade
15. Guitar Shape
16. Swift Cat Catches the Rodent
17. Novice Challenges the Master and is Crushed
18. Beautiful Lady Acknowledges Needles
19. Green Dragon Wags its Tail
20. Crouching Tiger
21. Pushing Aside the Mountain and Fill the Sea
22. Falcon Strikes the Quail
23. Old Man Hooks a Fish
24. Dash Through the Swan Gate
According to Hsuang Hon Shang, who learned Shaolin Lohan from Sun Yufung and Northern Shaolin from Zhao
he states, "There exist two kinds of spears today: the Big Spear and the Flower Spear. The Big Spear was used b
Flower Spear was used by the foot soldiers. During the last three hundred years, many styles developed the Flow
developed a set called Pear Blossom Spear and Northern Shaolin developed a set called Five Tigers Spear. In 19
techniques at the Jing Wu Physical Cultural Association. He determined that there are only eight basic moves. F
(Splitting), and Kua (Attach) are defensive. The other four moves: Cha (Piercing), Na (Thrusting), Tiao (Jabbin

Gu Ruzhang - Hero of San Shiang

Gu Ruzhang reputation grew and he became well known for his Northern Shaolin skills in seven provinces such
Hubei. One legend states that Gu Ruzhang was able to knock fruit off of a tree without any direct or indirect phy
tremendous force of his Iron Sand Palm, from a distance of several feet! This is only a legend. However, Gu Ru

In early 1925, Gu Ruzhang went south to Canton and got a job as a clerk. It was here in Canton that Gu Ruzhang
breathing techniques of Tun Qi.

According to Yu Baizhuang, a direct line disciple of Gu Ruzhang, he actively sought eye witnesses of Gu Ruzhan
Mr. Huang, who witnessed several events. In 1925, when Mr. Huang was thirteen years old, a Russian circus pos
Western Melon Park in Guizhou. The challenge was to anyone who could survive three kicks from a horse. The
gold. No one dared to accept the challenge except Gu Ruzhang. Gu Ruzhang made a deal with the Russians. In
strike the horse once with his palm and the Russians agreed. On the day of the contest, Mr. Huang bought a three
spend in 1925.

He stated, "There was a sea of people with soldiers and police everywhere. The crowd quieted down as the conte
performed his Shallow Breathing Techniques called Tun Qi. After Gu Ruzhang finished preparing for the horse's
weighed one thousand two hundred and eighty pounds. The horse raised its back legs and kicked Gu Ruzhang in
The crowd was amazed at what they had witnessed. Gu Ruzhang retired to the side for ten minutes to prepare fo
Ruzhang staggered back six steps. The crowd roared aloud. Gu Ruzhang retired to the side again to prepare him
techniques took Gu Ruzhang twenty minutes. On the third and final kick, the horse kicked Gu Ruzhang very har
that both the Russians and Gu Ruzhang agreed upon stated that Gu Ruzhang had to get up before the count of thr
echoed in the air. On the count of two, Gu Ruzhang sprang up from the ground and into the air like a carp jumpi
cheer. Gu Ruzhang retired to the side again. This time it took Gu Ruzhang forty minutes to recover from the las
approached the horse and walked around to the rear of the horse. Without a word, Gu Ruzhang struck the horse i
dead. The audience broke out into a thundering noise, cheering Gu Ruzhang's magnificent feat."

Lau Fat Meng, Master of Shaolin Eagle Claw, witnessed the same event and was curious as to how the horse died
injuries. When a postmortem examination was performed on the horse, a large bruise was found near the backbo
massive hemorrhaging.

This became the most talked about martial art event and Gu Ruzhang became the Hero of San Shiang. Many ma
on the back and not on its head or upper torsal. They theorized that he wanted to demonstrate how powerful his a
the nickname `Iron Sand Palm, Gu Ruzhang.'
Russian Strongman Challenges Gu Ruzhang

According to Mr. Huang, in 1928, a Russian strongman from the northwest came south to Guangzhou to challeng
on smaller and weaker nations. Russia had taken some of China's land near the Russian borders. Gu Ruzhang ac
hand and feet but the Russian only wanted to use fist with boxing gloves. He was aware of Gu Ruzhang's reputat
kicking. Finally an agreement was made to fight the Russian's way. The Russian was good and was not afraid o
location and free to the public in Guangzhou. Before the fight, Mr. Huang, who was sixteen, performed Hung St
a song. The third event was the Russian strongman, who lifted stone weights. The fourth event was Gu Ruzhang
same iron rod and made it straight. The final event was the fight. The Russian was fierce and strong. He attacke
punch delivered by the Russian scored. As the Russian moved faster, Gu Ruzhang moved away. The faster the R
his head. After ten minutes, the Russian gave a left hook that grazed Gu Ruzhang's nose. At the same time, Gu R
knocked him out. The judges realized that although Gu Ruzhang wore gloves, the force from his blow was migh
saw that the Russian had been knocked out with one punch and realized that the Russian boxer could have been e
was declared the winner. When the Russian woke up, he requested Gu Ruzhang to be his teacher in Chinese box

The First National Tournament - Nanjing, 1928

It was October, 1928 and the Chinese government decided to unite together the Chinese people by using Martial
Dong) was to promote the exchange of knowledge and to tear down the curtain of prejudice that had existed betw
Mind and a Strong Body builds a Strong Country." Since the Boxer Rebellion, there had not been a national tour
Invitations were sent out and all the different styles were to be represented. Many masters turned down the invita
tournament were simple.

Rule One: No poking or gouging of the eyes.

Rule Two: No poking or grabing of the throat.
Rule Three: No groin strikes.

The contest was divided into two divisions, combat and non-combat. The non-combat division was competition
The winner for weapons division was Master Keng Te Hai, of Tai Sheng Shaolin Monkey Style. One of the most
Master, Fu Zhensong, performed his Bagua style. As he was so involved in his Bagua movements, he did not ob
was uneven and was not built very well. Proper tools for building and good solid wood were scarce in those time
and fitted the stage the best they could. As a result, Fu Zhensong, tripped over a wooden plank as he walked the
stumbled, he could not regain his balance and fell off the stage. Except for a bruised ego, Fu Zhensong was not i
later appointed Fu Zhensong as one of the "Five Tigers of the North".

In the combat division, the contests were fierce. Many styles left sorrowful impression on the audience because t
up to their competition. Gu Ruzhang fought two fighters. In the first fight, he won easily. In the second fight, G
Cinnabar Sand Palms or Zhu Sha Zhang. He too was a master of Iron Sand Palm and whose palms were red. He
Ruzhang's Iron Sand Palm was called Black Sand Palm or Hei Sha Zhang. Naturally, Gu Ruzhang's palms were
Sand Palm or Tu Sha Chang. The training methods for both Cinnabar and Black Iron Sand Palms are similar.

The first stage - Strengthen the palm by striking green peas. This is to numb the nerve endings in the palm. Late
bearing. These iron pellets become imbedded into the flesh.

The second stage - The palms are thrust into hot sand to further strengthen them.

The third stage - Diluted poison is added to the iron pellets. With time, the poison dose is increased slowly in co
the poison.

After drilling in each stage, herbs are prepared to nurse the hands to prevent injury. Special herbal liquids are use
the pain was so great that practitioners would turn to western drugs such as opium and heroin to kill the pain. He
herbs prevent the body from absorbing too much of the toxic poison. The difference between the Cinnabar Iron S
poison used in the training. As the fighter strikes his opponent, the poison is transferred from the palm into the o
poison. Many times blisters and welts would developed and would give the appearance of a snakebite. Hence th

When the audience saw that Gu Ruzhang was matched against the Cinnabar Master, the fight was titled, Black Ir
Master. The Red Cinnabar Iron Sand Palm Master used his Bagua techniques to circle Gu Ruzhang and looked f
Palm Master attacked, Gu Ruzhang avoid the deadly red palm and counter-attacked. Within three moves Gu Ruz
Palm and knocked his opponent down. On his opponent's chest, was Gu Ruzhang's black palm imprint. Gu Ruzh
was treated for the poison.

As the tournament got neared its end, the fights became even more violent and bloody. When there were only th
the tournament. Death would result if the tournament was allowed to continue and that would not have served th
thirteen fighters as China's Best and were called `The Thirteen Champions of All China'. The thirteen champions
was the tournaments best fighter. Many of the champions felt that Gu Ruzhang skills were equal to the last famo
exceeded Gu Ruzhang by one generation.

The Five Tigers from the North

As a result of the First National Tournament in Nanjing, 1928, General Zhang Zhiqiang appointed the five top m
the government province schools. Li Jishen, a top government official for Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces, w
Arts program for morning exercises. He asked General Zhang Zhiqiang if he could return to Canton with the top
The five masters were Gu Ruzhang of Northern Shaolin and Cha Styles, Wan Laisheng of Northern Shaolin and
Style, Wang Shaozhou of Northern Shaolin and Cha Styles, and Li Xianwu of Northern Shaolin and Spontaneous
Wu Lin Chang Ku, as the `Five Tigers heading South of the River'. Many scholars simply refer to them as `The F
announcement was made officially, Gu Ruzhang was traveling all over Chiangnan and spreading the Northern Sh
represent the government as an instructor in the Guangdong Central National Arts Province School in Canton. T
Guangdong and Guangzhou Provinces' martial arts schools were ninety percent southern styles. It was very diffi
was exceptionally good. With the encouragement from Zhang Zhiqiang, Li Jishen appointed Wan Laisheng, who
head of both Central National Arts Provinces Schools and Gu Ruzhang to be in charge of the Central National Ar

Wan Laisheng ordered Wang Shaozhou to be head of the Guangxi Provincial School. Since th
Laisheng requested that all five champions assist Wang Shaozhou in setting up a standar
Provincial School, the masters there agreed that the basic standard sets would be Lin Bo
of Cha and Short Strike Style and Ten row Tan Tui which was already a standard set fo
Ruzhang stayed at the Guangxi Provincial School, he learned Cha Style from Qian Zhan
in the history of Cha Style since it was originally taught at the Shaolin Monastery and th
monastery in 1732.
The Fading Styles

Are there fewer Kungfu styles now than there once was?
by Feng Wu, translated by PengCheng

About ten years ago, one of my colleagues told me that he was acquainted with an old man whose surname was W
of fact, I had heard of him before. He was known as Old Man Wu. It was said that Old Man Wu was highly skille
He was a member of a group of bandits before the liberation. After the founding of the People's Republic China i
worked in the same tree farm as I did.

My colleague mentioned that he once saw Old Man Wu demonstrate his kung fu. At that time, he spent much tim
Old Man Wu. Some other colleagues often asked Old Man Wu to show off his skills when they took rests, but the
every time. Not until Old Man Wu was near retirement did the lucky day come. That day, Old Man Wu was in a
showed off his skills when asked. "It is not worth seeing," he said before starting. Crouched over a sleeper of the
uttered a cry and leapt forward, landing firmly on the seventh sleeper ahead. He had covered a distance of three a

Later, I asked my colleague for Old Man Wu's address in the hope of learning from him. Unfortunately, he hadn't
lived. A few months later, I learned that Old Man Wu had died a couple years ago. He had never married, and he
where he died. According to all who had known him, he had never taken on a student. Once a bandit, he had to b
seldom talked about kung fu when he was alive. Taking on a student, I think, would have been beyond his wildes
Man Wu's kung fu was lost to the world. In fact, Old Man Wu is not alone. I keep hearing similar stories of peop
years, leaving a younger generation of kung fu practitioners regretting that such skills have been lost. From what
masters like Old Man Wu who have submerged themselves among the folk, living quietly without attracting publ

Not until the year of 1982 was traditional Chinese kung fu taught in public. In the old days, kung fu lessons were
the door shut. I once had the honor of studying from a sifu (kung fu instructor) who practiced traditional Chinese
immense water vat that was always kept covered. None of the kung fu students knew what it contained and what
Sifu, I came to know that there was nothing inside it except sand. It was used to improve the students' specific sk
Before lessons, Sifu would give a demonstration. He made the water vat sway beautifully, using flexible footwor
gathered around the water vat and tried to make it sway. Even when we exerted all our strength, we could barely
one cold day for the river to freeze three feet deep." Then he continued, "At first, it is just an empty vat. After you
you can increase the weight of the water vat by adding sand. Keep doing this until the water vat is full." He pause
from the practice. "As a basic training method, the swaying water vat technique has existed for a long time. It aim
and to gain force in the back, the arms and the hands as well. There is one saying in the martial arts world, which
The martial arts learners in different countries also pay great attention to the training of the force. The traditional
force that comes from all parts of the body. While this swaying water vat technique serves as a good helper." He
it can not be spread widely, as it needs a spacious area. Besides, the big water vats are being manufactured far mu
people left who keep training on it throughout their life. It is most likely that it will be lost in the world."

His words made a lasting impression on me. Filled with regret at this loss, I left there with the hope of seeing it re

After the great film SHAOLIN TEMPLE was released in China in 1982, a new upsurg
under state regulation and spread far and wide. Many Chinese kung fu practitioners fe
learned these forms. Shortly after the film, a great number of wushu schools or trainin
China. Although traditional Chinese kung fu lessons were provided in these wushu sch
or sanda (free boxing).

Traditional Chinese kung fu can be divided into three groups: the hard style, the soft s
for litheness of the body and includes Nei Gong (exercises to benefit the internal organ
that involve force or strength or hardening of the body belong to the hard style family.
also nimble footwork and flexibility.
Lessons at the kung fu school were modified to meet the needs of students eager for quick success and great insta
result, the 100-day-rapid-result course came to light. But real kung fu requires years of incessant and painstaking
Compared to real kung fu, the techniques gained with the rapid-result course are like gloomy tiles, while the form
as jade. Without training in basic skills, the showy forms are bare postures. For instance, stabbing palm and finge
frequently seen in forms designed for competition. These techniques are designed to hit home and hurt opponents
require hardness of the fingers, which in turn requires conditioning methods handed down generation to generatio
masters; otherwise, the practitioner will suffer serious injury when adopting such stabbing techniques in real figh

Chinese traditional kung fu is systematic. Should the palm or fingers be stressed in a certain style, specific condit
palms and the fingers is to be expected. But fundamental training in traditional kung fu is not only boring but usu
time. As a result, kung fu students are greatly discouraged and often back out before entering the realm of kung f
the main factors contributing to the absence of traditional kung fu lessons at some kung fu schools. Over the past
have made several attempts to give the traditional kung fu lessons to the students at the kung fu training center w
ended up with a sign every time. Students who are interested in the rapid-result course or flashy styles of kung fu
in real kung fu that requires years of painstaking efforts. Handing down traditional kung fu to future generations
more difficult. As a result, many styles of traditional Chinese kung fu are fading away like puffs of smoke.

Basic skills play a key role in traditional kung fu. There is an old saying in the martial arts world: "Without basic
end up with nothing." The basic skills of traditional kung fu are somewhat like the funds needed to do business. T
available, the more likely you will succeed. The ancient Chinese philosopher Hanfeizi once said, "Long sleeves a
in a dance, while more funds are an advantage in a business." Should the day come when basic skills are neglecte
entirely, kung fu practitioners will suffer the same dilemma as the stone-broke businessmen.

Some techniques are losing their value due to inadequate training on basic skills. Take the stabbing leg technique
adopted either to kick high at the opponent's head or to kick forward by moving fast close to the ground. It can al
attack the opponent's crotch or costal regions. It can be both cruel and clever. But this technique can only be exec
with a well-conditioned big toe. Due to this factor, some similar techniques are fading in the martial art world and
the sight completely. However, some techniques have evolved into a different version. Once again take the stabb
In the past, some people were good at the technique. But later most practitioners were too old or weak. Because o
limitations, they proceeded to attach a piece of iron plate to the toe of their shoes to compensate for their deficien
they could hurt others badly with the help of the iron plate. In addition to those too old or weak, women also adop
Generally in China, women are not as strong as men. Unable to outrun men, they made great efforts to train their
them hard enough to launch such attacks. As a result, they devoted much more time and energy to the trick. In th
had their feet bound. They were required to walk without flirting the skirt and exposing their feet. So most of the
from view by the long skirt, it was difficult to detect the tricky shoes worn by female kung fu practitioners. In an
female attacker was launching a fatal attack, as it seemed that the female attacker was about to walk forward whe
attacker ended up the winner. One of the traditional Chinese leg techniques, called "under-the-skirt leg technique
satisfactory outcome can be obtained with the trick, it comes very naturally that there are fewer people left who k
Some kung fu practitioners pay through the nose for the hard style, as it requires them to make certain parts of th
enough to serve as a weapon. Additionally, some hard style training techniques have been found to be unscientifi
health. One of my sifus had a friend who trained his shins so hard that even the iron bar failed to make him feel p
was involved in a fight, he used his legs as a weapon. But in his forties he often felt pain in the shins for no reaso
underwent a medical check and found that the shins had turned black. Shortly afterwards, he passed away. Althou
training methods are designed reasonably, practitioners still can't escape from a similar fate. Quite often, they don
seriously and simply raise their hard-enough weapons to intercept the coming attacks, depending on that for defe
grow old and fragile, the undetected injuries begin to take their revenge. Ultimately they will be eaten up by the i
this phenomenon is known as Hui Gong (Undoing the internal energy), which occurs frequently in old age. In the
kung fu practitioners didn't study kung fu for body fitness like we do today but as a means to make a living or ga
unskilled or shoddy could lose their job at any time. So they often went to extremes at the price of overwork or ev
bodies. Nowadays, unlike our kung fu ancestors, most kung fu students pursue martial arts with the purpose of se
fitness. Naturally, today's kung fu students steer clear of certain hard style techniques, even though they sound m

Chinese kung fu takes its root in the common people. Most Chinese kung fu masters are poorly educated. They d
energy to the training than to academic research. Some vague, awkward-sounding words and ambiguous theories
give lessons to their disciples. For example, one master might say, "The force shall be like that of the dragon play
while some others will proclaim that "The force is like the wave in the ocean, the latter drives on the former." Of
illustrations are given by the master himself when the lesson is being given. But less than one-tenth of the discipl
the force described as that of the wave, the dragon. As a matter of fact, the wave-like or the dragon-like force is s
master does feel after years of training. It is true. However, the most important thing to gain the force is the key t
What the masters lack exactly is the ability to make the key tips clear. Although the disciples of future generation
the force of the dragon, they will always keep it in their minds. The same words and theory are adopted when the
their disciples. In the end, the so-called dragon-like or wave-like force is like the castle in the air.

Some Chinese kung fu masters are very strict when they choose their formal disciples. They would rather make t
world than teach those who would abuse the martial arts. In additional to showing talent, hand-selected disciples
behaved and able to study diligently and train hard. Two opposite potentialities can be expected. Those who are l
who will develop their styles further and bring honor to their sects. Those unlucky will pass away without leaving
disciple, as a suitable student never materialized during the master's life.

Some people hold that lost styles are due more to natural selection. Such styles lag far behind and fail to meet the
society. Governed by natural law -- select the superior and eliminate the inferior - these styles vanish. But in my
fade away not from a lack of merit, but rather from our lack of understanding and appreciation.

Dao 刀 Qiang 槍

JI 戟 Fu 斧

Gou 鈎 Cha 叉

Jian 簡 Chui 錘
Tang [金堂] Gun 棍

Bang 棒 Guai 拐



Shi Henglin (1865-1923): One of the protectors and heroes of the Shaolin Temple prior to the 1928 burning, hav
great martial monk and master of various boxing styles.

Shi Zhenxu (1893-1955): In 1899 he was ordained as a monk at the Longxing Temple. In 1920 he arrived at the
He studied Shaolin Boxing arduously with Shi Hengln and other senior martial monks, including methods such a
weapons. He also practiced Tie Shen Kao and Ti Qian Jin specialised skills.

Shi Degen (1914-1968): A student of Head monk Zhen Xu(1893-1955) and of Wu Sanlin (1875-1970) he was th
his relative short life had become reonowned for his martial skills teaching many monk and lay disciples alike.


Shi Suxi: Master Shi Suxi (Geng Shuanzhu) was born in 1926 in a village near Dengfeng, Henan Province. He b
became a disciple of Head monk Zhen Xu studying Chan, Medicine and Martial Arts.

Shi Suyi: Layman disciple Shi Suyi (Liang Yiquan) was born in 1931 in Dengfeng, Henan Province and studied
Liang Haishui. Later he also progressed his studies under the guidance of 29th Generation Shaolin monk Shi Zhe

Liu Baoshan: Master Liu Baoshan was born in 1930 in Dengfeng, Henan Province. He studied Shaolin Martial A
opened the Dengfeng Tagou School in 1978 where he currently teaches alongside his 3 sons Liu Haichao, Liu Ha

Currently, there are a multitude of Shaolin Masters throughout the world as the Shaolin Temple gains the popular
Henan Province, Ten Traditional Shaolin Boxing Masters have gained recognition and been commemorated: Cui
Baoshan, Liang Yiquan, Liu Zhenhai, Wang Changqing, Lian Heguan and Chen Jun.

1968)] [Shi Degen and Li Tianchi circa 1963] [Wang Dingyi (1908-1976)] [Wang Zongren]

[Shi Suxi (1926-2006)] [Shi Suxi practicing Shaolin Boxing] [ Master Shi Deyang ] [Master Shi Suyun] [Master Zhang Qinghe]

[Liang Yiquan] [Liang Yiquan's Parents, Father Liang Haishui] [ Liang Yiquan Practicing Guai ] [Master Liang Yiquan in 1979 with Japanese Delegate]


[崔西岐] [陈成文] [陈五经] [付志乾] [刘宝山] [梁以全] [刘振海] [王长青] [耿合营


Tán Tuǐ
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Tantui)

Jump to: navigation, search
Part of the series on
Chinese martial arts

List of Chinese martial arts

• Kung fu (功夫)

• Wushu (武術)
Historical places
• Shaolin Temple (少林寺)
• Wudang Mountains (武當山)

• Mount Emei (峨嵋山)

Historical people
• Bodhidharma (菩提達摩)
• Zhang Sanfeng (張三丰)
• Five Elders (五祖)
• Yim Wing-chun (嚴詠春)
• Hung Hei-Gun (洪熙官)
• Fong Sai-yuk (方世玉)
• Dong Haichuan (董海川)
• Yang Lu-ch'an (楊露禪)
• Wu Ch'uan-yu (吳全佑)
• Chan Heung (陳享)
• Wong Fei Hung (黃飛鴻)
• Huo Yuanjia (霍元甲)
• Yip Man (葉問)

• Bruce Lee (李小龍)

• Hong Kong action cinema
• Wushu (sport)

• Wuxia (武俠)
This box: view • talk • edit

Tán Tuǐ is a very famous Northern wushu routine and has several versions due to its incorporation into
various styles. For this reason the name can be translated to mean Spring Leg 彈腿 (the most popular) or
Pond/Lake Leg.
Styles that incorporate Tán Tuǐ include Northern Praying Mantis, Chángquán, and Northern Shaolin as
well as many other minor styles and systems.

[edit] History

Due to the lack of written histories we are left to rely upon oral stories which can vary from each teller
even within the same lineage. For this reason we supply you with the various versions we have come

1. Tang Dynasty. The city of Ling Qing is situated between the warring factions of the Song, Liao and
Jin Courts. An infantry soldier named Kun Lung Dai Shi took refuge in the Lung Tan Temple located
within Ling Qing City. Becoming a Monk at this temple Kun Lung formulated the routine Tan Tui
(Pond Legs) with 10 Roads. It is said that this set was created in order to counter the Liao & Jin's
superior upper body grappling skills. Ling Qing City became a major trading center due to the Canals
built during the Yuan Dynasty. For this reason it is believed that Tan Tui was able to spread throughout
China[citation needed].

2. Shaolin's Tan Tui is given credit to Monk Xian Ji who while in residence at the temple in Ling Qing
Tan Temple in Shandong Province during the Ming Dynasty. It is said that he traded Shaolin's famous
Lohan Fist routine for their Tan Tui routine. Also Xian Ji is said to have also added an additional 2 roads
to the original 10 Road Tan Tui Routine.[citation needed]

3. Chinese Muslims,are known for the fierce combat skills. They helped in the founding of the Ming
Dynasty During the 13th Century. It is said that during Qi Ji Guang's journey to suppress Japanese
Pirates along China's Coastal Cities. On this journey a Muslim by the name of ChaShagMir (aka:
Chamir) fell ill due to the exhaustion and the harsh weather. His companions left him in the care of the
inhabitants of a mountain village in Guan Xian County. So grateful for their care he taught his martial
arts skills to the local villagers. In memory of him the called the system they practiced Cha Quan (Cha's
Fist)[citation needed]. Tan Tui (with 28 roads) was the foundation they used to develop their system. It is said
that 28 was used to signify the 28 Letters in the Arabic Language. Later this was condensed into 10/12
Roads. The Hui/Moslem are still today known as the best exponents of Tan Tui.

4. Chin Woo was the first Public Gymnasium founded for the purpose of making Martial Arts training
available to anyone (who could pay). The recognized founder was Huo Yun Jia, an exponent of the
Mizong System. Part of this system was a version of the 10 Road Tan Tui that Huo Yun Jia
demonstrated often[citation needed]. Due to his sudden death not many of his students had the opportunity to
learn this version. Chao Lien Ho was hired to head up the organization and as part of his task he
formulated a specific curriculum. While an exponent of Mizong he also had studied various Shaolin
based systems as well[citation needed]. The first form required to be studied by beginner students is a 12 Road
Tan Tui. While it is not sure where this version comes from, it has become the most popular version
taught throughout the Chinese Martial Arts due to the fame of the Chin Woo.

[edit] Understanding Tan Tui

Tan Tui is composed of a series of forms, which emphasize blocking, stances, footwork, and most of all,
kicks. Tan Tui exists as a style on its own, but is commonly used as a basic form for styles like Chāquán.

Today Tan Tui forms the basis for the Bei Chang Quan/Northern Long Fist systems. It improves your
fighting skills, balance, strength, and focus, thus, Tan Tui contains the basic skills and flexibility drills
required in advanced forms.
In some Schools, Tan Tui is taught as the first form to build the skills necessary to advance in the
system. It has been stated that if a new student doesn't find the Tan Tui form challenging that he or she
will not like the Long Fist style of Kung Fu.

Tan Tui is deep rooted in China’s Hui Muslim community. One such reference to the Islamic influence
is the posture of holding one punch out in front of body as a punch is thrown to the rear with the other
hand. The Body is turned sideways so that both the front and the rear punches reach maximum range.
Besides being a good exercise to train the fighter to get full shoulder and body trust behind each punch,
like a good Boxer, it also is a giveaway that the form has a Muslim history. Kung fu forms that use this
posture came from China's Muslim community.

Liu Seong Kuntao

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The Liu Seong System is one of the many styles of Kuntao Silat, which are hybrid martial arts systems
derived from the cultures of China and Indonesia. The Liu Seong system was brought to America, from
Indonesia, by Willem A. Reeders (1917-1990).

Reeders was of mixed heritage, being of Dutch and Chinese blood, but raised in Indonesia. He received
training in a variety of martial arts, no one knows how many exactly. His primary teacher was his great
uncle Liu Seong, whose title he bore. His uncle taught him his family's Kuntao system, a sophisticated
form of fighting which focuses on close range technique. Reeders also studied many silat systems,
having over ten silat teachers. His silat styles included Tjikalong (Cikalong), Tjimande (Cimande),
Harimau, and Serak, among others. Reeders was an extremely accomplished martial artist who was able
to tie many focal elements of various arts together into a cohesive whole. The result is an art that
although bearing many similarities to many well known arts still retains a distinctive identity with its
own signature movements, strategies, and tactics. It is based firmly in an objective approach, based on
the principles of physics, anatomy, and psychology. The patterns of movement are designed to be
extremely effective and one hallmark is the ability to throw a large volume of attacks very rapidly.

Today, Liu Seong Kuntao / Liu Seong Gung Fu is thinly spread throughout the United States, with
instructors offering variations of the art in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Erie,Pennsylvania, Tennessee,Toronto,and

• 1 Combination of styles
• 2 Chinese hands and Indonesian feet
• 3 Standardization and diversity
• 4 Fundamental strategies, tactics, and techniques
o 4.1 Strategy
• 5 Reference and further reading
o 5.1 Books

o 5.2 Published articles

[edit] Combination of styles

Many styles that are the result of combining different methods are often termed "eclectic" and often are
lacking a core, instead relying upon the continual addition of new strategies, tactics, and techniques. The
Liu Seong system although hybridized is not at all "eclectic", and the basic movements are also the
advanced. Understandings and applications change, but the essential system does not. This allows for a
much greater depth in the development of skill owing to the continual refinement of a base that does not
inherently change, but instead becomes more advanced.

There are various view points espoused by martial artists about the nature of systems and their
development. One view is that although a style may be a hybrid or combination, eventually it develops
its own identity and is no longer considered to be 'mixed'. Another view is that all martial arts are indeed
hybrids and are the result of a continual process of synthesis and refinement, and any given art in a
generational span is, in fact, a 'phase' of its development.

Another extremely valid point of view upon differing martial styles is they are more accurately
identified as cultural/social representations. Karate is Okinawan or Japanese, gungfu is Chinese, and so
on. Each culture tends to focus on a different approach to the fighting arts, according to their mores.

In one sense, the 'real' difference in arts, beyond cultural distinctions, lies in the strategies and tactics

The Liu Seong system is culturally derived from the arts of China and Indonesia, and accordingly has
tactical elements of both. The adopted cultural aspects, primarily school etiquette, may vary between
Chinese and Indonesian terminology and practices, and may even include elements of both.

There is an axiom that states that for a system to be valid it must be based upon a greater system.
Beyond the consideration of historical and cultural elements, what defines the Liu Seong system is a
core of operation that is firmly rooted in the principles of physics, psychology and anatomy. This
orientation is what allows the art to weave together two disparate cultural elements and blend differing
strategies together into one whole, and in the end, define itself. It is a true synthesis.

[edit] Chinese hands and Indonesian feet

Being a synthesis, it has many tactics to draw upon. One basic recognition of this is found in the
expression, Chinese hands and Indonesian feet. This refers to the basic combination of Chinese-style
(Nèijiā) biomechanics and Indonesian style footwork patterns. The China Hand component teaches good
body alignment for power. Indonesian Feet teaches mobility and positioning through the use of footwork

Because it is greatly influenced by silat, the Liu Seong System is what is known as 'blade aware', and
this is reflected in many elements of the posture. Although weapons are rarely used in practice, except in
advanced training, movements are made 'as if' the opponent was wielding a knife, stick, or one of other
numerous weapons, gun defense techniques do exist, within the context of the system to address this
modern concern. The postures used tend to protect most major vital areas and this protection is
maintained at all times. This method is known as 'closed body' movement. The closed body movement
also has the effect of 'winding up' the practitioners arms and legs so that he can strike out quickly and
'close up' again so as not to unnecessarily expose the vitals to attack. The guard shape and techniques
used in this 'closed body' system are very distinctive and tend to constitute the 'signature' of the system.
[citation needed]
in great part this 'closed' condition is maintained by the continual position of the back hand in
a guard position. Whenever the basic guard posture is changed or a strike is thrown the backup will be in
a 'guardian' position.

Often, it is taken to be a form of Pakuachang, although seemingly more angular in nature. Many are of
the impression that kuntao and Pakuachang are either the same or highly related. Others cite parallel
evolution. Given Reeders' history and circumstance, it is entirely likely he knew both arts. Despite the
origin, known or not, in the Liu Seong system there is an inherent use of angulation that tends to be very
advantageous in a combat situation, coupled with continuous non-stop entry and penetration. The art
doesn't, however, 'go around' to someone to strike, it 'goes to' the target with the use of angles to avoid
the opponent's attack. there are a large volume of counter-attack techniques in the system. Counter-time
or interceptive techniques are also prevalent.

These are a few of the basic characteristics of the system which is a unique combination of the Chinese
and Indonesian elements from which is it created.

[edit] Standardization and diversity

There is no standardized curriculum, nor is there a central organization to represent the art, to which all
chapters subscribe. Each school has its own individualized program of training. Despite the variety of
expression found in the art, and the independent nature of the schools, there are more similarities than
differences, and often it takes one who is familiar with the system to identify the difference in methods,
as they are, in most cases, quite subtle. Experts in the system can often identify who a student trains with
just by watching them move. This is due in great part to the fact the many of Reeder's original (first
generation American) students are, for the most part, alive and well and heading up their respective
chapters. Therefore their students have a strong model to emulate, and their teacher's 'style' shows in
their forms and applications.

The range of these arts is also shown in a wide array of forms (kata, quan, etc.) that are practiced.
Different lines of the art have different sets of forms. These forms are often deconstructed and made into
smaller patterns of movement for ease of learning and for children's programs, as well as being
rearranged in different sequences. These are the individualized training tools developed by different

Additionally, some chapters have assimilated forms from other sources into the Liu Seong system or
teach it in concert with other methods.
[edit] Fundamental strategies, tactics, and techniques

The origin of many tactics and techniques in the system is unknown. Speculation of where a particular
tactic comes from, in terms of root style, is often a point of discussion amongst practitioners. Because of
the hybrid nature of the art, many techniques taken from other arts may very well have been transformed
by its absorption in the system to the extent that they no longer resemble their parent art. It is often
stated by those that knew Willem Reeders, that he was primarily concernced with the technique
applications and fighting tactics of the arts that he studied, not with ritual elements, like forms, or juru-
juru (prearranged sequences of movement).

This fact plays out in the many different methods of engagement that can be found within the system.
Due to this variety, the art cannot be rigorously classified. The common thread found running through
all the schools are the principles of operation. Although Liu Seong encompasses many techniques, its
true definition is found in the tactical transitions of the distinctive postures of the style, and the
syncopated rhythm of attack which are used to enter, strike and achieve a wide variety of locking and
throwing techniques, culminating in finishing attacks upon the downed opponent.

[edit] Strategy

Liu Seong is an art of self defense, and not meant for sport competition. Practitioners spar at less than
full speed and strength, and many attacks are not used due to their inherently dangerous nature. This
concession is considered a necessity in order to prevent injury to the students.

The Liu Seong system, in great part, has not undergone modernization, as have many other disciplines.

Willem Reeders' system of martial arts still retains its old school combat orientation with techniques that
are designed to seriously injure an attacker. The essential premise of the art is that for self defense to be
adequate it must take into account the worst possible scenario in which you could find yourself, in a
fighting context. Accordingly, this would be having to face multiple, armed attackers who are versed in
the martial arts as well. This assumption lays the theoretical basis for the art.

The Liu Seong system is a 'blade aware' or weapons based system which is generally trained without
weaponry. Weapons are added to the training at advanced levels as an extension of the hand technique
which is considered paramount. This is a departure from the method of many other styles of weapons
combat which begin training with weapons first and take up 'empty hand' methods after basic baton,
knife, or staff skills have been learned.

Five Ancestors
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Five Ancestors Fist

Pinyin: wǔ zǔ quán

Minnan: ngó chó kûn

Part of the series on
Chinese martial arts

List of Chinese martial arts

• Kung fu (功夫)

• Wushu (武術)
Historical places
• Shaolin Temple (少林寺)
• Wudang Mountains (武當山)

• Mount Emei (峨嵋山)

Historical people
• Bodhidharma (菩提達摩)
• Zhang Sanfeng (張三丰)
• Five Elders (五祖)
• Yim Wing-chun (嚴詠春)
• Hung Hei-Gun (洪熙官)
• Fong Sai-yuk (方世玉)
• Dong Haichuan (董海川)
• Yang Lu-ch'an (楊露禪)
• Wu Ch'uan-yu (吳全佑)
• Chan Heung (陳享)
• Wong Fei Hung (黃飛鴻)
• Huo Yuanjia (霍元甲)
• Yip Man (葉問)

• Bruce Lee (李小龍)

• Hong Kong action cinema
• Wushu (sport)

• Wuxia (武俠)
This box: view • talk • edit
This article is about the martial art. For the folklore figures written with the same Chinese
characters, see Five Elders.

Five Ancestors Fist is a Southern Chinese martial art that consists of techniques from five different

• the breathing methods and iron body of Da mo (達尊拳)[1]

• the posture and dynamic power of Luohan (羅漢拳)[2]
• the precision and efficient movement of Emperor Taizu (太祖拳)[3]
• the hand techniques and the complementary softness and hardness of Fujian White Crane (白鶴
• the agility and footwork of Monkey (猴拳)[5]

Wuzuquan (Five Ancestor Kungfu) also known as Ngo Cho Kun is a southern Shaolin martial arts based
on the techniques of five different styles such as: Baihe, Qitian, Taizu, Luohan and Dazun. There are
several versions of Wuzuquan’s history, with some putting the founding of the art around 1300 AD,
while other put it as late as the 1800s.

The combination of these five styles and their characteristic techniques were during the creation of the
Five Ancestor System, consolidated by a sixth influence; Xuan Nu also known as Hian Loo(玄女拳).[6]
'The Lady in the Green Dress,' who introduced the most deadly of its techniques Dim Mak lethal strikes
to the pressure points of the body.

Five Ancestors has been attributed variously to Chua Giok Beng (pinyin: Cài Yùmíng) of Jinjiang near
Quanzhou in Fujian in the second half of the 19th century or to Bái Yùfeng.[7], a famous 13th century
Shaolin monk of the original Henan Shaolin Temple in the North of China to whom Five Animals style
and Hóngquán (洪拳) have also been attributed. The Cai (Chua) branch also calls themselves He Yang
Pai (鹤阳派), a tribute to Cai's teacher.

Practitioners of the Bái Yùfeng lineage also credit the influence of the Xuan Nu (玄女拳) system, with
its emphasis on flowing movements and humility, for refining the art of Five Ancestors[8].

One of the primary characteristics of Five Ancestors is its reliance on the Sanchin|Sam Chian|San
Zhan(literally "three battles":三戦) stance and the corresponding hand form of the same name, which it
obtained from Fujian White Crane. The "three battles" refer primarily to the three stages of Wuzu
practitioners can achieve: combat preparation, combat tactic and combat strategy; all of which must be
mastered in order to attained a good level. "Three Battles" has multi-faceted meaning: conceptual,
physical, and spiritual.

Sam Chian can also be said to allow development of the eight Five Ancestor principles and so, is
considered the most important form in the style. Indeed, it is said that this form contains all the
principles of the Five Ancestors system. Thus it is the first form taught to junior students, so that they
may explore the essential points of Five Ancestors from the start of their training.

Although the exact method depends on the school, Five Ancestors is known for its large variety of
power generational methods. Due to the distinct character of each ancestor, these methods change
depending on the power required. Some schools teach tension forms that develop power, of which there
are about ten, and fist forms that train technique, of which there are dozens. Others stress a relaxed body,
instead seeking maximum transmission of the relevant jin.

On top of this are miscellaneous hand forms, two-man forms (also known as form-drill) that may or may
not include sticking hands, and forms for a comprehensive arsenal of weapons including rice bowl and
chopsticks, umbrellas, even opium pipes.

Over the decades masters have added to this list introducing material they considered relevant to the