Peace is Power

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An introduction to the training and combat principles of three internal martial arts: Taijiquan (Tai Chi), Xingyiquan and Baguazhang
- with Ian Sinclair
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Elements of martial Arts training:
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Conflict resolution
  • Body mechanics
  • Artistic expression
  • History
  • Conditioning
  • Basic movements
  • Choreography
  • Agility
  • Power
  • Technique
  • Method
  • Root
  • Gongfu
  • Esoterica
太极拳
Tai Chi Chuan / Taijiquan / Tai Chi / Taiji

(Usually just called “tai chi” for short)

Tai chi is a profound and subtle martial art 2000 years in the making. The art, formerly known as “Cotton Fist”, was the secret of a small Chinese village until a traveling master came to the attention of Qing Dynasty aristocrats. His subtle skill and seemingly miraculous internal power made him a popular teacher of royalty and elite military officers.

Today, tai chi is known for its many health benefits, and is part of the Chinese national fitness program. However, while most students only learn a basic routine, there are several other aspects to tai chi training, including foundation exercises, various forms, qigong, two-person exercises, apparatus and weapons (sword, sabre, spear, etc.), martial applications and esoterica.

At the core of the curriculum is a basic routine consisting of slow martial movements that gently strengthen muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments, while simultaneously relaxing the body and calming the mind. The routine refines posture and alignment, harmonises muscles, joints, and fascia, and improves the function of blood, lymph, and the internal organs.

More advanced training teaches the use of calm internal power to overcome a violent opponent. There is even a sport aspect which brings tai chi players to local and intentional events for intense yet friendly competition.
Xingyiquan 形意拳

Xingyiquan
(say "xing yee chuan") is an internal style Chinese martial art known for its dynamic and explosive movements. Xing or shape, is derived from the shapes of 5 elements and 12 different animals. Yi means will or intent. Quan literally means fist. Therefore, Xingyiquan is translated as Shape-Intent Fist. As the name suggests, it requires harmony of mind and body, using internal power to guide and direct one's actions.
Xingyiquan movements are easy to learn, but like anything else, to master it requires dedication and hard work. It is an excellent introduction to the internal side of martial arts training for the external martial artist. It is also an excellent transition style for Taijiquan students to gradually get more involved with the fighting aspects of his/her training.

Health Benefits.
The five fundamental movements, practised correctly, harmoniously align the body's internal Qi, balance the internal organs and produce a high degree of cardiovascular fitness.

Realistic Self Defence.
Xingyiquan includes a study of internal power derived from Yiquan (Standing Qi meditations), You learn to use the mind and subtle muscle response to produce "hidden power". Forms appear soft and feel relaxed, yet the strike feels hard as iron to an opponent.
This style consists of five fundamental movements: Pi (Split), Zuan (Drill), Beng (Expand), Pao (Cannon), and Heng (sideways shear). The five movements correspond to Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth elements from the Five Element Theory. The strategy is linear and aggressive, using offence as defence.

Baguazhang 八卦掌

Baguazhang is a martial art that has existed in various forms for millennia, practised secretly by Daoist hermits before it emerged from obscurity in the late 19th century C.E.
The most famous modern proponent, Dong Hai Chuan, became the bodyguard of the Empress Dowager, and was a teacher well respected by China’s most famous masters.

  • It is characterised by fast circular footwork, agile body movements, and lightning-fast hands. It is one of the famous three Neijia (Internal) styles which also include Taijiquan and Xingyiquan.
  • It teaches the student to “Walk like a dragon, retrieve and spin like an ape, change momentum like an eagle, and be calm and steady like a waiting tiger.” The use of open palms instead of fists, and the use of “negative space” is one of the things that makes baguazhang particularly good for defeating multiple opponents.
  • Baguazhang contains powerful strikes. But the emphasis on flow and constant change is what gives this art its versatility. The options to choose between strikes, throws, joint locks, pressure point control, and varying degrees of control, make this art useful for self defence and for law enforcement.
  • Baguazhang training is very aerobic, and emphasises stability and agility.
  • The training is based on an understanding of 8 basic palm shapes and their “energetic qualities”. Students learn the natural methods of changing smoothly from one to another, in a way that follows the flow of nature.

Baguazhang is taught in private lessons. It is also taught in group lessons as part of the Neijia Wushu (Internal Kungfu) Curriculum.
  • Techniques
  • Sport vs Martial
  • Method
  • Structure
  • Healing or Martial?
Tab 1
Some martial arts focus on particular types of techniques. They might emphasize punching or kicking, or throws or joint control or pressure point manipulation or grappling.
But most traditional martial arts will offer a plethora of techniques. The student will not be expected to master all techniques. Rather, the techniques are used to educate the student about the universal principles of body mechanics, leverage and momentum.

  • Ti and Da: striking (punching, kicking, and striking with all parts of the body.)
  • Shuai / Shuaijiao: throwing or taking the opponent to the ground
  • Na / Qinna: joint control and pressure point manipulation
Tab 2
Sport is very different from real combat. The most important difference is the goal. In sport, the goal of the competitor is to win for the sake of personal glory.
In real combat, the goal is usually to avoid being injured, maimed, or killed. But beyond self defence, traditional martial artists are also taught to consider the consequences of both success and failure as they apply to the greater community.

In a martial sport such as judo, boxing, wrestling, or “Mixed Martial Arts” competitions, a competitor may spend years mastering between one and four techniques and learning to make these techniques work in any situation that they may face in the ring. Training and conditioning routines will be timed to accommodate the competition schedule. Rules, referees, restrictions and publicity are important elements of the sport.

In a martial art, one learns to prepare for anything and to expect nothing. Technical training involves investigating surprising options in impossible situations. Techniques must adapt to suit the position, strength and state of mind of the combatants as in sport. But combatants should also consider the morality, the variable terrain, the bystanders, the weather, and the long-term consequences of both victory and defeat. In combat, it is sometimes better to submit than to win, better to flea than to fight, better to stand than to move, better to hold than to strike, better to injure than to maim, better to maim than to kill. It is sometimes better to let an attacker go than to arrest them. If you choose to dominate an attacker, enforce their submission, or cause their injury or death, this can have long term consequences on the families and communities of all parties. For example, you could win the fight, but end up in prison with your attacker and his ilk, while your family are alone on the outside.
Tab 3
Techniques do not work if you cannot apply them correctly. This is why traditional martial arts such as tai chi, baguazhang, xingyiquan, wing chun, and others have developed training exercises that teach the sensitivity, awareness, timing, and understanding of vectors, power, momentum, balance, and dynamic power. These exercises have names like tuishou (pushing hands), roushou (rolling hands), and chisao (sticky hands). Beginning as a fixed pattern, and evolving into a free-flowing cooperative exercise, these exercises develop the ability to either make a techniques work or to change to a more appropriate technique.
Tab 4
Technique is what you do to be successful.
Method is how you do it.
Structure is what you are.
Structure transcends both method and technique. With proper structure, you don’t need to do anything or think about it. The goal of the attacker is to upset your balance and your structure. If your balance and structure are vastly superior, then the attacker’s efforts will affect you as a bug affects a windshield. By refining your structure through daily practice, you reprogram your DNA, align the fascia and skeleton, and harmonize thought emotion and posture. At first, this is done as a way to enable the superior application of method and technique. But eventually, the method and technique become irrelevant or incidental.


Beginners see solo routines as an obstacle to overcome or a chore to avoid. Meditation and conditioning are seen as annoying interruptions in the practice of practical technique.
Intermediate students take pride in their fluid execution of choreographed moments and techniques.
Advanced students simply enjoy all of the training, finding deeper and more profound experiences and understanding each day.
Mastery is a journey, not a goal.
Tab 5
Question: Is tai chi a healing exercise or a martial art?
Answer: Yes.

Traditional martial arts and healing arts are often taught together. In many cases, they can be seen as the same thing. Refinement of mental, physical and even spiritual health are their common goals. And while many exercises can improve health and prevent illness, few are as comprehensive as martial arts. Tai chi has the added benefit of being adaptive. It can be modified to suit any age, or fitness level.

Martial artists who focus their attention on defeating opponents, eventually discover that the real opponent is found within. Tai chi, confronts this internal enemy first of all. Only when one has leaned to deal with the internal conflicts that threaten health, balance, power, happiness, and peace of mind, can the same techniques be applied effectively against external conflict.

An essential part of self defence is the cultivation of a self that is defensible. (A nation would be foolish to over-spend on its military while underspending on health, education, and the basics of life.)
Categories of Kung Fu (Wushu)
There are several ways to categorize the different types of martial arts in China. There a Northern Styles, Southern Styles, animal styles, Buddhist styles, Daoist styles, Muslim styles, Tibetan styles, Emei Mountain styles, Wudang Mountain styles, clan styles, and more.

One of the common distinctions that is often made is the one between “External Styles” (Waijia) and “Internal Styles.” (Neijia)

Neijiaquan literally means “internal family fist” and has two different meanings. It can refer to a specific style. But the term is usually used in a generic sense to refer to several different styles that gained fame in Beijing during the late Qing Dynasty.

In the Imperial palace during the 1800’s there were a number of elite martial artists who were hired to teach royalty, imperial guards, and the military. These great martial artists are known to have shared information and students and to have found a great deal of common ground. This is to be expected, just as mountain climbers who start at different points find more common ground with each other as they reach the top.

Such was the case with masters of styles like Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, Taijiquan, and Bajiquan, who each recognised familiar fundamental principles in the others. They also saw that what they taught was different from the average martial artist. They referred to the styles that they practised as being of the “Internal Family.” This was as much a recognition of elitism as much as a recognition of the subtle internal principles that these styles had in common. They did not know that there was another style on Wudang Mountain that was also called Neijiaquan, and this has led to a fair amount of confusion, with many people thinking that the internal styles of Beijing came from Wudang.

There are several styles from China and elsewhere which are now referred to as internal styles. These are generally defined as styles which emphasise the cultivation of “internal power.” This internal power can refer to a profound co-ordination of mind, body and spirit. But it can also mean a subtle alignment of connective tissue and stabiliser muscles, co-ordinated with deep awareness and a highly developed strategy of using softness and will to conquer brute force and aggression.

Neijiaquan was first mentioned as the name of a Daoist martial art that legend attributes to a mythical hermit named Zhang Sanfeng. A famous master of this style was Zhang Sonxi fo the Qing Dynasty, and the style is often called Songxi Neijiaquan to distinguish it from the more generic term Neijiaquan.



Styles of Wushu

T
he 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.

There are several ways to categorise the different types of martial arts in China. There are northern styles, southern styles, animal styles Buddhist styles, Daoist styles, Muslim styles, Tibetan styles, Emei Mountain Styles, Wudang styles, Shaolin styles, internal styles, and external styles....
Any martial art might fit into more than one of these categories. And all share some kind of common history. (Martial arts thrive on innovation. So, there is always a lot of research and development going on, with styles mutually influencing each other over thousands of years.

With the practical considerations of combat being so important to the ancient masters, all styles required the cultivation of power, speed, and technique. They also shared the need to protect vulnerable areas while maintaining offensive opportunities. Each of these requirements needed to be developed without compromising the others. One must not, for example develop speed at the expense of the proper alignment needed for power, and power must not interfere with the smooth changes needed to execute proper technique.

With all these common requirements, and the common weapon (the human body) it is not surprising that there are so many similarities between the different styles. Another unifying factor was the function of major learning centres such as Shaolin, Wudang, and Emei, where martial artists, warriors, healers, and clergy would often share knowledge and further develop their arts.


Damo
達摩()

Also known as Bodhidharma (?- 536CE), he was the 28th successor of Buddhism and the first patriarch of Chan (Zen). He taught exercises that strongly influenced what was to become Shaolin Kung fu.


History is written by those who can write. So it is not surprising that there is little known about martial arts of more than 2 millennia ago. There were indubitably many different martial arts that predated literacy, simply due to the need for clans and families to defend themselves. But all we really know about those arts comes carvings of wrestlers. But the grand systematic martial systems that we think of today were not seen until shortly after Damo.

Damo is said to have authored two exercise manuals, the Yijinjing
易筋經() (Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic), and the Xiangsuijing洗髓經() (Marrow/Brain Washing Classic). The Shaolin monks later found these exercises to strengthen their bodies and spirits. They soon found that the training not only made them healthier, but it also made them stronger. Over the years, visiting martial artists and the monks combined this training with martial training and became formidable fighters. The temple subsequently spawned or influenced many styles of wushu and qigong.

The Shaolin temple was not the only influence in the development of wushu in China. There were many folk styles, Daoist styles, military styles, and sports which developed in relative degrees of isolation.


Following is a list of some of the many styles of wushu.


Bafaquan 八法拳 (eight methods fist)
developed by Li De Mao (李德茂) during the Qing dynasty. He combined the techniques of Fanziquan (翻子), Paochui (炮捶), Tantui (弹腿), Tongbeiquan (劈挂) and Xingyiquan (形意) into a new style based on eight methods 八法 - outer trap, inner trap and stab, flick, support, shake, chop and reel. lan (block)na(capture)zha (pierce)beng (burst)tuo (support)dou (shake)pi (split)chan (reel).

Baguazhang 八卦掌 (Eight Trigrams Palm)
An internal style of wushu that originated from Emei. This style was made famous by Dong Haichuan (1813-1882) the personal bodyguard to the Empress Dowager of the late Qing Dynasty. There are many styles of baguazhang, thanks in no small part to the fact that Dong taught mostly experienced masters whose own styles influenced their baguazhang. There are also other styles of baguazhang that originated from Emei.

Baihequan 百鶴拳 (White Crane Fist)
A southern style characterised by light and agile movements, quick hand changes, waist movement, and a whip-like power.

Baimeiquan 白眉拳 (white eyebrow style)
Popular in Hong Kong, Guangdong, and Southeast Asia. This style is said to have been created by Baimei, a legendary Daoist priest.

Bajiquan 八極拳 (World's end style or Eight extremities style)
Considered an internal style and characterised by explosive power, stomping feet, and close range applications, this style is said to have been passed down to Wu Zhong (吳鐘) by a wandering Daoist.

Beipai 北派 (northern styles/factions)
a general term referring to styles that developed north of the Yangtze River, as opposed to nanquan南拳 (southern styles)

Benglong Wushu 崩龍武術 also known as Zuoquan 左拳(left fist)
a general term referring to styles developed by the Deang 德昂族 people of Yunnan Province.

Boziquan 跛子拳 (lame person style)
Created by Jingyun (凈雲禪師)this 80 movement routine imitates an injured or handicapped person.

Cailifoquan 蔡李佛拳
a southern style created by Chen Gen and based on fojiaquan
佛家拳, liquan李拳, and caiquan蔡拳. This style is know for the great number of routines that it contains.

Caiquan 蔡拳
Created by two monks from Fujian Shaolin Temple this style is one of the most influential southern styles.

Canbimen 蠶閉門, 蠶門, 蠶絲門 (silk reeling style)
From Jiangxi Province, this style focuses on coiling and neutralising like a silkworm making a cocoon.

Canzhou Wushu 滄洲武術
A general term referring to the styles of the Cangzhou area in Hebei Province.

Changquan 長拳(s长拳) (Long Fist)
A general term referring to the many Northern Style Wushu including: Chaquan, Huaquan, Paoquan, Hongquan, Liuhequan, Yanqingquan, etc. These styles are usually characterised by fast, agile movements that are long, open, and extended. They are also known for high jumps and aerial kicks.

Chaquan 查拳
A major Wushu style developed by the Hui people. One of the primary requirements at the Central Guoshu Institute.

Choy Lay Fut
see Cailifoquan

Chuanquan 船拳 (Boat Fist)
A style, including many forms, that evolved in the Wuxing, Zhejiang Province, where competitions are often held on a platform set between two boats.

Chuojiao 戳腳 s戳脚 (Piercing Feet)
A changquan style primarily using feet, attributed to the legendary Song Dynasty hero, Wu Song.

Dabeiquan 大悲拳
An internal style based on the teachings of the Buddhist Mantra Dabeizhou大悲咒 of Avalokitesvara 观世音菩萨. this style is said to have been developed by the monks at the Henan Shaolin Temple and Wutaishan during the Ming Dynasty.

Dachengquan 大成拳 (Great achievement style) aka Yiquan 意拳 (Intent/meaning Style)
Created by Wang Xiang-zhai (1885-1963) based on the essential principles of internal styles, especially Xingyiquan. The name dachengquan was given to the style by other martial artist who recognised the distilled principles demonstrated by the founder.

Daopai 道派 (style of the way)
A Shaolin style taught by a monk named Ruilong 瑞龍.

Diaojiaquan 刁家拳 (Diao family style)
A style said to have originated in Jiangxi Province before spreading to Meixian and Xingning in Guangdong Province.

Dishuquanfa地術拳法 (s术拳法)
(Ground tactic fist method) a.k.a. Digongquan
地功拳 and Gouquan狗拳. There are more than ten known routines in this style, which is known for kicking from the ground and intentional falls and flips.

Ditangquan 地趟拳 (plowing earth style)
A style dating back at least to the Ming Dynasty, using offensive ground fighting techniques.

Dumen杜門 (Du family style)
From Chengdu, Sichuan, this style uses the Zhijiqishen 知機其神 philosophy from Yijing易經(s).

Dunhuangquan敦煌拳
A style based on the Dunhuang Bihua 敦煌壁畫 (frescos of the Dunhuang Grottos). The movements are performed in a slow graceful manner similar to taijiquan and contain defensive and offensive applications. Like taijiquan, this style is often practised for physical exercise, toning the body, weight loss, and illness prevention.

Eagle Claw Style
see Yingzhuaquan

Eight Trigram Palm
see Baguazhang

Emei Piercer
see Emeici

Emei Shaolin wushu 峨嵋少林武術
The Shaolin Wushu of the Emei Mountains) Inherited from the Shaolin Temple, yet no longer taught in the Henan Shaolin Temple, this style includes both hard methods and intricate neutralizing. The routines use exclusively practical Sanshou applications. The known routines include: Tiangan , Qixing , Heihu , Tianhe , Feilong , and Bafa .

Emei Shierzhuang 峨嵋十二樁 (Emei Twelve Stakes)
Indigenous to Emei, this style combines Daoist, Medical, and Buddhist philosophy with Qigong, and dates back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).

Emei Wudang Neijiaquan 峨嵋武當內家拳 (Internal Wudang and Emei Style) Supposedly a version of Wudang Neijiaquan which was further developed at Emei.

Emei Wushu 峨嵋武術 A general term referring the more than 300 styles from the Emei Mountains. Emei Wushu along with Shaolin and Wudang are the three major Wushu groups in China. Emei is also known for a great many Buddhist and Daoist temples.

Fangmen 方門 (Fang Family Style) An Emei Style created by Fang Shunyi combining Shaolin with Xingyiquan and Xiao style.

Fanziquan 翻子拳 (Turning Body Fist)
A form of Changquan, that was called Bashanfan during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Fanziquan routines are usually short and fast as a whip.

Fushi Wushu 傅氏武術 (Fu Zhensong Style Wushu)
One of the "Five tigers that went south of the Yangtze River," Fu Zhensong was a native of Henan Province who learned under many famous masters. He absorbed the essence of the other styles and founded Fushi Wushu.

Great Accomplishment Fist
see Dachengquan

Ground Style
see Ditangquan

Hongmen 洪門
Attributed either to Emperor Zhao Taizu, whose face was always red, ,or to Zheng Chenggong, a defeated Ming General whose counterrevolutionary organisation was named Hongmen in honour of the Ming emperor, Hongwu . There are two distinct divisions - Northern and Southern.

Hongquan 紅拳 (Red Fist)
A popular form of changquan that is popular in Shanxi and Sichuan. Said to date from the Yuan Dynasty.

Hongzhimen 鴻志門
Attributed to the Daoist, Hong Jun Laozu 鴻鈞老祖 and later combined with Zhi style to become Hongzhimen. Known for its emphasis on Qigong training and for its open and extended movements.

Houquan 猴拳 (Monkey Style)
also known as Dashengmen大聖門(Great Sage gate) Believed by some to be several thousand years old, this famous style was first recorded in the Ming Dynasty book, Jixiaoxinshu by Qi Jiguang. Mimicking the movements of a monkey.

Hsing Yi Chuan
see Xingyiquan

Huakoumen 化口門 (disolving doorway style)
An Emei style focusing on one handed applications and neutralization it follows the philosophy of Taiji, Wuxing, and Bagua.

Huanglinpai 黃林派 (Yellow Forest Style)
An Emei Style attributed to a Daoist priest of the Wannian Temple during the reign of Yongzheng (1723-1735) The known barehanded routines include: Sipingquan , Dengzhuangquan , and three Hulongquan , a weapon routine known as Yanlindao , and a training method referred to as Meirenzhuang .

Huaquan 花拳 (Flower Fist)
A short-range style Attributed to Gan Fengchi of the Qing Dynasty.

Huaquan 華拳 (Hua Mountain Fist)
A form of changquan originating in Sandong during the Song Dynasty named either for the Hua mountains or the sanhua 三華(three essences) - jing, qi, and shen.

Huatao Wuyi 花套武藝 (fireworks based on martial arts)
A performance art derived from traditional Wushu. It is also referred to as Huaquan Xiutui 花拳繡腿 (flowery fist and embroidered feet.)

Huheshuanxingquan 虎鶴雙形拳 (Tiger and crane paired shape style)
A southern style created during at the end of the Qing Dynasty, based Hongiaquan and Foquan , with the characteristics of the tiger and crane.

Huimen 慧門 (Wisdom gate)
A style created by Song Luhua of Shandong and including meditation, visualization, and intention training. Characterised by small steps and lower stances. The known routines include: Yangjianquan , Nazhaquan , Hamaquan , Hudiequan , Shetouquan , and Rope Dart.

Hung Gar
see Hongjiaquan

Huquan 虎拳 (Tiger Style)
This routine mimics the characteristics of a tiger or leopard. There are many Huquan routines including: Huquan , Heihuquan , Huxingquan , Xingyi Hubaoquan, Menghu Xiashanquan , Ehuquan , Baihuquan , and Huzhuaquan .

Huxingquan (Tiger shape style)
A Southern Styles style imitating the tiger’s characteristics. It focuses on short range applications emphasizing the strength of the fingers.

Internal Style
see Neijiaquan

Jeet Kune Do
see Jiequandao

Jianghequan 江河拳(River Style)
It originated from Kaifeng in Henan Province. There are four known routines in this style.

Jiangxi Huimen 江西 會門 (Secret school of Jiangxi)
An aggressive style created in the Jiangxi Province by Liu Jiangxi.

Jiequan 節拳(Sectional Fist)
Based on Tantui, this style developed during the Qing Dynasty.

Jiequandao a.k.a. Jeet Kune Do 截拳道 (intercepting fist way)
A new style created by Bruce Lee (1940-1973) who regarded Jiequandao less as a style than a philosophy and concept.

Jinbashou 緊八手(Tight Eight Hands)
A popular style during the middle Qing Dynasty around the Hubei Province.

Jingpo Wushu 景頗武術
The Wushu developed by the ancient Jingpo tribe, who developed effective blade techniques still practised by their descendants and often seen during ethnic holiday celebrations.

Jinjiagong 金家功 (Jin family art) a.k.a Jinjiao Shiershi 金家十二式 (Jin Family twelve shapes)
A style created during the reign of the Qing Emperor, Daoguang , (1823 - 1850) by a failed revolutionary named Ji Yiwang.

Karate-do 空手道 (empty hand way) originally called tangshoudao 唐手道 (China hand way)
A Japanese system combining Chinese wushu with indigenous Okinawan martial arts.

Kejiaquan 客家拳 (Hakka Fist)
A general term referring to Southern Styles practiced by the Kejia people, especially those Southern Styles of Guangdong.

Kexingzhang 克星拳 (unbeatable rival style)
A wushu, qigong, energy healing technique, and probability prediction style.

Kongmenquan 孔門拳 (Confucius Style)
Popular in Wuhan in Hubei, this style was created during the beginning of the Qing Dynasty.

Kunlunpai 昆侖派 (Kunlun Mountain Style)
Attributed to the legendary Daoist, Tongtian and now existing in two branches—Eastern and Western Kunlunpai.

Lamapai 喇嘛派
An esoteric system developed Tibetan Lamas 西藏密宗喇嘛 in the 14th century. Based on the movements of a white crane and an ape.

Langzi Yanqingquan 浪子燕青拳 (Prodigal Yangqing Style)
An aggressive style characterised by many agile turning movements and high, medium, and low stances, and many hand techniques. Power is often generated from the shoulders and back. "Prodigal Yanqing" is the name of a character in THE WATER MARGIN水滸傳 (s浒传), one of the four great classic novels in Chinese Literature.

Lanshoumen 攔手門 (Intercepting Hand)
A Shaolin Style with open and extended movements. The two distinct divisions are Hedongpai 河東派 (east of the Yellow River) and Hexipai河西派 (west of the Yellow River).

Lianmenquan 聯門拳 (United Fist)
A style from Sichuan Province.

Lianshouduanda 連手短打 (Continuous Hands and Short Strikes)
A style from Cangzhou, Hebei. Also known as Gouguaizi 勾拐子 .

Liquan 李拳 (Li Family Fist)
Created by a monk from Fujian Shaolin Temple, Li Ci, Liquan is now one of the popular Southern Styles in Guangdong.

Liuhebafa 六合八法 (Six harmonies Eight directions) a.k.a. shuiquan 水拳 (Water Boxing) a.k.a. Xinyi Liuhebafa 心意六合八法 (Heart intent / six harmonies Eight directions)
An Internal Style attributed to Chen Bo 陳博 of Hua Shan during the Song Dynasty. Using power similar to Xingyiquan, stepping patterns of Baguazhang and neutralizing power like Taijiquan. Movements change from high to low and fast to slow resembling floating clouds and flowing water.

Liuhemen 六合門 (Six Harmony Style)
Over 400 years old, this style contains more than eleven barehanded forms, nineteen weapons forms, three sparring forms, and several wushu qigong methods.

Liuhequan 六合拳 (Six Harmony Fist)

Liujiaquan 劉家拳 (Liu Family Fist)
One of the popular Southern Styles in Guangdong.

Long Fist
see Changquan

Longxingquan 龍形拳 (Dragon Style)
This style, popular in Hong Kong and Fujian, employs the legendary characteristics of the dragon. It is popular in Hong Kong and Fujian Province.

Lulinpai 綠林派 (Forest Outlaw Style - literally "Green Forest Style")
Attributed to Liu Zhong, who failed in his attempt to assassinate the Qing Emperor Yongzheng (1723-1735)

Luohanquan 羅漢拳 (Arhat Fist)
A well known Shaolin Style.

Luomen 羅門 (Luo Family Style)
Attributed to General Luo Yi and his son General Luo Cheng at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty. Including two main branches - large frame old Luomen and small frame new Luomen - this style includes elements of both Northern and Southern Wushu.


Meihuaquan 梅花拳 (Plum Blossom Fist)
A style of changquan created the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. Its training is often done on posts partially buried in the ground in the pattern of a plum blossom.

Meishiquan 梅氏拳 (Mei Style Style)
Attributed to a nun who invented the style between at the end of the 19th century this style emphasises leg techniques.

Mianquan 綿拳 (Soft Fist) a.k.a Yanshou延手 (extended palm)
A style that trains a high level of flexibility, referring to the characteristics of extending the arms during its applications.

Mianzhang 棉掌 (Cotton Palm)
A style known for its use of palms. This style is also known for its spear techniques.

Miaoquan 苗拳 (Miao fist)
The ethnic Miao people of Guanxi province trace this style to pre-dynastic China and a primordial combat style called Jiao Di (horn striking). Like many Southern styles of kungfu, this style is very powerful and has low, immovable stances. It also has powerful audible power generation.

Minghaiquan 明海拳
An Emei Style, named for the Shaolin monk who created this style when he combined Shaolin Wushu with Sichuan Wushu.

Mizongquan 迷蹤 (Lost Track Style)
Made popular by Jet Li's movie "Fist of Legend"this is one of Shaolin's most popular and "advanced" styles. An aggressive style using deceptive footwork constant-changes.

Modern Wushu
see Xiandai Wushu

Monkey Style
see Houquan

Moquan 莫拳(Mo Family Fist)
Created by a Zen Buddhist priest, of the Fujian Shaolin Temple, it is a popular Southern Style in Guangdong Province.

Mulanquan木蘭拳 (Lilly Mangolia style)
A type of Huatao Wuyi created by Ying Meifeng of Shanghai. It is practised as an exercise combining Wushu with modern calisthenics.

Nanquan 南拳(Southern Style)
A general term referring primarily to styles with their origin primarily south of the Yangtze River Including: Guangdong Nanquan : Hongjiaquan , Caiquan , Liquan , Moquan , Cailifoquan , Huheshuanxing , Xiaquan , Yongchunquan , Baimeiquan , Nanzhiquan , Ruquan , Fojiaquan , Diajiaquan , Zhujiajiao , Yuejiajiao , Zhongjiajiao , and Kunlunquan. Guangxi Nanquan : Zhoujiaquan , Tulongquan , Hongmen Fuhuquan , and Xiaocheda. Fujian Nanquan : Nanshaolin Wuxingquan including Dragon, Tiger, Leopard, Snake, and Crane; Wuzuquan , Luohanquan , Meihuazhuang , Lianchengquan , Diquanquan , Yongjiafa , Wumeiquan , Shiquan , Houquan , Yufa , Jifa , Rufa , and Fangwuji. Hunan Nanquan : Wujiaquan , Xuejiajiao, and Yuejiajiao. Hubei Nanquan : Hongmen , Kongmenquan , Yuemenquan , Yumenquan , Sunmenquan , Wujiayi , Naimen , Fomen , Yinxianmen , Shuihumen , Zhengmen , Yanmen , and Xiongmen .
Sichuan Nanquan : Cengmen , Yuemen , Zhaomen , Dumen , Hongmen , Huamen , Zimen , and Huimen .
Jiangxi Nanquan : Sanshiliulu Songjiangquan. Zhejiang Nanquan : Heihuquan , Jingangquan , Wenzhouquan , and Taizhaoquan. There are also Suzhou Nanquan , Wuxi Nanquan , Shanghai Difanquan , and Changzhouquan.
Together these Nanquan styles include more than one thousand barehanded and weapon routines.

Nanzhiquan 難枝拳
Named for the Fujian Shaolin monk who created it.

Neijiaquan 內家拳 (Internal Fist)
Attributed to the legendary Daoist immortal, Zhang Sanfeng this style is known as Songxi Neijiaquan to distinguish it from the generic term Neijiaquan, referring to all Internal Style Wushu

Neijiaquan 內家拳 (Internal Fist)
A generic term referring to all Internal Style Wushu such as Taijiquan, Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, and Liuhebafa. It is a term used in contrast with Waijiaquan , External Style.

Northern Style
see Beipai

Pa Kua Chang
see Baguazhang

Panpomen 盤破門
A style popular in the southern and eastern Sichuan, characterised by high stances, small hand movements, constant changes, quick low kicks, quick footwork.

Paochui 炮捶 (Cannon fist) (a.k.a. Sanhuang Paochui)
The history of this changquan style has been traced back to the Song Mountain Shaolin Temple.

Piguaquan (Split and hitch style) (a.k.a. Tongbei Piquaquan)
This style uses short and long range techniques and emphasises the turning of the waist and back, and the development of smooth and continuous attacks.

Praying Mantis Style
see Tanglangquan

Qingchengbuqimen
A style created during the 18th century and combining elements of Shaolin, Emei, and Wudang wushu. It is now popular in Sichuan, Shanxi, and Yunnan.

Qingchengpai (Qingchen Mountain Styles)
A general term referring to the styles of the Qingcheng Mountains. They include: Qingcheng Hongquan , Liuhe Sanshou , Qingcheng Baguazhang , Gubajiquan , Xuanmen Jiushi , and Erlu Hongquan . The known weapon routines include: Qixingjian , Baxianjian , Qingchengjian , Zimugun , Daqinglongdao , and Qiankunquan . Training methods include: Jianshen Yanshougong and Liuhe Neigong .

Qinglongquan 青龍拳 (Green Dragon Fist)
A style which emphasises palms and finger techniques and resembling the movements of a swimming dragon.

Renjiajiao (Ren Family Teaching) (aka Renmenquan)
Developed by Ren Sizhen, a Qing officer from Sichuan, based on Sunzi’s Art of War, the Yijing, and several martial styles.

Sengmen (Monastery Style)
One of the most famous Emei Styles, and focusing on Qinna and short range applications.

Shandongjiao (Shandong Teaching)
Attributed to General Qin Shubao of the early Tang Dynasty (618-907).

Shaolin Huimen
Created by the Henan Shaolin priest, Huang Fazhuang .

Shaolin Wuquan
Attributed to Yuan Dynasty (1260-1368) Shaolin master, Bai Yufeng, who based it on the movements of the dragon, tiger, leopard, snake, and crane.

Shaolin Wushu
A general term referring to all the styles of Wushu that can trace their origin back to the Song Mountain Shaolin Temple. It is one of the oldest and most influential martial arts systems in the world. While Damo (Bodhidharma) is generally credited with creating the first Shaolin martial arts, it is widely accepted that Shaolin wushu is the result of centuries of collaboration by martial artists who sought the spiritual sanctuary and erudition of the Shaolin Temple.

Shaolin Xingyi Liuhe (Shaolin Shape-Intent Six Harmony)
A derivative of Shaolin Wushu that is practiced in Hunan, Jiangxi, and Sichuan Provinces. Based on the jumping, flying, nesting, and hunting characteristics of animals. It focuses on the unity of the internal jing , qi , and shen ; as well as, the unity of the external hands, eyes, and body movements. There are two known barehanded routines, one Lianhuanziwu Panlonggun weapon routine, and three training methods.

Shape and Intent Fist
see Xingyiquan

Shenda (Spiritual Strike)
A name that refers to a number of styles: Maoshan , Fo , Dao , and Qirijiao. Shenda is known for its involvement in the failed Boxer Rebellion. Shenda relies heavily on chanting to increase the ability and strength of its practitioners.

Shenmenquan
An Emei Style also known as Jinjiaquan (Jin Family Fist).

Shequan (Snake Fist)
Shequan routines are based on the movements of a snake. It is part of some Shaolin and Emei styles.

Sichuan Huimen
A style which uses the Five Elements to name its routines. The keys to this style are: tun , tu , feng , hua , and tie.

Sichuan Lijiaquan (Li Family Style of Sichuan)
A Sichuan style from Gaozui Mountain. Characterised by short routines with low stances.

Sichuan Ziranmen (Natural Style of Sichuan)
Said to have been developed as a result of a family feud in the Sichuan Nanchong area.

Six Unities and Eight Principles
see Liuhebafa

Songxi Neijiaquan
see Neijiaquan


Southern Style
see Nanquan

Sujiajiao (Su Family Teaching)
A style was created by Su Caifeng during the Ming Dynasty.

Sunbinquan
Attributed to Sun Bin, a decendant of Sunzi (author of the Art of War).

Sunmenquan (Sun Family Fist)
An Emei style supposedly based on the Southern Shaolin of Fujian Province and created by Sun Chunan of Sichuan Province. This style mostly uses arm strikes and limited short range kicks.

Tae Kwon Do
A Korean martial art that combines Karate with native Korean martial arts. Tae Kwon Do became an Olympic Exhibition event in 1988 and officially became an Olympic medal event in the 2000 Olympics.

Tai Chi Chuan
see Taijiquan

Taijiquan
An Internal Style Wushu, also romanized as Tai Chi Chuan, and translated as the Grand Ultimate Fist. This is one of the most influential Wushu styles in the world today. There are participants of Taijiquan in over 100 nations throughout the world today. The five major traditional Taijiquan styles include: Chen Style , Yang Style , Wu Style , W’u Style also known as Hao Style , and Sun Style .

Taixuquan (Ultimate Void Fist)
Created by Wu Rongyu during the Qing Dynasty and based on the Taixu, Taiji, Sancai, Sixiang, Wu-yun, Liuqi, Bagua, and Tuwen-luoshu philosophies.

Taizuquan (Grand Ancestor Fist)
Said to have originated with Emperor Zhao Kuangyin of the Northern Song Dynasty.

Tanglangquan (Praying Mantis Style)
A style based on the movements of the mantis.

Tangpingquan a.k.a. Tangpingqishi.
A style of the ethnic Hui and popular in Shanxi and Henan Provinces. Archeological evidence shows that it at least as early as the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

Tantuimen (Spring Leg Style) A style of changquan popular with the ethnic Hui, and said to have originated in the Longtan Temple in Shandong or the Tan Family Village in Henan Province. This style is named for its emphasis on powerful, spring like kicks. Tan from Longtan and tui for its kicks.

Tongbei Piquanquan
see Piquaquan

Tongbiquan (Connected Arm Fist)
Based on the swinging arm movements of an ape, this style is attributed to the Taoist Baiyuan Daoren of Sichuan Emei Mountain during the Spring-Autumn and Warring Kingdom era (770-221 B.C.). Its movements resemble the swinging arms of the ape.

Tujiazu Wushu
A general term referring to the Wushu developed by the enthic Tujiazu people between Hunan, Hubei, and Sichuan. These styles are known for close range combat abilities and the ability to engage in combat in narrow paths, and cliffs.

Wangshi Wushu
The style of Wang Ziping and his daughter, Wang Jurong.

Wing Chun
see Yongchunquan

Wudang Hongmenquan
Known to have spread from Sichuan Province to Hubei Province and influenced by Wudang Wushu.

Wudang Wushu
A general term referring to the primarily Daoist styles from the Wudang Mountains (Taiheshan).

Wudangmen (Wudang Gate) (a.k.a. Lipai Gongfu)
Created during the Qing Dynasty by Li Ruidong, the director of training for the imperial guards, and a student of Chuojiao, Shaolin, Tantui, Xinyi, Bagua, and Wudang Jinchanpai Taijigong .

Wuji Xiaoyaopai (a.k.a. Shusan Wuji Xiaoyaopai).
Xiaoyao implies the state of free expression that occers at highest level of an art. "Wuji" refers to the unrestricted nature of the style. Inspired by the Wuji and Xiaoyao styles of the Song Dynasty, this system was founded by Liang Shou-Yu and is based on his extensive Wushu background and experience in many Wushu styles.

Wujiaquan A type of nanquan from the Fujian Shaolin Temple.

Wumeipai
Attributed to Wu Mei, the daughter of a Ming general, who sought refuge at the White Crane Shaolin Temple in Guangxi when the Qing took control.

Wushouquan (Five Handed Fist)
A popular style of Qingdao City of Shandong Province, with power similar to xingyiquan, and with more emphasis on practical applications than forms.

Wushu
The official term for Chinese martial arts. It is also a general term meaning martial arts.

Wuzuquan (Five Ancestor Fist) a.k.a. Wuzuheyangquan (Ngor Chor in Fujian)
A type of nanquan popular in Southern China, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.

Xiandai Wushu (Contemporary Wushu) (Modern Wushu) (Sports Performance Wushu)
Today, the wushu competitions include divisions for solo routines, weapon routines, choreographed two-person routine, and Sanshou. There are separate divisions for men and women.

Xiangmen (Xiang Family Style)
A style with continuous close-range movements, created by a Qing Dynasty security guard.

Xianhumen
An Emei style.

Xiaquan 俠拳 (chivalrous fist)
An Emei style said to have been created by a Zen Buddhist priest named Li Huzi of Sichuan, who named the style Xiaquan, in honour of his teacher, Da Xia.

Xibei Difangquan Northeast Region Style, a.k.a. Lanzhoudifang Laobashi and Bamen
A composite style containing elements of Paoquan, Siquan, Jiuhuanzi, Tongbeiquan, and Fengshoubakuai.

Xiliangquan
Said to have been created by General Ma Chao during the Three Kingdom era, to train his troops. This style was made famous in the Qing dynasty by Tang Dianxiang, a well known fighter.

Xingyiquan (Shape and intent fist)
An Internal Style known for explosive movements, and aggressive strategy. Based on the wuxing (five elements) and on the fighting movements of 12 different animals.

Xiyangzhang
A style was from Anhui Province during the late Qing Dynasty. The movements are open, extended, and physically demanding.

Yaan Yujiaquan (Yu Family Fist of Yaan)
Created by Yu Zhenggang of Yaan . This style focuses on the healing aspect of wushu as well as the fighting aspect.

Yangbalangquan
A style practiced in the Chongqing City area.

Yaojia
A style developed by the Yao ethnic people living in the mountain range between Hunan and Guangxi.

Yanqingquan a.k.a. (secret ancestry style)
A type of changquan based on the movements of a macaque.

Yaxingquan (Duck Style)
Based on the movements of a duck, this style was said to have been created by an Emei Mountain Daoist of Tang Dynasty.

Yingzhuaquan (Eagle Claw Fist)
A style based on the movements of an eagle and emphasising rapid, flowing, and continous Qinna techniques.

Yiquan see Dachengquan

Yizu Wushu
A general term referring to the Wushu of the ethnic Yizu.

Yongchunquan
A close-range style from Fujian Province which requires hand movements to stay below the forehead and no lower than the crotch. Lateral movement of the arms is restricted to the width of the shoulders.

Yuejiajiao (Yue Family Teaching)
A style from Hunan Province that spread to Meixian in Guangdong.

Yuemenquan (Yue Family Fist) Attributed to Marshal Yue Fei, this is one of the most famous Emei styles.

Yueshilianquan (Yue Family Connected Fist) a.k.a. Yushi Sanshou
A type of changquan attributed to Marshall Yue Fei.

Yujiaquan (Yu Family Fist)
A Daoist / Confucian style of eastern Sichuan Province.

Yumen (Yu Family Style)
A defensive style emphasising the use of empty stance and soft-neutralizing against hard attacks.

Yumenquan
A style known to have many changing hand techniques but a few kicking techniques.

Yumenquan (Fish Style) a.k.a. Liujiayi
A style from Hubei Province, with elements similar to taijiquan, said to be inspired by observing swimming fish and fishermen.

Zangqiang Wushu:
A general term referring to the wushu of the Xizhang and Qiang area.

Zhaomenquan (Zhao Family Fist)
Attributed to the first Northern Song Dynasty Emperor, Zhao Kuanyin. This style emphasises kicking techniques, and tends to use offense as a defense.

Zhimen:
Created in the mid 19th century by Deng Dingguo and known for open and extended movements.

Zhoujiaquan (Zhou Family Fist)
Created by Zhou Yufeng of Chongqing City during the reign of the Qing Emperor, Qianlong , between 1736 and 1795.

Zhuangzu Wushu
A general term referring to the Wushu of the ethnic Zhuangzu people.

Zhujiajiao (Zhu Family Teaching)
A style popular in Xingning in Guangdong Province.

Zimen-1
A style from Henan that has no routines to speak of.

Zimen-2
A style from Henan with uncertain origins.

Zimu Nanquan (Mother and Son Nanquan)
A style created by a Wudang Daoist named Peng Ying.

Ziranmen (Natural Style)
An internal style from Sichuan attributed to Xu Xiake.

Ziwumen (Midnight and Noon Style)
An Emei style combining internal and external elements of Wudang and Shaolin.

Zuiquan (Drunken Style)
Based on a drunkard’s movements, this An ancient and difficult style is thought to have originated during the Tang Dynasty (618 -907) Each movement is said to express and attribute of the legendary Eight Drunken Immortals.