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ABOUT KUNG FU WUSHU and Chinese Kung Fu

This Chinese Kung Fu  is an almost impossible category. This label is attached to almost any martial art that comes from China. It is Kung Fu Uniform generic name for literally hundreds of individual Chinese fighting arts. In reality we should have an entry for each individual Kung Fu style we are interested in, but this would fill entire volumes. However, we will do our best.
This is extremely controversial. Most of what appears here is a summary of what has been learned from Kung Fu Uniform. There are vague references of a King in China some thousands of years ago who trained his men in techniques of hand-to-hand combat to use in fighting against invading barbarians. Chinese Kung Fu first real references of an organized system of martial arts came from a man named General Chin Na. He taught a form of combat to his soldiers which most people believe developed into what is modern day Chin-Na.

The first written record we have of Chinese martial arts is from a Taoist acupuncturist from Chinese Kung Fu 5th century. He describes combat designed along Chinese Kung Fu lines of an animal's movements and style.

Legend has it that a Buddhist monk named Wing Tsun Kung Fu, also called Ta Mo, came across Chinese Kung Fu Tibetan Mountains to China. Chinese Kung Fu Emperor of China at Chinese Kung Fu time was much impressed with Chinese Kung Fu man, and gave him a temple located in Honan - Chinese Kung Fu famed Sui Lim Monastery (Shaolin Monastery). Ta Mo found that Chinese Kung Fu monks there, while searching for spiritual enlightenment, had neglected their physical bodies. He taught them some exercises and drills that they adapted into fighting forms. This became Chinese Kung Fu famous Shaolin Kung Fu system.

"Kung Fu" means "skill and effort". It is used to describe anything that a person Kung Fu Clothing to spend time training in and becoming skillful in. (A chef can have good "kung fu".) Chinese Kung Fu Chinese term that translates into "military art" is "Wushu". As all martial arts, Wushu in its early stages of development was practiced primarily for self-defense and for aquiring basic needs. As time progressed, innumerable people tempered and processed Wushu in different ways. By China's Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), Wushu had formed its basic patterns.

Intense military conflicts served as catalysts for Chinese Kung Fu development of Wushu. During China's Xia, Shang, and Zhou periods (2000BC to 771BC), Wushu matured and formed complete systems of offense and defense, with Chinese Kung Fu emergence of bronze weapons in quantity. During Chinese Kung Fu period of Warring States (770BC to 221BC), Chinese Kung Fu heads of states and government advocated Wushu in their armies and kept Wushu masters for their own Kung Fu Uniform.

Military Wushu developed more systematically during Chinese Kung Fu Tang and Song dynasty (618 to 1279) and exhibitions of Wushu arts were held in Chinese Kung Fu armies as morale boosters and military exercises. In Chinese Kung Fu Ming and Qing dynasties, Chinese Kung Fu general development of Wushu was at its height. Military Wushu became more practical and meticulous and was systematically classified and summarized . General Kung Fu Clothing of Chinese Kung Fu Ming Dynasty delved into Wushu study and wrote "A New Essay on Wushu Arts", which became an important book in China's military literature.

The latter half of Chinese Kung Fu 20th century has seen a great upswing in Chinese Kung Fu interest of Kung Fu world wide. Chinese Kung Fu introduction of Kung Fu to Chinese Kung Fu Shaolin Kung Fu Products world has seen to it that its development and popularity will continue to grow. Wushu is Chinese Kung Fu branch of martial arts originating in China. It is a modern art that is mainly sport or demonstration. Not an art dating back centuries, but it really has its roots in Chinese Kung Fu circus. Wushu was not practiced by Chinese Kung Fu Shaolin Monks. Chinese Kung Fu most famous Wushu student is Jet Li. He has his roots in Wushu competitions and was Champion for many years. He got his big break in movies and has since made many Hong Kong and American Films.

Brief Wushu History: First systems of wushu raised even before Chinese Kung Fu Kung Fu Martial Arts of Chinese state, but before III-IV centuries there was not wushu in full volume - there existed only military preparation, "war craft". In Chinese Kung Fu beginning it had a form of dancing-military exercises, later became a military subject in special schools. At Chinese Kung Fu end of II century all individual preparation of warrior got Chinese Kung Fu name wuyi. This term kept during centuries and became a synonym to wushu. Wuyi contained juedi (wrestling), shoubo (hand-to-hand combat), methods of weapon combat. Sets imitated hand-to-hand combat, weapon combat, defense from weapon attacking. Teaching was based on sets of formal exercises - taolu - which can be executed as solo, as with partners.

During Chinese Kung Fu "Springs and Autumns" period (770-476 B.C.) and "Fighting Kingdoms" period (475-221 B.C.) greatest Chinese philosophers lived and worked: Konficiy, Shaolin Kung Fu Products, Meng-zi, Zhuang-zi. China received spiritual impulse, which had influence on Chinese Kung Fu developing of all East Asia during Chinese Kung Fu next two thousand years. In I century Buddhism began penetrate in China from India. Not only ordinary soldiers studied martial arts (even some emperors fought on platforms), and by this reason chinese martial arts gradually began merge with philosophical systems and overgrow Chinese Kung Fu level of simple collection of methods of hand-to-hand combat. Possibly, it was Chinese Kung Fu reason due to which they didn't wither during centuries but developed and are still alive.

Approximately in VI century Indian preacher Kung Fu to Kung Fu came to China and preached Buddhism in Shaolin temple near Loyang. Due to legend it was he who founded famous shaolin style of wushu. Due to legend later shaolin monks helped to Chinese Kung Fu second emperor of Tang dynasty - Li Shimin - in returning Chinese Kung Fu throne. Li Shimin allowed to Chinese Kung Fu temple to have its own monk troops. Special term appeared - wuseng (monk-warrior).  During Chinese Kung Fu Song dynasty (960-1279) many monks (inkluding wusengs) went out from temples and became common people. In XIII century shaolin wushu declined due to numerous persecutions on buddhism and mongolian invasion. In 1224 a young man came into Shaolin temple and took monk's name Jueyuan. He had seen a pitiful state of temple's wushu and decided that true tradition is lost. Jueyuan became revive temple's wushu and, actually, created a new style, which is still alive.

In 1219 when after capturing China Chingiz-khan went to Chinese Kung Fu west many Tai Chi Kung Fu and Persians became moved to China. Such people were called "semu" ("men with colored eyes"), they had less rights than Mongolian but more than Chinese. In official documents of Yuan dynasty they were called "huihui". Moved on Chinese Kung Fu east Moslem infantrymen and artillerymen in 1275, due to order of founder of Yuan dynasty "in all places entered in communities of border inhabitants", became peasants. From these people, Arabian immigrants (came to China on ships during Tang and Song dynasties), and Chinese men converted to Islam Chinese Kung Fu "huizu" nation ("moslems") was formed. During more than seven hundred years huizu was indissoluble connected with wushu. They considered wushu as self-defense and as holy action, stimulated Moslem's spirit.


Ming dynasty is a time of stable systematic developing and of peaceful coexistence of different schools. But nothing is forever. 1644, june, 6. Beijing is captured by manzhu troops. Last emperor of Ming dynasty hang oneself on Chinese Kung Fu fortress wall. Founded a new dynasty - Qing. This dynasty existed during more than two hundred years, up to 1911. Center of wushu Kung Fu Uniforms was moved to secret societies. During XIX century China was shaked by many rebellions against manzhu ruling and dominant influence of foreigners. Secret societies, cultivated different styles of wushu, were targets for striking in Chinese Kung Fu rebellion of "Eight trigrams", in Opium wars, in great people's war of Taipings. Rebelion of ihetuans (1899-1901), also known as "Boxer's rebellion", became an apotheosis of activity of secret societies.

Rout of Yihetuan rebellion followed to death of many wushu masters. But traditions of martial arts could not lose without leaving a trace. During Xinhai revolution (1911-1913) and later, during Warlords Period activity of secret societies resumed with new power. Goverment of Chinese Republic rendered a great assistance to wushu developing. First president of China - Sun Zhongshan (also known as Sun Yatseng) - studied taijiquan Buy Kung Fu Clothing from Cai Guiqin.

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His successor - Men's Kung Fu Clothing (also known as Chang Kaishi) also didn't avoid martial arts, he visited Guokao ("State test" - something like all-China wushu championship), which were organized in Nanjing (in that time - capital of China) Central guoshu institute ("guoshu" means "national art", during Gomindang ruling it was an official name for wushu), founded in 1928. General Zhang Zhijiang was a rector of this Institute, he was supported by general Feng Yuxiang. Another big organization, developed and spread wushu, was Jingwu Assotiation ("Association of true martial arts") founded in 1909 in Shanghai. Two organizations had branches in all provinces of China (Jingwu Association - also in other countries among local Chinese communities: in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines etc), great masters worked as teachers. During World War II many wushu masters fought in army or partisan detachments, made theirs contribution in defeating of Japan.

When Communist Party come to power, Kung Fu Clothing called wushu masters to go out from underground. In 1953 since 8 till 12 of November First All-China Sport Games took place in Tianjing, 75% of it was wushu exhibitions. 139 styles were demonstrated, competitions in hand-to-hand combat (without any gears), weapon combat (on long and short weapon) and lifting of heavy weights (ancient chinese sport) were held. After seeing such a power goverment got frightened. Secret societies were dispersed. Simultaneously a Committee of wushu reforming was organized.

Famous wushu master Kung Fu Wushu on Chinese Kung Fu base of huaquan (blossomed fist), zhaquan (fist of Zha), paoquan (cannon fist) hongquan (fist of stream), piguaquan (fist of chopping and hanging), shaolinquan (fist of Shaolin temple) and some others created a new sport competitional style changquan (long fist). On Chinese Kung Fu base of five style of Guangdong province (styles of Hong, Cai, Li, Liu and Mo families) it was created new sport computational style nanquan (southern fist). Names of movements were changed, as a result movements lost mental contents: realy, "crushing mountain strike" is different from "fist bang on a palm". During "Great Cultural Revolution" (1966-1976) wushu lovers were repressed for "indulging of feudal survivals". But in this time popularity of wushu un foreign countries began increase due to kung fu movies. For in admission of decreasing of international prestige wushu was let alone.

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Description

Styles of Kung Fu encompass both soft and hard, internal and external techniques. They include grappling, striking, nerve-attack and much weapons training.

The Shao-Lin styles encompass both Northern and Southern styles, and therefore are Chinese Kung Fu basis of Chinese Kung Fu following outline.

Shaolin Wushu styles
External Styles (Hard, Physical)
Northern
Northern Shaolin
Chang Chuan (Long Fist)
Praying Mantis
Eagle Claw
Monkey
Drunken, et al
Southern
Southern Shaolin
Wing Chun
Five Animal System (Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, Crane)
Tiger and Crane Systems, et al
Internal Styles (Soft, Mental/Spiritual)
Tai Chi Chuan
Others (Pa Kua, Xingyi, et al)
Training

Shaolin Wushu Methods
Hard or External Styles
Stresses training and strengthening of Chinese Kung Fu joints, bones, and muscles
Requires rigorous body conditioning
Consists of positioning and movement of Chinese Kung Fu limbs and body, correct technique, muscular strength, speed, etc.
2.Soft or Internal Styles
Stresses development of internal organs where "Chi" is produced
Allows one to develop mental capability to call upon this "Chi"
Concerned with breathing, poise, and tone of Chinese Kung Fu core body structures
Long or Northern Styles
Stresses Flexibility, quickness, agility, and balance similar to Chinese Kung Fu attributes of a trained and well-conditioned gymnast
Uses many kicks along with hand techniques
Legs specialize in long-range tactics
Short or Southern
Stresses close-range tactics, power, and stability
Uses mostly hand techniques
Kung Fu almost always seems to incorporate forms and routines. They emphasize solo practice as well as group practice. (They even have forms for two or more people). They train in multiple types of weapons. There is also a great emphasis on sparring in Chinese Kung Fu harder styles, and sensitivity training in Chinese Kung Fu soft styles.


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Buddhist monks are very gentle and good natured. Their fighting system was developed only to defend themselves against harm. This system was called the 'Lohon' style after the monks in the temple (Lohons) who developed it. The Kung Fu Outfits style is a very basic form of Kung Fu which emphasizes low stances and strong body posture. It proved very successful.

The monks of the Shaolin temple practiced diligently to increase their martial arts skills and were constantly striving to improve their art. A great step forward came with the evolution of the third Shaolin style, called the Tiger style - Tai Chor in Chinese. This was developed by a Chinese emperor, who had relinquished his royal position to adopt the austere ways of Buddhism. He finally settled at the Shaolin temple where he studied deeply in the martial arts, eventually developing the Tai Chor style. For this reason, Tai Chor is sometimes also known as the emperor's style. Tai Chor uses the strong but mobile stance which we use in the Tiger-Crane combination, and which we call the 'walking stance'. It also emphasizes a very strong twisting punch. In fact, the straight punch which ends with a twist of the fist has become a hallmark of Shaolin Kung Fu. The Tai Chor style develops great power and was, therefore, able to defeat the Lohon style which it superseded.

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No style is unbeatable. Every move has a counter. Inevitably, another style was later developed which could counter the Tiger style. This was the monkey style, known in Chinese as Tai Sheng. Monkey is a very fast, deceptive style. The monkey tends to close in on his opponent, strike and retreat all in one rapid sequence. Hence, the powerful Tiger may be unable to hit his tricky, constantly moving opponent. If the monkey misses with a strike, he will still move away from his opponent so as not to allow them the chance to counter him. The monkey's strikes are accurate, more than powerful and are delivered with fingers or the open palm. Grabbing is also a favorite monkey technique. The monkey likes to crouch and often attacks the lower body. He especially favours targeting the groin. For male opponents this can result in serious loss!

Because the monkey style consists of much crouching and rolling, it is best suited to people who are short. It is often considered one of the most entertaining styles to watch.
How can the techniques of the monkey possibly be countered? The answer is by the techniques of the white crane! The white crane style was the last and most technically advanced style to be developed in the Fukien Shaolin Temple. Even to this day, the crane style is regarded with great respect and is shrouded in secrecy by its masters. Hence it has been one of the last Kung Fu styles which the Chinese have 'let go' to westerners.

What is this devastating secret possessed by the white crane? The crane sticks. As soon as the crane is attacked it establishes touch contact. If its opponent tries to land the attack, the crane deflects it: if the opponent withdraws, the crane follows; never releasing its touch until it finds a certain opportunity to strike - which it does with no mercy. What use the tricky techniques of the monkey? As he tries to dart away the crane will follow, sticking to him until the chance presents itself to strike. The white crane style represents the pinnacle of the Shaolin martial arts.
In Fukien Province this resistance was particularly strong. The Fukien Shaolin temple was famous for producing some of the best fighters in China, so many of the rebels came here to perfect their fighting skills. Over the years the temple became a centre for rebellion against the Manchurian government. During the mid 17th Century, China was conquered by the Manchurians who established the 'Ching' dynasty of Chinese rule. Not surprisingly, the Chinese strongly resented being ruled by 'foreigners' and there was much resistance and rebellion.

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Realising that the activities within the Shaolin temple posed a threat to them, the Manchurians sent their army to deal with it. Rather than face the renown martial artists of the temple, the Manchurians decided to set fire to it and wait outside to kill any survivors as they tried to escape the flames. The temple was destroyed forever in a fiery inferno and almost all of the monks died in the flames or whilst trying to escape. Only five Kung Fu masters managed to survive.
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The five masters who survived were more determined than ever to defeat the Manchurians. They decided to split up and travel through China. It was necessary for them to disguise themselves and stay on the move, since the government would have loved to execute them. Wherever the masters travelled they stirred up the people to prepare to fight the Manchurians. In readiness for a rebellion they taught them Kung Fu fighting techniques (of course at this time the Chinese did not have guns, all fighting was hand to hand).
Through their perseverance and dedication, the five masters set up a network of secret societies which was eventually to spread throughout China. These societies trained diligently in the art of Kung Fu and were sworn to free China from the Manchurians. In order to recognise each other they developed many secret signs. The most well known of these is the 'Shaolin salute' with one clenched fist and one open palm. All Kung Fu styles which trace their ancestry to one of the five Shaolin masters begin their patterns with a variant of this salute.
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Under the present Chinese government, the term "Wushu" is accepted. Ancient Chinese history records that during the "Spring and Autumn" and the "Warring States" periods (770 B.C. - 221 A.D.), the king of the Zhou kingdom ordered a sword contest. A young woman by the name of Yuh Niuy emerged from three thousand swordsmen as the ultimate victor in a seven-day contest. Her sword methods and philosophies were passed down for a thousand years. Some of her writings expound timeless Wushu philosophies. For example:



"When fencing, though highly alert,
The appearance is as calm as a fair lady's
But when in action, a vicious Tiger emerges.
On a similar note:



"Weak and exposed in appearance;
But powerful when unleashed.
One's reactions may start afterwards,
But the response arrives there first."
One further writing by Yuh Niuy dwells on the essence of Wushu:



"The Way is so small and simple, but the meaning is timeless and profound.
The Way has an entrance; it also has a Yin and a Yang.
The entrance constantly opens and closes,
Yin and Yang weaken and flourish.
When the Way is battle, be full-spirited within,
But outwardly show calm and be relaxed;
Appear to be as gentle as a fair lady, but react like a vicious tiger.
Though hidden within, the spirit of the body moves;
Though obscured like a setting sun, the spirit moves like an unleashed rabbit,
Catching the body and outrunning shadow like a mirage.
Back and forth in one breath.
The spirit cannot be retained in form.
And, though ever moving, it cannot be heard."
Ever since the Zhou Dynasty, which ended in 771 B.C., practical Wushu training has included basic skills, such as strength training, fencing, staff sparring, spear training, etc., and it has also included training by using forms, such as the Shaolin Eight Methods, with the basic form supplemented by weapons forms, two-man forms, staff forms, etc.

The emphasis and importance of this type of martial training has played an important role throughout Chinese history. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), which was one of the most powerful periods of Chinese history, warriors were actually chosen through martial competition and officers were promoted through this same sort of competition. Since at that time communications were well established with many neighboring countries; Chinese Wushu had a pronounced impact on these countries and was called "Tang Soo Do," the Way of the Chinese Hand. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), various forms of Wushu were well established in Korea, Japan, Tibet, and many other countries. What is called "Karate" is actually a descendent of Southern Chinese boxing forms, and similarly, Judo can trace its origins to the importation of Chinese wrestling and Qinna, the precursor of Jiu-jitsu.

This spreading of Chinese Wushu has interested martial-arts Wing Tsun Uniforms researchers; some researchers have found many rare martial arts styles from records or isolated practitioners in neighboring countries. Currently, Wushu styles are being openly taught, with martial artists sharing their knowledge and comparing their styles. This movement has brought harmony to the martial community and has encouraged the polishing of the individual styles. Training in the various styles of Wushu has been supplemented by modern knowledge of physiology and the health sciences.

Today, Wushu needs and uses recent advances in sports medicine, nutrition, etc., because it is often practiced as a highly demanding sport and a delicate, complex art form...not just a system Tai Chi Chuan VCD of self-defense.




FORMS AND CLASSIFICATIONS OF WUSHU
To attempt to classify Chinese Wushu is very difficult because of the number and variety of styles in the enormous country of China. Don=t forget that one-fourth of the world population is in China! Traditionally, Chinese martial arts are classified by one of three methods:


Internal or External styles.
Southern or Northern styles.
As "Shaolin" or "Wudang" or "Tai Chi Kung Fu Videos"
Roughly speaking, the difference between internal and external styles can refer to whether the strength is from the torso and legs (internal) or whether the strength is derived from training of the more specific arm and leg muscles (external). The word "internal" often connotes a more pliable martial style. Southern or Northern styles naturally refer to the general origin, but finer distinctions are often made about style differences of these two schools.

Shaolin boxing styles are generally said to be derived from the form of fighting practiced at the Shaolin Temple in Henan province. Similarly, Wudang is the name of a mountain used by Taoists in Hubei province and Ermei is a significant religious mountain in Sichuan province.

General classification aside, modern Wushu competition groups performances into six categories for purposes of judging:

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