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Contents:
  1. Northern Shaolin Chuan
  2. Chinese martial arts - Wikiwand
  3. Terminology

However these sources do not point out to any specific style originated in Shaolin. When this book spread to East Asia, it had a great influence on the development of martial arts in regions such as Okinawa [22] and Korea. Most fighting styles that are being practiced as traditional Chinese martial arts today reached their popularity within the 20th century. The increase in the popularity of those styles is a result of the dramatic changes occurring within the Chinese society. In —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. Empress Dowager Cixi gained control of the rebellion and tried to use it against the foreign powers. The failure of the rebellion led 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 — In the transition period between the fall of the Qing Dynasty as well as the turmoil 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.


  • Chinahand: Bodhidharma's Tao of Motion and Balance.
  • “Chinahand: Bodhidharma’s Tao of Motion and Balance,” by Lee Muhl.
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At that time, some considered martial arts as a means to promote national pride and build a strong nation. In , at the 11th Olympic Games in Berlin, a group of Chinese martial artists demonstrated their art to an international audience for the first time. Chinese martial arts experienced rapid international dissemination with the end of the Chinese Civil War and the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, Many well known martial artists chose to escape from the PRC's rule and migrate to Taiwan , Hong Kong , [29] 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 — This new competition sport was disassociated from what was seen as the potentially subversive self-defense aspects and family lineages of Chinese martial arts.

In , 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 — , as Communist ideology became more accommodating to alternative viewpoints. In , 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.

Changing government policies and attitudes towards sports in general led to the closing of the State Sports Commission the central sports authority in This closure is viewed as an attempt to partially de-politicize organized sports and move Chinese sport policies towards a more market -driven approach. Chinese martial arts are an integral element of 20th-century Chinese popular culture. Wuxia films were produced from the s. The Kuomintang suppressed wuxia, accusing it of promoting superstition and violent anarchy. Because of this, wuxia came to flourish in British Hong Kong , and the genre of kung fu movie in Hong Kong action cinema became wildly popular, coming to international attention from the s.

The genre underwent a drastic decline in the late s as the Hong Kong film industry was crushed by economic depression. In the wake of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , there has been somewhat of a revival of Chinese-produced wuxia films aimed at an international audience, including Hero , House of Flying Daggers and Reign of Assassins China has a long history of martial arts traditions 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. 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 on competition.

Examples of the northern styles include changquan and xingyiquan. 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. Chinese martial arts training consists of the following components: basics, forms, applications and weapons; different styles place varying emphasis on each component. A complete training system should also provide insight into Chinese attitudes and culture. Basics are usually made up of rudimentary techniques, conditioning exercises , including stances. Basic training may involve simple movements that are performed repeatedly; other examples of basic training are stretching, meditation, striking , throwing , or jumping.

Without strong and flexible muscles, management of Qi or breath, and proper body mechanics, it is impossible for a student to progress in the Chinese martial arts. Train both Internal and External.

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Northern Shaolin Chuan

External training includes the hands, the eyes, the body and stances. Internal training includes the heart, the spirit, the mind, breathing and strength. 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. 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. Qi is variously defined as an inner energy or "life force" that is said to animate living beings; as a term for proper skeletal alignment and efficient use of musculature sometimes also known as fa jin or jin ; or as a shorthand for concepts that the martial arts student might not yet be ready to understand in full. These meanings are not necessarily mutually exclusive. There are many ideas regarding the control of one's qi energy to such an extent that it can be used for healing oneself or others.

Such techniques are known as dim mak and have principles that are similar to acupressure. Most Chinese styles also make use of training in the broad arsenal of Chinese weapons for conditioning the body as well as coordination and strategy drills. The basic theory for weapons training is to consider the weapon as an extension of the body. It has the same requirements for footwork and body coordination as the basics.

Application refers to the practical use of combative techniques. Chinese martial arts techniques are ideally based on efficiency and effectiveness. When and how applications are taught varies from style to style. Today, many styles begin to teach new students by focusing on exercises in which each student knows a prescribed range of combat and technique to drill on.

These drills are often semi-compliant, meaning one student does not offer active resistance to a technique, in order to allow its demonstrative, clean execution. In more resisting drills, fewer rules apply, and students practice how to react and respond. The objective for those contests was to knock the opponent from a raised platform by any means necessary.

San Shou 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 rule sets of Sanshou, working to incorporate the movements, characteristics, and theory of their style. Forms were originally intended to preserve the lineage of a particular style branch, and were often taught to advanced students selected for that purpose.

Forms contained both literal, representative and exercise-oriented forms of applicable techniques that students could extract, test, and train in through sparring sessions. Today, many consider taolu to be one of the most important practices in Chinese martial arts.

Who was Bodhidharma

Traditionally, they played a smaller role in training for combat application, and took a back seat to sparring, drilling, and conditioning. Forms gradually build up a practitioner's flexibility, internal and external strength, speed and stamina, and they teach balance and coordination. Many styles contain forms that use weapons of various lengths and types, using one or two hands. Some styles focus on a certain type of weapon. Forms are meant to be both practical, usable, and applicable as well as to promote fluid motion, 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 taolu in Chinese martial arts. Most common are solo forms performed by a single student. There are also sparring forms — 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.

Weapons-based sparring forms are especially useful for teaching students the extension, range, and technique required to manage a weapon. This expression refers to "exercise sets" and used in the context of athletics or sport. These drills were considered only generic patterns and never meant to be considered inflexible 'tricks'. Dui lian were not only sophisticated and effective methods of passing on the fighting knowledge of the older generation, but they were also essential and effective training methods.

The relationship between single sets and contact sets is complicated, in that some skills cannot be developed with solo 'sets', and, conversely, with dui lian. Unfortunately, it appears that most traditional combat oriented dui lian and their training methodology have disappeared, especially those concerning weapons.

There are several reasons for this. In modern Chinese martial arts, most of the dui lian are recent inventions designed for light props resembling weapons, with safety and drama in mind. The role of this kind of training has degenerated to the point of being useless in a practical sense, and, at best, is just performance.

By the early Song period, sets were not so much "individual isolated technique strung together" but rather were composed of techniques and counter technique groupings. It is quite clear that "sets" and "fighting two-person sets" have been instrumental in TCM for many hundreds of years—even before the Song Dynasty. There are images of two-person weapon training in Chinese stone painting going back at least to the Eastern Han Dynasty. According to what has been passed on by the older generations, the approximate ratio of contact sets to single sets was approximately This ratio is, in part, evidenced by the Qing Dynasty mural at Shaolin.

For most of its history, Shaolin martial arts was mostly weapon-focused: staves were used to defend the monastery, not bare hands. Even the more recent military exploits of Shaolin during the Ming and Qing Dynasties involved weapons. According to some traditions, monks first studied basics for one year and were then taught staff fighting so that they could protect the monastery. Although wrestling has been as sport in China for centuries, weapons have been the essential part of Chinese wushu since ancient times.

If one wants to talk about recent or 'modern' developments in Chinese martial arts including Shaolin for that matter , it is the over-emphasis on bare hand fighting. During the Northern Song Dynasty A. D when platform fighting is known as Da Laitai Title Fights Challenge on Platform first appeared, these fights were with only swords and staves. Although later, when bare hand fights appeared as well, it was the weapons events that became the most famous. These open-ring competitions had regulations and organized by government organizations; the public also organized some. The government competitions, held in the capital and prefectures, resulted in appointments for winners, to military posts.

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 beyond combat application is the use of lower stances and higher, stretching kicks.

These two maneuvers are unrealistic in combat and are used in forms for exercise purposes. During this time, some martial arts systems devolved to the point that they became popular forms of martial art storytelling entertainment shows. This created an entire category of martial arts known as Hua Fa Wuyi. During the Northern Song period, it was noted by historians this type of training had a negative influence on training in the military. 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 art form.

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. Forms practice is mostly known for teaching combat techniques yet when practicing forms, the practitioner focuses on posture, breathing, and performing the techniques of both right and left sides of the body also develop both hemispheres of the brain and contributes to improved motor skills, forms practice also trains the muscles to execute many complex techniques of the art muscle memory and can improve balance, flexibility, and the cardiovascular system.

During the Song period c. 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 [62] compared to the traditional styles. Those who generally prefer to practice traditional styles, focused less on exhibition, are often referred to as traditionalists.

Some traditionalists consider the competition forms of today's Chinese martial arts as too commercialized and losing much of their original values. 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. Wude deals with two aspects; "morality of deed" and "morality of mind". 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.

As a result, Chinese martial arts have spread beyond its ethnic roots and have a global appeal. This genre is still extremely popular in much of Asia [71] and provides a major influence for the public perception of the martial arts. Martial arts influences can also be found in dance, theater [72] and especially 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.

Chinese martial arts - Wikiwand

In modern times, Chinese martial arts have spawned the genre of cinema known as the Kung fu film. The films of Bruce Lee were instrumental in the initial burst of Chinese martial arts' popularity in the West in the s. It is a hybrid style of martial art that Bruce Lee practiced and mastered.

Jeet Kune Do is his very own unique style of martial art that uses little to minimum movement but maximizes the effect to his opponents. The influence of Chinese martial art have been widely recognized and have a global appeal in Western cinemas starting off with Bruce Lee. Martial artists and actors such as Jet Li and Jackie Chan have continued the appeal of movies of this genre. Jackie Chan successfully brought in a sense of humour in his fighting style in his movies. The talent of these individuals have broadened Hong Kong's cinematography production and rose to popularity overseas, influencing Western cinemas.

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. Martial arts themes can also be found on television networks. 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. In the s, Bruce Lee was beginning to gain popularity in Hollywood for his martial arts movies.

Terminology

The fact that he was a non-white male who portrayed self-reliance and righteous self-discipline resonated with black audiences and made him an important figure in this community. Urban youth in New York City were still going from every borough to Time Square every night to watch the latest movies. One of the pioneers responsible for the development of the foundational aspects of hip-hop was DJ Kool Herc, who began creating this new form of music by taking rhythmic breakdowns of songs and looping them. 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. In , the State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports created a special task force to reevaluate the teaching and practice of Wushu. In , 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.

As a result of these changing sociological factors within China, both traditional styles and modern Wushu approaches are being promoted by the Chinese government. Chinese martial arts are an integral element of 20th-century Chinese popular culture. The Kuomintang suppressed wuxia, accusing it of promoting superstition and violent anarchy.

Over the past two thousand years many distinctive styles have been developed, each with its own set of techniques and ideas. 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.

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. Training - Chinese martial arts training consists of the following components: basics, forms, applications and weapons; different styles place varying emphasis on each component.

A complete training system should also provide insight into Chinese attitudes and culture. Without strong and flexible muscles, management of Qi or breath, and proper body mechanics, it is impossible for a student to progress in the Chinese martial arts. External training includes the hands, the eyes, the body and stances.

Internal training includes the heart, the spirit, the mind, breathing and strength. They represent the foundation and the 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. These meanings are not necessarily mutually exclusive. There are many ideas regarding the control of one's qi energy to such an extent that it can be used for healing oneself or others. The basic theory for weapons training is to consider the weapon as an extension of the body. It has the same requirements for footwork and body coordination as the basics.

The process of weapon training proceeds with forms, forms with partners and then applications. Chinese martial arts techniques are ideally based on efficiency and effectiveness. When and how applications are taught varies from style to style. Today, many styles begin to teach new students by focusing on exercises in which each student knows a prescribed range of combat and technique to drill on.

These drills are often semi-compliant, meaning one student does not offer active resistance to a technique, in order to allow its demonstrative, clean execution. In more resisting drills, fewer rules apply, and students practice how to react and respond. The objective for those contests was to knock the opponent from a raised platform by any means necessary.

Many Chinese martial art schools teach or work within the rule sets of Sanshou, working to incorporate the movements, characteristics, and theory of their style. Forms were originally intended to preserve the lineage of a particular style branch, and were often taught to advanced students selected for that purpose. Today, many consider forms to be one of the most important practices in Chinese martial arts. Traditionally, they played a smaller role in training for combat application, and took a back seat to sparring, drilling and conditioning.

Forms gradually build up a practitioner's flexibility, internal and external strength, speed and stamina, and they teach balance and coordination. Many styles contain forms that use weapons of various lengths and types, using one or two hands. Some styles focus on a certain type of weapon. Forms are meant to be both practical, usable, and applicable as well as to promote fluid motion, 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. 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. Weapons-based sparring forms are especially useful for teaching students the extension, range, and technique required to manage a weapon.

These drills were considered only generic patterns and never meant to be considered inflexible 'tricks'. There are a number of reasons for this. The role of this kind of training has degenerated to the point of being useless in a practical sense, and, at best, is just performance. By the early Song period, sets were not so much "individual isolated technique strung together" but rather were composed of techniques and counter technique groupings.