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Kung Fu
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Kung Fu

KUNG-FU's History

kung Fu's origin goes back to to the Zhou dynasty (1111-255 BC) and earlier. As training it was practiced by the Daoist in the fifth century BC. Kung-fu means skill or talent that possessed by any artist, craftsman, or a proficient martial artist.

Kung-fu is synonymous with Chinese martial arts There are numerous styles of kung-fu; most, were developed for a particular theme, be it fighting, health, or spirituality. It is not known exactly when kung-fu first appeared. Some historians date it as far back as the Shang dynasty (16th century B.C.) some credit the Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti ( 2711 BC.). Contemporary kung-fu certainly displays diverse evidence of Mongolian, Tibetan, Indian, and other cultural ideologies.

kung-fu has been categorized by geography (e.g., northern, and southern) and metaphysical roots (e.g., Buddhist, Taoist, communist). Farther moor, kung-fu systems can be divided by region (e.g., north, and south) The Shao-lin and t'ai-chi-ch'uan systems of kung-fu are examples of northern and southern Chinese styles. Shao-lin characterizes the hard style of the north, and t'ai-chi, represents the soft southern style. Remember this kung-fu expression, "nan-ch'uan pei-t'ui" meaning (hands in the south, kicks in the north). Along these lines, the classification of kung-fu methods into southern, northern, internal, external, long-arm, short-arm, hard, soft, wide, or narrow is acknowledged and understood .

Three philosophical methods stand out as principal influencer in kung-fu's development.
1) Confucianism, with its ancient theories of yin and yang. 2) Taoism.
3) Mahayana Buddhism.


A blend of two of China's most celebrated martial arts styles: Choy-Li-Fut and northern Shao-lin. Bak-sing was initiated by Tam-Sam during the Ch'ing dynasty. Tam-Sam had learned the Hung-Sing style of Choy-li-Fut. Hung-Sing had been a student of the founder of the style, Chan Heung, who had mixed the three family systems of Chou, li, and Fut into the Choy-li-Fut system.


CH' A CH'UAN is an ancient Chinese martial art, regard as a Northern style. Practitioners compete from long range, darting swiftly to the attack. High, long leaps are crucial in ch'a ch'uan to cover distances quickly. Not widely practiced in China today, it was developed in the 14th to the 17th centuries by Chinese Moslems of Sinkiang. Chinghai. and Kansu. in the west and south of China. and is mostly still practiced by them.


CH'O CHIAO Northern Chinese style of kung-fu creating in the Gao-Yang County of Hopei province, where it is still practiced. Ch'o chiao contains difficult, high-kicking movements, more than any other system of kung-fu. Because of its richness, the style is appropriate to the Chinese opera, whose members are often practitioners.


Also called hok or hark yang; form of kung-fu using one-legged stance (Tibetan style).

System of Chinese martial art that patterned after the typical movements of an intoxicated person. The movements seem wild and illogical. The practitioner wobbles and sometimes look as if he is about to stumble to the ground, where he will execute a combination of foot and leg techniques. Many styles have drunken techniques, which are kept for the highest levels of training. There is a drunken monkey system, a drunken praying mantis style, a drunken white crane set, and so on.

Northern style of kung-fu; dates to the Ming period. It is quite simple in its tactic. Also called ba-fan. FIVE ELDERS Style of kung-fu; also, the five priests who escaped the burning of the original Shao-lin Temple.

A tiger claw method of kung-fu; the style imitates the movement of the tiger. There is a fu-chiao federation in New York City headed by Wai Hong.

Northern Chinese system of kung-fu necessitating absolute agility; the monkey style of kung-fu. See also ta-sheng pi-kua.

Form of northern Chinese kung-fu dating to the 12th or 13th century. See also wai chia; triads.

All the Chinese kung-fu styles whose emphasis is typically defensive, with circular soft techniques and controlled breathing patterns. T'al-chi ch'uan, pa-kua, and hslng-I are the best known of the internal systems. See also nei-chia.

KUO-CH'UAN (Dog Boxing) a northern form of Chinese kung-fu created in Shan-Tung province. This style is not very popular and is ordinarily done for fun. Practitioners stay close to the ground, often barking like a dog. Used in demonstrations.

Leopard style Kung-fu style, also called pao; actions are fast and misleading. The style contains narrow stances and clenched fists.

Southern short-hand style of kung-fu; distinguished by striking and poking motions with rapid stance changes. In Mandarin, called li-chia.

Kung-fu style originating . A.D. 1100; also known as six-combination boxing.

LO-HAN-CH'UAN means the Buddha method, a Chinese kung-fu form with northern and southern variations.
LO-HAN-CH'UAN a famous the northern style, which is itself created of various systems. Ultimately the style is similar to chang-ch'uan. Importance is placed on arranging rather than movement (a concept peculiar for kung-fu styles). The southern strain is particularly popular in Fukien province.


Kung-fu style known in Chinese as lai-sing pek kwar; founded by Kou Tze, a Chinese martial artist, in the early 19th century. Kou Tze framed his art through surveillance of monkeys habits during an eight-year incarceration. He studied and categorized their activities and combined them with the grand earth style of kung-fu, which he had studied earlier. The style comprises of five species, each employing a different principle of movement. Kou Tze named these systems the "lost monkey," "the drunken monkey," "the tall monkey," "the stone monkey," and "the wood monkey."

According to kung-fu legends, killing an adversary by the simple touch of a finger on specific parts of the body. Many of these techniques were believed to cause delayed death, as in the dim mak.

SAN-HWANG PAO-CH'UI accurately means "cannon fist." Northern style of Chinese kung-fu invented in the Three Kingdoms period; this system is also known as hsing-kung-ch'uan and is still practiced in Peking.

Kung-fu style invented in a northern Shao-lin monastery. SHAU WAN CH'UAN combines quick, precise foot skills with fist actions.

Chinese boxing method created from hsing-i by Wang Hsiang-chai after the death of Chang Chao-tung. Known as the "great achievement" boxing.

Initial Chinese martial art, it was a breathing drill like the Zen Buddhist method. Chang San-feng, a Taoist priest (1279-1368), is recognized with spreading the art.

Kung-fu style, known as the monkey style. In AD 629, Hsuan Tsang, a Buddhist monk, was traveling from China to India. According to legend Sun Wu-k'ung, a monkey, was his bodyguard. From his methods, so folklore says, the kung-fu system of ta-sheng-men developed. The stances of a monkey are adopted in this style, which also employs roils, crouching defensive postures, and aggressive leaps.

Northern Chinese boxing system; techniques of fighting while falling or lying on the ground. Emphasis is on kicking and falling techniques. Balance is considered from three standpoints: keeping comfortable balance; using difficult movements, yet maintaining balance: and breaking balance, failing, and yet maintaining composure. This training is seen as practical in circumstances in which one cannot follow the usual methods of fighting, when injured or taken off guard, for example. Ti- T'ang is also known as Ti-Kung and Bai-Ma-Sya-Shan; its most well-known exponent is Hwa-Che.