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ABOUT KUNG FU WUSHU and Tai Chi Kung Fu

This Tai Chi 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. tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu 5th century. He describes combat designed along tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu Tibetan Mountains to China. tai chi kung fu Emperor of China at tai chi kung fu time was much impressed with tai chi kung fu man, and gave him a temple located in Honan - tai chi kung fu famed Sui Lim Monastery (Shaolin Monastery). Ta Mo found that tai chi 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 tai chi 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".) tai chi 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 tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu emergence of bronze weapons in quantity. During tai chi kung fu period of Warring States (770BC to 221BC), tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu Tang and Song dynasty (618 to 1279) and exhibitions of Wushu arts were held in tai chi kung fu armies as morale boosters and military exercises. In tai chi kung fu Ming and Qing dynasties, tai chi 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 tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu 20th century has seen a great upswing in tai chi kung fu interest of Kung Fu world wide. tai chi kung fu introduction of Kung Fu to tai chi kung fu Shaolin Kung Fu Products world has seen to it that its development and popularity will continue to grow. Wushu is tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu circus. Wushu was not practiced by tai chi kung fu Shaolin Monks. tai chi 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 tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu beginning it had a form of dancing-military exercises, later became a military subject in special schools. At tai chi kung fu end of II century all individual preparation of warrior got tai chi 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 tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu developing of all East Asia during tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu level of simple collection of methods of hand-to-hand combat. Possibly, it was tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu second emperor of Tang dynasty - Li Shimin - in returning tai chi kung fu throne. Li Shimin allowed to tai chi kung fu temple to have its own monk troops. Special term appeared - wuseng (monk-warrior).  During tai chi 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 1351-1368 peasant's rebellion of "red bandages", headed by Zhu Yuanzhang (who also was a big wushu master), finished Mongolian Yuan dynasty and founded Ming dynasty. Zhu Yuanzhang became its first emperor (dynasty name "Tai-zu"). "Golden age" of wushu began.  In XVI century seaside provinces of China exposed to devastating raids of Japanese pirates. It was Chinese Kung Fu (at this moment he was 27 years old) whom was ordered to "punish tai chi kung fu bandits and guard peoples". He was in hard situation: local troops were small, well-prepared Japanese samurais easy defeated bad organized groups of resistances. Qi Jiguang, wushu master, decided to attract detachments of local home-guard from wushu fighters. In 1561 Japanese was defeated in Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong provinces. After promoting to general, Qi Jiguang ordered for all soldiers and officers to study wushu. On tai chi kung fu base of various systems of military preparing he wrote a treatise "Jixiao xinshu" ("New book of records about advantages [in war craft]"). Due to Qi Jiguang XVI century is considered as turning-point in wushu history.

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 tai chi 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 tai chi 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 tai chi 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 tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu basis of tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu joints, bones, and muscles
Requires rigorous body conditioning
Consists of positioning and movement of tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu core body structures
Long or Northern Styles
Stresses Flexibility, quickness, agility, and balance similar to tai chi 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 tai chi kung fu harder styles, and sensitivity training in tai chi kung fu soft styles.


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The reason for stretching is that it increases the range of body movements. It is very important that there be enough time available to warm up and warm down the muscle and ligaments before any extensive physical activities take place.

Basic stretching includes:

Rolling the joints

Turn the head from side to side
Move the head up and down
Lay the head to the side
Roll the head around
Roll the shoulders to the front and back
Roll the elbows
Roll the wrists
Flex the wrists
Rotate the hips in a large, loose circle
Twist to the side with one outstretched arm
Roll the knees
Roll the hips and the ankles together
Stretching the legs

Palms to the floor, feet together
Reach up, crouch down and hold your ankles, and straighten your legs
Step out to one side and down.
Let whole leg touch floor and push other knee out
Move side to side from above position

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Basic Stretching - to improve flexibility and ensure full range of muscle movements.

There are three principles of Hsing-I: refine "ching" or seminal essence, to chi; refine chi to "shen", or spiritual essence; refine "shen" back into emptiness, or prenatal awareness. The three major steps are: modify bones; modify muscles, modify the spinal cord. The three ways to practice Hsing-I are: visible strength, invisible strength, refined inner strength. These principles will help you transform your mind and body to its prenatal state. The Chinese believe that a child's mind is like a blank tape. After years of problems and troubles, the slate must be wiped clean. This is the objective of Hsing-I. It is common knowledge that most children heal faster and are generally more fit and flexible than most adults. Returning to this condition will make you physically and mentally healthy and help prolong your life. Hsing-I involves two levels of study. The first consists of understanding the way of power, naturally cultivating the chi and defeating an opponent in no sign.

The second level consists of learning how to dissolve power, learning how to change the marrow in the body, and achieving a state of spiritual emptiness. Hsing-I's spirit lies in the tan-tien located about three inches below and three in from the navel. All power and energy are conserved inside until needed yet this power will never be fully tapped. One's offense or defense follows the heart and mind. The posture should be gentle and the power should be in harmony with hard and soft.

The influence of this philosophy on the practice of the martial arts should be clear. Unlike a sport, the practice of Shaolin Quan should lead to control of the ego. The basic principals of the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Paths are an inherent assumption underlying the spirit of the practice. In traditional views, the training in this art is done for oneself, and the desire to engage in it for sport represents a contradiction. On one level, the forms and postures are for fighting, but the ultimate goal is harmony between mind and body. Having a strong body and a strong mind will diminish and, ultimately, eliminate any perceived conflict.
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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 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 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 "Shaolin Kung Fu."
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 Shaolin Kung Fu 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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