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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 Shaolin Kung Fu Videos, 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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The Reopening of Shaolin
Around a century or more later, towards the start of 19th Century, the Shaolin Temples were reopened and included the 5th Shaolin Temple Kwantung (located around 200 km's southwest of Fukien).

But the rulers of the day were still fearful of the power of the Fighting Shaolin Monks so they only allowed Shaolin to be used as purely religious purposes without allowing any Kung Fu or other martial art training by order of death. The underground, no longer Shaolin but Ming loyalists, were still very busy making life hard for the Ching's.


The rebellion came to a dead end with the failure of the Boxer rebellion. Now some 250 years later, after the ousting of the Ming's, the Boxer Rebellion was to overthrow the Ching Dynasty and reinstate the original descendant of the Ming Dynasty. For decades, Chinese Martial Artists ( the Brits called this 'funny' style of fighting Boxing - and the name stuck ) prepared for this event. practicing hard Kung Fu and Chi Kung body hardening, they attacked. The Manchu's, now armed with handguns and rifles, totally destroyed the Boxers.

This was the death of the Chinese resistance. Some triad members escaped to other countries, including the US, Korea, etc. Without a focus some/many triad members went into a new line of business (and their descendants still are in this line of work ). This caused another influx of Chinese martial arts into the Orient, the US and now also the new continent of Australia.

Weather this was related to the Boxer Rebellion or not, the Ching Dynasty debunked in 1911 (so well represented by the movie 'The Last Emperor' ). The time of Chaos and Hunger began.

The 3rd Burning of Shaolin
As with the previous times, Shaolin influence, power and Kung Fu ( although officially forbidden and punishable by death ) was still feared and forbidden even now almost 300 years after the Wing Tsun Kung Fu decree. This possibly led to the 3rd Burning of Shaolin in 1927 AD during Chiang Kai Check's reign.

Chiang Kai Check himself was a great believer of Kung Fu and although he forbade all martial art practice he surrounded himself with Kung Fu fighting masters as his body guard. When he was being threatened and ousted by the newly forming Chinese Republic, he packed up as much Chinese treasure as he could, took his wife ( who recently died in the US aged 105 ) and 100 masters and moved to Taiwan. His arrival had a key influence on that country and greatly 'enriched' the country.

Cultural Revolution
The cultural revolution was against all matter of religion and martial arts or anything that would allow individuality, resistance or free thought. If you were seen to be preaching or teaching anything other than Mao's' words, you were immediately re-educated or imprisoned.

This was more disastrous to Shaolin Kung Fu (traditional Chinese Medicine and many 'traditional type disciplines; even Ming Tombs were opened and the wood of the coffins used for furniture) than anything else as it attacked Shaolin teachings and style on all fronts, not just Kung Fu, but also Buddhism, Tao'ism, Healing and any type of organization other than Mao's. This was the final death of Shaolin, worse than all three previous burnings!

3rd Area of Shaolin
After many successful Chinese Kung Fu movies by Bruce Lee ( presenting Kung Fu to the world ) and Jacky Chan ( introducing the concept of Shaolin ) and in particular Jet Li in the movie Shaolin Temple, Officials in Beijing ( means Northern capitol originally know as Peeking ) started to realize the potential of Shaolin as marketing tool, but also as heritage! However, the fear and distrust of Shaolin, its Kung Fu and power was deep. They knew that they needed some type of 'replacement', some type of art other than Tai Chi and Chi Kung that was hard, external and athletic to fill this emptiness. This was the replacement of Kung Fu by Wu Shu, an acrobatic art using Kung Fu movements and implements.


A respected Chinese official was given the task of breathing life back into Shaolin. As with many Chinese decisions, it was both a pragmatic decision as well as financial and historical. The key was to have an art that was dynamic and in spirit of Shaolin but not Kung Fu. Wu Shu was ideal for this purpose. it embodied the spirit of Shaolin Qigong Wushu by providing all the requirements for health and wellbeing as Kung Fu but focused more on flow and athleticism rather than technique and fighting. Wu Shu has grown and developed, with the many versions and adaptations of Kung Fu - in some cases there is very little difference between the two.

There was a problem though, as Shaolin and it's idea was already 'occupied' by a whole thriving industry called Shaolin Village and many so called Shaolin temple training Schools. The re-opening of the Shaolin temple by the "Grand Abbot" Master Su Xi who's kindness and dedication seem so much similar as the original founder of Shaolin, gives hope to a new era of Shaolin teaching and Spirit. But for all his good teaching and kindness, he was also being used.

Animal Wu Shu is being practiced, but not the Shaolin 5 Animals but a new breed of modern, very athletic and well developed Animal styles including;

What is Shaolin Kung-Fu?
Shaolin Kung-Fu, which originated in the Shaolin Tai Chi Kung Fu in China over 4,000 years ago, is considered to be the oldest Martial Art in the world. It is a highly effective method of self-discipline incorporating breathing techniques similar to Yoga, body conditioning, ancient art exercises, and various methods of fighting techniques. The Wu Su style is a vigorous style using powerful but graceful ballet like techniques, with considerable emphasis on leg techniques and mental discipline.

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