01-19-2009 14:11

Chinese kung fu is as much of the culture of China as tea. According to statistics, 100 different styles of Chinese boxing exist. Weaponry includes nine kinds of long weapons and nine short, such as knives, spears, swords, and clubs, which together constitute what is called the "Eighteen Types of Martial Arts." Each style of boxing and weapon-wielding of Chinese kung fu has its own special technique and movements.

Kong Fu Photo
Kong Fu Photo

In Chinese kung fu, a distinction is made between external and internal kung fu. In external kung fu, one exercises his tendons, bones, and skin while in internal kung fu one trains his spirit, his ch'i (flow of life energy), and his mind. The older one gets, the more adept one becomes at kung fu because one progresses from movement to stillness and from firmness to softness. In addition, the higher one's level of achievement in kung fu, the better one is at maintaining good health and living a long and active life.

The endless variety of styles of Chinese kung fu can be roughly divided into the northern and southern styles and the internal and external styles. Some of the more famous styles include Shaolin (from the name of the temple in Honan where it was developed), tai-chi-chuan (great-limit boxing), Hsing-i (forming an idea), Eight Trigrams, Yung-ch'un (singing of spring), Tantric, and Arhat. Within the Shaolin style of kung fue, there are dragon, tiger, panther, snake, and crane styles of fighting. These substyles are so named because they imitate the special attack and defense techniques of different animals and incorporate them into boxing movements.


Editor:Yang Jie