CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS
The Chinese Martial Art basically consists of five "ways":
1 - Striking
- Includes all techniques of palms, fists, knees, elbows, shoulders, fore-arms, head, thighs (does not include different school's special techniques like
the eagle claws, the beak of the crane, the mantis hand, etc.)
2 - Kicking
- Includes all types of techniques of kicking (both Northern and Southern schools of China.)
3 - Joint Locks
- Seventy-two techniques of different joint breaking and locking.
4 - Throwing
- Thirty-six techniques of throwing.
5 - Weapons
- Eighteen different weapons.
There are innumerable schools of Gung Fu in both Northern and Southern parts of China. Among some of the well known schools are:
In Northern China:
- Wing Chung School, Bart Kuar Clan, Ying Yee, Northern Praying Mantis, Eagle Claw School, Tam Tuei, Springing Leg, Northern Siu Lum, Law Hon,
Lost Track School, Wa Kung Ch'aK'ung, Monkey Style, Chuiang Kung P'ai, etc.
In Southern China:
- Wing Chung School, Southern Praying Mantis, Dragon Style, White Crane School, Southern Siu Lum, Hung K'ung, Choy Ga, Hung Ga,
Ěîę Ga, Lee Ga, Lau Ga, Yal Gung Moon, etc.
Then these clans are separated into so-called internal and external schools. Here we are not concerned with them.
Martial Arts united in JKD under the general concept.
JKD is comprised of elements of 27 different systems and percentages of each are not fully clear.
- Wing Chun Gung Fu (Methods
allow a block and an attack in the same movement. Characterized by aggressive action and the redirection of the opponent's energy. Movements are direct
and straight. Traps and other controls are used. Concepts of the immovable elbow and centerline are stressed in this style of Gung Fu. Methods of
defeating an opponent are striking, kicking, joint locking and throwing.)
- Northern Praying Mantis (Northern Praying Mantis Boxing, characterized by traditional
low Shaolin stances, leaping kicks, and long hand techniques divided into four main styles.
As legend has it, four disciples each claiming to have superior innovations sought to diverge from Wang Lang's original system. Their desires were
granter on the condition that each disciple name his individualized systems after the markings on the back of a personally captured Mantis. One mantis
had the appearance of a Yin-Yang symbol (Tai Ji), another looked like a Plum Blossom (Mei Hua), and one set of markings resembled the configuration
of 7 Stars (Qi Xing). A fourth mantis had no markings and that style became known as the Spotless or Bare (Kwong Pan) system.
In general, the basic movements of all these branches are not much different. However, each style does excel in the development of their own
characteristics, application of strength and theories.
Consists of lightning quick techniques/uses straight and circular techniques. Characterized by the hook-handed technique called the Mantis
Hand. Anticipation of opponents next movement is used in this style of Gung Fu. Striking is emphasized by both open and hooked hand techniques as
well as grabbing. Northern Mantis philosophy is that big fighters use power techniques and little fighters use speed techniques to defeat the opponent.
Stresses in-close short range attacks, emphasizes elbow techniques such as "the 8 body separating elbow strikes".)
Southern Praying Mantis (Southern Praying Mantis Boxing is characterized by upright
stances, hand forms and close range techniques. In general Southern Mantis incorporates a centerline theory for fighting. Defense and attack techniques
originate from one main stance. There is an emphasis on manipulation of an opponents attack to force openings in the defense. Vital points of the
body are targeted, Kicks are often used in conjunction with arm movements for simultaneous attack or attack-defence combinations.)
- Choy Lee Fut (Choy Lee Fut is a traditional Shaolin martial system, combining
the agile footwork, kicking and leg maneuvers of Northern Chinese martial arts with the intricate Southern Chinese hand techniques. It is one of the
most complete and effective arts for both health and self-defense.
Relies on powerful hand and arm techniques. Straight punch, back fist, uppercut, and hook punch are used. Oriental medicine and philosophy are also
emphasized in this style of Gung Fu. Many full contact fighters follow this system. An early form of modern day Boxing.
Created in 1858 as one of the many offshoots of Shao-Lin Gung Fu. This form is very aggressive, concentrating on longhand techniques like roundhouse
and overhand swings. When confronted with a fight, a master will immediately attack, plunging into the middle of a group of opponents. Instruction
in Choy Lee Fut is available in monasteries and martial art schools throughout China, as well as Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States. At least
part of the training is in Taoist thought and humility.)
- Tai-Chi QUAN (Wu Family style) (Uses
slow, circular, connecting movements. Students learn to yield so that the attacker is overcome by his own force. Practitioners can achieve great power
in their techniques. In this style of Gung Fu, Chi is used to flow through the body while doing techniques, slow breathing and a clear mind are also
emphasized. Each arm protects half of the body and the hands never reach farther forward than the toes.)
Ba Gua Quan (This style has a reputation as a "Guerrilla-style" approach to fighting
multiple opponents. Practitioners need to be able to handle simultaneous attacks from multiple opponents with or without weapons. Mobility, efficiency,
and quickness are stressed in this Chinese art. Awareness of one's surroundings and zoning are also used/striking techniques are deadly and are used
to cripple the opponent. Means eight trigram palm. Ba gua quan is one of the three major internal kung-fu styles originating in China. The style is
based on circular movements and the twisting and untwisting of the body.)
- Hsing-I Quan
(Thought and action are unified in this style of Gung Fu. Linear aspect is applied with the philosophy that a fight should end as quickly as it began.
Direct techniques are used, with the striking weapon moving straight to the target. Striking concepts are used such as closed fist, open hand and
the Phoenix Eye which is a single-knuckle punch. Anticipation of an opponents attack is used.)
- Bak-Hoo Pai ("White Crane")
and Bak-Fu Pai ("White Tiger")
(Tiger and Crane Gung Fu encompasses all areas of combat, including hand and elbow strikes, kicks, takedowns, grappling, throws and holds. The White
Crane style of Gung Fu is famous for its grabbing and seizing techniques. This style attacks at close range with the elbow never leaving the stomach.
The White Tiger style of Gung Fu is famous for its healing and medicinal powers as well as fighting spirit and pride. This strong style of Gung Fu
combined with White Crane makes a very well rounded practitioner.)
- Nan Ying Jiao ("Southern Eagle Claw")
(This style of Gung Fu has some similarities to Chin Na, with its reliance on joint-locks. Uses lethal striking points derived from
acupuncture charts. Characterized by the claw hand "ying jiao" with fingers partially clenched. Kicks are used but mostly to block techniques.)
- Ng Ga QUAN (Five Family System)
(This famous Gung Fu system was born out of legend that five monks in the Southern Siu Lum Temple mastered the five Ga, or family styles,
each with its own strengths and Differences. Choy Ga, Hung Ga, Lau Ga, Lee Ga, and Mok Ga were the family styles. They took the best techniques from
each of these styles.
Master Lau provided the system with open hand techniques such as palming, slicing, and slapping. Master Hung's punching style was chosen because of
its directness of power usage. Master Choy inserted his medium range stance to facilitate quicker transitions. Master Lee's blocking technique with
grabbing enhancement became the system's defense. Finally, Master Mok completed the system with his stealth kicking. To ensure longevity of this new
system, forms were created with this integration concept.
Structure of Five Family Style included fundamentals, five animal techniques, hand forms, weapon forms, prearranged fighting forms (both hands and
weapons), mental and physical training, breathing exercises, and traditional kung fu philosophy.)
Ng Ying QUAN (Five animal
fist) (Animal styles of Kung Fu are based on the manner in which certain animals were observed to have fought. These styles are probably
some of the oldest in the world.
This style of Gung Fu is based on the movements of animals. Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, and Crane are the animals imitated. The practitioner takes
the attributes and strengths from these and other animals and uses these techniques to defeat the opponent.)
- Bak Mei Pai ("White Eyebrow")
(Quick, explosive techniques with short and middle range preferred. Redirecting of opponentís energy is essential in this Chinese
art. Phoenix Eye Fist is the only hand technique used. The practitioner waits for the opponent to make the first move, then counterattacks efficiently.
Triangle footwork is used in this style.)
- Bok Siu Lum ("Northern Shaolin")
(This unique style of Gung Fu specializes in keeping the body relaxed and supple to generate strength, speed, and power. Composed of multitudes of
forms, which were inspired by animals, elements, and even incredible people in history who displayed exceptional martial arts skills. Techniques vary
from the extremely fast striking hands of the Praying Mantis to the unpredictable evasive energy of the Monkey. Each form is considered its own system
with its own set of hand and foot strikes, grappling, ect. This flowing style usually uses kicks over punches.)
- Nan Siu Lum ("Southern Shaolin")
(This style of Gung Fu is different from Northern Shaolin. Northern Shaolin is elegant in its movement, whereas Southern Shaolin is
stable and powerful. Southern Shaolin is known for its hand techniques and harder style. This style is also known for its thrust punches and Tiger
- Bok Pai ( "White Crane")
This style, is one of the major styles of Gung Fu. It is one of the more aggressive martial arts. Training is rigorous and involves years of practice
in various awkward stances imitating the fighting stances of the crane. There are many monasteries, teachers and schools of Bok Pai, one of which
is the White Crane style developed in Tibet. A Bok Pai master enters combat slowly and deliberately meeting the attacks of opponents rather than rushing
forward. Attacks take the form of sweeping arm moves, rounded kicks, and continuous turning movements. The philosophy of Bok Pai can be summed up
in four words: Sim Jeet Chun Chon (evade, intercept, penetrate, destroy). All initiates are required to fight bouts using the Mui-Fa-Jeong or ‘Plum
Flower Stumps', a series of 36 wooden pillars driven into the ground, between 4 to 8 feet apart and of varying heights. Combat takes place on top
of the pillars. Bok Pai may be learned in Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore. White Crane style can only be learned in secluded monasteries in Tibet.)
Law Horn QUAN (This style of Gung Fu is characterized by its deceptive strikes, kicks,
footwork, and takedowns. Uses long range movements and the confusing use of timing, space, speed and power. Techniques are practical and the use of
fast focused strikes maximize energy efficiency. Deceptive footwork along with confusing angles of approach allows multiple target engagement while
- Chin Na (Shaolin Chin Na, although it does not exist as a separate system in
and of itself, is a very effective method of controlling, disabling, and defeating an attacker. Using joint-locking, pressure point stimulation, and
cavity strikes, Shaolin Chin Na (Siu Lum Kum Na in Cantonese) is a tool of most Systems of Chinese Martial Arts. Consisting of 108 techniques, Shaolin
Chin Na is typically divided into two categories, Chin (Kum) and Na.
The art of seizing, a general term for Chinese grappling or wrestling arts. This style of Gung Fu emphasizes the ability to grasp and control the
opponent. Techniques similar to vital point striking. Purpose is to stop an attack without injuring the opponent. One of the first arts that involved
the study of nerves, tendons, joints, and muscles of the human body. This is the ancient precursor to Aikido, Jiu Jutsu, and many other modern forms.
Although Chin Na is really a form of wrestling, its precise holds, strikes, and locks can be disabling or deadly. The student spends equal time sparring,
studying anatomy, and meditating. The master will always seek to grasp at the opponents most vulnerable and fragile parts. Injuries inflicted include
severed tendons, dislocated joints, and nerve damage. Usually this starts with a paralysing attack, followed up with a systematic and damaging attack
on the helpless opponent. Chin Na masters conduct their classes in the strictest secrecy. Students take a blood oath to never reveal the identity
of any living Chin Na artists.)
- Monkey Style (A style of Gung Fu based on the characteristic movements of Monkeys.
This style relies upon tumbling and rolling techniques, plus confusing footwork. The opponent's attack is deflected, and the practitioner uses feints
and unpredictable movements to defeat him. Broken rhythm is the basic fundamental in this style.)
Drunken Style (Thi style of Gung Fu appears to imitate a drunken practitioner,
who lulls the opponent into thinking he or she can easily be overcome, thus using this strategy to defeat the opponent. Simulates imbalance and broken
rhythm. The illusion is that the practitioner is fully alert but only appears not to be. Elusiveness and swift counterattacks also apply. The idea
behind this style is pure deception, all the moves can be performed while imitating a drunken stupor. It is also known as Ts'ui Pa Hsien or ‘Eight
Drunken Fairies Form'. Encountering a master seems to be no more than running across a common drunk. It is said that the greatest masters can leave
their opponents completely defeated but without a clue as to anything other than ‘dumb luck' being the cause. Drunken style may be humorous but it
is very difficult to learn. Years can be spent practising each small movement, along with the tremendous variety of arm movements. Secret schools
are found only in Hong Kong and Singapore. Admission is by invitation only, and acceptance means swearing allegiance to a particular Triad society.)
- Western Fencing (Foil)
(An extremely technical art of sword fighting; advancing, lunging, and forward pressure are key points in this style. Practitioner uses footwork to
get in on an opponent or to evade the attack. Footwork is the key concept in this style as well as parrying the attack and thrusting the blade.
This is the standard, western-style blade-oriented art. There are various forms and styles in existence and players may choose any one of the following
styles to learn. The Sword & Buckler style was in common use in ancient through to renaissance times and reflects the pairing
of a sword with a shield (the term ‘shield ‘ encompassing anything from the large Roman scutum to the small, steel buckler used by 16th century Spanish
- The Florentine style was popular during the 17th -18th centuries and paired the sword in the
right hand with a dagger in the left. During this period the sword became lighter and thinner in section with the heavy cutting power being
abandoned in favour of the thrust. Consequently the dagger came to be an important parrying weapon and even evolved into forms capable of
trapping and even breaking an opponent's blade.
- The Milanese style paralleled the Florentine during the same period and carried on into the
19 th century. Essentially this style is the pairing of a sword with the use of a cloak as a trapping, foiling or blinding device.)
- Western Boxing (A power punching art where fighters square-off at arms length
and throw combinations. Cross, jab, hook, uppercut, and overhook are the techniques used. Footwork and speed and distance are also extremely important
in this style. Jab and cross are longer range punches, where uppercuts and crosses are shorter range punches.)
- Western Wrestling (A Western grappling art where takedowns and throws are used,
superior positioning is heavily stressed. Practitioner can take down opponent by a shot to the legs or an upper body throw. Double and single-leg
takedowns are most commonly used. Two types of wrestling are Freestyle (lower body) and Greco-Roman (upper body)).
Jiu Jitsu ("Science of softness" is a grappling style that uses striking to
vital point areas. Close quarter combat is also used in this Japanese art. An extremely ruthless art which contradicts its name. Practitioners find
weaknesses in their opponents and exploit them in any way possible. A style of Jiu jitsu from Japan. Uses methods of street fighting, including striking,
kicking, and grappling. Participants use head butts, elbow strikes and knee strikes. A pragmatic, no-holds-barred martial art, best described by an
old adage: "Whatever works, that is Jiu Jitsu". Major techniques include Atemi-Waza or ‘Vital Points', Kanetsu-Waza or ‘Joint Locking', and Nage-Waza
or ‘Throwing'. Defensively Jiu Jitsu has specific moves to counter daggers, sticks, guns, and both close, and long-distance unarmed attacks. Other
names for the art include: "the art of gentleness", "the art of suppleness", "the art of pliancy". A master will use anything, including mundane,
everyday items , to gain an advantage. Ideally an opponent will be thrown or joint-locked until helpless. Schools are found everywhere in the world.
Aiki-Jitsu, an older form, is also still taught in Japan, but has a long tradition of secrecy and only accepts highly placed students of Japanese
- Escrima, Kali,
Arnis (Filipino Escrima is best known for its stick fighting techniques, as it is sometimes considered an art of traditional
Fencing. Some areas of study include projectile weapons, anatomical weapons, and bladed weapons, it also uses knives and daggers with efficiency.
Arnis, Kali and Escrima are related martial arts forms from the Philippines.
Kali - the original martial art, began as a fusion of Malay fighting techniques and Chinese martial
arts in the 9th century A.D. The art is usually used with a knife / knife or sword / knife combination.
Escrima developed during Spanish colonial times (19th century) as a more non-lethal style of combat with the introduction
of a single or paired set of 30" (2.5' or 762 mm) hardwood or cane sticks or rods. These were called muton or, when used singly,
Arnis is the modern-day development of the art and has evolved to include some of the principles
of Filipino Karate and other oriental martial arts into its repertoire . Filipino Karate weapons are now also taught along with the original stick
and knife principles. For more advanced practitioners the art has been further developed to adapt the original routines into a barehanded style.
Filipino Sikaran (Called "Philippine Foot
Fighting", it is the only classical form of Filipino Karate. The hands are used to block and parry, and the legs are used to kick.
A high number of jumping and flying kicks are used. Leg strength is extremely important in this style.)
- Muay Thai ("Thai Boxing")
(Best known for its shin strikes, kicks are of primary importance. It is called "The science of eight limbs" because a successful fighter
uses hands, elbows, feet, and knees. Different tie-ups and clinches are used to strike at close range.)
- Savate (A French style of full-contact, empty-hand fighting. It developed as a method
of street fighting adopted from Asian martial arts. Includes modern boxing techniques with kicking techniques.)