Styles Of Kung Fu

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Kung fu, also known as Wushu, is a term used to describe Chinese martial arts that have their roots in ancient history. Kung fu originated in China over five thousand years ago, and over time, it has evolved and become one of the most popular forms of martial arts in the world. There are several styles of kung fu, each with its unique techniques and movements. In this article, we will explore the different styles of kung fu and how they differ from one another.

 

Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin kung fu is one of the most influential and famous styles of Kung Fu. It originated in the Shaolin Temple in Henan province in China during the Tang dynasty (618 – 907 AD). Shaolin Kung Fu is made up of many different styles, including longfist, drunken, tiger, and eagle, and is known for its powerful, fluid movements, and use of kicks, punches, and grabs. Practitioners of Shaolin Kung Fu learn to use their whole body to deliver devastating strikes and defend themselves. Shaolin Kung Fu also focuses on developing inner strength, mental toughness, physical endurance, and spiritual awareness.

 

Wing Chun

Wing Chun is another popular style of Kung Fu popularized by Bruce Lee and based on the Yip Man Wing Chun that originated in Guangdong Province in the mid-19th century. It is a close-range combat style that emphasizes fast and efficient technique. Wing Chun uses centerline theory, where the opponent’s centerline is targeted continuously. Practitioners of Wing Chun focus on techniques such as “Lap Sau” (deflecting hand), “Chi Sau” (sticky hands), and “Bong Sau” (wing arm), which emphasize the flow and speed of movements.

 

Tai Chi

Tai Chi, also known as Tai Chi Chuan, is a unique form of Kung Fu that is known for its slow, flowing movements and emphasis on breathing and balance. Tai Chi is often used for its health benefits, including stress relief, improved balance, and enhanced flexibility. Tai Chi involves a lot of low-impact, slow-motion movements that require balance and concentration. Some practitioners of Tai Chi also use forms as self-defense techniques.

 

Hung Gar

Hung Gar is a southern style of kung fu that focuses on powerful strikes and low stances. It was created by the Shaolin monk Hung Hei Goon in the late 19th century, drawing on his training with the Southern Shaolin Temple. The style emphasizes both external force and internal energy cultivation, with a focus on developing physical and spiritual strength. Hung Gar movements are inspired by the strength of animals such as the Tiger and the Crane, and it is known for its powerful stances and wide range of strikes, including fists, kicks, and blocks.

 

Northern Long Fist

Northern Long Fist is one of the oldest and most well-known styles of Kung Fu. It derives from the Northern Shaolin Temple and is known for its acrobatic and fluid movements. Practitioners of the Northern Long Fist style focus on fast, sweeping movements that mimic the motion of a dragon or snake. The style often involves high kicks, jumping, and twirling movements, and is famous for its use of the Chang Quan form. This style is perfect for those who want something with a more exciting pace and powerful strikes.

 

Baguazhang

Baguazhang is another unique style of Kung Fu that originated in China’s Qing Dynasty. It emphasizes circular movements, fluidity, and evasion techniques. Practitioners study the bagua (a circle with eight trigrams) and focus on moving in a zigzag pattern around their opponent to confuse them. The style emphasizes quick stepping and spinning, making use of speedy footwork and complex evasion techniques to stay agile and responsive to an opponent’s attacks.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the world of Kung Fu is a rich tapestry of diverse styles, each with its unique techniques, philosophies, and origins. From the flowing movements of Tai Chi to the explosive strikes of Wing Chun, practitioners have a wide range of options to choose from based on their preferences and goals. Whether one seeks self-defense skills, physical fitness, or spiritual growth, Kung Fu offers a path for everyone. While this article has only scratched the surface of the various styles, it is clear that Kung Fu is an art form that continues to captivate and inspire people around the world. So, whether you’re drawn to the graceful elegance of Wushu or the fierce power of Shaolin, there is a style of Kung Fu waiting to be explored and mastered. Embrace the journey, immerse yourself in the traditions, and discover the true essence of Kung Fu.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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