Last-modified: 29 Dec 2006
Posting-Frequency: twice per month
rec.martial-arts FAQ - Part 3 of 4
16) What are the different Arts, Schools and Styles? (continued)
Contents of this section in Part 2 of 4:
16.1) Aikido 16.2) Baguazhang 16.3) Brazilian JiuJitsu
16.4) Bushidokan 16.5) Capoeira 16.6) Cha Yon Ryu
16.7) Cuong Nhu 16.8) Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujustu
16.9) Gatka 16.10) Hapkido 16.11) Hwa Rang Do
16.12) Iaido 16.13) Judo 16.14) Jujutsu
16.15) Kajukenbo 16.16) Kali/Escrima/Arnis
16.17) Karate 16.18) Kendo 16.19) Kenjutsu
16.20) Kenpo (Amer.) 16.21) Kempo (Kosho Ryu)
16.22) Kempo (Ryukyu) 16.23) Kobudo 16.24) Krav Maga
Part 3 of 4:
16.26) Lua 16.27) MMA/NHB 16.28) Moo Do
16.29) Muay Thai 16.30) Ninjutsu 16.31) Praying Mantis
16.32) Pugilism 16.33) ROSS 16.34) SAMBO
16.35) Sanshou 16.36) Savate 16.37) Shogerijutsu
16.38) Shuaijiao 16.39) Silat 16.40) Tae Kwon Do
16.41) Taijiquan 16.42) Western MA 16.43) Wing Chun
16.44) Wushu/Gongfu 16.45) Xingyiquan 16.46) Yoseikan Budo
(Contributor: Stephen Kurtzman - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lua is the Royal Hawaiian martial art. In the 1800s the royal Hawaiian
family decreed that the art would be restricted to members of the
royal Hawaiian family (In fact, it is still illegal to practice the
art in the state of Hawaii). Since the 1980s, the veil of secrecy to
non-Hawaiians has started to lift with the open teaching of the art in
Southern California by Alohe Kolomona Kaihewalu.
Lua is a form of combat which resembles Jujutsu in some of its moves.
The primary emphasis of the art is joint dislocation.
(Contributors: Rob Meyer - RobRPM2222@aol.com
Christopher Kallini - email@example.com
Mixed Martial Arts is both a style and not a style simultaneously. It
is both a new and old way of thinking about martial arts. It bases the
decisions about which techniques to use on their demonstrated
effectiveness by different practitioners in open, non-style-specific
sparring and/or competition that is designed to have as few rules as
possible while still ensuring safety against death or severe permanent
There are two main styles of MMA:
1. Sport MMA- Mixed Martial Arts designed for sporting competition,
such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Pride Fighting
Championship, or Vale Tudo style fighting matches. These matches
usually have two unarmed persons duking it out with the core rules
being: No biting, No eye-gouging (with fingers or chin) and No
fish-hooking (inserting body parts such as the fingers into bodily
crevices such as the mouth or nose). Groin attacks (striking or
squeezing the groin) are also often illegal.
The promoters may add more rules, or simply use what are considered to
be the core rules. More restrictive promotions of MMA include Old
Pancrase, Shootfighting, or RINGS rules. These rulesets often ban
striking on the ground, closed-fist striking, or both.
In general, boxing (kickboxing/muay thai included), wrestling
(Freestyle, Greco-Roman, and to a lesser extent Judo), and Brazilian
Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are the three styles that comprise the core of nearly
all modern MMA training.
2. Street MMA- The principles of Mixed Martial Arts as applied for
non-sport situations. There seem to be fewer mixed martial artists
interested in this as compared to sport MMA, though the number of
practitioners is growing. In practice, many, though not all, of the
persons doing this come from a Jeet Kune Do background, and sometimes
call what they do Jeet Kune Do (ex. Matt Thornton, Erik Paulson)
Their work is somewhat different from the JKD mainstream in calling for
large amounts of few-rules sparring, and they encourage their students
to do sport MMA sparring/competition. One can argue endlessly whether
what they do is or is not MMA or JKD- suffice it to say there are
similarities to both, and that JKD can be MMA and MMA JKD.
Most Street MMAers believe that sport MMA merely needs some changes in
strategy (less emphasis on staying on the ground, more weapons
awareness) and the addition of some techniques to become highly
effective for the street. By far the most common addition to
street-oriented MMA is Filipino martial art (FMA) training, due to its
emphasis on, and practical use of weaponry, primarily the stick and
The sport developed worldwide in the current form circa 1997, with the
main centers of development being Brazil, the US, and Japan. During the
time of its development, there were many exchanges of knowledge between
the nations that developed MMA. Techniques were taken from the martial
arts and sports of Brazil, Japan, England, America, Thailand, Holland,
France, and Russia, along with smaller amounts from other nations.
Early MMA was internationally popularized by the broadcast of the
Ultimate Fighting Championship I in November of 1993.
The first documented Mixed Martial Arts style competitions, and
certainly the conceptual ancestor of todays MMA, were the Pankration
events of Classical Greece. Different styles of Greek wrestling and
boxing were utilized. However, unlike the early UFCs, there was little
emphasis on proving which style(s) worked best. Instead, there was much
more concentration on representing the city the athletes came from, and
each city's native styles were considered to be equally good. Other
forms of MMA have existed throughout history, such as French
The first Ultimate Fighting Championship was the brainchild of Art
Davie and Rorian Gracie. Originally to be called War of the Worlds, it
ended up featuring a sumo wrestler, a boxer, a savateur, two
kickboxers, a kenpo man, a shootfighter, and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
fighter named Royce Gracie. Gracie swept by the other contestants to
win the tournament, and swept two of the next three tournaments (Gracie
could not continue due to heat stroke in UFC III) By the time of UFC
III, the referee was allowed to stop fights. After UFC IV, Rorian
Gracie pulled out of the UFC, and after UFC 6, similar but smaller MMA
events began popping up all over the country.
In the first few UFC tournaments, when the rules were limited to the
core three, a large variety of stylists competed. However, few fared
well. Boxers tended to dominate the striking, wrestlers (Freestyle,
Greco-Roman, and to a lesser extent Judo) dominated the takedowns, and
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) dominated on the ground. As a result, people
began focusing on these three.
(Note- much of the information on the history of MMA came from the book
No Hold Barred: Evolution, by Clyde Gentry III, available at
Most Sport MMA fighters fall into one of three general categories- the
groundfighter, the wrestler, or the striker.
The groundfighter is the closest to a "pure" grappler one finds in MMA
nowadays. The groundfighter's strength is the ability to force a fight
to the ground, where they then seek a fight-ending submission (joint
locks or choke). While the ability to perform takedowns is integral to
groundfighting strategy, a clean, powerful takedown is not as important
to the groundfighter as it is to the wrestler.
The wrestler is a stand-up and striking on the ground oriented
grappler, whose strength is usually the takedown. A common strategy of
the wrestler is known as "ground and pound." This refers to the method
of taking an opponent down, achieving a dominant ground position, and
finishing the fight with strikes.
The striker is also commonly known as the standup fighter, due to their
preference to stay on their feet and win with a knockout. The strategy
of the striker is called "sprawl and brawl". This refers to their focus
on nullifying takedowns (the sprawl is the highest percentage defense
to one of the more common entries to a takedown in wrestling, the
shoot) in order to stay upright and exchange blows.
These categories should not be taken as exclusionary of other
categories - groundfighters learn at least the basics of wrestling to
be able to take down people and the basics of striking to keep from
getting KOed. Strikers learn enough wrestling to neutralize takedown
and throw attempts and enough groundfighting to get back to their feet
if they are taken down. Wrestlers learn enough groundfighting or
striking to protect themselves in one of those areas and to be able to
easily finish opponents with another.
On rare occasions, you will see fighters highly skilled (by MMA
standards) in all three areas. These types of fighters are becoming
increasingly common as the sport becomes more professional.
Training resembles boxing, wrestling, and BJJ training, but with a much
smaller selection of technique (for instance, the BJJ spider guard is
strongly de-emphasized in MMA, as are wrestling pins). There is also a
focus on 'putting it together,' using boxing to set up a takedown, how
to take someone down while maintaining position for a submission,
boxing on the ground, etc.
Street MMA may add weapon drills, awareness training, and changes in
Examples of Street MMA are the Dog Brothers style of martial arts
sparring (full-contact stickfighting with limited to no protective gear
and real sticks), Roy Harris' school in San Diego, CA, and Frank Benn's
school in Austin, TX. Reality Fighting and adrenal stress/scenario
training (such as that done by Model Mugging/IMPACT, Tony Blauer,
Peyton Quinn, etc. ) are also often large influences on many of these
16.28) Moo Do
(Contributor: Eric S. Raymond - firstname.lastname@example.org
Moo Do is a new, eclectic style founded by Grand Master Chae T. Goh,
built on Tae Kwon Do but incorporating a much wider range of
techniques than most TKD schools. The name means "Warrior's Way". In
1972, Master Goh came to America after a remarkable history of success
as a student, teacher, and innovator in several martial arts in Korea,
Japan, and Vietnam. Moo Do combines Tae Kwon Do kicking, Karate
punching, and Hapkido grappling and throwing techniques. The style
focuses on street-usable techniques and forms, as both technique
practice and a way of pursuing the `do' or self-improvement aspect of
the art. Sport and competition fighting are de-emphasized.
Movements and forms are basically linear, but with a lot of training
in 45-degree shifts for evasion. A wide range of grappling and
throwing techniques designed specifically for common self-defense
situations on the street are included. Each class begins with
stretching and aerobic exercise. The classes are physically
challenging, but there's a strong tradition of adapting to what the
student's body can handle. Kick-punch combinations and
multiple-technique attacks are pushed hard from the beginning.
Sparring begins at intermediate levels.
Basic meditation is part of the curriculum. Students are instructed
in the ethics of the Hwarang Do, including loyalty to nation and
family, truthfulness, keeping one's word, loving kindness to one's
spouse, and the necessity to "justify your means" when using force.
Senior students are required to research and write essays on various
topics in the art to pass belt tests.
16.29) Muay Thai
(Contributors: Peter Hahn - email@example.com
Glen Downton - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Muay Thai is usually regarded as a very hard, external style.
However, especially because of its roots in heavily Buddhist Thailand,
some consider it to have a spiritual aspect as well. Thai boxers
typically perform some Buddhist rituals before beginning a match.
Practicing Muay Thai is a vigorous workout and produces tremendous
Modern Thai Boxing (Muay Thai) originated from Krabi Krabong (a Thai
weapons art roughly meaning "stick and sword"). When the Thais lost
their weapons or fought close quarters with weapons they used knees,
elbows, feet, fists and headbutting. They became famous for their
toughness on the battle field with constant wars with their Burmese
rivals. King Ramkamheng (1275 - 1317) wrote the
"Tamrab-Pichei-Songkram" - the Book of War Learning, about the Thai
war art, the basis of which was weaponless fighting.
The biggest Thaiboxing hero of Thailand is the 'Black Prince' Nai
Khanom Dtom, who was captured by the Burmese and had to fight against
12 of the best Burmese fighters before he was released (in 1560). The
Thais are still having annual Muay Thai tournaments in order to salute
In the old days the fights lasted until one of the fighters was dead
or seriously injured. There were no rounds and the fights could have
lasted for several hours. No protective gear was used and sometimes
they wore rope over their knuckles and glued some broken glass on top
Before the 1940's, Thai fighters fought bare-knuckled. After World War
II, the Thai government became concerned due to the high number of
fatalities in the ring and and forced some rules to be used: they gave
up groin shots, eye pokes, started using weight classes and boxing
gloves, and rounds. The Thais felt that this watered down their
sport. As a result, Thais place more emphasis on kicks, particularly
to the legs; knee strikes; and grappling. These skills score higher
points than hand strikes in Thai matches.
Muay Thai involves boxing techniques, hard kicking, and knee and elbow
strikes. Low kicks to the thighs are a very distinguishing technique
used frequently in Muay Thai. Stand up grappling is also used and
allowed in the ring. Muay Thai practitioners develop a very high
level of physical conditioning developed by its practitioners.
The training involves rigorous physical training, similar to that
practiced by Western boxers. It includes running, shadow-boxing, and
heavy bag work. Much emphasis is also placed on various drills with
the so-called "Thai pads". These pads weigh five to ten pounds, and
cover the wearers forearms. In use, the trainer wears the pads, and
may hold them to receive kicks, punchs, and knee and elbow strikes,
and may also use them to punch at the trainee. This training is
vaguely similar to the way boxing trainers use focus mitts. The
characteristic Muay Thai round kick is delivered with the shin,
therefore, the shins become conditioned by this type of kicking.
Full contact, full-power sparring is usually not done in training, due
to the devastating nature of the techniques employed. Thai boxers may
box, hands only, with ordinary boxing gloves. Another training drill
is for two fighters to clinch, and practice a form of stand-up
grappling, the goal of which is to try to land a knee strike.
However, full-power kicks, knees, and elbows are typically not used in
Promising children will enter dedicated Muay Thai training camps as
young as six or seven. There, the fighter will be put on a plan aimed
at making him a national champion while still in his teens. The Thais
fight frequently, and a 20 year old fighter may have had 150 fights.
Typically, half the purse from each fight goes to the training camp,
with the remainder being split between the fighter and his family.
(Contributor: Joachim Hoss - email@example.com, Adam James McColl -
Lit. Translation: "Nin" Perseverance/Endurance "jutsu" Techniques
(of). Surrounded by much controversy, today's "ninjutsu" is derived
from the traditional fighting arts associated with the Iga/Koga region
of Japan. These arts include both "bujutsu" ryuha (martial technique
systems) and "ninjutsu" ryuha, which involve a broad base of training
designed to prepare the practitioner for all possible situations.
The history of ninjutsu is clouded by the very nature of the art
itself. There is little documented history, much of what is known was
handed down as part of an oral tradition (much like the native
american indian) and documented by later generations. This has led to
a lot of debate regarding the authenticity of the lineages claimed by
the arts instructors.
Historical records state that certain individuals/families from the
Iga/Koga (modern Mie/Omi) region were noted for possessing specific
skills and were employed (by samurai) to apply those and other skills.
These records, which were kept by people both within the region and
outside of the region, refer to the individuals/families as "Iga/Koga
no Mono" (Men of Iga/Koga) and "Iga/Koga no Bushi" (Warriors of
Iga/Koga). Due to this regions terrain, it was largely unexplored and
the people living within lived a relatively isolated existence. This
enabled them to develop perspectives which differed from the
"mainstream" society of the time, which was under the direct influence
of the upper ruling classes. When necessary, they successfully used
the superstitions of the masses as a tool/weapon and became feared and
slightly mythologized because of this.
In the mid/late 1500's their difference in perspective led to conflict
with the upper ruling classes and the eventual invasion/destruction of
the villages and communities within the Iga/Koga region. The term
"ninja" was not in use at this time, but was later introduced in the
dramatic literature of the Tokugawa period (1605-1867). During this
period, ancestral fears became contempt and the stereotypical image
("clans of assassins and mercenaries who used stealth, assassination,
disguises, and other tricks to do their work") was formed which, to
this day, is still very much the majority opinion.
Over 70 different "ninjutsu ryu" have been catalogued/identified,
however, the majority of them have died out. Most were developed
around a series of specific skills and techniques and when the skills
of a particular ryu were no longer in demand, the ryu would (usually)
fade from existence. The three remaining ninjutsu ryu (Togakure ryu,
Gyokushin ryu, and Kumogakure ryu) are encompassed in Dr. Masaaki
Hatsumi's Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu system. These ryu, along with six
other "bujutsu ryu" (Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Shinden
Fudo Ryu, Gikan Ryu and Kukishinden Ryu), are taught as a collective
body of knowledge (see Sub-Styles for other info).
During the "Ninja-boom" of the 80's, instructors of "Ninjutsu" were
popping out of the woodwork - it was fashionable to wear black. Now
that the boom is over there are not as many people trying cash in on
the popularity of this art. However, as with all martial arts, it
would be wise to be very careful about people claiming to be "masters
personally taught by the Grandmaster in Japan".
How do you verify the authenticity of an instructor? In the case of a
Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu instructor there a few points which one can
First: all recognized "instructors" of the Bujinkan Dojo will, in
addition to their Dan grade (black belt), have either a Shidoshi-ho
(assistant teacher - first to fourth Dan) or Shidoshi (teacher - fifth
to ninth Dan) certificate/ licence from Dr Hatsumi. Only people with
these certificates are considered to be qualified to teach his system
(a Dan grade alone DOES NOT make one a teacher).
Second: in addition to these certificates/licences, all recognized
"instructors" of the Bujinkan Dojo will possess a valid Bujinkan Hombu
Dojo Shidoshi-kai (Bujinkan Headquarters Dojo Teachers Association)
for the current year. These cards are issued each year from Dr Hatsumi
to those recognized as "instructors".
These points will help you if you are looking at training with someone
from the Bujinkan Dojo. Beyond that, it's a case of "buyer beware".
Terms like "soft/hard", "internal/external", linear/circular" have
been used to describe ninjutsu by many people. Depending upon the
perspective of the person, it could appear to be any one, all or even
none of the above. It is important to remember that the term
"ninjutsu" does not refer to a specific style, but more to a group of
arts, each with a different point of view expressed by the different
ryu. The physical dynamics from one ryu to another varies - one ryu
may focus on redirection and avoidance while another may charge in and
To provide some kind of brief description, ninjutsu includes the study
of both unarmed and armed combative techniques, strategy, philosophy,
and history. In many Dojos the area of study is quite comprehensive.
The idea being to become adept at many things, rather than
specializing in only one.
The main principles in combat are posture, distance, rythm and flow.
The practitioner responds to attacks in such a way that they place
themselves in an advantageous position from which an effective
response can be employed. They are taught to use the entire body for
every movement/technique, to provide the most power and leverage. They
will use the openings created by the opponents movement to implement
techniques, often causing the opponent to "run in/on to" body weapons.
As was noted above, the areas of study in ninjutsu are diverse.
However, the new student is not taught everything at once.
Training progresses through skills in Taihenjutsu (Body changing
skills), which include falling, rolling, leaping, posture, and
avoidance; Dakentaijutsu (Striking weapons body techniques) using the
entire body as a striking tool/ weapon - how to apply and how to
receive; and Jutaijutsu (Supple body techniques) locks, throws,
chokes, holds - how to apply and how to escape.
In the early stages, weapons training is usually limited to practicing
how to avoid attacks - overcoming any fear of the object and
understanding the dynamics of its use from the perspective of
"defending against" (while unarmed). In the mid and later stages, once
a grounding in Taijutsu body dynamics is in place, practitioners begin
studying from the perspective of "defending with" the various
In the early stages of training, kata are provided as examples of
"what can be done here" and "how to move the body to achieve this
result". However, as the practitioner progresses they are encouraged
to explore the openings which naturally appear in peoples movements
and apply spontaneous techniques based upon the principles contained
within the kata. This free flowing style is one of the most important
aspects of ninjutsu training. Adaptability is one of the main lessons
of all of these ryu.
Due to the combative nature of the techniques studied, there are no
tournaments or competitions in Ninjutsu. As tournament fighting has
set rules which compel the competitor to study the techniques allowed
within that framework, this limits not only the kinds of techniques
that they study, but also the way in which they will apply those
techniques. The way that you train is the way that you fight. Ninjutsu
requires that its practitioners be open to any situation and to be
able to adapt their technique to ensure survival.
There are a number of people claiming to teach "ninjutsu".
Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi has been the recpient of numerous cultural awards
in recognition of his extra-ordinary knowledge of Japanese martial
culture. He is considered by many to be the only source for authentic
"ninjutsu". However, as was noted above, the teachings of the three
ninjutsu ryu which are part of his Bujinkan system, are not taught
individually. Rather, they are taught as part of the collective body
of knowledge which forms the foundation of his Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu
Shoto Tanemura, formerly of the Bujinkan Dojo, formed his own
organization (Genbukan Dojo) and claimed to be the Grandmaster
of/teaching both Iga and Koga Ryu Ninjutsu. He has since formed a
number of other organizations and is becoming more widely known for
his "Samurai Jujutsu" tapes (Panther Productions).
The list of names of people claiming to teach "Koga Ryu Nijutsu" is
quite long. The last person to be recognized as part of the Koga Ryu
lineage in Japan was Seiko Fujita. His knowledge of "ninjutsu" died
with him - he left no successor.
16.31) Praying Mantis (Tanglangquan/Tanglangpai)
(Contributor: Fernando Blanco - firstname.lastname@example.org
Imitative boxing of the Praying Mantis. The Praying Mantis is an
insect with killer instinct and blinding speed. The Tanglangpai is a
combat system composed of several sub-styles, that due to the richness
and complexity of their techniques are considered styles by
themselves. Some of these styles were created combining the praying
mantis boxing with other wu-shu systems. Some writers count more than
40 Praying Mantis styles. This section will only mention below the
more ancient and traditional ones.
Origin: Shandong Province (Northern China)
Wang Lang (the style creator) was born in the Jimo district, in
Shandong Province. He lived during the Ming Dynasty fall and as he
was a patriot (some Masters say he was uncle of the last Ming
Emperor), he decided to excel in the martial arts to fight against the
Qing Dynasty (Manchurian rulers). He entered to the Shaolin
monastery in Songshang, but being prosecuted by the Manchurians he
travelled all over China, training in places places where he could
find Gongfu Masters. In this way he learned 17 Chinese Boxing
After this travel, Wang Lang entered to the Laoshan monastery. Once
there, he was always defeated by the abbot of the temple in spite of
his deep knowledge of the fighting arts. One day, while he was
meditating in a forest he saw a combat between a praying mantis and a
cicada. He was impressed by the aggressive attitude of the mantis and
he started studying its movements. After a long learning time he
combined the praying mantis hand movements with the monkey steps (to
enhance the coordination between hand and feet). With this new style
Wang Lang could defeat the monastery abbot. Wang Lang went on
modifying his system and when he felt satisfied with his creation he
accepted some disciples.
Even though Praying Mantis sub-styles are quite different, they all
contain the basic structure created by Wang Lang: * 8 stances * 12 key
words * 8 rigid and 12 flexible methods * 5 external and 5 internal
elements * 8 non- attacking and 8 attacking points.
Northern praying mantis is a style characterized by fast hand
movements. The hook hands are the "trade mark" of the style and they
are found in all the northern sub-styles. Northern Tanglangquan's
main weapon is the blinding speed of the hand trying to control and
punch the opponent. It has a balanced combination of circular and
Other important elements are the simultaneous block and punch, and
strong chopping punches. These are practical movements for full
contact street fighting. Some Chinese martial artists say that Seven
Star Praying Mantis Boxing (one of the praying mantis sub-styles) is
the most aggressive style created in China. Grappling, kicking,
nerve-attack and weapons complete the northern branch.
Southern praying mantis is very different. It is an infighting system
that resembles Wing Chun. Qigong is very important in the Southern
Praying Mantis. Movements are continuous and circular, soft and hard,
except in attack, where the middle knuckle (phoenix eye) of the index
finger is used like a needle to pierce the internal organs. A punch
with the fist produces an external muscular bruise, striking with the
phoenix eye produces an internal bruise.
1) Physical exercises
2) Body conditioning
Tieshazhang (Iron Palm)
Baidagong (body strengthening)
Jhiu Sa So (Poison Palm)
3) Fighting Theory
Tui (legs actions)
Da (hand actions)
4) School training (basic movements known as combinations)
5) Shuai (Throwing Techniques)
6) Na (also known as Qinna, grappling techniques)
7) Forms training (The core of the system. Solo training and forms
for two or more people)
8) Sanshou (free fighting)
9) Jei Jai (weapons training)
10) Dim Mak (also known as mur mon, the death touch)
8 attacking points
8 non attacking points
11) History and tradition (honor the ancestors in the style and keep
the folklore tradition -for example Lion Dance-)
Seven Stars Praying Mantis (Qixing Tanglang)
Eight Steps Praying Mantis (Babu Tanglang)
Six Armonies Praying Mantis (Liuhe Tanglang)
Secret Door Praying Mantis (Bimen Tanglan)
Mysterious Track Praying Mantis (Mizong Tanglang)
Throwing Hands Praying Mantis (Shuaishou Tanglang)
Plumb Flower Praying Mantis (Meihua Tanglang)
Flying legs Praying Mantis from the Wah Lum Temple (Wah
Lum Tam Tui Tang Lang) Jade Ring Praying Mantis (Yuhuan
Tanglang) Long Boxing Praying Mantis (Changquan Tanglang)
Great Ultimate Praying Mantis (Taiji Tanglang)
Eight Ultimates Praying Mantis (Baji Tanglang)
Southern Sub-Styles (Hakka shadow boxing):
Bamboo Forest Praying Mantis (Kwong Sai Jook Lum Tang Lang)
Chou Clan Praying Mantis (Chou Gar Tang Lang)
Chu Clan Praying Mantis (Chu Gar Tang Lang)
Familiar or non spread Sub-Styles:
Han Kun Family Praying Mantis (Han Gong Jia Tanglang)
Drunken Praying Mantis (Zui Tanglang)
Shiny Board Praying Mantis (Guangban Tanglang)
Connected Arms Praying Mantis (Tongbei Tanglang)
Mandarin Duck Praying Mantis (Yuanyang Tanglang)
16.32) Pugilism (Bare Knuckle Boxing / Classic Pugilism /
(Contributors: Kirk Lawson dayton.net>,
Ken Pfrenger gmail.com>,
Tony Wolf hotmail.com>,
Fraser Johnston jcis.com.au>,
Badger North hotmail.com>,
Keith P. Myers aol.com>,
Terry Brown maisters.demon.co.uk>,
Rich Lancashire hotmail.com>,
Bare Knuckle Boxing / Classic Pugilism is the origin of modern
Boxing. It was a popular sport in Britain, Ireland, Scotland, New
Zealand, Australia and Early America. The defining element of the
art, as the name implies, is that this type of boxing, when applied
to the ring, is practiced without the aid of protective gloves.
The sport includes a number closed fist strikes and can include stand
up grappling such as trips and throws.
The successor, Modern Boxing consists of a stipulated rule set and
is intended to be practiced within the confines of a Boxing Ring.
Modern Boxers wear special gloves and wrist wraps, the purpose of
which is to protect the hands and wrists of the boxer. Amateur
boxers often wear padded head gear whose intention is to protect the
Modern Boxing has become the main hand-striking style for Mixed
Martial Artists, though it has had to evolve (or regress, if you
like) to account for the wider variety of threats than just punches.
A primary example of this is Rodney King's popular, non-attribute
based, 'Crazy-Monkey' methodology; a few characteristics of which are
the use of forearms as a high-guard bone-shield, and its crouching
foward-facing stance. It provides a structure that both protects
against a superior boxer, and is responsive to giving and receiving
'non-boxing attacks' (eg. kicks & takedowns). Its good for both the
mma-athlete and the non-gifted striker who wants to have a fighting
chance of succeeding with punches against the more athletic or
Origin: Britain and British holdings. Perhaps older.
Bare Knuckle Boxing dates back at least to the ancient Greeks, but
perhaps as far back as Egypt circa 4000 B.C., where it was primarily a
sport of taking punishment, the contestants trading blows, sometimes
with loaded or lead wrapped fists. It is hard to say if the sport was
brought to the Britains with the invading Romans or if it developed
from existing bare hand fighting techniques, though the latter seems
The heyday of the sport began in the 18th Century in Britain. There
is compelling evidence suggesting that during this time period Boxing
Theory was tied closely to Fencing and general Weapons Theory and may
have been taught as "fencing with the fists" thus creating an
"integrated" system, intended for both sport and personal defense and
covering both armed and unarmed defense.
There were few, if any, rules and pugilists were free to employ a
number "dirty tricks" such as eye gouging, grabbing the hair, and
striking below the waist. In 1743, a Pugilist named Broughton
developed a set of rules after killing another man in the ring.
Broughton's rules were simple and still allowed for a lot of "dirty
tricks" which were considered to be just part of the sport. "That no
person is to hit his Adversary when he is down, or seize him by the
ham, the breeches, or any part below the waist: a man on his knees is
reckoned down." Renowned fighters from this era included "Gentleman"
John Jackson and Daniel Mendoza, who was known for being a small man
in an age devoid of weight classes and for using advanced footwork and
technique to avoid "trading blows."
In 1838 the London Prize Fighting Rules were instituted. This period
is considered the Golden Age of Bare Knuckle Boxing and included such
greats as John L. Sullivan and Paddy Ryan. Though the London Prize
Fighting Rules were more exhaustive then the previous Broughton Rules,
they still were scant compared to modern boxing rules: No Butting, No
hitting a downed man, No hitting below the belt, No gouging or biting,
No kicking or falling on an opponent knees first, No grabbing from the
waist down. The final rule set led into modern boxing, the Marquis de
Queensbury rules of 1867 which, among other things, effectively
eliminated throws and trips from the sport.
There are two modern interests in Bare Knuckle Boxing. First is
Classic Pugilism. This is a reconstruction of classic Boxing from
bygone years using period manuals, rules, and training techniques.
Second is Bare Fist Fights. Though still boxing bare fisted, the
focus is more directly on modern bare fist competition and self
defense with little regard for historic technique, historic rules,
or re-creation of classic skills.
Although this practice has been ongoing for many years public interest
and acceptance has recently been reinvigorated as illustrated by
popular movies such as _Fight Club_ and by the growing popularity of
modern bare fisted boxing styles such as Rodney King's Crazy-Monkey
system. Obviously there can be significant cross over in interest
between the two and practitioners of one often have a strong interest
in the other. It should be noted that bare knuckle boxing
competitions are often illegal or strictly regulated.
Modern Boxing rules can seem somewhat complex in comparison with its
earlier iteration. However these rules are generally either to
protect the boxers, ensure a "fair" match, or to otherwise adhere to
the ideals of boxing as a sport in which blows with the fist are
traded. For a good look at typical Modern Boxing rules, see:
Olympic Boxing Rules:
Amateur Boxing Rules:
Professional Boxing Rules:
Depending upon which rule set is being used, the sport can have
differing descriptions. Classic Pugilistic punching is typically
vertical fist, however the hand position and stance alters depending
upon the rule set. Also, depending upon the rule set Judo-like throws
and trips were included. Rounds were concluded when a man went down
on the ground from punches or a trip or throw, or when he was down to
his knees. Matches could last more than an hour and have upwards of
100 rounds. One famous match between Mendoza and Humphreys had 22
rounds in the first 40 minutes.
Modern Boxing matches are tightly controlled. Round length is
specified, weight classes are applied, the weight of the gloves is
spelled out, and strict rules governing legal strikes are enforced.
Classic Pugilism training is typically restricted to clubs or
societies dedicated to recreating the sport and the art, often
containing only a few members and frequently advertised solely by word
of mouth. Usually working from numerous texts and training manuals
written by Pugilists of old, these groups combine training methods
from these multiple sources and network with other Pugilists from
around the world using the Internet and re-creationist seminars to
hone their art.
Some classic texts include recommendations to use "mufflers" or gloves
during training and sparring in order to protect the sparring
partners. To include the throws and trips, a soft surface to fall on
Bare Fist Boxing styles such as Crazy-Monkey are frequently taught in
Modern Boxing schools, MMA schools, and integrated self defense
schools. The training closely follows that of Modern Boxing. For
information on the 'Crazy Monkey' method:
Training for Modern Boxing generally takes place in boxing,
kickboxing, or mma gyms. Most of the training is cardio, bagwork,
focus mitts, and eventually sparring, which most boxers would argue
is the most important way to develop realistic application of
fighting skills. There are graduated levels of sparring, which
should start out very 'safe, light and easy' and become progressively
more intense as one's skill develops.
However some people are concerned about health risks associated with
sparring and others maybe intimidated. Thus, they choose to avoid
sparring. This is common and accepted, since boxing is still an
excellent way to build great fitness. Just hitting a heavy bag, and
especially doing good focus-mit work, will still bring some good
martial outcomes, such as hitting correctly, hitting hard, and the
ability to target strikes, while blocking and slipping incoming
For more information see:
16.33) ROSS (Russian Martial Art)
(Contributor: Scott Sonnon - email@example.com)
Russian Martial Art is a system of education in human biomechanics and
the study of human behavior under extreme situations. Students are
guided towards introspection and exploration of their full human
potential. Movement is natural and free, and acquiring skills is
based on the study of Cossack and Russian folk dances, Slavic folklore,
and "Natural Laws."
The ancient Slavic martial traditions dates to the nomadic
steppe-warriors of approximately 5,000 BCE, passed from father to
son in families for generations of pre-Soviet Russia, and then only
among the elite combat specialist subdivisions (SPETSNAZ) of the
former USSR. Scott Sonnon, USA Sambo Team Coach and Trainer and
World Sambo Vice-Champion, was the first foreigner accepted into this
heritage in the attempt to bring the world together in fraternity.
Sonnon imported the art to America in 1996 to improve the quality of
life of his compatriots through the Russian health system, advanced
sports biomechanics, and elite combative preparation. In 2000, one of
the sportive derivations of Russian Martial Art, named Sambo, will be
Olympic at the Sydney Games.
Russian Martial Art derives its name ROSS from "ROSSIYA" which
is the Russian spelling for the word RUSSIA. ROSS, a Russian
acronym standing for "Russian Native Martial Art" was developed by
Commander Alexander Retuinskih, President of the All-Russian
Federation of Russian Martial Art (RFRMA), Chairman of the
International Combat Sambo Commission, Chairman of the Russian Combat
Sambo Committee, officer General of the Cossack Military. In 1991,
the RFRMA was sanctioned by the Russian Olympic Committee as the sole
representative of Russian Martial Art. ROSS is taught to trainers
of Russian Spetsnaz units of the Ministries of Internal Affairs,
Defense and protective services, Russian Marine troops, VDV, OMON,
and Minsk's "Alpha" units in Byelorussia, special MVD units "Vityaz",
frontier troops of Lithuania and many others.
In Russian Martial Art, the main goal of a person is to render the
adversary harmless while minimizing losses for both self and foe:
to work efficiently in any situation. Learning Russian Martial Art,
students acquire great power as fighters, but more importantly as a
human beings, increasing ones value for health and life, for both self
and others. Both in combat and in life, students treat other creatures
with awareness and compassion. When necessary, firm action is issued,
but never in a callous or careless manner, and when all other option
have been considered. "Your life is not your alone; it belongs to your
friends, family and community" (Alexander Ivanovich Retuinskih), or as
is said in the Cossack Cadet Code: "The life of your friend is always
more valuable than your own. You can die yourself, but rescue your
ROSS undertakes training in 8 directions:
1. Russian-Style Close-Quarters Combat and Survival
2. Renovated SAMBO (see FAQ entry on SAMBO)
3. Executive and Close Protection Training
5. Advanced Sports Biomechanics
6. Acrobatic Dance, Stunt and Theatrical Combat
7. Russian System of Health and Wellness
8. Russian Fisticuffs
(Contributor: Alex Levitas - firstname.lastname@example.org)
SAMBO is an acronym of Russian words "SAMozaschita Bez Orujiya" -
"Self-Defence Without Weapon".
SAMBO was created in the 1930's. Official recognition of new art was
in 1938. At first it was named "free-style wrestling", then "free
wrestling," and in 1946 was renamed "SAMBO." This system is
compilation of techniques from a number of martial arts including
Japanese and Chinese martial arts; national martial arts of USSR area
natives (Georgians, Armenians, Mongols, Russians etc.); French
wrestling and other arts. At the time of the 2nd world war the system
was widely "tested" by the Soviet army. "Special" techniques were
added at the time, for example fighting in cells, quick-and-quiet
sentry killing, and so on. Because of the number of criminals in the
Soviet army at that time (during WWII each prisoner was "invited" to
the front with each year at the front worth two or so years of their
sentence) SAMBO experts acquired many lessons on criminal street
fighting, and a number of these techniques were included in SAMBO.
SAMBO continues to accept new techniques and modify old ones.
Today, SAMBO is built from 3 parts: the sportive part (Olympic sport),
the self-defense part, and the special or combat part.
The sportive part is similar to Judo but with some differences in
allowed techniques. SAMBO allows leg locks were Judo does not, but
Judo allows choking but SAMBO does not. There are somewhat more
techniques in SAMBO than in Judo.
The self-defense part of SAMBO is similar in form to Aikijujutsu
because it is intended to be entirely defensive. The founder of SAMBO
said this about the self-defense part:
"We give defensive weapons to citizens. Some people say that this
kind of martial art may be learned by criminals or hooligans and
used against citizens. Don't worry! This art does not include even
one attacking technique! If a hooligan will learn, he will be able
to apply it only against another hooligan who will attack him, but
never against a citizen."
There are many specific techniques for defending specific attacks,
including escaping from grips and chokes, defenses against punches and
kicks, defenses against weapons (knife, stick etc.), and
floor-fighting. The self-defense part of SAMBO is based on body
movements and locks with a few punches and kicks. The object is to
allow defense but not to injure the opponent more than necessary
because this part was created for citizens. In the former Soviet
Union the law was that if you injure your opponent more than needed in
a self-defense situation you could receive a 5 year prison term. Some
of the self-defense techniques are based on sportive SAMBO.
The third part - combat SAMBO - was created for the army and police.
It is a very severe, and dangerous system. If the idea of sportive
SAMBO is "Take points and win," and the idea of the self-defence part
is "Don't allow to attacker injure you," the idea of combat SAMBO is
"Survive, and if someone hinders you - injure or kill him." Combat
SAMBO includes sportive and self-defence techniques, but uses them in
different ways. For example, sportive SAMBO uses the traditional
shoulder throw of Judo and Jujutsu. In combative SAMBO the throw is
done with the opponents arm rotated up and locked at the elbow, and
can be done to throw the opponent on his head. If the opponent
attempts to counter by lowering his center of gravity and pulling
backwards (as is taught in sportive SAMBO) the arm will be broken.
Combative SAMBO teaches shoulder throw counters that might be able to
deal with a locked arm like kicking out the opponents knee and pulling
back by the hair or eye sockets.
In addition to modified sportive and self-defence techniques, combat
SAMBO includes kicks, punches, "dangerous throwing" (throws that can't
be include into sportive part because they cause injury), locks on the
spine, things that are prohibited in sportive wrestling (biting, for
example), many "sadistic dirty things," working against weapons (with
or without a weapon of your own), tricks like putting your coat on
your opponents head (works nicely), floor fighting (very strong),
fighting in closed space (small room, pit, stairs), quick-and-quiet
sentry killing, and so forth. Students also learn strategy and
tactics of fighting alone or in groups against single or multiple
opponents. SAMBO is less popular today in Russia because the influx
of oriental martial arts in recent years. But, the development of
SAMBO has continued and elements of it are incorporated into other
modern combat systems.
(Contributor: Edmund Tsoi - email@example.com)
In Chinese, Sanshou (loose hands) refers to the free application of
all the realistic hand-to-hand combat skills of Gongfu. It is
divided into three categories: Sport Sanshou (Chinese Kickboxing),
Civilian Sanshou, and Military Sanshou (AKA Qinna Gedou).
After fighting directly with the superior American forces during the
Korean War, the Chinese government realized that new scientific R&D is
important for its military forces. Army chief Peng Dehuai directed a
great military training campaign (Da Be Wu) after the war. Martial
arts masters from each of China's 92 provinces were brought together
with medical experts to compare and evaluate their techniques. A new
hand-to-hand combat system was developed based on three criteria:
simplicity, directness, and effectiveness against a larger, stronger
opponent. This system of fighting was thoroughly tested in training
camps throughout China, and in border conflicts with Soviet troops.
The Chinese military published manuals on Sanshou in 1963 and 1972.
Besides military Sanshou, civilian Sanshou continued to be developed
by underground martial arts schools and individual martial artists in
communist China. Civilian Sanshou warriors sharpened their skills by
street championships where they challenged each other. These kinds of
challenges were very popular during the cultural revolution (1966-76)
and usually ended by being broken up by the police.
In recent years, sport Sanshou has been developed and promoted by the
Chinese government. In the early years (1980s), there were no formal
championships for Sanshou. Only demonstrations were available on
national T.V. Most of the Sanshou participants were military and
police men. Therefore, sport Sanshou kept its flavour of military
kickboxing and wrestling. Lately, the Chinese government have
promoted Sanshou into a nation-wide sport and held formal national
and international championships every year.
The Sanshou as practiced by the Chinese military is based on the
Chinese Art of War, physics, anatomy, bio-mechanics, and human
physiology. It is a complete system of realistic unarmed combat
covering the skills of striking, grappling, wrestling, groundfighting,
and weapon defenses taken from various Chinese and foreign martial
arts and hand-to-hand combat styles. It focuses on applying the
principles of combat rather than on techniques. The various
divisions of the military and police force have slight differences in
technique, but they all employ the same principles.
Because of the increase of violent crimes in China, civilian Sanshou
was created by the Chinese government so that Chinese civilians can
learn self defense skills. It is also a complete system of striking
and grappling, but without the lethal techniques that are required in
the military. Many "underground" martial artists also developed
Sanshou fighting skills.
The sport of Sanshou is rising in popularity all over the world. It
is a kickboxing style that is fought on a platform called a "Lei Tai".
Fighters wear boxing gloves, headgear, and body protectors. It is
full contact kicking and punching with throws and sweeps allowed.
Knees, elbows, headbutts, joint manipulation and chokes are not
allowed, but fighters can be thrown off the platform.
Military and civilian Sanshou training involves many punching,
kicking, grappling, wrestling, groundfighting, and weapon defense
drills with a partner. Contact sparring with protective gear is also
emphasized. This is where the different skills are blended together
into one fluid art. There are no forms or formal stances, and no
Sport Sanshou training is similar to kickboxing training, except that
throws and sweeps are also drilled extensively. Physical conditioning
is also important in sport full-contact fighting.
In Toronto Canada, Sanshou instruction is available through Chinese
Self-Defense Studies, the first and only organization outside of China
that teaches Military Sanshou. Information on Chinese Self-Defense
Studies can be found at the following
Military Sanshou (AKA Qinna Gedou)
Sport Sanshou (Chinese Kickboxing)
(Contributor: Tobias Ratschiller - tRatschiller@pass.dnet.it)
Intro: A native French kicking style.
It was developed in the last century, and its origins and
relationships, if any, to other Martial Arts are unclear. There are
stories about French sailors picking up techniques in Eastern ports,
bringing them home and integrating them with local foot fighting and
"French Boxing-Savate" was founded in 1970 in France. It consists
mainly of precise striking with the hands and low foot-striking and
appropriate defense-techniques. The hand-techniques are similar to
boxing. Special attention is paid to develop elegant and soft
It primarily encompasses kicking techniques somewhat similar to Tae
Kwon Do or Karate. It includes punching techiques from Western Boxing
and stick fighting techniques based on French rapier fighting. It is
very stylized and more extended than most Eastern kicking arts.
Three different forms are taught:
- Assaut: technical fighting, the opponent must not (or nearly not)
- Combat Technique: fighting with semi-contact
- Combat Total: full-contact fight with KO allowed.
Usually together with Savate is taught "La Canne", a mostly defensive
art using wooden sticks."
(Contributor: Chris Butts - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Shogerijutsu deals with the concept of the dynamic martial artist.
Each student learns the basics, and from there they build on their own
foundation. Shogerijutsu combines many facets of learning from the
martial arts. Shogerijutsu takes the basic self-defense techniques of
jujutsu, karate-do, gongfu, and kick boxing, then combines it with
the philosophy of styles that represent the fundamental approach
toward self-defense and combat such as kenpo, jeet kune do, aikijutsu,
and gongfu. Shogerijutsu means "the essence in kicking technique",
but the name itself does not define the techniques or philosophy of
living that goes on within a system. The word "kicking" can be
replaced with any of a multitude of strikes.
The basics are taught at first. As the student progresses so does
their knowledge of control, joint locks, throws, combat philosophy,
ranges, kata, and body positioning. Each phase of learning focuses on
a breakup of the latter, with emphasis on implementing kata technique
into applicable use on the street. This style is ideal for people who
want to learn martial art basics. The philosophy of this style blends
well with any style whose purpose is self-defense with focus on
For more information contact:
Norman Shogerijutsu Academy
1818 Twisted Oak Dr.
Norman, OK 73071
(Contributor: Bill Norcott - email@example.com)
The oldest Chinese bare-handed fighting style. Shuaijiao is a
comprehensive fighting style which incorporates the principles of
Shuiajiao emerged around 2,000 years ago. It was originally taught
only to the military elite. Starting in the Qin Dynasty,
Shuaijiao was demonstrated in tournaments for the Imperial court.
During the Qing Dynasty, China maintained a camp of 300 full time
fighters who trained for competition with China's allies. Today,
Shuaijiao is still taught primarily to the military and police in
China and Taiwan. Shuaijiao is a Northern Chinese martial art that
was not well known in the south until the 1930's.
Shuaijiao was introduced to the United States in 1978 by Dr.
Chi-Hsiu Daniel Weng. Dr. Weng started martial arts training at age
11, beginning with judo. After achieving second degree black belt in
judo, he began study of Shuaijiao from Grandmaster Chang
Dongsheng. Dr. Weng spent 20 years studying Shuaijiao with
Grandmaster Chang, including 10 years as Shuaijiao instructor at the
Taiwan Central Police College. Dr. Weng is an 8th degree black belt
in Shuaijiao, and is president of the U.S. Shuai-Chiao Association.
There has been a large growth of interest and participation in
Shuaijiao during the past several years. Major Chinese martial arts
tournaments now include Shuaijiao divisions. Shuaijiao fighters
have also competed successfully in Sanshou (full contact fighting)
competition. The five-man U.S. full contact team sent to the 2nd
World Wushu Championships included three Shuaijiao fighters.
Shuaijiao integrates striking, kicking, throwing, tripping,
grappling, joint locking, and escaping methods. Shuaijiao fighting
principles are based on Taijiquan, but techniques are applied
with more force. There are 30 theoretical principles of Shuaijiao;
the six major principles are: absorbing, mixing, squatting, hopping,
turning, and encircling.
Shuaijiao fighting strategy emphasizes maintaining balance and
controlling the opponent. Tactics emphasize throwing the opponent
while maintain a joint lock, then following with a vital point strike.
There are 36 major throws in the system, with 3600 combinations.
Shuaijiao is notable for joint attacks and hard throws.
Shuaijiao has a belt ranking system. The succession of belts is:
white, green, green-blue, blue 1, blue 2, blue 3, black. There are
ten degrees of black belt. The 10th degree is reserved for the
founder of the lineage, the late Grandmaster Chang Dongsheng.
Competition is similar to actual combat, except that strikes and kicks
are allowed only in conjunction with a throw. Also, joint attacks are
discouraged. Match is three falls. Point is awarded upon completion
of the throw with control maintained over opponent. There is no
pinning nor submission holds in Shuaijiao competition; in actual
combat the throw would be followed by a finishing strike. Victory in
tournament competition is required for advancement to blue belt and
There are a dozen stationary training stances to train strength and
flexibility. Twenty moving forms train the position and footwork used
in approaching, joint locking and throwing. Wushu high kicking
excercises train leg strength and flexibility. The kicks most often
used in Shuaijiao fighting are low kicks and sweeps. Unique to
Shuaijiao is "belt cracking", which uses the uses the uniform belt
in excercises that train strength and proper position. Throws are
practised in excercises with a partner, then in sparring. Sparring is
practised at all levels, as soon as the student has mastered
breakfalls. A typical class consists of stretching excercises, Wushu
kicking, forms practise, throwing and breakfalls, and sparring.
Shuaijiao styles are categorized by region. The four major regional
styles are Mongolian, Beijing, Tianjin, and Baoding.
The USSA teaches the Baoding style.
For more information, contact:
United States Shuai-Chiao Association,
P.O. Box 1221
Cupertino, CA 95015
(Contributors: Jeffrey Chapman - firstname.lastname@example.org
Russ Rader - email@example.com
Tim Rivera - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pencak Silat is the Indonesian and Malaysian set of Martial Arts, all
with different styles and schools (over 400 of them). Some of them use
different spellings, depending upon their lineage - Dutch-Indonesian
Silat is typically "Pentjak Silat" and "pure" Indonesian styles "Pencak
Silat." The Indonesian spelling is used here, not to exclude some Silat
styles, but for uniformity.
Origin: Indonesia and Malaysia
Since Silat is an umbrella term covering many styles, it is not
possible to give a single history. Some of the arts are very old (1000
years?), and some were developed less than 50 years ago. Also, as with
other arts, the history of Silat is somewhat unclear. There is a
mixture of indigenous techniques along with techniques borrowed from
Chinese arts and Indian arts such as Kalaripayit.
Pencak Silat depends heavily on an indigenous weapons and animal-styles
heritage. In the (distant) past, it was predominately a weapons
system; empty hand techniques are derived from the weapons forms. It
is still often said that there is no silat without the knife.
Techniques are quite varied, although kicks are not emphasized much.
Foot work is sophisticated and the development of stability is of major
importance. The foot and and hand techniques are so subtle and
intricate that they are often taught separately, then integrated after
the student has mastered them individually. There is a good balance
between offensive and defensive techniques.
Different styles of Silat use different terminology to describe a
practicioner's ability - "guru" is frequently used to refer to a
proficient instructor, "kang" for senior students, and "pendekar"
someone who has developed a high level of skill and possibly spiritual
development. However, the usage varies from style to style, and
possibly even from school to school.
As an example, Pencak Silat Mande Muda has a complex and rather
rigorous system of training, which includes classical empty hand and
weapons forms, practical empty hand, weapons, and improvised weapons
techniques, stretches, physical conditioning, and breath control.
Although the forms are often performed with musical accompaniment,
much like a dance, they are nevertheless extremely valuable both as
conditioning methods and as encyclopedias of technique.
Mande Muda, Serak (also spelled Sera and Serah), Cimande (Tjimande),
Cikalong (Tjikalong), Harimau, Mustika Kwitang, Gerakan Suci, Perisai
Diri, many others.
(Contributors: Dakin Burdick - email@example.com,
Ray Terry - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Intro: One of the most popular sports and martial arts in the world.
The five original Korean Kwans ("schools") were: Chung Do Kwan, Moo
Duk Kwan (the art of Tang Soo Do), Yun Moo Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, and
Chi Do Kwan. These were founded in 1945 and 1946. Three more Kwans
were founded in the early 1950's - Ji Do Kwan, Song Moo Kwan, and Oh
After fifty years of occupation by Japan (which ended in 1945) and
after the division of the nation and the Korean War, Korean
nationalism spurred the creation of a national art in 1955, combining
the styles of the numerous kwans active within the country (with the
exception of Moo Duk Kwan, which remained separate - therefore Tang
Soo Do is still a separate art from TKD today). Gen. Hong Hi Choi was
primarily responsible for the creation of this new national art, which
was named Tae Kwon Do to link it with Tae-Kyon (a native art). Earlier
unification efforts had been called Kong Soo Do, Tae Soo Do, etc. Many
masters had learned Japanese arts during the occupation, or had
learned Chinese arts in Manchuria. Only a few had been lucky enough
to be trained by the few native martial artists who remained active
when the Japanese banned all martial arts in Korea. Choi himself had
taken Tae-Kyon (a Korean art) as a child, but had earned his 2nd dan
in Shotokan Karate while a student in Japan.
Primarily a kicking art. There is often a greater emphasis on the
sport aspect of the Art. Tae-Kwon-Do stylists tend to fight at an
extended range, and keep opponents away with their feet. It is a
hard/soft, external, fairly linear style. It is known for being very
Training tends to emphasize sparring, but has forms, and basics are
important as well. There is a lot of competition work in many
The World Taekwondo Federation is the governing body recognized by the
International Olympic Committee, and as a result WTF schools usually
emphasize Olympic-style full contact sparring. The WTF is represented
in the U.S. by the U.S. Taekwondo Union (USTU).
The International Taekwondo Federation is an older organization
founded by Hong Hi Choi and based out of Canada. It tends to
emphasize a combination of self-defense and sparring, and uses forms
slightly older than those used by the WTF.
The American Taekwondo Association is a smaller organization similar
in some ways to the ITF. It is somewhat more insular than the ITF and
WTF, and is somewhat unique in that it has copyrighted the forms of
its organization so that they cannot be used in competition by
There are numerous other federations and organizations, many claiming
to be national (AAU TKD has perhaps the best claim here) or
international (although few are), but these three have the most
members. All of these federations, however, use similar techniques
(kicks, strikes, blocks, movement, etc.), as indeed does Tang Soo Do
(another Korean art, founded by the Moo Duk Kwan, that remained
independent during the unification/foundation of Tae Kwon Do).
16.41) Taijiquan (T'ai Chi Ch'u"an)
(Contributors: William Breazeal - email@example.com,
Michael Robinson - firstname.lastname@example.org,
Simon Ryan/Peter Wakeham - email@example.com)
One of the three orthodox "internal" styles of Chinese martial art
(the other two being Xingyiquan and Baguazhang). The term
"Taiji" refers to the ancient Chinese cosmological concept of the
interplay between two opposite yet complementary forces (Yin and Yang)
as being the foundation of creation. "Quan" literaly means "fist"
and denotes an unarmed method of combat. Taijiquan as a martial
art is based on the principle of the soft overcoming the hard.
ORIGIN: Chenjiagou, Wen County, Henan Province, China.
The origins of Taijiquan are often attributed to one Zhang Sanfeng
(a Taoist of either the 12th or 15th century depending on the
source) who created the art after witnessing a fight between a snake
and a crane. These stories were popularized in the early part of this
century and were the result of misinformation and the desire to
connect the art with a more famous and ancient personage. All of the
various styles of Taijiquan which are in existence today can be
traced back to a single man, Chen Wangding, a general of the latter
years of the Ming Dynasty. After the fall of the Ming and the
establishment of the Qing Dynasty (1644), Chen Wangding returned to
the Chen village and created his forms of boxing. Originally
containing up to seven forms, only two forms of Chen Style
Taijiquan have survived into the present.
The Art was only taught to members of the Chen clan until a promising
young outsider named Yang Luzhan was accepted as a student in the
early part of the 19th century. Yang Luzhan (nicknamed "Yang without
enemy" as he was reportedly a peerless fighter) modified the original
Chen style and created the Yang style of Taijiquan, the most
popular form practiced in the world today. Wu Yuxiang learned the Art
from Yang Luzhan and a variation of the original Chen form from Chen
Jingbing (who taught the "small frame" version of Chen Taijiquan)
and created the Wu style. A man named Hao Weizhen learned the
Wu style from Wu Yuxiang's nephew and taught the style to Sun
Ludang, who in turn created the Sun style (Sun was already an
established master of Xingyiquan and Baguazhang when he learned
Taijiquan. He combined his knowledge of the other arts when
creating his style). Yang Luzhan had another student, a Manchu named
Chuan You (or Quan You), who in turned taught the Art to his son, Wu
Jianchuan (or Jianquan). Wu Jianchuan popularized his variation of
the Yang style, which is commonly refered to as the Wu Jianchuan
(or Jianquan) style. In recent times (this century) there have been
many other variations and modificationsof the Art, but all may be
traced back through the above masters to the original Chen family form.
Complete Taijiquan arts include basic exercises, stance keeping
(Zhanzhuang), repetitive single movement training, linked form
training, power training (exercises which train the ability to issue
energy in a ballistic pulse), weapons training (which includes
straight sword, broadsword, staff and spear), and various two-person
exercises and drills (including "push-hands" sensitivity drills). A
hallmark of most styles of Taijiquan is that the movements in
the forms are done quite slowly, with one posture flowing into the
next without interruption. Some forms (the old Chen forms for example)
alternate between slow motion and explosive movements. Other styles
divide the training into forms which are done slowly at an even tempo
and separate forms which are performed at a more vigorous pace. The
goal of moving slowly is to insure correct attention is paid to proper
body mechanics and the maintenance of the prerequisite relaxation.
Training exercises can be divided into two broad categories: solo
exercises, and drills which require a partner. A beginner will usually
begin training with very basic exercises designed to teach proper
structural alignment and correct methods of moving the body, shifting
the weight, stepping, etc. All of the Taijiquan arts have at
their very foundation the necessity of complete physical relaxation
and the idea that the intent leads and controls the motion of the
body. The student will also be taught various stance keeping postures
which serve as basic exercises in alignment and relaxation as well as
a kind of mind calming standing meditation. A basic tenet of all
"internal" martial arts is that correct motion is born of absolute
stillness. Once the basics are understood, the student will progress
to learning the formal patterns of movement ("forms") which contain
the specific movement patterns and techniques inherent in the style.
Traditionally, single patterns of movement were learned and repeated
over and over until mastered, only then was the next pattern taught.
Once the student had mastered an entire sequence of movements
individually, the movements were taught in a linked sequence (a
"form"). The goal of training is to cultivate a kind of "whole body"
power. This refers to the ability to generate power with the entire
body, making full use of one's whole body mass in every movement.
Power is always generated from "the bottom up," meaning the powerful
muscles of the legs and hips serve as the seat of power. Using the
strength of the relatively weaker arms and upper body is not
emphasized. The entire body is held in a state of dynamic relaxation
which allows the power of the whole body to flow out of the hands and
into the opponent without obstruction.
The Taijiquan arts have a variety of two person drills and
exercises designed to cultivate a high degree of sensitivity in the
practitioner. Using brute force or opposing anothers power with power
directly is strictly discouraged. The goal of two person training is
to develop sensitivty to the point that one may avoid the opponent's
power and apply one's own whole body power wher the opponent is most
vulnerable. One must cultivate the ability to "stick" to the opponent,
smothering the others' power and destroying their balance. Finally,
the formal combat techniques must be trained until they become a
Modified forms of Taijiquan for health have become popular
worldwide in recent times because the benefits of training have been
found to be very conducive to calming the mind, relaxing the body,
relieving stress, and improving one's health in general.
Modern vs. Traditional training methods
Traditionally, a beginning student of Taijiquan was first required
to practice stance keeping in a few basic postures. After the basic
body alignments had settled in, the student would progress to
performing single movements from the form. These were performed
repetitively on a line. After a sufficient degree of mastery had been
obtained in the single movements, the student was taught to link the
movements together in the familiar long form. Now, it is not uncommon
for a student to be taught the long form immediately, with no time
being spent on stance keeping or on basic movement exercises. Since
the Long Form trains all of the qualities developed in the basic
exercises, this does not really produce a dilution of resulting
martial art. It does however make it more difficult for beginner to
learn. The duration of the basic training depends on the student and
the instructor; however, it would not be unusual for a relatively
talented student, with good instruction, to be able to defend
themselves effectively with Taiji after as little as a year of
Chen Wangding's original form of Chen style Taijiquan is often
refered to as the "Old Frame" (Laojia) and its second form as
"Cannon Fist" (Paochui). In the latter part of the 18th century, a
fifth generation decendant of Chen Wangding, Chen Youben simplified
the original forms into sets which have come to be known as the "New
Style" (Xinjia). Chen Youben's nephew, Chen Jingbing, created a
variation of the New Style which is known as the "Small Frame" (Xiaojia)
or "Zhaobao" form. All of these styles have survived to the present.
The Yang style of Taijiquan is a variation of the original Chen
style. The forms which were passed down from the Yang style founder,
Yang Luzhan have undergone many modifications since his time. Yang
Luzhan's sons were very proficient martial artists and each, in turn,
modified their father's art. The most commonly seen variation of the
form found today comes from the version taught by Yang Luzhan's
grandson, Yang Zhengfu. It was Yang Zhengfu who first popularized
his family's Art and taught it openly. Yang Zhengfu's form is
characterizes by open and extended postures. Most of the modern
variations of the Yang style, as well as the standardized Mainland
Chinese versions of Taijiquan are based on his variation of the
Yang Luzhan's student, Wu Yuxiang combined Yang's form with the
Zhaobao form which he learned from Chen Jingping to create the Wu
style. This style features higher stances and compact, circular
movements. His nephew's student, Hao Weizhen was a famous
practitioner of the style, so the style is sometimes refered to as the
Hao Style. Hao Weizhen taught his style to Sun Ludang, who combined
his knowledge of Xingyiquan and Baguazhang to create his own
Yang Luzhan had another student named Zhuan You (or Juan You),
who in turn taught the style to his son Wu Jianchuan (or Jianquan).
This modification of the Yang style is usually refered to as the
Wu Jianchuan (or Jianquan) style. This form's movements are smaller
and the stance is higher than the popular Yang style.
In summary, the major styles of traditional Taijiquan are the
Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu Jianchuan (or Jianquan) and Sun. All other "styles"
are variations of the above.
Non-martial Taiji variants.
There are modified forms of Taiji which are devoted mostly to health
enhancement and relaxation. The movements retain the flavor of
Taijiquan, but are often simplified.
16.42) Historical European Martial Arts
Kirk Lawson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Couch - email@example.com
Paul Wagner - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Hand - email@example.com
Topi Mikkola - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Rector - email@example.com
Eli Steenput - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Historical European Martial Arts groups are dedicated to re-creating
the lost martial arts of Europe. Different groups embrace styles and
weapons of particular periods, which range from the Middle Ages to
the Industrial Revolution, although the majority focus on the
Renaissance era. These arts are re-created by intensely studying and
then practicing the techniques illustrated in various period
Origin: Medieval and Renaissance Europe
Masters of defense are known to have taught the martial arts in
Europe as early as the 12th Century. These masters wrote, and often
illustrated, training manuals to pass on their skills and techniques;
the oldest known existent copy dates to the 13th century.
Some writings are cryptic lines intended only for those students
already initiated into the particular fight system; some are more
accessible descriptions and illustrations intended to attract new
students; and yet others are the distillation of the essential fight
principles extracted from the teacher's years of experience.
Unfortunately, these writings are almost all that is left to the
practitioner, as intact martial systems have not survived the
passage of time.
Although certain sports such as fencing, archery, singlestick,
boxing, and folk wrestling have retained portions of these skills,
much martial knowledge was lost due to the changed focus of military
science, the ever-fickle philosophies and fashions of personal
self-defense, and the rules imposed by the evolution into sporting
In the late 19th Century a renewal of interest in these "lost" skills
emerged. This movement was led notably in Great Britain by a group of
fencers that included Egerton Castle ("Schools and Masters of
Defense"), Sir Alfred Hutton ("Old Swordplay", "Cold Steel"), and
Captain Matthey ("Paradoxes of Defense"). These Victorian gentlemen
not only collected antique arms and fencing texts, but also put their
research into practice in the fencing hall. Theirs was the last gasp
of swordsmanship practiced by men who still romantically viewed the
sword and the knowledge of its use as a necessity for the
well-dressed gentleman and of those men who believed the historical
texts offered very real and practical advice for contemporary
soldiers who were still expected to wield the lance, bayonet and
sword on the field of battle.
A burgeoning sporting safety equipment industry spurred the renewed
interest in combat sports. Some believe that exposure to classical
Asian martial arts through trade with Japan also influenced this
revival. This interest was often viewed with an eye toward sport, as
in the case of quarterstaff, or merely as a curiosity.
In the late 20th century interest in recovering the martial aspect of
these European martial arts again gained in popularity. Forces behind
the interest and research in this area included: medieval re-enactors
of various philosophies seeking to fight in a more authentic manner;
theatrical fight choreographers wishing to depict more authentic
combat on stage and screen; modern fencers exploring the more
combative roots of their sport; Western practitioners of Eastern
martial arts exploring their own cultural heritage, and to some
degree the public fascination with tales of European-style combat
such as those spun by J.R.R. Tolkien or the adventures fancifully
presented in role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons (tm) may
have helped pave the way for public interest and acceptance of the
combative value of these arts. Other possible motivations for the
resurgence of interest included: ethnic and nationalistic pride in
cultural heritage; the backlash against religious or spiritual
elements found in some non-Western martial arts; Self Defense; and
as a vehicle for establishing a connection to the past for some who
would otherwise be uninterested in Martial Arts.
There is no accepted "standard" naming convention for these clubs or
the martial arts that they practice. Some examples of school names
include "Fechtbuch Society," "School of Fence/Defence," "Historical
European Martial Arts (HEMA) schools/clubs/study
groups/associations," "Western Martial Arts," "Historical
Swordsmanship," "Academy of Arms," "Classical Fencing," etc. Most
will simply report that they practice "Western Martial Arts." The
trend is to select a name indicative of the focus of the organization
or to select a name that would have been appropriate for the school
during the period studied.
Historical fight manuals provide instruction in both armed and
unarmed combat: standing grappling, striking, ground grappling,
throwing, etc. Weapons instruction found in various manuals include
dagger, longsword, arming sword, spear, quarterstaff, polearm,
weapon and shield, club, cudgel, sabre (saber), smallsword, rapier,
two-weapon styles, and many more.
Illustrations for competing in judicial duels in particular show, in
addition to the expected sword illustrations, techniques for fighting
with hooked shields, polearms, and even techniques for the bizarre
domestic duel wherein a woman swings a rock in a veil at a man waist-
deep in a hole in the ground armed with a club.
Techniques and styles vary with time period and with location but
can cover unarmored, armored, mounted, afoot, differently armed, and
most other conceivable variations in combative circumstances.
While not addressed here in any detail, the civilian and sporting
elements of Western martial arts are also a valid area of study for
groups, including various pugilistic, wrestling, stickfighting, and
other martial styles that may have different origins than the
Medieval and Renaissance martial arts previously discussed.
There are a large number of Historical European Martial
Arts clubs, both small and large, including The British Federation,
Federazione Italiana Scherma Antica e Storica, the European
Historical Fencing Alliance, the Association for Historical Fencing
in the USA, the Australian Historical Swordplay Federation, The
Company of Maisters in Great Britain, The Academy of European
Medieval Martial Arts, The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts,
and the International Masters at Arms Federation. A web search on
the term "Fechtbuch," "Historical European Martial Arts", "Western
Martial Arts", "European Swordplay" and the like will net numerous
organizations and clubs.
Every society or club has its own curriculum, equipment, safety,
and training requirements. Some organizations offer simple guidance,
information exchange, and fellowship; others may offer a regulating
body to unite clubs in distant geographic locations. Since any
regular training is necessarily very local, most local groups set
their own standards regardless of affiliation.
Working from texts written by the masters of old, these groups may
study techniques from earlier or later martial traditions to isolate
the evolution of technical details. Perhaps most important, groups
network with other re-creationists via the Internet to discuss
details, make contacts, and arrange workshops and seminars to assist
in re-creating the particular art they study. In addition to the
input from others studying the same or related material, modern and
historical combat sports practitioners may also be consulted for
further technical comparisons.
16.43) Wing Chun
(Contributor: Marty Goldberg - email@example.com)
Intro: One of the most popular forms of Gongfu.
Wing Chun was an obscure and little known art until the mid twentieth
century. While multiple histories of the art do exist (some with only
minor discrepancies), the generally accepted version is thus:
he style traces its roots back over 250 years ago to the Southern
Shaolin Temple. At that time, the temple a was sanctuary to the
Chinese revolution that was trying to overthrow the ruling Manchu. A
classical martial arts system was taught in the temple which took
15-20 years to produce an efficient fighter.
Realizing they needed to produce efficent fighters at a faster pace,
five of China's grandmasters met to discuss the merits of each of the
various forms of gongfu. They chose the most efficient techniques,
theories and principles from the various styles and proceeded to
develop a training program that produced an efficent fighter in 5-7
Before the program was put into practice, the Southern temple was
raided and destroyed. A lone nun, Ng Mui, was the only survivor who
knew the full system. She wandered the countryside, finally taking in
a young orphan girl and training her in the system. She named the
girl Yimm Wing Chun (which has been translated to mean Beautiful
Springtime, or Hope for the Future), and the two women set out
refining the system.
The system was passed down through the years, and eventually became
known as Wing Chun, in honor of the founder. The veil of secrecy
around the art was finally broken in the early 1950's when Grandmaster
Yip Man began teaching publicly in Hong Kong, and his students began
gaining noteriety for besting many systems and experienced opponents
in streetfights and "friendly" competitions. The art enjoyed even
more popularity when one of its students, Bruce Lee, began to enjoy
world wide fame.
Most important is the concept of not using force against force, which
allows a weak fighter to overcome stronger opponents. Generally, a
Wing Chun practitioner will seek to use his opponent's own force
against him. A great deal of training is put in to this area, and is
done with the cultivation of a concept called Contact Reflexes (see
Also of importance are the use of several targeting ideas in Wing
Chun. The Mother Line is an imaginary pole running vertically through
the center of your body. From the Mother Line emanates the Center
Line, which is a vertical 3D grid that divides the body in to a right
half and a left half. Most of the vital points of the body are along
the Center Line, and it is this area that the Wing Chun student learns
to protect as well as work off of in his own offensive techniques.
Also emanating from the Mother Line is the Central Line. The Central
Line is seen as the shortest path between you and your opponent, which
is generally where most of the exchange is going to take place.
Because of this linear concept, most of the techniques seek to occupy
one of the two lines and take on a linear nature.
This leads to the expression of another very important concept in Wing
Chun: "Economy of Motion". The analogy of a mobile tank with a turret
(that of course shoots straight out of the cannon) is often used to
describe the linear concept.
Only two weapons are taught in the system, the Dragon Pole and the
Butterfly swords. These are generally taught only once the student
has a firm foundation in the system.
The way the art produces efficent and adaptble fighters in a
relatively short time is by sticking to several core principles and
constantly drilling them in to the student, as well as taking a very
generic approach to techniques. Instead of training a response to a
specific technique, the student practices guarding various zones about
the body and dealing genericly with whatever happens to be in that
zone. This allows for a minimum of technique for a maximum of
application, and for the use of automatic or "subconcious" responses.
Much training time is spent cultivating "Contact Reflexes". The idea
is that at the moment you contact or "touch" your opponent, your body
automaticaly reads the direction, force, and often intent of the part
of the opponent's body you are contacting with and automatically
(subconciously) deals with it accordingly. This again lends itself to
the generic concept of zoning.
Contact Reflexes and the concept of not using force against force are
taught and cultivated through unique two man sensitivity drills called
The concepts of guarding and working off of these lines and zones are
learned throught the practice of the three forms Wing Chun students
learn, and which contain the techniques of the system: Shil Lum Tao,
Chum Kil, and Bil Jee.
Another unique aspect of the system is the use of the Mook Jong, or
wooden dummy, a wood log on a frame that has three "arms" and a "leg"
to simulate various possible positions of an opponent's limbs. A
wooden dummy form is taught to the student, that consists of 108
movements and is meant to introduce the student to various
applications of the system. It also serves to help the student perfect
his own skills.
Weapons training drills off the same generic ideas and concepts as the
open hand system (including the use of Contact Reflexes). Many of the
weapon movements are built off of or mimic the open hand moves (which
is the reverse process of Kali/Escrima/Arnis, where weapon movements
come first and open hand movements mimic these).
Currently, there exist several known substyles of Wing Chun. Separate
from Yip Man are the various other lineages that descended from one of
Yip Man's teachers, Chan Wah Shun. These stem from the 11 or so other
disciples that Chan Wah Shun had before Yip Man.
Pan Nam Wing Chun (currently discussed here and in the martial arts
magazines) is currently up for debate, with some saying a totally
separate lineage, and others saying he's from Chan Wah Shun's lineage.
Red Boat Wing Chun is a form dating back from when the art resided on
the infamous Red Boat Opera Troup boat. Little is known about the
history of this art or its validity.
At the time of Yip Man's death in 1972, his lineage splintered in to
many sub-styles and lineages. Politics played into this splintering a
great deal, and provided much news in the martial arts community
throughout the 70's and 80's. By the time the late 80's/early 90's
rolled around, there were several main families in Yip Man's lineage.
To differentiate each lineage's unique style of the art, various
spellings or wordings of the art were copyrighted and trademarked
(phonetically, Wing Chun can be spelled either as Wing Chun, Wing
Tsun, Ving Tsun, or Ving Chun). These main families and spellings
Wing Tsun -- Copyrighted and Trademarked by Grandmaster Leung Ting.
Used to describe the system he learned as Grandmaster Yip Man's last
direct student before his death. Governing body is the International
Wing Tsun Association, and the North American Section in the U.S.
Traditional Wing Chun -- Copyrighted and Trademarked by Grandmaster
William Cheung. Used to describe a very different version of Wing
Chun he learned while living with Yip Man in the 1950's. Includes
different history of lineage as well. Governing body is the World
Wing Chun Kung Fu Association.
Ving Tsun - Used by other students of Yip Man, such as Moy Yat. This
spelling was considered the main one used by Grandmaster Yip Man as
well. It is also used by many of the other students, and was adopted
for use in one of the main Wing Chun associations in Hong Kong -- The
Ving Tsun Athletic Organization.
Wing Chun - General spelling used by just about all practitioners of
A World Wide listing of Wing Chun Kwoons (schools) is maintained by
Marty Goldberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) and posted periodically to
rec.martial-arts. A mailing list (open to all students of Wing Chun)
is also maintained by Marty and Rob Gillespe at email@example.com
16.44) Wushu / Gongfu
(Contributors: Nick Doan - firstname.lastname@example.org,
Alex Jackl - email@example.com)
This is an almost impossible category. This label is attached to
almost any martial art that comes from China. It is the generic name
for literally hundreds of individual Chinese fighting arts. In
reality we should have an entry for each individual Gongfu 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 Sifu Benny Meng.
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.
The 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
The first written record we have of Chinese martial arts is from a
Taoist acupuncturist from the 5th century. He describes combat
designed along the lines of an animal's movements and style.
Legend has it that a Bhuddist monk named Bohdiharma, also called
Damo, came across the Tibetan Mountains to China. The Emperor of China
at the time was much impressed with the man, and gave him a temple
located in Henan - the famed Sui Lim Monastery (Shaolin Monastery).
Damo found that the 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 the famous Shaolin Gongfu system.
"Gongfu" means "skill and effort". It is used to describe anything
that a person nees to spend time training in and becoming skillful in.
(A chef can have good "gongfu".) The Chinese term that translates
into "military art" is "Wushu" Gongfu.
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 the 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
the emergence of bronze weapons in quantity. During the period of
Warring States (770BC to 221BC), the heads of states and government
advocated Wushu in their armies and kept Wushu masters for their own
Military Wushu developed more systematically during the Tang and Song
dynaties (618 to 1279) and exhibitions of Wushu arts were held in the
armies as morale boosters and military exercises. In the Ming and Qing
dynasties, the general development of Wushu was at its height.
Military Wushu became more practical and meticulous and was
systematically classified and summarized . General Qi Jiguang of the
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 the 20th century has seen a great upswing in the
interest of Gongfu world wide. The introduction of Gongfu to the
Western world has seen to it that its development and popularity will
continue to grow.
Styles of Gongfu encompass both soft and hard, internal and external
techniques. They include grappling, striking, nerve-attack and much
The Shaolin styles encompass both Northern and Southern styles, and
therefore are the basis of the following outline.
I Shaolin Wushu styles
A. External Styles (Hard, Physical)
a. Northern Shaolin
b. Chang Quan (Long Fist)
c. Praying Mantis
d. Eagle Claw
f. Drunken, et al
a. Southern Shaolin
b. Wing Chun
c. Five Animal System (Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, Crane)
d. Tiger and Crane Systems, et al
B. Internal Styles (Soft, Mental/Spiritual)
2. Others (Bagua, Xingyi, et al)
II Shaolin Wushu Methods
A. Hard or External Styles
1. Stresses training and strengthening of the joints, bones,
2. Requires rigorous body conditioning
3. Consists of positioning and movement of the limbs and body,
correct technique, muscular strength, speed, etc.
B. Soft or Internal Styles
1. Stresses development of internal organs where "Qi" is
2. Allows one to develop mental capability to call upon this
3. Concerned with breathing, poise, and tone of the core body
C. Long or Northern Styles
1. Stresses Flexibility, quickness, agility, and balance
similar to the attributes of a trained and well-conditioned
2. Uses many kicks along with hand techniques
3. Legs specialize in long-range tactics
D. Short or Southern
1. Stresses close-range tactics, power, and stability
2. Uses mostly hand techniques
Gongfu 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 the harder
styles, and sensitivity training in the soft styles.
Sub-Styles: see above
16.45) Xingyiquan (Hsing Yi Ch'uan)
(Contributor: William Breazeal - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Xingyiquan is one of the three orthodox "internal" styles of
Chinese martial art (the other two being Taijiquan and Baguazhang).
"Xing" refers to form and "Yi" to the mind or intent.
"Quan" literally means fist and denotes a method of unarmed combat.
Xingyiquan is commonly refered to as "Form and Mind" or "Form and
Will" boxing. The name illustrates the strong emphasis placed on
motion being subordinate to mental control.
ORIGIN: Shanxi Province, China.
The exact origins of Xingyiquan are unknown. The creation of the
Art is traditionally attributed to the famous general and patriot Yue
Fei (1103- 1141) of the Song Dynasty. There is, however, no historical
data to support this claim. The style was originally called "Xin Yi Liu
He Quan"(Heart Mind Six Harmonies Boxing). The Six Harmonies
refer to the Three Internal Harmonies (the heart or desire coordinates
with the intent; the intent coordinates with the qi or vital energy;
the qi coordinates with the strength), and the Three External
Harmonies (the shoulders coordinate with the hips; the elbows
coordinate with the knees and the hands coordinate with the feet).
The earliest reliable information we have makes reference to Ji Longfeng
(also known as Ji Jige) of Shanxi Province as being the
first to teach the art of Xin Yi Liu He Quan. Ji Longfeng was
active near the end of the Ming Dynasty (early 1600's) and was a
master of spear fighting (he had the reputation of possessing "divine"
skill with the spear). He is recorded as stating "I have protected
myself in violent times with my spear. Now that we are in a time of
"peace" and our weapons have all been destroyed, if I am unarmed and
meet the unexpected, how shall I defend myself?" In answer to his own
question, Ji Longfeng reportedly created a style of weaponless
combat based on his expertise with the spear. He refered to his art as
"Liu He," the Six Harmonies.
Ji Longfeng had two very famous students. One was from from Hebei
province and was named Cao Jiwu. The other was from Henan
Province and was named Ma Xueli. It was at this point in history
that the Xin Yi Liu He Quan (now also refered to as Xingyiquan)
divided into three related yet separate styles, the Shanxi,
Henan and Hebei schools. After spending 12 years studying
Xingyiquan with Ji Longfeng, Cao Jiwu entered the Imperial Martial
Examinations and placed first (this was the most prestigious honor one
could possibly win as a martial artist in old China, and assured the
victor a high government position). Cao passsed on his art to two
brothers, Dai Longbang and Dai Linbang.
Dai Longbang passed his Art on to Li Luoneng (also known as Li
Nengran). Li holds the distinction of being the greatest Xingyi Boxer in
the styles' history and one of the top Chinese boxers of all time. Li
Luoneng taught his art in his native Shanxi Province and also
taught a great number of students in Hebei Province (his duties as a
bodyguard involved escorting various members of wealthy families to
and from Hebei). Two of Li's most famous Shanxi students were Song
Shirong and Zhe Yizhai. His most famous Hebei student was the
formidable Guo Yunshen (who reportedly defeated all comers with his
"Beng Quan," a straight punch to the body). Guo Yunshen passed on
his art to Wang Fuyuan, Liu Qilan and Sun Ludang among others;
Liu Qilan passed on the Art to the most famous practitioners of
this century, including Li Cunyi and Zhang Zhangui (also known as
Zhang Zhaodong). There are many practitioners of all three
sub-systems active today, and Xingyiquan is still a popular and
well respected style of martial art in China.
The art is divided into two main systems, the Ten Animal and Five
Element respectively. The Five Element system is further divided into
two major branches, the Hebei and Shanxi styles. The Ten animal
style is closest to the original Xin Yi Liu He Quan in form and
practice. The movements in the forms are patterned after the spirit of
various animals in combat, including the Dragon, Tiger, Monkey, Horse,
Chicken, Hawk, Snake, Bear, Eagle and Swallow. The Five Element based
systems have five basic forms (including Splitting, Drilling,
Crushing, Pounding, and Crossing) as the foundation of the art. These
basic energies are later expanded into Twelve Animal forms which
include variations of the animal forms found in the Ten Animal styles
as well as two additional animals, the Tai (a mythical bird) and the
Tuo (a type of water lizard, akin to the aligator). Training in all
systems centers on repetitive practice of single movements which are
later combined into more complicated linked forms.
The direction of movement in Xingyiquan forms is predominately
linear. Practitioners "walk" through the forms coordinating the
motions of their entire bodies into one focused flow. The hands, feet
and torso all "arrive" together and the nose, front hand and front
foot are along one verticle line when viewed from the front (san jian
xiang jiao). The arms are held in front of the body and the
practitioner lines up his or her centerline with opponent's
centerline. A familiar adage of Xingyiquan is that "the hands do
not leave the (area of the) heart and the elbows do not leave the
ribs." There are few kicks in the style and the techniques are of a
predominately percussive nature. Great emphasis is placed upon the
ability to generate power with the whole body and focus it into one
pulse which is released in a sudden burst.
Xingyi is characteristically aggressive in nature and prefers to
move into the opponent with a decisive blow at the earliest
opportunity. The style prizes economy of motion and the concept of
simultaneous attack and defense. As the name of the style implies, the
form or "shape" of the movements is the outward, physical
manifestation of the "shape" of one's intent. A fundamental principle
underlying all styles of Xingyiquan is that the mind controls and
leads the movement of the body.
Training in Henan (Ten Animal) Xin Yi Liu He Quan includes basic
movements designed to condition and develop the striking ability of
the "Seven Stars" (the head, shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees and
feet). From there the student will progress to learning the basic
animal forms. Form practice consists of repeating single movements
while walking foward in various straight line patterns. Later, the
single movements are combined into linked forms. The techniques are
relatively simple and straightforeward and rely on the ability to
generate force with almost any part of the body (the Seven Stars).
Also included at more advanced levels are weapons forms (including the
straight sword, staff and spear).
The Five Element based styles of Xingyiquan (Shanxi and Hebei)
traditionally begin training with stance keeping (Zhan Zhuang). The
fundamental posture is called "San Ti" (Three Bodies) or "San Cai"
(Three Powers, refering to heaven, earth and man). It is from this
posture that all of the movements in the style are created and most
teachers place great emphasis upon it. After stance keeping the
student begins to learn the Five Elements (Wu Xing). These are the
basic movements of the art and express all the possible combinations
of motion which produce percussive power. After a certain level of
proficiency is acquired in the practice of the Five Elements, the
student goes on to learn the Twelve Animal and linked forms. The
Twelve Animal forms are variations of the Five Elements expressed
through the format of the spirit of animals in combat. There are
several two-person combat forms which teach the student the correct
methods of attack and defense and the applications of the techniques
practiced in the solo forms. Five Element based styles also include
weapons training (the same weapons as the Henan styles).
As mentioned above, Xingyiquan is divided into three related yet
distinct styles: Henan Xin Yi Liu He Quan and Shanxi/Hebei
Henan Xin Yi Liu He Quan is characterized by powerful swinging
movements of the arms and the ability to strike effectively with every
part of the body. This system is very powerful and aggressive in
nature and the movements are simple and straightforeward.
Hebei style Five Element Xingyiquan emphasizes larger and more
extended postures, strict and precise movements and powerful palm and
Shanxi style Five Element Xingyiquan is characterized by
smaller postures with the arms held closer to the body, light and
agile footwork and a relatively "softer" approach to applying
technique (Shanxi Xingyi places a greater emphasis on evasiveness
than the other styles).
16.46) Yoseikan Budo
(Contributor: Tobias Ratschiller - tRatschiller@pass.dnet.it)
Yoseikan Budo ("the house in which is taught with courage and honesty
the way of the warrior") was founded in the early 60's by Hiroo
Mochizuki Sensei, son of Minoru Mochizuki, one of the great martial
artists of the 20th century. Mochizuki Hiroo Sensei has high Dan
rankings in several martial arts, among them Aikido, Jujutsu, Wado-Ryu
Karate, and Iaido. Yoseikan Budo is today spread throughout Europe,
Africa and the USA. The FYBDA (Federation Internacional de Yoseikan
Budo et Disziplines Asimilees) is the worldwide umbrella organization,
which is subdivided in national Academies and regional federations.
Mochizuki Hiroo Sensei realized that most basic techniques are based
on a wavy movement beginning in the hip, which produces much more
power than when movement is limited to only extremities. These basic
elements are taught and applied to all YB techniques. YB consists of
(modified) techniques of Karate, Judo/Ju-Jutsu and Aikido. The use of
classical weapons as Bokken, Tanto, Bo, Nunchaku etc is taught as well
as traditional and new forms (kata). Beginners usually study basic
techniques for a year or so, including mae-geri, mawashi-geri etc,
nage-waza, falls, foot-work, kata, etc. From 3rd Kyu to 1st Kyu more
aikido-techniques and the use of weapons are taught. Competitions are
held and consist of Kata, Randori, Tanto-Tanto, etc.
There was a split of the umbrella organization in the early years,
leading to a sub-style (found primarily in the UA) with the name YB
that focuses primarily on Aikido-techniques.
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