Kung Fu Dreams Begin
General Introduction of Shaolin Fist
Chinese Wushu (martial arts), known around the world as Kungfu, has a long colorful history. Originally an individual combat skill, Wushu was developed by Chinese ancestors in their struggle against natural and social environments to survive. Since the day it was born, Chinese Wushu has been closely connected with traditional chinese culture. Chinese Wushu has become a token of Chinese national character, revealing significant aspects of the Chinese people. With a grace that "combines the external body movements and the internal heart and soul", it has established a reputation as a valuable asset among traditional sports in the world.
Today, Chinese Wushu has established a system of its own, combining the actions of kicking, striking, thrusting etc. in a unique way to form, under standardized rules, a variety of attack and defense techniques, Taolu (a series of attack and tricks in Wushu) and forms. It is now not only very popular as an exercise for body fitness and self defense, but also highly regarded for its distinctive aesthetic value.
Chinese Wushu has become a bridge of friendship. It links the Chinese people and other countries' people and serves as a window through which the world may gain a better understanding of China.
Characteristics and Functions of Wushu
The essence of Wushu is the attacking and defending nature of the movement. The skills come from real combating. This character and nature distinguishes Wushu from other sports. For example, both Sanda and Duanbing reflect the attacking and defending nature of Wushu. According to the sports competition rules that the principle is to avoid hurting the opponent in Wushu competition.
The combating nature enables Wushu to form a complete skill system of its own. Taolu (series of skills) as a special form of Chinese Wushu, includes different forms and styles, but all the forms are in common in terms of the movements for attacking and defending, such as Ti (kick), Da (hit), Shuai (wrestle), Na (hold), Ji (beat), Ci (thrust), and Pi (hack) etc.
The core of Taolu skill is to demonstrate the meaning and spirit of attacking and defending. With the development of Wushu skills that the combating function of Wushu Taolu has been weakened, but the combat nature of Wushu will still exist in the long run as the most significant feature of Wushu skills.
All Quans and Taolu require the harmony and unity of spirit and body movements. It reflects the fact that Wushu has been affected by ancient Chinese philosophy, medicine and esthetics during its long-term of development. The unity of body and spirit is not only an issue of skills, but also the reflection of traditional Chinese culture in the form of Wushu.
Technique Characteristics of Shaolin Fist
Shaolin fist has more routine exercise, compact structure, terse and forceful. It is required to move in a straight line while practicing. Many Shaolin fist masters felt that from a practical point of view, the real fight is just within a distance of few steps, the most effective way is to move in a straight line, victory or defeat can be decided in a small area. This fully embodies of the Shaolin fist is not limited by the size of practicing yard and can be used at any place.
Shaolin fist requires a stable center of gravity in offense, exerting force to strengthen the attack. Defensive motions should be flexible, nimble and fast. During the period of retreating and falling, it requires not to face oponent directly in order to reduce the attacked scope which is to defend and attacked with ease.
Coordination between the inside and outside, unity of form and spirit are the characteristics of Shaolin fist. Each movement requires each part of the body act in cose coordination and harmony, including the hands, eyes and body. As the movement of Shaolin fist is compact, it is not easy to change the body on a vigorous large-scale. Hence that it has specific corresponding requirements for the body: "Coordinating hip and shoulder, elbow and knee, hand and foot", so-called three ways of outer coordination. "Coordinating heart and mind, mind and breath, breath and power", which is the so-called inner three coordination.