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Kung Fu and Science

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City University of Hong Kong Gateway Education (GE) Book Series Advisory Committee Co-Chairman FENG Gang, Gary

Associate Provost, Academic Planning and Undergraduate Education; Chair Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering; College of Science and Engineering

CHENG Shuk Han

Director, Office of Education Development and Gateway Education; Associate Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine; Chair Professor of Molecular Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Science and Engineering

Committee Members YANG Zhilin

Chairman, University Press Committee; Professor, Department of Marketing, College of Business

DAM, Shubhankar

Associate Professor, School of Law

LEE Kwan Hon, Patrick

Assistant Professor, School of Energy and Environment

LEE Po Lun, Peppina

Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (Undergraduate Education); Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and Translation, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

WEI Shiyu, Louisa

Associate Professor, School of Creative Media

Eddie YU

Associate Professor, Department of Management, College of Business

ZHANG Ruiqin

Professor, Department of Physics and Materials Science, College of Science and Engineering

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Kung Fu and Science Fen SUN Patrick TK LEUNG Roy VELLAISAMY

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©2016 City University of Hong Kong All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, Internet or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the City University of Hong Kong Press. ISBN: 978-962-937-252-1 Published by City University of Hong Kong Press Tat Chee Avenue Kowloon, Hong Kong Website: www.cityu.edu.hk/upress E-mail: [email protected] Illustrations: LEUNG Wai Kwo Coco Printed in Hong Kong

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Contents

Preface

ix

About the Authors Glossary

xi

xiii

Part I: Overview 1. What is Kung Fu?

4

2. How does Kung Fu relate to the sciences?

9

3. What are the physical benefits of practising Kung Fu? 4. Is Kung Fu only good for the body?

10

14

5. What are the different functions of Kung Fu?

17

6. What is the origin and historical development of Kung Fu? 7. How did Chinese weapons evolve throughout history?

19

22

Part II: Starting Out 8. What is the most important lesson in Kung Fu? 9. What is the centre of gravity? 10. What is equilibrium?

28

31

11. What is supporting area?

34

12. What is the importance of the centre of gravity?

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26

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13. What are stability angle and equilibrium?

38

14. How do Kung Fu masters keep their balance while falling?

41

15. How does the basic stance of Wing Chun differ from other Kung Fu stances? 42 16. How do our bodies generate forces? What are their functions? 17. Are forces in physics the same as forces in Chinese martial arts? 18. Why do Kung Fu masters possess so much strength? 19. What are the different kinds of Jing?

44 49

52

55

20. What is the most important body part in the practice of Kung Fu? 57 21. Why do Kung Fu masters practise their routines over and over again? 58 22. What is the use of the wooden dummy in Wing Chun?

60

Part III: Style 23. How many Kung Fu styles are there?

64

24. Why are some schools of martial arts lost to the world? 25. Is Shaolin really the birthplace of all Chinese Kung Fu? 26. What are the different schools of Shaolin Kung Fu? 27. What are the 72 Shaolin secret arts?

29. Why are the internal arts so important?

71

73

75

77

31. Is Qi a material?

79

32. How is Qi manipulated through breathing?

vi

69

72

28. Are there specific schools of Kung Fu suitable for certain age groups or prevention of certain diseases?

30. What is Qi?

68

80

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33. What is Qi Gong?

82

34. What is the difference between hard Qi Gong and soft Qi Gong? 84 35. Is hard Qi Gong scientific?

86

36. What is the science behind iron palm?

88

37. What is headbutt? Is it related to Qi Gong? What is the science behind it? 90 38. How does Qi influence Jing (power and force) in martial arts? 39. Could I teach myself Qing Gong?

92

93

40. How can practising Nei Gong help me be a better fighter?

94

41. What are the differences between internal boxing and external boxing? 96 42. Which one is more powerful, internal or external boxing?

98

43. Which is more powerful, Shaolin boxing or its descendant Wu Dang Nei Jia boxing? 100 44. What are the different schools of Wu Dang?

102

45. Why do Kung Fu moves imitate nature or animals? 46. What is Shaolin five-form boxing? 47. What are the five elements?

103

104

107

48. Other than Shaolin five-form boxing, is there any Kung Fu that imitates animals or nature? 109 49. What do Yin and Yang mean?

111

50. How can Yin and Yang be applied in martial arts?

112

51. How do you read a Ba Gua (eight trigrams) map?

113

52. How are the eight trigrams applied in Kung Fu? 53. What is drunken style?

114

116

Contents

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54. What is Tai Chi? How does Tai Chi influence Kung Fu? 55. Why is Tai Chi Quan so slow and calm?

119

120

56. What is Dian Xue and how does it work?

122

57. How many vital points are there in the human body? 58. Does Xue stay at the same position all the time?

124

126

Part IV: Ultimate Battle 59. What is the scientific theory every Kung Fu practitioner must learn in order to fight with others? 130 60. Does a knowledge of anatomy make a better Kung Fu fighter? 61. What is the application of force couple in Kung Fu?

134

62. What is the application of the lever principle in Kung Fu? 63. Is it possible for a slim man to defeat a stout man? 64. How do you give a strong punch?

133

136

138

140

65. How can you hit your opponent with the greatest effect? 66. Can the force of one’s punch be increased?

141

143

67. Is it possible that the force of a punch from a slim man is the same as from a stout man? 145 68. Which is the most powerful Quan (punch) of all?

147

69. Is it possible to “attack a naked blade empty-handed”? 70. How does the law of inertia apply to Kung Fu?

149

71. What are the benefits of the law of inertia?

151

72. How does one save effort during combat?

153

73. What is the importance of the centreline in Wing Chun? 74. Why do martial artists refuse to kill their enemies?

viii

148

155

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Preface

The Chinese, “Kung Fu” means perfection or hard work, which exemplifies the practice-based nature of Kung Fu. It has a long history and has branched into hundreds of different styles and schools, most of them originating from the Shaolin monastery for Buddhist monks where they use Kung Fu to maintain their health. Today it is popular across a broad spectrum of people for a wide variety of reasons. This book arose from the course “Science in Chinese Kung Fu” I teach in City University of Hong Kong. As a scientist and a practitioner, it is something which has always intrigued me. As there are so many practitioners of Kung Fu around the world it was thought that this might be of interest to a wider audience or indeed that it may appeal to those with an interest in Kung Fu but who have felt, perhaps, that it lacked a solid scientific basis. We discuss the scientific flavour of Kung Fu and explain how science makes Chinese Kung Fu more effective and more versatile. This book is interdisciplinary in nature, and includes aspects of classical mechanics to understand how Kung Fu works in action. In addition, bio-mechanics, a concept used to describe martial arts in motion, is explained using fundamental physics concepts. Finally, the book offers a different view, based on science, of how Kung Fu can help to maintain physical and mental health.

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This is a collaboration of three parties. Fen Sun carried out much research and writing, particularly on the historical, civilisation and ethics parts. T. K. Leung is a Wing Chun Sifu (master) who gave advice on postures, stances and real combat situations for which I then provided the scientific interpretation.

Roy VELLAISAMY

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About the Authors

Fen SUN Fen Sun is a PhD. student at East China Normal University of Shanghai. Fen Sun’s major is Chinese philosophy and her research direction is Chinese philosophy and religion. She has published some articles on this topic. Fen Sun previously worked as a teaching assistant at City University of Hong Kong.

Patrick TK LEUNG Sifu Leung Ting Kwok (Patrick) is the founder, chairman and principal instructor of Soft Wing Chun Academy (Hong Kong), and the vice chairman of World Wing Chun Union, the Hong Kong Wing Chun Union and Ving Tsun Development Council. He was one of the first people to become a Wing Chun Senior Instructor and is a Qualified Referee certificate holder of Ving Tsun Athletic Association, which was founded by Grand Master Ip Man. After forty years of training, Grand Master Ip Chun awarded him a certificate to teach for Ip Chun worldwide. He is a seventh Duan holder, Examiner, and Instructor of National Wu Shu Duan Wei, China. He has been teaching Wing Chun for over thirty years in renowned organisations.

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Sifu has also appeared at seminars around the world and been interviewed by Philippine, Spanish and British publications.

Roy VELLAISAMY Roy Vellaisamy is a scientist of molecular electronics, molecular selfassembly, photonics, nano-materials science, bio-electronics, renewable energy (solar and fuel cells) and printed electronics. He started his research on light-emitting materials during his PhD at Nagpur University, India and moved to explore the growth of various organic molecules for light emitting transistors (LET) in the ISMN, Council for National Research, Bologna. In 2004, he joined the Department of Chemistry at The University of Hong Kong and he focused on various molecular materials for electronic device applications. Currently he is with the Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong leading a group of physicists, chemists and engineers for the fabrication of functional self-assembly materials to devices and integration of such devices for printed electronics and energy harvesting devices. He is also an accomplished Kung Fu practitioner and teaches the GE course “Science in Chinese Kung Fu” in City University of Hong Kong.

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Glossary

Pinyin

Chinese

English Definition

An Jing

暗勁

Invisible power, the internal force of Kung Fu

Ba Gua Zhang

八卦掌

A style of internal boxing

Bai Hui

百會

A point on the top of the head, from which a centreline may be drawn to the ground, along which many anatomical weaknesses may be found

Bao Fa Jing

爆發勁

Explosive power; see Ming Jing

Bei Shen Zhang

背身掌

A palm technique associated with Gen

Ben Li

本力

Original force; see Li

Beng Qi

崩氣

Breathing with the mouth slightly open, while quickly exhaling Qi from the throat in short breaths

Chang Quan

長拳

Long boxing

Chen Shi

辰時

7 am to 9 am

Chong Mai

衝脈

A channel for Qi circulation

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xiv

Pinyin

Chinese

English Definition

Chong Quan

衝拳

Punching fist

Chou Shi

丑時

1 am to 3 am

Dan Tian

丹田

Lower belly

Dao Yin

導引

Another name for Qi Gong

Dan Huan Zhang

單換掌

A palm technique associated with Zhen

Dian Xue

點穴

Acupressure; a style of Kung Fu that involves targeting acupuncture points of an opponent’s body

Du Mai

督脈

A channel for Qi circulation

Dui



One of the eight trigrams

Emei

峨嵋

A mountain in China; has a school of martial arts named after it

Emei Shaolin

峨嵋少林

One of the original five genres of Shaolin

Fa Jing

發勁

Generating Jing

Fujian Shaolin

福建少林

One of the original five genres of Shaolin

Fu Zhong Gong

負重功

A martial arts exercise involving jumping while carrying a load

Gang Jing

剛勁

Hard power; see Ming Jing

Gang Quan

剛拳

Hard boxing, encompasses a number of martial arts styles

Gen



One of the eight trigrams

Gong Jian She

弓箭社

Bow and Arrow Club

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Pinyin

Chinese

English Definition

Gong Li Quan

功力拳

Power boxing

Guangdong Shaolin

廣東少林

One of the original five genres of Shaolin

Hai Shi

亥時

9 pm to 11 pm

Henan Shaolin

河南少林

One of the original five genres of Shaolin

Heng Quan

橫拳

Horizontal punch

Hua Gai Xue

華蓋穴

A point in the middle of the chest; striking here may induce immediate unconsciousness

Huo Li

活力

Flexible or skillful force; includes Jing

Jeet Kune Do/Jie Quan Dao

截拳道

A popular style of martial arts

Jiao Di

角抵

The earliest Chinese term for wrestling

Jiao Di She

角抵社

Wrestling-resisting Club

Jin Biao She

錦標社

Crossbow Club

Jing



Power; see Huo Li

Jing Zhong Zhao

金鐘罩

An exercise involving a gold bell cover

Jing Zuo

勁坐

Another name for Qi Gong; sitting still and meditating

Jiu Gong Bu

九宮步

A set of steps used to improve footwork

Kan



One of the eight trigrams

Kang Ding

扛鼎

A weightlifting exercise involving lifting a tripod

Glossary

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Pinyin

Chinese

English Definition

Kun



One of the eight trigrams

Kun Wu

昆吾

One of the important sword sets in Chinese martial arts

Lan Que Wei

攬雀尾

A martial arts technique; literally, “grasping the peacock’s tail”

Lei Tai Sai

擂台賽

A popular martial competition

Li



Literally “power” or “strength”; innate ability, relying on the force of muscle contraction as controlled by the brain, also known as Ben Li, Man Li, and Zhuo Li

Li



One of the eight trigrams

Luo Shu

洛書

The nine halls diagram; a magic square

Man Li

蠻力

Brute force; see Li

Mao Shi

卯時

5 am to 7 am

Meng Jing

猛勁

Fierce power; see Ming Jing

Ming Jing

明勁

Visible power, the external force of Kung Fu, also known as Bao Fa Jing, Gang Jing, Meng Jing, and Yang Jing

Nei Gong

內功

Internal works; a routine based on the practice of spirit and Qi

Nei Jia

內家

Internal martial arts, concerned with spiritual and mental aspects rather than the physical aspect

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Pinyin

Chinese

English Definition

Nei Jia Ba Zhuang Quan

內家八樁拳

Eight stake boxing

Nei Jing

內經

The conscious control of Qi

Nei Qi

內氣

Qi within the body

Pen Qi

噴氣

Breathing in with closed mouth and teeth, while quickly and powerfully exhaling Qi through the nose

Pi Quan

劈拳

Straight-arm chopping fist

Qi



Vital energy

Qi Gong

氣功

A system of breathing exercises

Qian



One of the eight trigrams

Qiao Guan

翹關

A strength exercise involving the lifting of the bar of a city gate

Qie Wan

切碗

Cutting wrist

Qing Gong

輕功

A routine that focuses on high jumps and long jumps

Qu Yi

取意

A kind of imitative boxing which focuses on using animal-like motions to enhance its own techniques

Ren Mai

任脈

A channel for Qi circulation

Rou Gong

柔功

Exercises for making the body supple

Rou Quan

柔拳

Soft boxing

San Da

散打

Free fighting

Shaolin

少林

A popular form of martial arts emphasising meditation

Glossary

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Pinyin

Chinese

English Definition

She Liu

射柳

A martial arts activity involving the shooting of willow trees

Shen Shi

申時

3 pm to 5 pm

Shi Qi

食氣

Another name for Qi Gong; a Taoist theory of health, taking air or Qi as food

Shou Bo

手搏

Bare-handed fighting, a very ancient Chinese martial art

Shu



A bamboo spear

Si Shi

巳時

9 am to 11 am

Songxi School

松溪派

The most authentic school of Wudang internal boxing

Tai Ji Tu Shuo

太極圖說

An ancient book in which scholars illustrated how Tai Chi created the universe

Ti Ding Gong

提頂功

An exercise involving jumping up without bending knees

Tie Bu Shan

鐵布衫

A martial arts exercise involving an iron shirt

Tie Sha Zhang

鐵砂掌

Iron palm

Tu Na

吐納

Another name for Qi Gong; literally, “expiration and inspiration”

Wai Gong

外功

External skills, a routine that focuses on expressing power from a particular part of the body

Wai Jia Quan

外家拳

External style boxing

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Pinyin

Chinese

English Definition

Wai Qi

外氣

Qi outside the body

Wei Shi

未時

1 pm to 3 pm

Wing Chun

詠春

A popular style of Kung Fu

Wu Shi

午時

11 am to 1 pm

Wu Dang

武當

A mountain range in China; has a school of martial arts named after it

Wudang Shaolin

武當少林

One of the original five genres of Shaolin

Wushu

武術

General term for martial arts

Wu Xing

五行

The five elements in ancient Chinese philosophy: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth

Xiang Pu

相撲

Sumo wrestling

Xiang Xing

象形

A kind of imitative boxing, which focuses more on imitation than combat effectiveness

Xiang Xing Quan

象形拳

Imitative boxing, including all martial arts based on copying animal movements

Xing Qi

行氣

Another name for Qi Gong; the circulation of Qi within the body

Xing Yi Quan

形意拳

Form and will boxing; a style of internal boxing

Xu Shi

戌時

7 pm to 9 pm

Xu Jing

蓄勁

Collecting Jing

Xun



One of the eight trigrams

Glossary

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xx

Pinyin

Chinese

English Definition

Yan Qing Dao

燕青刀

A kind of broadsword

Yang Jing

陽勁

Overt power; see Ming Jing

Yang Qi

陽氣

Qi associated with Yang (from the Yin/Yang diagram), generated by Tai Chi movements

Yao Yan Xue

腰眼穴

A pair of points to either side of the spine at the fourth lumbar vertebra; striking here may induce uncontrollable laughter

Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma

二字箝羊馬

A particular stance in Wing Chun, providing great stability

Yi Quan

意拳

Will boxing

Yi Zhuan

易傳

An ancient book in which ancient philosophers espoused the belief that Tai Chi is the origin of the universe

Yin

寅時

3 am to 5 am

Yin Qi

陰氣

Qi associated with Yin from the Yin/Yang diagram, produced from Yang Qi that reaches its peak and becomes motionless

Ying Gong

硬功

A martial arts routine that focuses on expressing power from a particular part of the body

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Pinyin

Chinese

English Definition

Ying Qi Gong

硬氣功

Hard Qi Gong; encompasses a number of martial arts exercises such as Tie Bu Shan, Jing Zhong Zhao, and Tie Sha Zhang

You Shi

酉時

5 pm to 7 pm

Yun Shou

雲手

A martial arts technique; literally, “cloud hand”

Za Quan

砸拳

Hammer strike

Zhe Jiang

浙江

An area where internal boxing is favoured

Zhen



One of the eight trigrams

Zheng Quan

正拳

Straight punch

Zhi Quan

直拳

Straight punch

Zhong Guo Guo Shu

中國國術

Literal equivalent of “Chinese martial arts”

Zhong Yi She

忠義社

Loyalty Club

Zhuo Li

拙力

Clumsy force; see Li

Zi Shi

子時

11 pm to 1 am

Glossary

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Part I: Overview Kung Fu shares many of the same principles as various sciences. When people understand its relation with science, they can have a deeper understanding of Kung Fu and this knowledge is also helpful for practitioners in mastering this art.

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Q A

1. What is Kung Fu?

Kung Fu is defined as “a primarily unarmed Chinese martial art resembling karate” in the Oxford English Dictionary.1 The term “kung fu” is widely used in Europe, America and other Western countries to refer to Chinese martial arts.

The Chinese Meaning of Kung Fu In Chinese, Kung Fu refers to any individual accomplishment or skill cultivated through long effort and hard work.2 Kung Fu is a compound of two characters, “Kung” (功) and “Fu” (夫). The former means achievement, work or merit, and the latter is alternately regarded as a word for “man” or as a suffix relating to a noun. Therefore, the first literal interpretation is “accomplishment of man”, while the second is “work and time or effort”. The connotation of Kung Fu then is of an achievement attained by great effort of time and energy. Colloquially, to say that someone possesses Kung Fu in one area implies one has worked hard for a long time to develop skill in that field. The original meaning of Kung Fu was so broad that it did not necessarily refer to martial arts.

1. Oxford Dictionaries — Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar, http://www.oxforddictionaries. com/definition/english/kung-fu, (accessed 26 February 2011). 2. Jamieson, John C., and Lin Tao. An Elementary Chinese Text. (Chinese University Press, 2002).

4

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However, the term was not used by the Chinese community until the twentieth century.3 In Chinese, the literal equivalent of “Chinese martial arts” would be “Zhong Guo Guo Shu” (中國國術 ). In practice, however, the term "Wushu" is generally acknowledged as being the compound term for all martial arts. Owing to differences of opinion among various martial arts masters and scholars, there have been many different definitions of Wushu over time (see Table 1). The earliest definition of Wushu involved boxing routines and the use of weapons; later definitions included attacking and defensive techniques, and later still the meaning came to incorporate exercise and traditional culture. According to the most recent definition,

The Etymology of Wushu Wushu is formed by two characters: “Wu” (武) means martial or military while “Shu” (術) translates into method, skill or way. Literally, Wushu means martial arts, but to gain a clear understanding of martial arts it is necessary to look at the etymological meaning of Wu. In ancient Chinese, the character “Wu” is made up of two parts. The first part means “stop” (止) and the second implies “dagger-axe” (戈), the traditional Chinese weapon. Hence, Wushu is a defensive style of combat. However, it is also argued that the image of the character “Wu” (武) in original inscriptions on bones and tortoiseshell resembles a person standing or walking with a dagger-axe to fight against an enemy or an animal. Therefore, “Wu” could also imply offensive action.

3. Lorge, Peter Allan, Chinese Martial Arts: From Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Part I: Overview

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Wushu is a national sport. Throughout the years, the definition of Wushu changed from a military concept to mean an individual’s ability to fight against the strong or act as a bodyguard. Now it is seen as a national sport and part of traditional Chinese culture. However, nowadays, all kinds of fighting skills are collectively called Kung Fu.

Table 1 Different definitions of Wushu

6

Year

Reference

Definition

1932

The National Sports Programme

Chinese martial arts is a traditional physical activity, which offers selfdefence skills and serves as a form of physical exercise.

1943

A Declaration on the 50th Anniversary of the Founding of the Central Martial Arts Museum

The national sport of the Chinese people, namely, martial arts, values keeping fit and efficient self-defence.

1957

Various Views on the Nature of Chinese Martial Arts

Martial arts, one of the Chinese national sports, incorporating fitness, attacking and body-building elements, serves to help people keep fit and cultivate minds for the cause of socialism.

1961

Handouts on Chinese martial arts from the College of Sports

Boxing, weapon routines and related exercising methods are all included in Chinese martial arts which is a national sport. As a part of Chinese cultural heritage, it has helped people exercise both the body and the mind ever since its inception.

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Table 1 (continued) Year

Reference

Definition

1978

Martial Arts: A General Coursebook for the Department of Sports

Martial arts is based on combat movements like kicking, hitting, wrestling, catching and attacking. It depends on self-contradictory rules, which combine attack and defence, motion and quietness, slowness and speed, gentleness and strength, reality and illusion. And this is where freehand and weapon routines originate from. In the spirit of cultivating people’s bodies and minds, Chinese martial arts has developed various combat skills, which is why it is it a national sport.

1982

Sports volume of Macropaedia

Chinese martial arts, also known as one of the Chinese national sports or Wushu, is a traditional Chinese sports activity. It is based on combat movements like kicking, hitting, wrestling, catching and attacking. It depends on self-contradictory rules, which combine attack and defence, motion and quietness, slowness and speed, gentleness and strength, reality and illusion. And this is where freehand and weapon routines originate from. Due to long-term practice by many people, martial arts has become a precious part of Chinese cultural heritage.

1996

A Coursebook on Martial Arts Study for Higher Education

Chinese martial arts focuses on attacking movements, mainly in the form of martial routines, combat and practice. As a traditional Chinese sport, it pays attention to people’s internal and external cultivation.

Part I: Overview

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Table 1 (continued)

8

Year

Reference

Definition

1999

Chinese dictionary Cihai

Chinese martial arts, also called martial skills, Kung Fu and known by its former name, Chinese national sport, is based on movements such as kicking, striking, throwing, catching, repelling, and stabbing, all of which follow the laws of motion. Thus, it serves to keep fit and defend oneself.

2005

Modern Chinese Dictionary

Martial arts, skills of boxing and the use of weapons are China’s traditional sports.

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2. How does Kung Fu relate to the sciences?

Kung Fu has been enhancing national physical fitness and helping soldiers to resist foreign invasions for thousands of years. The endurance of a sport depends on whether it is scientific or not. Kung Fu has its basis in many scientific subjects, such as exercise physiology, sports medicine, psychology, physics and many more. If people understand and apply their

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knowledge of exercise physiology, sports biology and sports medicine, they can achieve twice the results in Kung Fu with half the effort. As some of the purposes of Kung Fu are to strike opponents effectively and protect oneself better and more efficiently, it is connected with biomechanics, physiology and even traditional Chinese medicine. Take the movement of the whirlwind kick as an example: practitioners can kick their opponents efficiently if they can perform this movement quickly, and kick high and steadily. In order to kick quicker, higher, and more steadily, they should know how to jump higher and rotate faster, resisting gravity, and thus they should have a knowledge of mechanics. As the force which is used to overcome gravity comes from the body’s muscles, one has to master the knowledge of biomechanics too. Furthermore, some kinds of Kung Fu like acupressure (Dian Xue, 點穴 ) are related to human acupoints, so it can be an advantage to study traditional Chinese medicine. Therefore, Chinese martial arts contain numerous aspects of modern science. Part I: Overview

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3. What are the physical benefits of practising Kung Fu?

Kung Fu has become a popular and enduring practice for health and fitness as well as to provide self-defence. It can improve both physical and mental health, enhance the body’s nervous system, regulate blood circulation, stimulate the functions of the respiratory organs and the digestive system and thereby make the body less susceptible to diseases. Regardless of whether one is following the basic training of martial arts, boxing, martial arts using weapons or Qi Gong (氣功, see question 33), many of the movements like stretching, jumping, spinning and tumbling provide a good cardio workout, increasing blood circulation and stimulating the metabolism. Many of the movements of Kung Fu combine tension and relaxation which increases the elasticity and strength of cardiac muscles and blood vessels. Some research states that the weight and volume of the hearts of martial arts exponents are larger than those of ordinary people, and their heart rates are less while their heart stroke volumes are much greater. Consequently, practising Kung Fu can lower the energy consumption of the heart, increase the heart’s ability to bear intense work and also improve the functioning of the heart’s metabolism. Frequent practice of Kung Fu can enhance heart muscle contraction force, vascular elasticity and lung capacity, and thus it increases the blood oxygen supply to the whole body and helps regulate the blood

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circulation. Because martial arts is highly intense and dynamic, longterm practice can help develop good blood circulation as it increases the energy expenditure of the limbs and organs of different parts of the body within a unit of time greatly, thereby making higher demands of the blood circulation system. A strong heart and unblocked arteries, veins and capillaries are also important guarantees for the smooth operation of the human metabolism. Martial arts requires the whole body to work together in synchrony. Not only the arms and legs but also the internal organs all coordinate and work in harmony, which can help strengthen the body’s nervous system. This has been proved by the fact that there are many elderly masters of martial arts who still retain their vigour. The nervous system is the hub regulating and controlling all systems and organs in the human body. Martial arts requires exponents to have swift responses and be prompt in their movements. They should execute difficult and complicated movements in good time in rapidly changing conditions. Well-trained practitioners can handle the movements of their bodies skilfully because their nerve centres are finely tuned. That is why many older Kung Fu masters can still act quickly. In addition, some kinds of Nei Jia boxing (internal boxing, 內家拳 ) in Kung Fu can energise the blood supply and actively enhance brain blood circulation, and thus it strengthens the supply capacity of brain cells and makes the brain healthier. Therefore, performing martial arts on a daily basis plays an important role in ensuring the brain’s health, forestalling ageing and prolonging life. The respiratory system can also be enhanced by the practice of Kung Fu. Kung Fu emphasises the close coordination of breathing and action, and many breathing methods have been developed, among which, “sinking your breath to the Dan Tian (lower belly, 丹田 )”, a well-known

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abdominal breathing method, has a beneficial effect on cardiopulmonary function. The reason is that, compared with natural breathing, the abdominal breathing method emphasises breathing more deeply, slowly, evenly and softly. Abdominal breathing also helps to loosen the chest and

Can ensure healthy blood flow to the brain

Can increase lung capacity

Can increase the strength and elasticty of cardiac muscles

Can improve the function of nerves and muscles

Can improve blood circulation

Can enhance the function of the digestive system

Can help avoid stiffness of joints Can strengthen the resistance of bones and help prevent osteoporosis

Figure 1. The benefits of Kung Fu on the body

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creates good conditions for the lungs to expand, effectively increasing lung capacity and reducing the risk of chronic respiratory diseases. Kung Fu plays a positive role on the human body’s motor system. Kung Fu is a kind of systemic sport. Frequent practice with the right methods actively improves the functions of muscles, bones, joints and ligaments. For example, it can help enhance muscle strength and prevent bones losing calcium and thereby developing osteoporosis. Further, it can even help strengthen the resistance of bones. Also, as it keeps joints lubricant and flexible and increases the extensibility and flexibility of ligaments, it can help avoid stiffness of joints and ligaments as well as the damage resulting from these problems. People who practise Kung Fu for a long time are not only strong and able to exercise their joints freely, but may also do so with a lower risk of osteoporosis, arthritis and chronic lumbago pain symptoms than their peers. Lastly, Kung Fu can help improve the functioning of the digestive system. By regulating the endocrine system and the nervous system, Kung Fu enhances the functions of the digestive system and the metabolism. Specifically, Kung Fu can help increase the appetite and the secretion of digestive juices, improve the intestinal absorption function and thus promote the absorption of nutriments. Therefore, people who practise Kung Fu extensively are likely to find themselves at a lower risk of gastrointestinal disorder, chronic gastritis and gastric ulcers than others. In all, Kung Fu can improve the functions of the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive systems in the human body. It is also beneficial for bones, muscles and joints. As modern society is becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of fitness routines, more and more people are beginning to learn Kung Fu.

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4. Is Kung Fu only good for the body?

Kung Fu, which has developed along with Chinese culture, is not only a kind of sport, but also promotes self-cultivation. During its long development, throughout which it has maintained the Chinese tradition of attaching importance to etiquette and morality, Kung Fu has become a kind of holistic movement stressing synchronisation, both inner and outer, and the integration of body and spirit. It has played a positive role not only in improving people’s bodily health, but also in the cultivation of the spirit. In many cases, the level of a learner’s spiritual life determines whether he or she will be able to reach the upper levels of Kung Fu or not. Therefore, Kung Fu attaches great importance to the development of the spiritual life of practitioners. Shaolin (少林 ), which is a popular kind of martial arts, is a typical example. Shaolin is characterised as the union of Zen and martial arts, and the cultivation of the internal and external. The Shaolin Temple is both the birthplace of Shaolin martial arts and the cradle of Chinese Zen. Shaolin monks practise Buddhism through a combination of meditation and martial arts. Every Shaolin monk is required to meditate while practising martial arts, and sitting in meditation can help keep the mind pure and peaceful, which is of great help for Kung Fu practice and the

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improvement of the spiritual state. For example, only by maintaining spiritual serenity can practitioners focus on every movement and employ martial arts effectively, therefore, Shaolin martial arts, especially boxing, always attaches great importance to meditation. Kung Fu also helps train people’s minds. There is a proverb, “carry out training in the coldest and the hottest parts of the year”, which means that perseverance is very important in Kung Fu training, and no matter how tough the environment and how bad the weather, one has to keep practising. This is a good way to temper the practitioner’s will, and nurture the will to be more hard-working and persistent. In Kung Fu competitions, no matter what kind of difficulties or enemies they meet, competitors are urged not to face their opponent in a negative mindset, which is also a good way to hone one’s instincts to become brave, unflinching and tenacious. The positive role of Kung Fu in helping establish good psychological qualities is also reflected in Nei Gong (internal works, 內功 ). Nei Gong is not possible without concentration in martial arts. In order to maintain concentration, people have to be far away from the seven human emotions (pleasure, anger, worry, fear, love, hate and desire) and the six sensory pleasures (life, death, and the desires brought about by the senses, the eyes, ears, mouth and nose). Without the disruption of these emotions, the mind can be peaceful and quiet. With constant practice and improvement of these internal exercises people can be healthier psychologically, and also become more moderate, open-minded, calm and optimistic. There is a saying, “for Kung Fu learners, cultivating their morality comes first”. Kung Fu has always attached great importance to moral education, and regarded moral cultivation as a precondition for learning Kung Fu. In

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the process of learning, there are some important principles, like making friends based on Kung Fu, emphasising rituals, keeping faith, respecting teachers, loving friends, being ready to help others for a just cause, and being indifferent to fame and wealth. This is helpful for practitioners, not only to enhance their self-development, but also to improve interpersonal relations. More importantly this can also help maintain good mental health. Chinese martial arts contains much of the essence of traditional culture, including the ancient philosophers’ views of life, especially Confucian ethics.

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Q Q

5. What are the different functions of Kung Fu?

Zhao Guoqing4 states that Chinese martial arts has rich cultural deposits and a long history, which explain the diverse definitions of Wushu, and that the arts concentrate more on the particular movements than on competitions. Indeed, Chinese martial arts is not all about competition. Despite the growing popularity of Kung Fu battles such as Lei Tai (擂台

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賽 ), Chinese martial arts stresses personal fitness and morality instead of

winning or losing in competitions. To better understand Chinese martial arts, it is important to look at the different functions of Kung Fu. Martial arts is an important part of Chinese culture for its entertaining nature. In the past, artistic martial arts was performed by artists on the street for entertainment. This encouraged its artistic nature, which stresses the spirit, rhythm and exploration of movements. Its major function here lies not in fighting but in expressing the artistic beauty of the movements, which imply defence and attack. Those movements usually contain no real sense of fighting and are mostly symbolic.

4. Zhao Guoqing 趙國慶 , “Chuan Tong Wu Shu Zhen Yi De Si Kao Yu Xun Yi” 傳統武術真意的思 考與尋譯 , Ti Yu Wen Hua Dao Kan 體育文化導刊 , (September 2003), p. 40.

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Chinese martial arts is also very practical during combat. Fighting martial arts attaches importance to the skills used to attack and the techniques of movement, which include the force method, the figure method and footwork. The fighting function is a distinctive feature of martial arts compared with other sports. This is the essence that makes martial arts endure. In history, fighting martial arts appeared not only in military form, but also among private individuals, and also as a competitive activity among various groups. There are three ways in which the fighting aspect of martial arts has been used: martial arts in the police force focused on arresting suspected criminals; traditional martial arts among the people, with aggressive methods of attack and defence; and contest martial arts as a modern sport. Fitness martial arts on the other hand emphasises the importance of internal and external body cultivation, rhythm of breath, and the movement of Qi (vital energy, 氣 ). The arts mainly serve to strengthen the body and cultivate the mind. The core of fitness martial arts is selfcultivation, with little functional value placed on fighting or performance.

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6. What is the origin and historical development of Kung Fu?

The development of Chinese martial arts can be divided into three periods. They are, respectively, the initial stage — from primitive society to the Qin period (221 BC); the development stage — from the Qin dynasty, through the Han dynasty, the Three Kingdoms, the Sui, Tang and Five dynasties (221 BC–960 AD); and the mature stage and boom

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period — from the Song, through to the Qing dynasties (960–1911). In primitive society, humans lived in a harsh environment and had to fight for their survival. During this period, people accumulated many skills enabling them to fight barehanded. They learnt to protect themselves and fight against wild beasts and enemies and thus developed attacking and defending poses, forming the basis of Kung Fu. During the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period (770–221 BC) when there was much upheaval, these skills proved their versatility. In fact, many rulers encouraged the practice of martial arts because of the state of continual war. Furthermore, the fact that education, including military education, was no longer dominated by the ruling classes meant that there was an increase in the number of warriors arising from the ranks of ordinary civilians. With this expansion, martial arts diversified into a great number of styles. Many people who possessed extraordinary fighting skills appeared in that era, such as Yue Nv (越女 ), and Lu Shigong (魯石

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公 ), and the theories of martial arts began to form through a merging of

traditional folk Wushu and military Wushu. In the second stage Kung Fu was no longer as necessary for human survival and began to develop as a means of enjoyment as well as a method of self-defence. The Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) was a period of high development for martial arts. More and more kinds of martial arts appeared at this time, such as Shou Bo (bare-handed fighting, 手搏 ), Jiao Di (wrestling, 角抵 ), Xiang Pu (sumo wrestling, 相撲 ), sword fighting and so on. The Shou Bo and Jiao Di competitions were popular among both commoners and the nobles. According to sources from the time, imitation boxing, like the five animal exercise and monkey style boxing, was also found in the Han dynasty. Therefore, the Han dynasty is an important period for the development of martial arts. In the Northern and Southern dynasties period (420–581 AD), cultural exchanges, including in martial arts, became more frequent as more minority groups migrated towards central China. The martial arts masters of the Northern and Southern dynasties often challenged each other to duels and martial arts contests were held between the Han people and the minorities. For example, Emperor Xiao Wu of Northern Wei dynasty held an archery contest called the Silver Cup in Luoyang, which was not only the earliest in the history of Chinese martial arts but also in the history of world sports. In addition, many martial arts activities practised by the minorities were introduced into central China, like She Liu (shooting willow branch, 射柳 ). Many of the minority rulers advocated women’s participation in martial arts. The widespread story of Mu Lan (木蘭 ), who joined the army for her old, sick father, happened under the Northern dynasties.

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In the Tang dynasty, the martial arts examination system was initiated to select those who were talented, regardless of identity, for government positions. This examination system was formally established during the rule of Empress Wu Zetian (武則天 ), the first and only female emperor in the history of China. Candidates were tested on their skills in weightlifting, archery, riding, spear-handling etc. Those who passed the exam were awarded titles and official positions according to their achievements. The examination system which was retained until the end of the Qing dynasty, aroused people’s enthusiasm in learning martial arts and contributed to the further development of Wushu. Kung Fu rose in prominence during the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties and reached its peak during the Song dynasty (960–1279). At that time, there was a great deal of conflict and war between the Han and minority nationalities, directly impelling the development of military and folk martial arts. In order to resist invasion from neighbouring sovereign states, the Liao, Xia, Jin and Yuan people formed many clubs, such as Gong Jian She (Bow and Arrow Club) and Zhong Yi She (Loyalty Club). Members of these clubs would practise and teach martial arts such as boxing and weapon techniques to protect their homelands, thus returning to the original fighting function of martial arts. In contrast, many of the clubs in the cities emphasised the fitness and entertainment function of Kung Fu. These clubs — e.g. Jiao Di She (Wrestling-resisting Club) and Jin Biao She (Crossbow Club) — held competitions and encouraged their members to specialise and become proficient in one particular skill.

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7. How did Chinese weapons evolve throughout history?

Like the progression of Kung Fu, weapons developed along with the progress of the whole Chinese civilisation. In ancient China, there were said to be “the eighteen martial arts”, which actually refers to eighteen kinds of weapons. But there are different versions of what the eighteen kinds of weapons were. In general, they are considered to be: bow, crossbow, spear, lance, cudgel, broadsword, sword, shield, axe, battleaxe, halberd, whip, hammer, fork, rake, dagger-axe, mace and shu (an ancient weapon made of bamboo; 殳 ). Among these, some weapons have disappeared, like the dagger-axe and shu; some weapons have evolved and developed into other kinds of weapons. In martial arts today, the eighteen kinds of weapons refers to: broadsword, spear, sword, halberd, axe, battle-axe, hook, fork, whip, mace, hammer, bladed fork, cudgel, club, crutch, long hooked spear, meteor hammer and eagle-clawshape rake. Although in reality Kung Fu employs many more weapons than this — closer to a hundred. Today these are categorised into long weapons, short weapons and concealed weapons. People in primitive society used a number of weapons such as stone knives, axes, ropes and arrow heads. During the Spring and Autumn period, bronze weapons, which were stronger and more advanced than those which had previously existed, were introduced to society. The spears, dagger-axes, swords and halberds came about with the invention

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of bronze. At the time, sword fighting was a favourite sport among common folk and the nobility, as swords became the most popular weapon. The first code of Chinese martial arts, in the books of Zhuang Zi5 (莊子 ) and Yue Nv (越女 ),6 is the code of sword techniques. In the book of Zhuang Zi, it was said that one should lure the enemy in and gain mastery by striking only after the opponent has struck when he is fighting with the sword. Yue Nv elaborated the changing role of sword techniques with the theory of Yin and Yang, and five elements in her swordplay theory. During the Warring States period, weapons evolved with the change of combat operations. Many new weapons were invented, such as the crossbow. Weapons were no longer made from bronze, but iron. The size of weapons also changed. The long-range weapons became shorter, and the short-range weapons became longer. That is why the sword was used extensively in combat. In the Han dynasty swords were gradually replaced by broadswords and become the main short-range weapon used on the battlefield. In the Tang dynasty, spears were widely used as the main long-range weapon, instead of the dagger-axes and halberds, which promoted the rapid development of spear techniques. With growing economic prosperity, various kinds of foreign techniques with weapons were introduced to China.

5. Zhuangzi, 369–286 BC. 6. Zhao Ye, and Tianhu Xu (ed.) “Yue Nv Lun Jian,” Wu Yue Chun Qiu《吳越春秋•越女論劍》 (Nanjing Shi: Jiangsu Gu Ji Chu Ban She,1999).

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Part II: Starting Out To start with, a practitioner must learn some basic moves. In order to master these it is also necessary to understand the reasons why these are important for the development of skill in Kung Fu.

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8. What is the most important lesson in Kung Fu?

There is a proverb about Kung Fu that “unsteady steps lead to confused actions, and slow steps make slow movements”. According to Kung Fu masters, it is impossible to grasp the skills of martial arts if learners cannot master the stable stance. Therefore balance is of great importance. Take the function of the roots of a tree as an example: if the roots are unstable, the tree will fall down very easily. The tree grows taller and reaches towards the sky only if the roots grow deeper underground. Similarly, only when beginners grasp the essential techniques can they master more martial arts skills. In real fighting, it is easy for people to lose their balance and it is almost impossible to win if one cannot maintain the stability of one’s lower limbs. It is important, therefore, to have an understanding of one’s centre of gravity, equilibrium and supporting area in order to master the first poses. Therefore, the horse-riding step, the bow step and the T-stance, which are quite straightforward, and introduce the importance of gravity and supporting area, are the first things which beginners of Kung Fu must learn in order to master balance. Moreover, the practice of these stances runs consistently through the process of martial arts studies. Even though beginners are later taught other more difficult footwork or stances, they must also keep practising those basic stances every day.

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Figure 2a. Horse-riding step

Figure 2b. Bow step

Figure 2c. T-stance

Figure 2. Mastering stable stance is essential in learning Kung Fu

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9. What is the centre of gravity?

The techniques of Kung Fu place a lot of emphasis on the effect of gravity on the body. The centre of gravity especially plays an important role in martial arts and greatly influences the development of a practitioner’s skill. The human body is made up of parts, such as the head, trunk, upper arm, forearm, hand, thigh, calf, foot and so on. Every part is subject to gravity, and has its own centre of gravity. The point of resultant force where gravity operates on the whole body is the general centre of gravity of the body. The centre of gravity of each of the body parts is located on the vertical axis of the body part, and its position does not change. But the general centre of gravity of the body is not tied to any particular part of the body; it is adjusted when the distances between the gravity centres of each part change. That is, the general centre of gravity will adapt as the body changes postures (see Figure 3). For example, if arms are raised, then the centre of gravity will lift; if we stand back, the centre of gravity will move backward; if we squat, our centre of gravity will go down; if the upper body bends left, the centre of gravity shifts left. The direction of movement in the centre of gravity is always in accordance with the

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Figure 3. The centre of gravity of the body changes with posture

direction of movement of the body part, and the range of movement in the centre of gravity also depends on the range of movement of body parts. This means that if the range of movement in a body part is large, then the range of movement in its centre of gravity is large too.

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Centre of Gravity If g is the same for all elements of a body, then the body’s centre of gravity (cog) is coincident with the body's centre of mass. The centre of mass of a body or a system of bodies is the point that moves as though all of the mass were concentrated there and all external forces were applied there. For a three-dimensional solid body, the centre of mass at the X, Y and Z axis will be:

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Q Q

10. What is equilibrium?

When a body is in equilibrium, all the opposing forces (the external forces and torque) acting upon it are balanced. Statics is a branch of mechanics concerned with bodies at rest and forces in equilibrium. In Chinese martial arts, statics mainly applies to the situation relating to force when the body is in a rest posture (or equilibrium state) and the mechanical condition for

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the body to attain and keep balance. There are essentially two kinds of balance in martial arts exercises. The first is the static balance positions, such as front-knee-lifted balance, moon-watching balance and swallow balance (see Figure 4). Kung Fu practitioners have to be able to keep these postures relatively still for a length of time. These movements belong to static equilibrium. The other type of balance is dynamic equilibrium, for example, the arc action in Tai Chi boxing (太極拳 ). Because the movement, in this case the angular velocity of the arc action, is small, it is considered to be a kind of dynamic equilibrium as the external force and torque acting on the system are still zero. When practitioners understand and master the art of statics they can improve their results. Static equilibrium of the human body can be further broken down into upper-support equilibrium and nether-support equilibrium. Uppersupport equilibrium in martial arts exercises mainly refers to various

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Figure 4a. Front-knee-lifted balance (提膝平衡)

Figure 4b. Moon-watching balance (望月平衡)

Figure 4c. Swallow balance(燕式平衡)

Figure 4. Static balance in Kung Fu

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hanging and dropping poses (see Figure 5a). Nether-support equilibrium is where one part or some parts of the body rest on the ground to form the contact area or bearing surface, and the barycentre, or centre of mass, of other parts of body is in the bearing surface. Then the body can keep its balance (see Figure 5b). Martial arts movements mainly use nether-support equilibrium. The factors that influence the nether-support equilibrium include supporting area, the height of centre of gravity and the stability angle. Regardless of the type of support being used, it is first necessary to find the centre of gravity of the human body, and then measure the angle of stability according to the position of the centre of gravity, or alter the centre of gravity to keep a better balance. Only when we keep our balance can we perform better attack and defence movements in martial arts.

Figure 5a. Upper-support equilibrium

Figure 5b. Nether-support equilibrium

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11. What is supporting area?

Supporting area refers to the area of and between the supporting parts of the body when in a balancing pose. As the main method of balance in Kung Fu is nether-support equilibrium, this means that the supporting area is usually formed by one or both feet planted on the ground in order to support and balance the body. In general, the greater the supporting area (i.e. the further the distance between the supporting parts), the better the stability of the object. For example, the horse-riding stance and the bow step (see Figure 2), both of which have a large supporting area, are more stable than standing upright. They are both also more stable than the crossedlegged crouching stance and T-stance, which have a smaller supporting area. When standing on one leg, one has the least stability. Therefore, the horse-riding step and the bow step are the first things which beginners of Kung Fu must learn in order to master balance. In martial arts, people usually use their understanding of the importance of supporting area to succeed in combat. For instance, in Figure 6, a Kung Fu master clasps and raises the opponent’s leg first, and then he continues to trip the opponent up with his leg to make him lose his balance completely, and thus the opponent loses the fight. The theory

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of the Kung Fu master’s attack is based on the supporting area. The master reduces his opponent’s supporting area by removing the opponent’s feet from the ground, from two feet to one foot, and in the end to no feet.

Figure 6. Fighting in San Shou (free hand, 散手 )

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12. What is the importance of the centre of gravity?

In addition to supporting area, the height of the centre of gravity can also affect balance. Generally speaking, the lower the centre of gravity, the more stable the object is. For example, as the centre of gravity of a headstand is lower than that of a handstand, it is easier to hold a headstand than a handstand. As a result, many stances in martial arts are based on keeping a low centre of gravity, such as horse-riding step, bow step, crouching step, T-stance, and many more. In addition, the stability of an object is different depending on the direction of force. For example, in the horse-riding step, the body is less stable at the front and back than it is at the left and right. If a force acts on the body from the front and back in this stance, it is easier to lose one’s balance. The stability of balance is thus also decided by the relative location of the centre of gravity in the supporting area. If the centre of gravity is close to the side of the supporting area, then the stability of the body near to this side is high, and vice versa. This is why Kung Fu masters train in basic stances again and again, in order to strengthen the stability of their posture. In Chinese martial arts, many techniques are used to increase the height of an opponent’s centre of gravity in order to make him lose his balance. For example, in Figure 7b, the Kung Fu master attacks by lifting

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one of the opponent’s legs to make him lose his balance. When the opponent’s leg is raised, the height of the centre of gravity is also raised, which has a negative effect on one’s balance.

Figure 7a. Crouching step

Figure 7b. Raising the opponent’s centre of gravity

Figure 7. Martial arts stances with a low centre of gravity

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13. What are stability angle and equilibrium?

The stability angle and the equilibrium angle reflect the degree of stability of the human body in a certain direction. The stability angle is a range in which an object can stay upright. It can be measured by forming a vertical projection line from the centre of gravity (or the action line of the centre gravity) and the connecting line from the centre of gravity to the outer edge of the supporting area. For example, in Figure 8(a), the angle α1 and α2 is the stability angle of the horse-riding step in the left and right directions respectively, and α3 and

α4 represent the stability angle of the horse-riding step at the front and

back. The greater the stability angle, the greater the accumulated capacity of stability in a certain orientation, hence greater stability of the object. If the object’s inclination angle is greater than its stability angle, the object will fall down because of the gravity. Thus, if we want to increase the stability of an object in any position, we should increase the stability angle in this position and vice versa. For a stance to have equilibrium, it means that the forces acting upon it from different directions are balanced. However, this does not mean that the forces are equal. In Figure 8(a), the stability angle of the horse-riding stance on the left is basically the same on the right. However, the stability angle of this stance in the front is a little greater than it is at the back, thus its stability in front is better than it is at the back. 38

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α2

α1 α3

α4

Figure 8a. Stable angle in horse-riding step

a

Figure 8b. Equilibrium angle

Figure 8. Stability and equilibrium angles

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In Tai Chi boxing, Kung Fu masters usually make use of stability angle and equilibrium to make their opponents lose their balance. For example, the Tai Chi boxing master always adds his force against the opponent in the opponent’s direction of attack to make the opponent completely lose his balance while he dodges the opponent’s attack. When the master dodges, his opponent does not necessarily fall down if his inclination angle is less than or equal to his stability angle. But after the master adds his force to the opponent and in the same direction as the opponent’s, the opponent’s stability angle is certainly less than his inclination angle. Thus he will undoubtedly lose his balance.

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14. How do Kung Fu masters keep their balance while falling?

When people start falling down, they can take steps to adjust their posture to regain their balance. In Kung Fu, masters usually change the supporting area or make their centre of gravity stable by means of compensatory actions. One method is to increase the supporting area and relocate the centre

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of gravity to within the new supporting area. For example, if one is losing balance and falling forward, one can step the right or left leg forward to enlarge the supporting area, and thus recover one’s balance. Other than changing the supporting area, one can also take other steps, called compensatory movements, to maintain balance. In the process of completing or holding the static posture, when the centre of gravity shifts, and one is falling down, one can neutralise or offset the shift of the centre of gravity within limits with the help of compensatory movements. For example, when the centre of gravity shifts to the left, one can move the upper limbs to the right to balance the shift. This kind of balancing capacity can be strengthened through training. The ability to balance varies a lot between those who are trained and those who are not. Therefore, it is not difficult for Kung Fu masters to keep their balance compared with ordinary people.

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Q A

15. How does the basic stance of Wing Chun differ from other Kung Fu stances?

Wing Chun (詠春 ) is a simplified form of Kung Fu. It uses similar scientific principles. Wing Chun features a special kind of stance, known as Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma (the literal transaction would be “the character two riding a sheep”). In most horse-riding steps, the knees bend inwards like riding a real horse. But in Wing Chun the “horse” is smaller than in other schools of martial arts, so this stance looks more like riding a sheep than a horse. Also, in this stance, the distance between the toes of the two feet is

of Wing

slightly shorter than the distance between the two heels, resembling the

He was

Chinese character “two” (二 ). Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma is the basic exercise in Wing Chun. In this stance, the two big toes and two heels form an isosceles triangle. The hands make fists, drawn back to the underarms at chest height (see Figure 9). Both the upper limbs and lower limbs thus form triangular shapes. This stance is not only the most stable state for the body, but the limbs can also move flexibly to counter one’s opponent. The power of this stance is impressive. According to the legend, when the legendary Ip Man stood in the Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma stance and four strong men tried their best to knock him down, Ip Man stayed standing solidly. It is thus clear that this stance makes the body absolutely stable. The triangle is widely acknowledged as being the most stable shape

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Figure 9. Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma stance in Wing Chun

among all geometric figures. Therefore, the triangle is often applied in Wing Chun. For example, forms of attack and defence in Wing Chun both utilise triangles formed by various parts of the body.

Ip Man Ip Man, 葉問 (1893–1972) was a martial arts master of Wing Chun. He taught Wing Chun and promoted it in Hong Kong. He was respected as a maestro by his disciples, including Bruce Lee.

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Q A

16. How do our bodies generate forces? What are their functions?

Human motion is a result of the interaction between internal and external forces. External forces act on the body from outside. This includes forces such as gravity and friction. Internal force is directly controlled by the cerebral cortex to ensure movements are performed correctly. External force always exerts influence on a body through internal force. If we regard the body as a mechanical system, the force interacting among all the parts inside the body is called internal force. For example, muscle force, ligament tension, cartilage stress, bone stress, etc. are all internal forces. Among them, muscle force is the active or so-called controllable force. The muscular tension acting on the bones helps keep the body in position, control movement and interaction between the human body and external objects and rival bodies. External force is relative to internal force. In martial arts, internal force is responsible for changing and maintaining body posture or balance; applying force on outside objects or human bodies and absorbing counterforces from them. For instance, when stepping and jumping, the body pushes off the ground and exerts a downward force which gives the body an upward force from the ground. According to Newton’s third law of motion, when a body exerts a force on the ground, the ground simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude but opposite in direction to the body. The counterforce can help the body overcome

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Figure 10. Flying double front kick (騰空雙飛腳 )

gravity and generate an upward acceleration which lifts the body off the ground. Take the action of a flying double front kick as an example (see Figure 10): in order to jump up and hover, one needs the appropriate external force. However, the external force must be generated through internal force. That is, when the muscles of the thigh and calf contract, the feet

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can generate force on the ground, pushing downwards or backwards. At the same time, the ground can counter this force and displace the body’s mass centre through the muscles inside our body. Therefore, one can jump and hover.

External Forces If we consider the two bodies, while they fight, as a system, F is the external force. The forces at the point of collision are internal forces and the movement of the centre of mass is unaffected by the collision

For instance, if there are two bodies exerting force on each other the net force will be,

Fnet is the net force of all external forces M is the total mass of the system acom is the acceleration of the centre of mass of the system. However, the net force of a system is equal to the rate of change of its momentum and the momentum depends on the mass velocity during the collision.

Fnet is the net external force. Internal forces cannot change the total linear momentum of the entire system. Therefore, the linear momentum is conserved.

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Collision (in martial arts term a punch is also a collision with force) A collision is an isolated event in which two or more bodies (the colliding bodies) exert relatively strong forces on each other for a relatively short time. A collision force does not need to be a force involving contact. If two bodies L and R collide with each other, during the collision, body L exerts force F(t) on body R, and body R exerts force -F(t) on body L. Forces F(t) and -F(t) are a third-law force pair. Their magnitudes vary with time during the collision, but at any given instant those magnitudes are equal.

When there is a collision/punch with force, then in classical mechanics, it is called as impulse (symbolised by J) and it is the integral of force, F, over the time interval, t, for which it acts. Since force is a vector quantity, impulse is also a vector in the same direction. Collision:

Elastic

inelastic

Kinetic energy conserved

Kinetic energy not conserved

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Inelastic collision In a closed, isolated system containing a collision, the linear momentum of each colliding body may change but the total linear momentum of the system cannot change, whether the collision is elastic or inelastic.

One dimensional inelastic collision:

Completely inelastic collision:

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17. Are forces in physics the same as forces in Chinese martial arts?

Internal and external forces in Kung Fu are not the same as internal and external forces in physics. Their meanings have some things in common, but there are also differences between them. In Kung Fu, the internal force is An Jing (invisible power, 暗勁 ) which is characterised by small movements, slow speed, and the appearance of

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gentleness but strength and vigour within. This kind of Jing is invisible. The strength comes from the waist and lower belly, or Dan Tian (丹田 ). Only at the moment of exertion will it become apparent in a brief, burst of powerful force. The external force in traditional martial arts is Ming Jing (visible power, 明勁 ), it is also called Yang Jing (overt power, 陽勁 ), Gang Jing (hard power, 剛勁 ), Meng Jing (fierce power, 猛勁 ) and Bao Fa Jing (explosive power, 爆 發 ). This is characterised by a large range of motion, fast speed, and visible

strength. The outburst of Ming Jing is like a gunpowder explosion: the body gives out a huge eruption of force as sudden as lightning. However, from the perspective of sport biomechanics, Ming Jing is not an external force. It is an internal force like An Jing, since both are forces generated from the body. The difference is in the form of energy.

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Dan Tian Dan Tian is an important acupoint. Dan Tian is a term which was initially used in the alchemy of Taoism, and was widely cited in all kinds of Qi Gong. There are three kinds of Dan Tian in the human body: upper, middle and lower. All of them are situated on the golden dividing line of the human body (see Figure 11). Although there are three kinds of Dan Tian in our body, Qi Gong masters are most concerned with the lower Dan Tian. They think this part is most relevant to the activity of vital organs, as it is located in the centre of the human body. It is also the origination of the circulation of Qi in the Ren channel (任脈), Du channel (督脈) and Chong channel (衝脈). Therefore, generally speaking, Dan Tian refers to the lower Dan Tian, which is located three inches below the umbilicus.

上丹田 Upper Dan Tian

中丹田 Middle Dan Tian

下丹田 Lower Dan Tian

Figure 11. The upper, middle and lower Dan Tian (上、中、下三丹田圖 )

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Both invisible and visible power in Kung Fu are a form of internal force and are classified based on their different forms of exertion. An external force in Kung Fu does not relate to an external force in physics. An external force in the context of Chinese martial arts is a force based on an outburst of internal force and strengthened by using the counterforce of an outside object. For instance, when stepping on the ground or holding, pulling or pushing an object with the arms, the object will give an equal but opposite reaction. In addition, the potential energy acquired from swinging, jumping and falling is also considered an external force.

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Q A

18. Why do Kung Fu masters possess so much strength?

Untrained people often use Li (power, 力 ), which is innate ability. It is the force of muscle contraction as controlled by the brain. Without special exercise the nerves transmit slowly and operate without any particular skill. So it is also known as Ben Li (original force, 本力 ), Zhuo Li (clumsy force, 拙力 ) or Man Li (brute force, 蠻力 ) which is less elastic. They strike by relying on the power of a certain part of the body, like the hands or feet, whereas a Kung Fu master mobilises the strength of his whole body and channels it into a particular part of the body, which is called Jing (power, 勁 ), and belongs to Huo Li (flexible or skilful force, 活力 ).

Jing is a constantly changing force produced by the nervous and endocrine systems of the human body to help the consciousness control the body during a fight. Martial arts experts, who undergo long-term internal exercises, possess strong functions of their cerebral cortex and have an acute and reactive nervous system. They can freely control the stretching and contraction of muscle groups, and even some muscles which in most people move involuntarily. Jing is a very strong force and can be transformed into many different types. As Zeng Xianglin (曾祥 7

林 ) states in his article “On the strength of Wushu”, Jing is a kind of force

7. Zeng Xianglin. “On the strength of Wushu”. Boxing: The Science of WuShu , vol. 7 Oct 2010 Shanghai University of Sport. (2010)

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appearing in the techniques of martial arts, produced by conscious control and the orderly cooperation of deep breathing, muscle stretching and contraction. When it is applied to an external object, there is a sudden burst of energy from one body part, but channeling the power of the whole body. As the action point is very small, the pressure is condensed and intensified. Thus, it will be a strong and powerful force of attack. As it is a controlled force (controlled by the nerve centre) it is a much more capable of meeting the demands of combat than Li. Therefore, Jing is superior to Li, and it is more practical. Boxing experts attach great importance to Jing but not to Li. The clumsiness of Li is due to the lack of the adjustment in the agonist and antagonist function of muscle contraction. Thus, the extremely contracted muscles and expanded blood vessels may lead to muscle stiffness and joint stiffness, rather than the smoothness of Jing. In combat, Jing can be triggered at any moment, and a quick, severe and powerful outbreak can occur instantaneously. If one does not want to apply Jing to fight, it can be stopped an instant after being triggered. The action is as fast as lightning. There are proverbs such as “Jing is able to overcome Li, while Li cannot conquer Jing” and “Li is not valuable, while Jing is more precious”. Take Kung Fu master and the founder of Sun style Tai Chi boxing, Sun Lutang (孫祿堂 ) as an example: when he uses the techniques of Pi Quan (straight-arm chopping fist, 劈拳 ), three different kinds of Jing are produced, which makes it impossible for his opponent to defend themselves. A person who does not have long-term and effective practice in Kung Fu does not understand how to exercise Jing and utilise the whole body. Therefore their punches may not have the same effect.

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Sun Lutang Sun Lutang (孫祿堂) (1860–1933) is the progenitor of Sun Tai Chi, one of the most modern Tai Chi among the five major styles. Born into a poor family, he needed to work from a very young age to support his mother. Beaten frequently in his work, he endured and determined to defend himself. He is often remembered as fusing Ba Gua (eight trigrams, 八卦) and Xing Yi (form and will boxing, 形意) with classical Tai Chi Quan.

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19. What are the different kinds of Jing ?

Jing can be divided into three different pairs, each relating to a different aspect of Kung Fu. In terms of the basic attributes of martial arts, Jing can be divided into hard and soft. Hard Jing is a strong, powerful and quick force, used to overcome smaller, slower movements. Soft Jing is a gentler force which seeks to subdue a strong force with inaction. Martial arts

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cannot be practised with hard or soft Jing alone. There are differences in composition, form and performance methods of soft and hard Jing and in order to be successful all movements should be a combination of both. An attack can only be smooth and flexible if it is hard but not stiff, and soft but not loose. In terms of basic movements, Jing can be divided into Xu Jing (collecting Jing, 蓄勁 ) and Fa Jing (generating Jing, 發勁 ). Collecting Jing means to gather power and force and hold it back. Normally, various adjustments to body posture are made before Jing is expended. For example, in Tai Chi boxing, collecting Jing should look like drawing a bow, or rather five bows from all parts of the body (the arms, the trunk and the legs). Generating Jing refers to releasing Jing. In addition, regarding attack and defence, Jing can be divided into striking Jing (打勁 ) and neutralising Jing (化勁 ). Similar to the dialectical

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relationship between hard and soft Jing, and collecting and generating Jing, striking Jing and neutralising Jing also supplement each other. They can be converted to one another but it is the relationship between them that makes Jing such an important part of Kung Fu and gives Kung Fu its unique character.

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20. What is the most important body part in the practice of Kung Fu?

The waist plays the most important role in the movement of the body. It controls bending, stretching, twisting and rotating and is connected to the spine. The waist is the axis of trunk movement and rotation for the whole body, and in particular it performs the crucial function of connecting the upper and lower parts of the body. Other body parts are

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like wheels connected to the axles; the wheels can perform various kinds of actions like turning or rotating, left and right or up and down along the axis. The role of the waist has always been greatly valued in martial arts training. For example, there are sayings like, “the waist is like four axles and Qi is like the wheels”, ”the waist produces force and plays the most important role” and so on. All kinds of martial arts are closely related to exercises of the waist, and if the waist cannot function properly then it is not possible to give full expression to the martial arts movements.

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Q A

21. Why do Kung Fu masters practise their routines over and over again?

It is more than practice makes perfect. Martial arts practitioners need to practise martial arts movements constantly for several reasons. The first is to form conditioned reflexes. For beginners, mastering skills and tactics is essentially the establishment of temporary neural connections and the formation of conditioned reflexes. If the training stops, the temporary neural connections will be interrupted and gradually weaken. Then, the conditioned reflex will be reduced, and skills and tactics will become unfamiliar. “Practising boxing thousands of times is helpful for creating natural body technique.” Repeated practice is an important way to consolidate learning and achieve mastery of a technique. A pattern of the right movements will gradually be formed and the practitioner’s level will improve. In order to grasp the techniques of martial arts, learners must engage in physical training, which covers strength, jumping and speed. They should make themselves more powerful through the method of Kang Ding (lifting a tripod with the hands, like modern weightlifting activities, 扛鼎 ) or Qiao Guan (holding one end of the bar of a city gate with one hand, and lifting it vertically, 翹關 ). They must do climbing, running, jumping and swimming exercises and so on to improve their physical abilities.

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Another important reason for regular practice is to enable learners to generate an immediate response from the whole body, to have a clear understanding about the balance between attack and defence and the perfect cooperation of the whole mental and physical system. In actual combat, the timing of attack and defence is extremely important. If you move too fast, the space to attack will not be formed; if you attack too slowly, you will lose the opportunity to attack but be attacked by the enemy. Therefore, it is only by training that the ability of knowing when to parry and when to attack can be developed.

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Q A

22. What is the use of the wooden dummy in Wing Chun ?

The wooden dummy (Figure 12) is an important training tool for Wing Chun practitioners. Its shape is designed to imitate the rival’s stance and the three different arms, high, medium and low, represent a rival’s lines of attack.

Figure 12. Wing Chun wooden dummy

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Practising with the wooden dummy requires accurate coordination of the hands and feet, in addition to following the proper sequence and working on the positions and angles of different techniques. It is quite a complicated training exercise which can help establish a conditioned reflex pattern. The martial arts learner will then be able to have conditioned reflexes in the face of various kinds of attacks as well as the ability to respond rapidly and automatically.

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Part III: Style As Kung Fu has evolved it has developed into many different styles. Some share similar moves or create an alternative movement to embody the same scientific principle.

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23. How many Kung Fu styles are there?

China is a multi-ethnic country with a long history and a vast territory. Its geographical environment and diverse culture make it a complex nation. As it is an aspect of Chinese culture, Kung Fu is naturally influenced by historical, ethnic, regional and other factors, and from these differences a variety of styles have evolved. Thus, martial arts can be classified in different ways. Table 2 illustrates the traditional schools and classification standards of martial arts and Table 3 displays a more modern classification. Table 2. Chinese martial arts in traditional classification method

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Classification

Contents

Notes

Family name

Yang Family Spear Ma Family Spear Shi Family Spear Chen Style Tai Chi Yang Style Tai Chi Sun Style Tai Chi Wu Style Tai Chi Hong Style Boxing Liu Style Boxing Cai Style Boxing Li Style Boxing Mo Style Boxing

Named after the founders’ family names.

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Table 2 (continued) Classification

Contents

Notes

Boxing features

Long Boxing

Characterised by its expansiveness and gracefulness in posture and speed in movement.

Face-to-Face Fighting

Features close combat, small movements, swiftness and variability.

Wai Jia Boxing (external boxing, 外家拳)

All the schools, except Tai Chi boxing (太極拳), Xing Yi boxing (形意拳) and Ba Gua palm (八卦 掌), which emphasise attacking rather than defending.

Nei Jia Boxing (internal boxing, 內家拳)

The general designation of Tai Chi boxing, Xing Yi boxing and Ba Gua palm, which lay more emphasis on defending than on attacking and gain mastery by striking only after the opponent has struck.

Southern Style martial arts

Lower body skills; the upper limb motions are small and varied.

Northern Style martial arts

The movements are rough, unconstrained, direct, and with large range.

Internal boxing schools and external boxing schools

Regions

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Table 2 (continued)

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Classification

Contents

Notes

River basins

Yellow River Basin

Stretching with gentle, graceful yet intense movements.

Yangtze River Basin

Movements of small parts of the body, mingled with folk dance elements.

Pearl River Basin

Strong movements and stress on the movements of small parts of the body.

Mountains

Shaolin (少林) School Wu Dang (武當) School Emei (峨眉) School

Named after mountains.

Schools

Shaolin School

A school of boxing.

Wu Dang (Wu-Tang) School

A school of boxing consisting of Tai Chi boxing, Eight trigrams, Palm and Xing Yi boxing.

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Table 3. Chinese martial arts according to modern classification Classification

Categories

Contents and notes

Modes of motion

Exercises

Exercises: mainly practise a single action, with the aim of keeping fit and strengthening certain aspects of physical ability; in terms of form and value, it can be divided into internal exercises, external exercises, Qing Gong (exercises that focus o nhigh jumps and long jumps, 輕功) and Rou Gong (exercises for making the body supple, 柔功).

Routines

Based on skilful actions and observation of the law of contradiction, these combine attack and defence, action and inaction, slowness and speed, hardness and softness; they can be divided into individual practice, pair practice and group practice.

Fighting

Techniques of attack and defence in actual combat, includes San Da (散打, free combat), hand-push, short-range weapons and longrange weapons.

Traditional martial arts

Traditional martial arts: based on the folk martial arts.

Modern martial arts

Modern martial arts: competition rules oriented in modern society.

Fighting martial arts

Emphasis on body techniques, footwork and fighting skills.

Fitness martial arts

Emphasis on body and mind cultivation, breathing rhythm, and the movement of Qi inside the body.

Artistic martial arts

Emphasis on the movements, spirit, rhythm, pattern and innovation.

Time period

Values and functions

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Q A

24. Why are some schools of martial arts lost to the world?

In the past, and even in some orthodox martial schools nowadays, Kung Fu skills are not always passed on. This is because there are usually many strict rules regarding the selection of apprentices, most important of which is that the trainee be a person of good morals. In many schools of martial arts, the necessity and importance of martial morality is expounded in their records and commandments. Morality is the most important principle, for example, candidates who display any of the ten listed characteristics are rejected from learning Kun Wu (昆吾 ) sword techniques. The ten characteristics are immorality, ungratefulness, illnature, dishonesty, lack of perseverance, irreverence, ignorance of civil knowledge, ignorance of military knowledge, avarice, and superficiality in their approach to martial arts, learning only the showy moves rather than the practical. Many masters of martial arts would rather not hand down the skills from past generations at all than pass them on to an immoral successor.

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25. Is Shaolin really the birthplace of all Chinese Kung Fu?

In Chinese martial arts, there is a saying that all of Chinese Kung Fu developed from the Shaolin Temple. The existence of Shaolin Kung Fu does seem to indicate there is an element of truth in this proverb. Shaolin Wushu evolved from folk Wushu. Folk Wushu refers to the martial arts created by ordinary people as opposed to military Wushu

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which was created by army generals. Shaped by public competition and the apprehension of wrongdoers, folk Wushu focuses on individual combat skills. According to archaeological discoveries, martial arts in central China had reached a very advanced level by the Han period. As monks in Shaolin mainly came from central China, many of them had practised Kung Fu before they came to Shaolin. When they stayed at the Shaolin Temple, they taught other monks and learned from each other. Thus the Shaolin Temple had a tradition of absorbing all styles and improving learning. This tradition enabled them to learn the essence of Kung Fu, create new moves and styles and develop Shaolin Kung Fu. In the Song dynasty, many martial artists went to the Shaolin Temple to learn Kung Fu, while the Temple also made efforts to absorb new popular forms of martial arts. For example, the abbot of Shaolin, monk Fuju (福居和尚 ) invited a group of masters of eighteen schools of boxing in China to show their martial arts skills to the monks at the Shaolin Temple over a period of three years. During those years, he absorbed the advantages of these Part III: Style

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techniques, and handpicked elements of them in the book The Collection of Shaolin Boxing (《少林拳譜》). Besides boxing techniques, other kinds of martial arts were gradually introduced to the Shaolin Temple, such as Yang family spear (楊家槍 ), Yan Qing broadsword (燕青刀 ) and eight-immortals sword (八仙劍 ). Later, in the Yuan dynasty, Fuyu (福裕 ), a Chan master (禪師 ), founded Shaolin branches in Helin, Chang’an, Jixian, Taiyuan and Luoyang and then sent warrior monks from Mount Song to the Shaolin Temple to take charge, which greatly popularised Shaolin Kung Fu. After hundreds of years of development, by the Ming dynasty Shaolin Kung Fu had come to form a complete system. Kung Fu as practised by Shaolin monks was formally known as the Shaolin School. Over two hundred years in the Ming period, the number of Shaolin warrior monks increased to thousands. Hundreds of martial arts masters, valued by the imperial government, even became generals. Some were hired by the government to train armies and teach Shaolin Kung Fu, which increased the spread of Shaolin Wushu. Although common people were banned from learning martial arts in the mid-Qing dynasty, this did not stop the expansion. As many secret societies advertised that their martial arts came from Shaolin, it became a widespread belief that all kinds of Chinese Kung Fu originated from the Shaolin Temple. As Shaolin Kung Fu spread further it began to break up into different schools.

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26. What are the different schools of Shaolin Kung Fu?

Shaolin Kung Fu was originally divided into five genres: Henan (Song Shan) Shaolin (嵩山少林 ), Fujian Shaolin (福建少林 ), Guangdong Shaolin (廣東少 林 ), Emei Shaolin (峨嵋少林 ), and Wu Dang Shaolin (武當少林 ). There are

many smaller schools within each genre. In the late Qing dynasty, Shaolin Kung Fu spread to southern China. There is a proverb, “southern style

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boxing and northern style foot techniques” as northern Shaolin focused on foot techniques while southern Shaolin emphasised punches. Nowadays, Shaolin Kung Fu is rich in content with many martial arts routines. According to their nature, these are divided into Qi Gong (氣功 ), Nei Gong (內功 ), Wai Gong (外功 ), Ying Gong (硬功 ), and Qing Gong (輕功 ). Qi Gong is a system of deep breathing exercises and cultivating Qi; Nei Gong is based on the practice of spirit and Qi; Wai Gong and Ying Gong generally refer to the expression of strong power from a particular part of the body while Qing Gong specialises in training in high jumps and long jumps. If we classify Shaolin Kung Fu according to techniques, there are more than 100 kinds of martial arts skills, such as boxing techniques, cudgel techniques, spear techniques, broadsword techniques and sword techniques. The existing routines of Shaolin Kung Fu include 178 kinds of boxing, 193 kinds of weaponry, 59 kinds of set sparring, and 115 other kinds. Of course, however, there are many more that have been lost over time. Part III: Style

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27. What are the 72 Shaolin secret arts?

According to A Collection of Shaolin Boxing Classics, there are thirty-six kinds of Ying Gong (the exercises that give body parts more strength and resistance than normal, 硬功 ) and thirty-six kinds of Rou Gong (the exercises that make the human body pliable, 柔功 ), also called thirty-six kinds of external exercises and internal exercises. Traditionally they were never revealed outside Shaolin temples and there is no detailed written record. Now the 72 Shaolin arts are usually known by the general name of Shaolin Kung Fu. There are three different versions of the 72 Shaolin arts. Regardless of which type one decides to study, it is important to start with basic Kung Fu first, like beating a wooden dummy and kicking exercises. After they have obtained those basic skills, one can practise Ying Gong and Qing Gong, such as iron cloth, iron head exercise and light body skill (the skills that allow the body to become weightless). If one wants to learn the skills of iron palm, one must study how to control the breathing and cultivate Qi first. Then they can practise cutting soft things with their palms, followed by cutting blocks of soil, bricks, wood, and eventually stone. When you can cut stone into pieces, you have succeeded in mastering the skills of iron palm.

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28. Are there specific schools of Kung Fu suitable for certain age groups or prevention of certain diseases?

Any kind of Kung Fu is suitable for practising from childhood, especially Nei Gong (internal works), because the younger the child is, the longer the training time and the more powerful they can become. Refinement internally and externally is the most important characteristic of Chinese martial arts. Martial artists think that the training of Nei Gong is good for

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health and improving their level of Kung Fu. Many schools also emphasise the concept of Qi and the techniques of breathing. Thus, Qi Gong came into being. Research has shown that long practice of Qi Gong can lower blood viscosity significantly. The indicators of microcirculation such as capillary forms distinctly improve and cardiac function also typically strengthens. The combined effect is that the microcirculation shows remarkable improvements, which is of great significance to ensure the blood supply of vital organs like the heart and brain (as discussed in Question 3) and thus it can be particularly beneficial when begun at a young age. There is also a specific type of healthcare Qi Gong. It is concerned with postures, supporting the spine and the joints throughout the body. It can increase the range and mobility of joints through different exercises, like extension, contraction, rotation and traction. It aids the prevention of

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and recovery from various common ailments and frequently occurring diseases, such as cervical spondylosis, lumbocrural pain and shoulder periarthritis. Wai Gong (external skills, 外功 ) and Gang Quan (hard boxing, 剛拳, such as Hong style boxing, free hand, etc.) are not appropriate for elderly people because they require good control of bones, muscle and tendons. Physical power declines with age, and thus practising Wai Gong and Gang Quan may cause pain or even injury to older people. Rou Quan (soft boxing, 柔拳, like Tai Chi boxing and Wing Chun, etc.), however, is suitable for every age group to practise, especially Tai Chi boxing. Tai Chi boxing includes fitness and athletics training. Elderly people usually have fitness classes in public parks. If they practise constantly over a long period of time, it can improve their health. In summary, any kind of martial art styles that belong to the style of fitness and healthcare are good for people’s health, regardless of their age. People who practise them for a long period of time find that practice can prevent disease. Of course, the key is to choose the one that fits their age and physical condition and practise it in the correct way.

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29. Why are the internal arts so important?

Kung Fu attaches great importance to the internal arts. There is a proverb, “one who practises boxing without works will eventually make ineffectual attempts”. The “works” here refers to internal arts. Good practice of internal works not only helps the practitioner deal with difficult situations, but also wards off diseases and maintains fitness. People with a high level of skill

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in the internal arts can not only attain a better mastery of Kung Fu, but can also defeat those who only focus on the external aspects in combat. The internal arts are mainly concerned with the exercise of Qi, and how to handle it skilfully. Meditation, or bringing the heart and body to rest, is a necessary part of this. The major martial arts schools in China all attach great importance to the practice of internal works. Among these Shaolin and Wu Dang Kung Fu, which are both greatly influenced by religious ideas, are considered the best. Based on Buddhist meditation, Shaolin martial arts attach great importance to the exercise of willpower and of the mind. The Shaolin warrior monks follow the method of regulating mental activities using the art of Zen. They emphasise especially mental exercises and grasping the essence of Zen. Wu Dang Kung Fu, which also focuses on the internal arts, stresses controlling Qi by Tao and cultivating personality through morality. It has characteristics such as overcoming strength with gentleness,

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subduing action with inaction, and coupling strength with gentleness, which contain the ethos of inaction, gentleness and tranquility. The meditation method in both Shaolin and Wu Dang Kung Fu tells us that a peaceful mind is extremely important. Only in this kind of spiritual state can one practise internal work better and reach a higher level of martial arts.

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30. What is Qi ?

In traditional Chinese philosophy, Qi (氣 ) is the original substance of everything. Chinese philosophers think the universe is formed of Qi, and the presence and loss of life is illustrated by the aggregation and dispersion of Qi. That is, the presence of human life depends on the aggregation of Qi. If Qi leaves the human body, it means the person will

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die. This philosophical ideology strongly affects the theory of Wushu, in which Qi is described as the base and essence of Wushu. Chinese martial arts values the unity of body and spirit. In the view of ancient Chinese philosophy, the body is the origin of the spirit and the birth of the spirit depends on the body. If the body is full of energy, then the spirit is vigorous and vice versa. In short, body and spirit are interconnected. Each influences the other and neither aspect can be absent. The practice of martial arts, therefore requires both the exercise of the body and of Qi. The traditional Chinese philosophers consider the condition of Qi in the body as determining the quality of life — if Qi is good, the person will have a good quality of life. Therefore, those who want to have a good quality of life practise Qi constantly. Some Qi Gong masters say that with more training, Qi can be felt like a mass of matter swarming in the belly. Qi in Qi Gong has been equated to

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.

the electric current in a conductor. It is generated from the interactions of particles like electrons or hydrogen atoms and electromagnetic waves. Through the practice of Nei Gong (which can be further described as a kind of Kung Fu that can benefit the internal organs through practising Qi), the Qi in one’s body will become purer and healthier. Therefore, the internal exercises in Wushu require practitioners to do exercises to converge their inner Qi at the Dan Tian, or lower belly, then one can feel strong and achieve more in Wushu.

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31. Is Qi a material?

Though invisible and intangible, Qi in Qi Gong does have a material basis. In traditional Chinese medicine, Qi is regarded as a basic substance which helps to sustain the life of human beings. The theory is that there is a meridian system and a collateral system for the transportation of Qi and blood inside the human body. Nei Qi (內氣 ) which is Qi inside the body,

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flows along meridians and collaterals and flows both inside and outside the blood vessels. When the Qi comes from outside the body either through mental activities or relaxation, it is called Wai Qi (the Qi which is outside the body, 外氣 ). Both types of Qi can be released from a certain acupoint after years of Qi Gong exercises. In 1977, a collaborative study undertaken by Shanghai Colleges of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences proved that Wai Qi had a material basis. They used modern scientific instruments and collected information involving infrared rays, static electricity, magnetism, and bodily fluids. However, further investigations should be carried out to find out whether they have discovered the substance or the carrier of Qi.

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32. How is Qi manipulated through breathing?

Zhang Jiebing (張介賓 ), a famous physician in the Ming dynasty, noted that in Nei Jing (the conscious control of Qi, 內經 ) the essence of being healthy is the cultivation of Qi which begins with respiration; he explains this in She Sheng San Yao (《攝生三要》). Respiration therefore indicates the starting point of keeping good health and that is why different ways of respiration are addressed in Kung Fu. For example, there are four ways of breathing in the exercises practised in long boxing routines, including raising breath, holding breath, collecting breath and dropping breath. Generally, raising breath is used in actions like jumping, when the body moves from a lower place to a higher place; holding breath is used in the static actions; when the actions are short and require strength, one should use collecting breath; dropping breath is used when moving to a lower posture. Additionally, the Dan Tian respiration technique is frequently used in Kung Fu. This is also called abdominal respiration and requires the coordination of movements and breathing. When the body is extended, one should inhale and when compressed, exhale. In addition, one should inhale when the posture rises or is changing; while the posture is descending or being held, one should exhale.

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Such a harmonious way of combining movement and respiration will stretch the chest and enlarge the pulmonary capacity to breathe in more fresh air. Abdominal respiration can cause the movement range of the diaphragmatic muscles to expand remarkably which increases the volume of the thoracic and abdominal cavities. It also increases the lung capacity, and squeezes and massages the organs in the thorax and abdomen as the pressure changes exercise the internal organs.

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33. What is Qi Gong ?

Qi Gong, called by the ancients Tu Na (expiration and inspiration, 吐納 ), also known as Dao Yin (the simple exercise of limbs and trunk, always coupled with a massage, 導引 ), Xing Qi (the circulation of Qi inside the body, 行氣 ), Jing Zuo (sitting still and meditating, 靜坐 ), Shi Qi (a Taoist theory of health, taking air or Qi as food, 食氣 ), and so on, is a traditional Chinese way of maintaining good health. Qi Gong is a form of exercise that ensures your movements are smooth and balanced through the use of consciousness. It refers to the breathing exercises in which the internal Qi is controlled by one’s will. Qi Gong has a history of more than 5000 years in China. In its long-term evolution, it has branched out into many different schools and branches (see Table 4).

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Table 4. The branches of Qi Gong Classification

Branches

Content

Dynamic Qi Gong (there are movements, such as Tai Chi boxing and five animal exercise.) Static Qi Gong (the body stays still, like sitting exercise and stake-standing exercise)

Geographical area

Mount Song Shaolin Qi Gong (deeply influenced by Buddhism. Style is lively, simple, powerful, free and vigorous.) Sichuan Emei Qi Gong (influenced by both Taoism and Buddhism. It combines dynamic exercise, static exercise, medicine and the exercise of Qi. It absorbs all kinds of techniques and folk methods. and is very nimble) Hubei Wu Dang Qi Gong (emphasises softness and tranquillity and pays attention to the exercise of spirit and Qi.)

Schools

Taoism Qi Gong (stresses the diversity of Yin and Yang and the five elements. It is combined with medicine and pays more attention to the relationship between humans and nature.) Confucian Qi Gong (places emphasis on the purification and cultivation of morality, ethics and integrity.) Buddhism Qi Gong (a method of practising Buddhism, emphasises paying attention to one’s mental state when practising. The aim is to eliminate all distractions and purify the body and mind through Zen meditation.)

Methods and postures of exercise in Chinese martial arts

Stake-standing exercise (one of the traditional internal exercises, it involves maintaining a standing position in certain postures.) Sitting exercise (the body maintains a sitting posture when practising.) Lying exercise (the body maintains a sleeping posture when practising.)

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34. What is the difference between hard Qi Gong and soft Qi Gong ?

Qi Gong can be divided into hard Qi Gong and soft Qi Gong (or light Qi Gong). Hard Qi Gong, also known as the Qi Gong of martial arts, was given this name in a Chinese national meeting on the sciences in 1978, in which Qi Gong was promoted to improve the health of the nation. Since then, the term has been commonly used in China. Hard Qi Gong is an organic combination of internal and external exercises. It integrates standing breathing exercises including inhaling, swallowing, holding breath and exhaling with a series of movement exercises such as bearing loads, beating oneself or striking a target. It aims at resisting heavy objects and breaking up hard objects. During exercises, the strength inside the body can be consciously gathered and concentrated into one area to release a force with great impact or to endure immense pressure or wounds. Martial arts moves like hitting stone tablets with the head, being attacked with a spear, stepping on glass and striking the body with iron bars are examples of hard Qi Gong. In hard Qi Gong, the horse-riding and stake-standing step are practised at the same time so as to make all muscles, both those under voluntary control and those that act involuntarily, tense. The practitioner should be

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able to exercise control over a range of muscles. Qi should be sunk to the location of the Dan Tian, which allows for abdominal respiration. In order to make the Dan Tian full of Qi, the practitioner should try his best to make his diaphragm as low as possible through practice and then tighten the bottom of the abdominal muscles. Soft Qi Gong often refers to Buddhist meditation and the regimen of Taoism, which do not ask for tightening of the muscles but just the combination of deep breathing and the exercise of will. In soft Qi Gong, both muscles and organs are exercised. Lung volume will also be increased without much physical exertion. Therefore, it is an appropriate exercise for all kinds of people and, as previously mentioned, is also known as health Qi Gong. In addition to hard Qi Gong and soft Qi Gong, Qi Gong can be divided into other types using different criteria. For example, we have static Qi Gong and dynamic Qi Gong. The former refers to the exercises which do not require the body to move, such as meditation and stake exercises during which Qi flows constantly inside the body. Dynamic Qi Gong refers to exercises with body movements which can be further divided into standing exercises, sitting exercises, lying exercises and walking exercises, according to different body postures.

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35. Is hard Qi Gong scientific?

Hard Qi Gong can also be subdivided into two types. One focuses on the internal practice of Qi; through the unique breathing method of hard Qi Gong exponents will possess plentiful Qi in the Dan Tian (丹田 ), and will improve the body overall. The result of hard Qi Gong when combined with external exercises will be very apparent. The other type is external exercise, such as Shaolin Qi Gong, which is mainly training for strength. It enhances the practitioner’s ability to resist sharp objects and increases his power by bearing heavy loads, beating himself or striking a target. In performing the external exercises, the practitioner will use certain parts of his body, which are trained to be strong enough to resist sharp or heavy things, and to strike objects repeatedly. The part of the body trained depends on the type of hard Qi Gong. For example, the golden bell shield and iron shirt are exercises for the whole body. Iron palm and iron head are, as expected, exercises which focus on the palm and the head. When striking objects, one should focus on the Dan Tian and the part of body which is trained. After long training, those parts will display singular functions as qualitative changes have taken place. During external exercises, the breath is usually Pen Qi (噴氣 ), breathing in with closed mouth and teeth, while Qi is powerfully and quickly exhaled from the nose. Beng Qi (崩氣 ) is breathing with the mouth slightly open while Qi is exhaled from the throat quickly in short bursts. When inhaling, one

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should focus on the Dan Tian. When practising Pen Qi or Beng Qi, the focus should be on the part of body being trained. Both types of breathing are contingent on there being an adequate supply of Qi inside the body which explains the emphasis on training in hard Qi Gong. It is beneficial for the operation and gathering of Qi to employ particular postures and respiration techniques in hard Qi Gong. While Qi flows inside the body, adrenalin forms in the brain. There are morphine receptors in some parts of the body such as the brain, chest, abdomen, arms and prostate. After training, the body itself will generate endorphins. This chemical acts on the morphine receptors, which will exert sedative and anaesthetic effects so as to enable the practitioner to endure extraordinary pain and to display remarkable force. In addition, the operation of Qi can also strengthen the bioelectricity which generates greater explosive power.

Figure 13. 12. Hard Hard Qi QiGong Gong Figure

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36. What is the science behind iron palm?

Just as its name implies, iron palm (鐵沙掌 ) is an exercise that uses iron sand to strengthen people’s palms. The exercise falls under the category of hard Qi Gong. Most of the popular schools of martial arts in China have their own version of iron palm. Although the names of the iron palm exercise vary in different schools of martial arts, their training methods are essentially the same. On the whole, iron palm is a masterly palm skill that uses iron sand as a specific training method. It is an exercise that can be used to attack, defend and entertain. After training for a long time, the exponent can split bricks and rocks with his hand. The iron palm exercise is good for one’s health. It can thicken the epidermis of the palms and can greatly improve the bones, muscles and epidermal tissues’ abilities to adapt to external circumstances; knuckles and wrist joints become more flexible; and the strength of muscles and ligaments grow. The principle of iron palm can be explained by Lamarck’s principle of “use and disuse”. In the view of the nineteenth-century French scientist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the organs of organisms develop when they are used frequently and degenerate gradually if they are not often used. People who exercise regularly throughout the year tend to be strong and are rarely sick. Their offspring mostly remain in good health too. Results

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from a recent study show that exercise can change human DNA and produce beneficial changes. This is certainly a very important recognition of Lamarck’s theory. Physiologically, skin, muscle, vessel, bone and nerve constitute the human palm. When people train for iron palm they practise by continually hitting a sandbag with their hand. After long-term regular practice, the structural arrangement of the palm’s tissues will become more compact and their ability to resist impact has been gradually increased. In addition, the bones of the hand tend to become strong, and the nerves no longer appear frail. This is to say, specific exercises will produce a man-made variation of our palms’ tissues, thus illustrating the result of “use and disuse” in accordance with Lamarck’s theory. This phenomenon can be interpreted as the original DNA being broken and specific genes activated by the special exercises of iron palm, forming cells and tissues that are more able to endure shock. That is not only the core principle of iron palm, but also of other kinds of hard Qi Gong, like golden bell shield, iron cloth, the headbutt and so on.

Figure 14. Iron palm

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37. What is headbutt? Is it related to Qi Gong ? What is the science behind it?

Headbutt (鐵頭功 ) is the exercise of bumping the head against hard things, like stone, wall and iron plate, etc. without getting hurt. It belongs to hard Qi Gong and external exercises, whose purpose is mainly to increase the body’s resistance to beating. Even so, headbutt also needs to be combined with internal exercises, otherwise the level of headbutt will remain low and the practitioner will not improve. The practitioner should direct his strength and Qi to his head when continually beating his head to train for headbutt. The head can be divided into three parts: the top of the head, the forehead and the back of the head. Each of the three parts can be trained to resist beating. To perform headbutt exercises, one should proceed gradually in the proper sequence. In the beginning, the learner must gently strike his head. Then the strength can be increased little by little and the resistance of the head will accumulate accordingly. The headbutt relies on the mechanical principle of the arch. Traditionally, bridges are built as arches as the shape of arches is beneficial for dissipating the force and helped to increase the bearing capacity of the bridge. In the same way, the headbutt also makes use of the skull’s natural arch. The fact that our skulls are arch-shaped means that they

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can disperse the force that the skull suffers and then increase the skull’s bearing capacity. This makes it possible for the average person to master the headbutt. When people practise the headbutt their skulls suffer subtle injuries every day but through the body’s ability to repair itself and by absorbing food high in calcium one can gradually increase the strength of the skull.

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38. How does Qi influence Jing (power and force) in martial arts?

Qi affects Jing in two ways during the practice of Kung Fu. One way is that a sudden holding of the breath, before giving it out, can strengthen the force. The second is that Qi, which is stored in the chest and abdomen, can be helpful for generating power by changing it into different sounds, mainly a shout when one attacks; this can strengthen one’s force. During shouting more muscle force is generated because the strong contractions of muscles in the abdomen and diaphragm result in a sharp increase of pressure in the chest and abdomen, which can better support the contractions of muscle groups in the abdomen and pelvis. Force is transmitted from the lower limbs to the upper limbs in order to provide the upper body with a certain amount of momentum during the process of punching. Take the punch fist in bow step as an example, force is generated from the feet and is transported to the fists through straightening the knees, turning the crotch, twisting the waist and moving the shoulders. According to the momentum theory of mechanics, there must be some loss of momentum during the process of transportation from the chest to the upper limbs. There exists displacement to other directions (except the front). In the end, the momentum which arrives at the fists is less than the primary amount that emerged from the chest and would result in a weak punch. Therefore, a sudden holding of breath at the moment of generating power can strengthen the force.

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39. Could I teach myself Qing Gong ?

According to research, the learning process of Qing Gong involves continually exploring jumping skills inside the human body. The process of exploring this potential is gradual; whether in ancient times or modern, people who possess the skills of Qing Gong must master it through longterm basic training.

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The basic skills need to be grasped first, mainly weight exercises like Fu Zhong Gong (the exercise of jumping with a load, 負重功 ) and Ti Ding exercises (the exercise of jumping up, 提頂功 ). In weight exercises, learners should wear clothes filled with lead, carry tiles made of lead or wear sandbags and jump with those weights attached. In Ti Ding exercises, learners dig a hole, and then jump up many times from the hole every morning and night without bending their knees. The depth of the hole should be gradually increased. After practising these basic skills for several or dozens of years, the potential jumping skill in the human body can be revealed and fully developed. Exponents can jump higher and farther than ordinary people. Of course, Qing Gong is not only a simple jump, it also covers other martial arts skills. In history, various schools taught multiple kinds of Qing Gong skills and they had different training methods and could enter diverse states. Therefore, it is not really feasible to truly master Qing Gong without the guidance of wise teachers. Part III: Style

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40. How can practising Nei Gong help me be a better fighter?

Practising internal works not only helps one to keep fit but can also help to improve one’s combat skills. It helps by exercising the central nervous system and regulating the emotions, thus strengthening the functions of internal organs. In addition, internal exercise can increase one’s ability to react and bring out the body’s internal potential. Combining internal works with fighting is helpful to the practitioner’s power and force and can help one avoid being excessively hard or soft but attain the best combination of softness and hardness, so as to reach the higher realm in martial arts. Martial arts master Jiang Rongqiao (姜容樵 ) pointed out in his book Xing Yi Mu Quan (《形意母拳》 ) that practising internal works does not only slow down the ageing process, but also plays a regulating role on the punch power, helping to reduce the hardness and enhance the softness. Therefore, the order of daily boxing training should be internal work first. In addition to Xing Yi Quan (form and will boxing, 形意拳 ), the exercises of some other kinds of internal boxing like Nei Jia Ba Zhuang boxing (eight stake boxing, 內家八樁拳 ) are popular in the Ning Bo, and Zhe Jiang areas as well as the Yi Quan (will boxing, 意拳 ) of Wang Xiangzhai (王薌齋 ). They all incorporate internal works directly into attack and defence. Internal

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exercise not only exists in Nei Jia boxing (internal boxing, 內家拳 ), but also in Wai Jia Quan (external boxing, 外家拳 ). Taking the Gong Li Quan (power boxing, 功力拳 ) of Shaolin boxing as an example, its master Tian Zhihua (田治華 ) once said, “the contents of Gong Li Quan include healing, fitness and self-defence. Gong refers to the practice of Qi through internal works. Li refers to the practice of power by the means of external works. Combining internal with external work, it is therefore called Gong Li Quan.” The essence of Chinese martial arts is the combination of internal and external arts. This is also a distinctive feature in which Chinese martial arts is different from martial arts of other countries. If we lose the internal works, we lose the essence of Chinese martial arts.

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41. What are the differences between internal boxing and external boxing?

Internal and external are a classification of martial arts which is perhaps the oldest criterion to differentiate Chinese martial arts. The concept of internal and external comes from Huang Zongxi (黃宗羲 ). In the late Ming dynasty, Huang Zongxi in his Epitaph of Wang Zhengnan (《王征南墓誌 銘》) wrote that Shaolin was famous for the power of its boxing, but it

particularly emphasised attacking first rather than giving the opponent the chance to strike. There is a school of boxing named internal boxing that stresses doing nothing until the opponent moves. It differs from Shaolin boxing, which is a variety of external boxing. Those who submit calmly to the opponent’s actions with serenity and strike only after being attacked are exponents of internal boxing, while those who strike first to gain the initiative, actively attacking others, are exponents of external boxing. In Huang’s essay, external boxing refers only to Shaolin boxing and does not involve other kinds of boxing. For Huang Zongxi, external boxing was interchangeable with Shaolin boxing. Until the Qing dynasty, many kinds of boxing which are quick, forceful, flexible and vigorous, including Shaolin boxing, were classified as external boxing. Tai Chi boxing, Xing Yi boxing and eight-trigram palm were categorised as internal boxing along

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with Wu Dang boxing. The ranges of both internal boxing and external boxing were later expanded. As Shaolin boxing is a type of Wai Jia boxing (external boxing schools, 外家拳 ), it aims at strengthening the muscles, bones and skin to fortify the fighting power and resistance capability. Nei Jia boxing in contrast usually practises Qi and the control of Qi by will. It stresses overcoming firmness with gentleness. Another significant difference is the method of practising Qi (breathing technique). In Shaolin boxing practising Qi increases the trainer’s power and strike resistance. These exercises of Qi always tend to hard Qi Gong (硬 氣功 ), like Tie Bu Shan (iron shirt exercise, 鐵布衫 ), Jing Zhong Zhao (gold

bell cover exercise, 金鐘罩 ) and Tie Sha Zhang (iron palm, 鐵砂掌 ). This kind of Qi is powerful when it is used in actual combat. So external boxing, including Shaolin boxing, has attached great importance to it. Internal boxing focuses on relaxed, quiet and calm movements. It allows the internal Qi to flow inside the body. It puts emphasis on the great benefits for life as a whole instead of strengthening the practitioner’s power.

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42. Which one is more powerful, internal or external boxing?

External boxing has ferocious features, for instance, the characteristics of Shaolin boxing and long boxing emphasise the speed of the fists, which should be as fast as a meteor, the speed of the legs should be like a lightning flash, and many actions like jumping and flying have a particularly imposing manner and strength. When fighting enemies with this kind of boxing, power is the key to victory. However, internal boxing, especially Tai Chi boxing, mainly focuses on soft exercises and movements, which are characterised by gentle actions. When people fight with Tai Chi boxing, the key to winning is not the strength of one’s own force but to gain strength from a borrowed force. In addition, there are differences in power generation. External boxing is based on the contraction of local muscles to generate sufficient force while internal boxing relies on the whole body to generate power and is not limited to the coordination between one or several muscle groups of the body. According to the formula F=ma (force equals mass times acceleration), we know that if the acceleration of the punch is the same, the force will be greater when the mass of the person delivering it is greater. Compared with the mass of particular muscle groups, the force that comes from the whole body is obviously greater. When one becomes accustomed to the form of generating force, one can use little force (which

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appears to come from local muscle but is actually generated from the coordination of the whole body) and easily defeat the opponent. External boxing is described as having edges and corners, like printed script. It requires a posture with the chest out and waist down. One’s movements should be strong, fierce, brave and fast. Internal boxing seems like floating clouds and flowing water, just like the cursive script, advocating tenderness and softness. Although the movement of internal boxing may appear slow and soft, its force is no less powerful than external boxing and it is frequently more effective.

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43. Which is more powerful, Shaolin boxing or its descendant Wu Dang Nei Jia boxing?

According to the book on Nei Jia boxing (內家拳法 ) written by Huang Baijia (黃百家 ), the son of Huang Zongxi (黃宗羲 ), the martial arts of Zhang Sanfeng (張三豐 ) originated in Shaolin Kung Fu, but his fighting skills were better than Shaolin. He claimed that one who can master Nei Jia boxing techniques will defeat those who practise Shaolin Kung Fu. According to the writings of Huang Zongxi and Huang Baijia, Zhang Sanfeng went to Mount Song to learn Shaolin Kung Fu. As he was a Wu Dang Taoist and alchemist, Zhang integrated his comprehension of Taoism into martial arts. He united external exercise (dynamic exercise) with internal exercise (static exercise) perfectly, laying a solid foundation for Wu Dang Tai Chi boxing. Nei Jia boxing, which has been popular in China for hundreds of years, thus came into being. Zhang Sanfeng’s Nei Jia boxing is flexible. There is no fixed method, and the practitioner can adapt according to the circumstances and opponents. It focuses more on the close combination of static Qi Gong with Wu Dang Taoism. It stresses overcoming hardness with softness and pays attention to the fusion of maintaining health and fighting techniques. Xing Yi boxing, Ba Gua palm and even Tai Chi boxing belong to Wu Dang Kung Fu and all evolved from Nei Jia boxing.

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Zhang Sanfeng Zhang Sanfeng, 張三豐 (reputed to have been born in the 12th century and lived for 100 or 200 years) was a famous Taoist priest at the turn of the Yuan and Ming dynasties. He created a new school of Taoism—Sanfeng school (三豐派) and became the founder of Wu Dang Nei Jia boxing, which integrates the ideas of Taoism on nature, inactivity, emptiness and quietness into martial arts, and combines the Qi Gong in Taoism with boxing techniques.

From Zhang Sanfeng’s Nei Jia boxing, the trend of combining Nei Gong (internal works, 內功 ) with martial arts began. Shaolin Kung Fu, noticeably under Bai Yu Feng (白玉峰 ), was also influenced by this trend and exponents started to practise Nei Gong along with martial arts skills, such as Bai’s five-animal style of boxing (白氏五拳 ). Before Bai’s innovation, Shaolin boxing was perhaps less powerful than Wu Dang Nei Jia boxing. That is why Huang Baijia said that Wu Dang Kung Fu could defeat Shaolin Kung Fu. But when Shaolin boxing is practised with both internal works and external exercises, the distinction is just one of style without a difference of power.

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44. What are the different schools of Wu Dang ?

Decades after Zhang Sanfeng his style of boxing spread to Shanxi province. A man named Wang Zong (王宗 ) said he was the successor of Wu Dang Nei Jia and he brought it to the Wen Zhou and Chen Zhou areas. He taught this boxing to the villagers and thus it spread. In the Jiajing period of the Ming dynasty, Zhang Songxi (張松溪 ), the inheritor of Wang Zong boxing, promoted it and transformed it into an impressive spectacle. Zhang Songxi learnt the skills of Nei Jia boxing from Sun Shisan (孫十三 ) and established the Songxi School which is the most authentic school of internal boxing in China. He was a master of martial arts and is famous for defeating seventy Shaolin warrior monks when they challenged him. The disciples of Zhang Songxi were very few as he followed a very strict selection process. Despite all this, the essence of his martial arts has endured. Wu Dang Kung Fu had many talented exponents such as Ye Jimei (葉繼美 ), Wang Zhengnan (王征南 ), Huang Baijia (黃百家 ) etc. In the martial arts world, it is said that “there is Shaolin in the north and Wu Dang in the south”. After the Yongle period of the Qing dynasty, over 400 Taoists from various places and schools, selected by the imperial court, all acknowledged Zhang Sanfeng as the founder. The martial arts were rapidly popularised and the Wu Dang School gradually formed. It gained high prestige in Taoist scholarly and martial arts circles.

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45. Why do Kung Fu moves imitate nature or animals?

Chinese philosophy emphasises the unity of humans and nature, which is one of the greatest differences with western philosophy. In order to stay healthy, people have to follow the rules of nature when performing martial arts exercises. In ancient society, people always chose a quiet environment in order

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to achieve the greatest effect from martial arts training. In addition, the martial artists paid attention to natural things in order to imitate their movements and incorporate them into Wushu, such as animal-type Wushu: snake type, mantis type, monkey type and others. Southern style boxing and Xing Yi Quan (形意拳 ) are created by imitating the movements of animals, while animal-type boxing is created by imitating the characteristics of animal fights. Many actions in martial arts are also named after an aspect of nature, such as waving hands like clouds (called Yun Shou, 雲手 ) or grasping a peacock’s tail (called Lan Que Wei 攬雀尾 ).

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46. What is Shaolin five-form boxing?

Shaolin five-form boxing is a famous style of Chinese boxing that imitates the energy, strength, spirit and movements of five animals: dragon, tiger, leopard, snake and crane. It is said to have been invented by Bai Yu Feng (白玉峰 , also called Qiuyue Chan master 秋月禪師 ), a master of Shaolin boxing in the Yuan dynasty, based on the five animal exercise of Hua Tuo. He combined Shaolin fist with the movements of those five animals. These kinds of boxing belong to pictographic boxing, whose boxing gestures mainly imitate animals’ movements. They are not only simple imitation, but also the actions are said to enhance certain physical and mental phenomena. For example, it is said that “dragon style boxing exercises the mind, tiger style exercises the bones, leopard style boxing exercises force, snake style boxing practises Qi and crane style boxing

Hua Tuo Hua Tuo, 華佗 (about 145–208 AD) was a famous medical scientist of the late Eastern Han dynasty. He was skilled at internal medicine, gynaecology, paediatrics, acupuncture and moxibustion, and especially surgery. He created the five animal exercises, which are a kind of exercise combining sports activities with Qi Gong.

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practises energy”. As there is a mental aspect to this, Shaolin five-form boxing thus belongs to Nei Gong boxing (內功拳 ). However, saying that “dragon style boxing exercises the mind” does not mean that it will not exercise the bones, force, Qi or energy. Rather,

Figure 15. Five-form boxing

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it is formulated like that because the symbol of a dragon can better portray the essence of the style — to move sinuously but powerfully like a dragon requires great mind control — and make it easier for learners to understand. In short, Shaolin five-form boxing routines are derived by imitating images and the spirit or idea of the animal.

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47. What are the five elements?

The five elements (Wu Xing, 五行 ) in ancient Chinese philosophy are metal, wood, water, fire and earth. According to philosophers, the relationship between the five elements is one of mutual generation and restraint. That is, metal is generated from earth and restrained by fire; wood is generated from earth and restrained by metal; water is generated from metal and

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restrained by earth; fire is generated from wood and restrained by water; earth is generated from fire and restrained by wood. The theory of five elements is the philosophical basis of Xing Yi Quan (form and will boxing, 形意拳 ) and Wu Xing Quan (five-element boxing, 五 行拳 ). In Wu Xing Quan, there are chop fist (劈拳 ), snap fist (鑽拳 ), drill fist (崩 拳 ), cannon fist (炮拳 ) and crosscut fist (橫拳 ) which correspond to metal,

wood, water, fire and earth. The practice methods and routines follow the principle of mutual promotion and restraint between the five elements. The order of Wu Xing Quan is that chop fist changes into snap fist, snap fist changes into drill fist, drill fist changes into cannon fist and cannon fist changes into crosscut fist. Due to the correspondence between crosscut fist and earth, which is the mother of the five elements, crosscut fist is also called the mother of Wu Xing Quan. The relationship of Wu Xing Quan in respect of restriction is that chop fist defeats drill fist, drill fist defeats

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crosscut fist, crosscut fist defeats snap fist, snap fist defeats cannon fist and cannon fist defeats chop fist. In addition, ancient philosophers thought that human organs also corresponded to the five elements. Therefore, Wu Xing Quan also relates to the five visceral organs (heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney) and five sense organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue and philtrum). Take chop fist and drill fist as examples, chop fist is the metal of the five elements, it exercises the nose of the five sense organs and the lung of the five visceral organs. Drill fist is the wood of the five elements and exercises the eye of the five sense organs and the liver of the five visceral organs. Wu Xing Quan demands mutual coordination between the five internal organs and the five external organs in order to realise the cultivation of essence, energy, spirit, bone and force. The main feature of Wu Xing Quan is thus the demand for the practice of both internal and external exercises. Those who want to do well in Xing Yi Quan should combine inner exercises with outer exercises. In summary, the concept of mutual generation and restriction between the five elements is the foundation of the structural pattern and boxing theory of Wu Xing Quan.

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48. Other than Shaolin five-form boxing, is there any Kung Fu that imitates animals or nature?

In addition to Shaolin five-form boxing, there are no less than 100 kinds of boxing named after animals in Chinese martial arts. They all belong to Xiang Xing boxing or imitation boxing. Xiang Xing boxing (imitative boxing, 象形拳 ), as the name suggests, is created by copying animals and people. It combines the characteristics and movements of animals and

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people, like monkey style boxing (猴拳 ), eagle claw boxing (鷹爪拳 ), snake style boxing (蛇拳 ), mantis style boxing ( 螳螂拳 ), drunken boxing (醉拳 ), as well as the drunken eight immortals (八仙醉酒 ), drunken Lu Zhishen falling down (魯智深醉跌 ), Wu Song taking off the irons (武松脫拷 ), etc. Generally, Xiang Xing boxing is divided into two kinds: Xiang Xing (象形 ) and Qu Yi (取意 ). The former is mainly about imitating the movements of animals and particular people, but it lacks the arts of attack and defence. The latter mainly simulates animals’ fighting skills to enrich the content of its fighting techniques.

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Figure 16b. Snake style boxing 蛇拳

Figure 16a. Monkey style boxing 猴拳

Figure 16c. Mantis style boxing 螳螂拳

Figure 16. Xiang Xing Boxing

Shaolin imitation boxing attacks and defends using the forms of animals. For example, monkey style boxing employs nimble movements which helps to elude one’s opponent; snake style boxing attacks enemies’ vital parts with its swift movements; tiger style boxing is usually very aggressive because of its strong force; leopard style boxing is unstoppable because of its fierceness and sharpness. Other kinds of boxing like eagle style boxing, mantis style boxing, etc. also achieve the unity of form and spirit.

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49. What do Yin and Yang mean?

As Chinese classical philosophy stresses, all things in the universe have two sides — Yin (陰 ) and Yang (陽 ). What do Yin and Yang mean? The meaning of Yang refers to the place where the sun can shine. In contrast, Yin is the place without sunshine. The concept was then expanded to call everything that is light, honourable and strong Yang and things that are

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dark, humble and weak Yin. In martial arts, concepts such as dynamic and static, attack and defence, hardness and softness, emptiness and fullness, open and closed, forwards and backwards, bending and stretching, which are derived from the contradiction of Yin and Yang, are widely used in fighting strategies. Ancient philosophers and martial artists regard Yin and Yang as standing for the two opposites of one thing. Dialectics is the view of the change of Yin and Yang, the change of eight trigrams. It indicates that everything is in a process of development and change which is led by conflicts of opposites; the internal contradiction in things. This idea is the core of dialectics — the unity of opposites. Chinese ancients had a profound knowledge of dialectics, which were perfectly embodied in changes of Yin and Yang and the evolution of the eight trigrams. Those thoughts have had a significant influence on techniques and strategies in martial arts.

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50. How can Yin and Yang be applied in martial arts?

Martial arts scholars also referred to Yin and Yang in their books. Wang Zongyue (王宗岳 ) pointed out in the opening part of Theory of Tai Chi Quan (太極拳論 ) that the key to practising Tai Chi Quan lies in grasping the changes of Yin and Yang, dynamic and static, open and closed. The Pandect of Shaolin Cudgel Techniques Manual (《少林棍法闡宗總論》) says that reaching out hands is Yang while pulling back is Yin. In the chapter “Attacking and Defending in Emei Spear Techniques” (《峨嵋槍法• 攻守篇》 ), it is said that attacking is to take the initiative against your

opponents while defending is to resist an attack in a passive position. Therefore, attacking represents Yang while defending represents Yin. The concepts of hardness and softness are also a part of Yin and Yang, meaning that Yang is to concentrate all your power on a strong movement and Yin, soft movement. The principle of opposing forces as displayed by Yin and Yang is of crucial importance in martial arts — a practitioner is required to make use of the opponent’s strength for their own advantage by overcoming hardness with softness. This is the most important connection between Yin and Yang and martial arts.

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51. How do you read a Ba Gua (eight trigrams) map?

The eight trigrams here refer to eight images of trigrams listed in the Book of Changes (周易 ), that is, Qian (乾 ), Kun (坤 ), Zhen (震 ), Xun (巽 ), Kan (坎 ), Li (離 ), Gen (艮 ), Dui (兌 ). The eight trigrams are used to symbolise the eight natural elements; heaven, earth, wind, thunder, water, fire, mountain and pond, in all possible combinations to represent the whole universe.

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Qian Heaven Dui Valley

Li Fire Zhen Thunder

South SE

SW

East

West

NE

NW North

Xun Wind

Kan Water Gen Mountain

Kun Earth Figure 17. The eight trigrams and the directions they represent

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52. How are the eight trigrams applied in Kung Fu?

Every aspect of martial arts has direct or indirect relations with the eight trigrams. The eight-trigram palm is a typical example of the use of the philosophy of the eight trigrams. It is a kind of boxing technique characterised by continuously changing palm styles created according to the eight trigrams theory. For example, Qian (乾 ) is lion palm, symbolising the lion; Zhen (震 ) is Dan Huan palm (單換掌 ), symbolising the dragon; and Gen is Bei Shen palm (背身掌 ), symbolising the bear. In addition, it should be pointed out that the eight-trigram palm is not only a simple analogy for the eight trigrams, but it also uses those trigrams to illustrate how to practise these palm techniques. For instance, eighttrigram palm Xun (which means wind, 巽 ) is seen to emphasise the two feet, as is shown by Xun image. It asks for the movement of the feet to be as quick as the wind. Another example is Dui (兌 ), which is compared to the shoulders, as seen in its trigram image, which requires the shoulders to be low and loose. Along with those basic palm techniques symbolising the eight trigrams, a set of steps named Jiu Gong Bu (九宮步 ) was created according to the directions of the eight trigrams. Its pattern conforms to the order and position of the numbers in Luo Shu (often called the nine halls trigram

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in English, or a magic square, 洛書 ). Jiu Gong Bu involves stepping and moving your feet around a circle. With the special footwork and sixty-four palm techniques which are derived from sixty-four trigrams, eight-trigram palm is flexible, ever-changing and adaptable.

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53. What is drunken style?

Drunken style is a kind of Kung Fu which imitates the movements of a drunken person. It is a kind of boxing that combines attack and defence in one. The basic form is drunken fist. Drunken sword and drunken cudgel developed from drunken fist. Drunken fist can be divided into three major categories: the first pays attention to shape or form and is mainly about imitating laughable drunkenness; the second one puts emphasis on techniques and develops aggressive skills from “drunkenness”; the last regards both form and technique as equally important. It has both the form of drunkenness, and the quick and forceful techniques. There are two kinds of drunken fist: one is the traditional drunken fist routine, which puts particular emphasis on the practicality of attack and defence in Wushu. The other kind is a modern drunken fist routine which highlights difficult movements like fall, tumble and roll, and focuses on the performance aspect. Drunken style does not mean that the fighter has to be drunk, therefore, drunken fist is another kind of pictographic boxing. Its routines are composed of strict hand techniques, footwork and body techniques. In drunken style, exponents are not really drunk but pretend to be drunk, which can confuse the opponent and help the drunken-fist player to win.

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Although the drunken-style exponent may seem to stumble, this is not an accident. It is a practised routine composed of strict combinations and requirements in attack and defence. The whole point of the drunken style is that it requires the upper part of the body to be fleet and the lower part of body stable. Thus it asks for good crotch and leg strength. Only when the crotch is flexible can the waist be flexible, and only when the leg is strong, can it be full of power when attacking the opponent. The features of attack and defence in drunken fist are speed and variety, and one usually defeats the opponent with a surprise move. As mentioned, the fighter confuses his opponent with his drunken appearance, but in reality he sees things clearly and acts speedily with dynamic footwork. When he is stumbling and swinging, he can dodge, jump and move to avoid his opponent’s attack. He can also take advantage of any chink in the opponent’s defence in order to attack. There are many falling and tumbling movements in drunken fist. The fighter finishes his throw, tumbles, falls and stands up in his “drunken” state with smooth and agile movements. The postures of drunken fist are usually at an angle so that one seems to be falling down but does not actually fall. The fighter can easily change his movements during these postures because his centre of gravity is more flexible than during other poses. In drunken fist, the fighter always shows his drunkenness by lifting his feet and stumbling. At the same time, he can put his attack and defence methods to good use, for example, he can knock and push his rival suddenly with head, shoulder, elbow, knee, hip or crotch. In short, the drunken style makes great demands on body techniques and footwork. There is a saying about drunken style, “the body above the

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waist should look like branches waving. The body below the waist should seem to take root”. So the strength of leg and crotch is very important in drunken style.

Figure 18. Drunken style

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54. What is Tai Chi? How does Tai Chi influence Kung Fu?

According to the ancient book Yi Zhuan (《易傳》 ), ancient philosophers regarded Tai Chi as the origin of the universe. Everything in the universe, including human beings, came from Tai Chi. In another book, Tai Chi Tu Shuo (《太極圖說》 ), scholars illustrated how the universe has been generated from Tai Chi. In their ideas, the movement of Tai Chi produces

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Yang Qi (陽氣 ). When Yang Qi reaches its peak, then it will be motionless and produce Yin Qi (陰氣 ). The combination of Yin Qi and Yang Qi creates everything in the universe. As the name suggests, Tai Chi Quan (Tai Chi boxing, 太極拳 ) the fighting art, is influenced by Tai Chi. First, the name of Tai Chi Quan comes from Tai Chi. Second, the attacking skills in Tai Chi Quan have a strong relation with Tai Chi Tu Shuo. For example, the Yin and Yang of Tai Chi correspond to the “emptiness” and “solidness” in Tai Chi Quan. A limb should be solid when the weight of the body rests on it, and empty when it is weightless. However, there is emptiness in solid action while there is solidness in empty action, just as there is Yang in Yin, while there is Yin in Yang. In Tai Chi the movements are rounded, and the actions in Tai Chi Quan are curved, almost round. In addition, in Chinese philosophy Tai Chi is associated with the inner heart and emphasises the peace of the inner heart. There is also much stress on peace of heart in Tai Chi Quan.

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55. Why is Tai Chi Quan so slow and calm?

Relaxation is an important precondition for muscle contraction. It can stretch muscle fibre which causes greater contraction force. It can also guarantee cooperative work among muscular tissue so as to improve the power generated by muscles. Therefore, the degree of relaxation decides the strength and fluidity of the power. It is also a requirement for every kind of boxing. For example, relaxation is the key point in Tai Chi Quan training. Tai Chi Quan emphasises five steps: listening, leading, neutralising and grasping the power and force of opponent, then generating one’s own power and force. When fighting with his opponent, the practitioner should remain relaxed and concentrate on listening to the path and degree of his opponent’s power and force. Only awareness of the opponent’s power and force can lead to the direction beneficial for oneself; and only after leading accurately can one neutralise and grasp the opponent’s power and force effectively. He can then generate his own power and force to defeat the opponent. The five steps can only be done well if the practitioner is relaxed. If the learner is so nervous that he cannot recognise and accurately follow the opponent’s power and force and then carry out the other four steps,

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he will put himself in a passive position and his opponent may get the advantage. Therefore, the most important thing in learning Tai Chi Quan is to know how to relax, both physically and mentally. In summary, in martial arts, remaining relaxed means the working muscles will be in good working condition and be stretched to achieve the greatest possible length, so as to produce the maximum tension in the contraction.

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56. What is Dian Xue and how does it work?

Dian Xue (acupressure combat, 點穴術 ) is a kind of Kung Fu that involves beating opponents by hitting the particular points of the body highlighted in acupuncture. A lot of Kung Fu films and novels have described the power of Dian Xue: When the opponent‘s acupuncture point (xue, 穴 ) is hit, he will die instantly or be disabled for life. Also, if his acupuncture point is “sealed”, he will not be able to move for a few hours and can only move freely after the acupuncture point is “unsealed”. Sealing a point means to prevent the flow of blood and Qi and thereby create a blockage. The acupuncture of traditional Chinese medicine is concerned with points. Touching different points will have different effects, some will improve a person’s health but others may cause pain or death. Hence, Dian Xue can be divided into two categories in terms of function and purpose. One is a technique practised by martial artists to cause stiffness and incapacitate someone for a short time. The other type is a special treatment for patients by Wushu masters or Qi Gong masters, designed to improve someone’s health. We can find the proof of the existence of Dian Xue in the ancient Chinese classics. According to Secrets of Shaolin Boxing (《少林拳術 秘訣》 ), Zhang Sanfeng (張三豐 ) invented the “seventy-two points

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hitting technique” (七十二穴點按術 ) which is regarded as the highest of the northern martial arts, in his later  life. Huang Zongxi (黃宗羲 ) also documented in his Epitaph of Wang Zhengnan (《王征南墓誌銘》 ) that Wang Zhengnan always struck his opponents on their acupuncture points in combat. According to the Introduction to The Acupuncture Points in the Human Body and Its Therapy (《人身穴道並治療法》 ) by Tang Hao (唐豪 ), a heavy blow on the Yao Yan point (points four inches on either side of the spine at the fourth lumbar vertebra, 腰眼穴 ) can make a person laugh uncontrollably, a heavy blow on the Hua Gai point (in the middle of the chest, in the first intercostal, 華蓋穴 ) can cause one to faint immediately. The theoretical foundation of Dian Xue is the meridian theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, there are paths for Qi and blood to flow in the human body — main and collateral channels. Main and collateral channels are necessary channels for the operation of Qi and blood. They connect organs and limbs. There are twelve regular meridians and eight extraordinary meridians in the human body. There are also more than 365 acupuncture points, intersections of the points and veins throughout the meridians. Stimulation of a point can block and choke the flow of Qi and blood. Blocking of channels will prevent the normal function of the organs. Furthermore, the acupuncture points used in Dian Xue are not only about meridians and acupuncture points, but also some vulnerable points in the human body like sensitive nerves and important vessels. The emphasis in Dian Xue, however, is primarily on the acupuncture points.

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57. How many vital points are there in the human body?

According to the ancient meridian-collateral theory, as well as the theory of acupoint selection in TCM acupuncture and moxibustion, there are twelve regular meridians from the top of the head to the heel. These are all connected by acupoints, distinguished as large (5 inches; 125 mm) and small (half an inch; 12.5 mm). Distributed along twelve meridians and collaterals, the whole body has more than 365 acupoints. Dian Xue picks out thirty-six acupoints as the main points of attack because of their effectiveness. Hitting or pressuring some acupoints has an almost immediate effect as those acupoints are distributed either in weak or sensitive positions of the body. By marking these acupoints on a wooden dummy, boxing practitioners can perform realistic training in Dian Xue. The book of Shaolin Dian Xue, for example, requires the learner to make a wooden figure by drawing a human outline on hard wood, with the acupoints of a certain meridian marked. Then he has to practise hitting the acupoints of that meridian. Once the learner is familiar with those acupoints, he should turn to practise acupoints on another meridian in the same way. When he finishes practising the acupoints of the whole body, the learner can then train using them all together.

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Generally speaking, when the acupoint is pressed, there occurs a local blockage of blood, as well as physiological disorders. People suffering from unbearable aches and pains can ask Qi Gong masters and martial arts experts for treatment through Dian Xue. They will touch certain acupoints with a particular amount of pressure to dredge the channels which are blocked and regulate Qi and blood to enable the patient to recover from illness.

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58. Does Xue stay at the same position all the time?

In TCM, the human body’s physiological activity changes correspondingly with the alternation of day and night and the four seasons, known as the theory of midnight-noon ebb-flow (子午流注法 ) or what modern biology calls the biological clock. In the theory of midnight-noon ebb-flow, the twelve meridians inside the body correspond to the twelve hours of a day. Different meridians also rise and decline at different times. For example, the gallbladder meridian rises from 11 pm to 1 am. If one is asleep by that time, the gallbladder can fulfil its metabolism, which is good for health. The metabolism of the liver will be completed from 1 am to 3 am as that is the time of the liver meridian. Other organs like the lungs, stomach, spleen, and kidneys also have their dormant times. The physiological activity is also related to the four seasons. In TCM, the liver corresponds with spring, which means the functions of the liver are more vigorous then than in other seasons. Summer corresponds with the heart, autumn is the lungs and winter is the kidneys. In order to preserve their health, people should pay attention to their diet and daily life through the relation between the inner organs and four seasons.

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Decimal Time In ancient China, the whole day was divided into twelve units, and every unit was equal to two hours today. Beginning at 11 pm, each unit corresponds to one of the twelve figures of the Chinese zodiac; Zi (rat, 子), Chou (ox, 醜), Yin (tiger, 寅), Mao (rabbit, 卯), Chen (dragon, 辰), Si (snake, 巳), Wu (horse, 午), Wei (sheep, 未), Shen (monkey, 申), You (rooster, 酉), Xu (dog, 戌), Hai (pig, 亥). The unit of Zi (子時) is the time of midnight, and is the first unit of twelve units (11 pm to 1 am according to modern reckoning). The second unit, Chou (醜時), is the time of the crowing of the cock (1 am to 3 am). The unit of Yin (寅時) is the time of morning twilight, when night turns to day (3 am to 5 am). The unit of Mao (卯時) is the time of sunrise, when the sun just appears and is rising ( 5 am to 7 am). The unit of Chen (辰時) is the time of eating breakfast (7 am to 9 am). The unit of Si (巳時) is the time near noon (9 am to 11 am). The unit of Wu (午時) is the time of noon (11 am to 1 pm). The unit of Wei (未 時) is the time that the sun moves into the west (1 pm to 3 pm). The unit of Shen (申時) is the time of dinner (3 pm to 5 pm). The unit of You (酉時) is the time of sunset (5 pm to 7 pm). The unit of Xu (戌時) is the time of dusk, when the sun has set and but it is not yet completely dark (7 pm to 9 pm). The unit of Hai (亥時) is the time that people stop their activities and go to bed (9 pm to 11 pm).

In TCM, the flow of blood also follows the rule of time. Therefore, in actual combat, one should calculate the location where the Qi and blood flow at a certain time according to the theory of midnight-noon ebb-flow and hit that point. The Qi and blood flow will be blocked or interrupted more effectively, so as to maximise the effect. This is the principle of “selecting acupoint by time” in Dian Xue.

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Part IV: Ultimate Battle This section looks at the scientific roots of the different fighting techniques that are a part of Kung Fu.

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59. What is the scientific theory every Kung Fu practitioner must learn in order to fight with others?

Understanding how force works is one of the most important things you can learn. In every school of traditional Chinese martial arts, practitioners must learn the technique called “catch and hold”, which involves the basic skills to catch, wrestle and hit. Wrestling in catch and hold is a contest of force. It is unwise to resist a force by pushing in the opposite direction. It is better to attack back by pushing in the same direction. It is only when adding your force to that of your opponent that you can create a greater resultant force and then change the direction of the combined force to make your opponent lose his balance and put him in a disadvantageous position. Achieving the optimal attack effect by using the resultant force principle is a method used by many martial arts experts. It is also one of the main methods used by martial artists to defeat a powerful enemy using less energy. According to the principle of resultant force, when an opponent exerts a force on you, you can add yours to it, either in the same direction or in a slightly slanting direction instead of pushing back. The narrower the angle between the two forces, the greater the resultant force will be. Moreover, if you follow the direction of the opponent’s force and apply your own force in a circular motion, then the effect is much more subtle. The force of the opponent will react upon him because the resultant force and its direction are constantly changing.

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Take the neutralising force which is frequently used in Tai Chi boxing as an example, if an opponent attacks your chest, you can ward off the blow by turning left or right, applying your force on his body in the same direction or in a slanting direction to produce resultant force. The resultant force does not only change your opponent’s force direction, but it can also neutralise his force and create an opportunity for your retaliation. This kind of method is called “neutralising force in Tai Chi hand-push”.

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Resultant Force Resultant force means the composition of forces. The AB line (F2) stands for the force from the opponent and its direction, the AC line (F1) represents the force from oneself and its orientation, the AD line (∑Fα1) is the resultant force and its direction. The resultant force is bigger than the force from oneself and it skews the force from the opponent. From the formula for the calculation of resultant force, we know that when both component forces remain constant, the smaller the angle between the two component forces, and the larger the resultant force; and the larger the angle between component forces, the smaller the resultant force. Therefore, when F1 and F2 remain constant, if α2∑Fα2.

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60. Does a knowledge of anatomy make a better Kung Fu fighter?

The human body is composed of bones, joints and muscles. Bones function as levers, joints as pivots, and muscles as dynamic forces which are attached to the surface of bones. To effectively and precisely destroy the athletic ability of the opponent, Kung Fu masters damage the opponent’s bones and muscles. Inflicting such damage requires a good

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knowledge of body structure, including of bones, joints and muscles. Take catch and hold as an example, it is a technique of attack in which pressure is applied to a joint to push it backwards. To acquire this skill, one should first have a knowledge of all relative parts of body, like the structures of major joints, range of motion and critical positions, so that one can use the techniques of catch and hold correctly. The greater the knowledge — for example if it includes meridians and acupoints — the greater the skill.

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61. What is the application of force couple in Kung Fu?

Force couple is a principle whereby equal and opposite forces acting along parallel lines produce a rotation. A force couple in human movements is a couple of opposite forces from the upper and lower parts of the body driven by the waist. When you attack your opponent, you should utilise such forces. For example, when you attack your opponent with a straight right fist, your right shoulder should lean forward, and your left shoulder pull back, the upper body should twist to the left, while the muscle of the hip in the lower limb should apply force to the right. This is how the power from the vertical force couple forms and exerts a rotating force on the waist. The two equal and opposite forces not only fix the posture and balance of the body when you attack, but also make it stronger when you hit out, due to the twisting of the upper body. The force couple in catch and hold is such a force that it can help to rotate the opponents’ limbs and lock them. The saying “twisting the head and breaking the neck” shows how effective this principle can be. Shear force, when unaligned forces push one part of the body in one direction and another part of the body in a different direction, is also a part of the principle of force couple too. The distance between two forcebearing points of an opposite forces couple is so small that it has as strong a power as a sickle when it is chopping, or as a pair of scissors when it is

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hand

forearm

wrist Figure 19. Shear force in catch and hold

cutting. The pressure per unit area will be greater if the stressed area is smaller. In order to decrease the stressed area, people should concentrate the force-bearing points. That is why in catch and hold techniques, shear force is often used to attack the opponent’s joints, especially the wrists (see Figure 19).

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62. What is the application of the lever principle in Kung Fu?

According to the lever principle, only when two torques (forces of rotation) acting on a lever are equal can the lever keep its balance. In other words the power and the arm exerting it must be equal to the resistance and the arm resisting. On the basis of this formula, we can see that when the power arm is several times shorter than the resistance arm, then the power will be a fraction of the resistance. Therefore, if we want to use less effort to exert power we should use a lever whose power arm is longer than its resisting arm; to reduce distance, we should choose the lever whose power arm is shorter than its resisting arm. Hence, we can either reduce effort or distance when using a lever, but it is not possible to reduce both simultaneously. The movements of our bodies are composed of bone levers so there are plenty of opportunities to use this technique when fighting. In the technique of catch and hold, for example, one can use the body as a mobile lever and create a fulcrum out of the opponent’s shoulder, elbow, etc. Then we can make use of leverage to focus force on the opponent’s fingers, wrist, elbow and shoulders. In this way, local stress can force the opponent into a passive position which forces him to submit. For example, if we create a fulcrum on the shoulder, the arm as the lever arm, and force on the wrist, we can take control of the opponent’s whole body

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power

resistance

fulcrum

Figure 20. Lever principle in catch and hold

or break his elbow. This is called “carrying the arm to break the elbow” (see Figure 20). If stress is placed on the body in one place using the lever principle then a chain reaction occurs throughout the whole body. The local stress will cause a chain reaction, and the opponent will be reduced to a passive position. Take catching hand technique in martial arts as an example: we focus our force and act on one particular joint of the opponent by hooking, catching, locking and buckling. As it hurts him, he, out of human inclination for self-protection, will certainly adapt his body. As a result, it alters the lever effect of his whole body which will force him to give in.

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63. Is it possible for a slim man to defeat a stout man?

The process of martial arts, in terms of the nature of mechanics, is a process in which balance exercises alternate with movements to unbalance another. For a martial arts practitioner, the external forces that act on him include gravity, the force of reaction to the ground and counterforce from the opponent. When there is resultant force, there will be displacement and acceleration of the body in the same direction as the resultant force. And if the resultant force acts on the torque of the centre of gravity, then the body will rotate along with the direction of the torque. Thus, the reason why the art of attack and defence in martial arts is called a “technique”, or the secret of the art of attack and defence in martial arts lies in how exponents take control of the above three external forces and use the above two principles. If one can actively change the strength and direction of external forces and ably use attack principles, one can achieve results that are advantageous to oneself but not to the opponent. To put it more precisely, even if an opponent has greater power, it is still possible to stop him from applying his force. Or, even if his force is released, it can be diverted so that it is not released on the opponent. Whatever small force one may have, this can be applied to the opponent so as to influence the movement of his whole body. Then, one can strike

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in the direction in which he is most inclined to fall and at the moment when he is most unstable. Therefore, although a person may seem to have a greater force, with technique, skill and by taking advantage of physics principles such as lever, spiral and inclined plane, it is possible to overpower them. We can see this particularly in Tai Chi boxing.

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64. How do you give a strong punch?

There is a common saying, “a punch gets its power from the waist”. Bruce Lee and many outstanding fighters have always emphasised the importance of the waist and legs for punches. The “waist” in proverbs usually refers to the trunk. The trunk is influential in most martial arts actions. Take Chong Quan (punching fist, 衝拳 ) as an example, in the action of Chong Quan, the waist is twisted and the shoulder is turned. Momentum is produced by the trunk and the momentum is transmitted to the shoulder and pushes the shoulder forward. The shoulder pushes the elbow. The elbow pushes the hands and then the fist is played forward. Bruce Lee once said: “the power in punches does not come from the arms, but from the central part of the body”. That is to say, the punch which employs only arm muscles will not produce much power. The arms are only the carrier of power. Only through the correct use of the trunk can enough power be generated to punch with force and have a serious effect on one’s opponent.

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65. How can you hit your opponent with the greatest effect?

The principles of mechanics tell us that, when force is applied to a large area, the object will receive less pressure than when the same amount of force is applied to a smaller area. According to this principle, when strength acts on a small part of the human body, this inflicts more damage on the enemy, as illustrated in Figure 21a and b, than when force

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is dissipated across a wider area. The stressed area in Figure 21b is the largest, so the striking effect is the weakest. In contrast, the stressed area in picture a is the smallest, so the damage is greatest even though one uses fingers and not the whole fist to attack. Similarly, when using the catch and hold technique, the point of contact on the human body must be as small as possible in order to exert real force. For example, when we perform the action of Qie Wan (cutting wrist, 切腕 ) in golden silk twining wrist (金絲纏腕 ), we should use the edge of the palm (Figure 22), not the centre of the palm. It hurts the opponent’s wrist more by reducing the stressed area to increase the intensity of pressure.

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Figure 21a.

Figure 21b.

Figure 21. The relationship between the stressed area and damage

Figure 22. Golden silk twining wrist (金絲纏腕 )

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66. Can the force of one’s punch be increased?

According to the principles of mechanics, the body can produce much more power when it is spinning rather than when it maintains a static position. There are various types of rotation of the body including butterfly spinning (旋子 ), side flip (the whole body rotates around the sagittal axis, 側空翻 ), whirlwind kick (旋風腳 ), 360-degree turn (the whole

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body rotates around the vertical axis, 360度空翻 ), and forwards and backwards somersaults. Regardless of the type, rotations provide the body with great momentum. In order to enhance attacking strength, martial artists finds ways to maximise the rotational effect of the whole body. Take butterfly spinning as an example: to gain enough momentum for the body’s rotation, the trunk should remain level on the right side of the body, with both arms outstretched. When the action begins, the psoas muscles on the left shrink. The upper body and arms swing to the left, producing the momentum which leads the body to turn left around the sagittal axis. Then, the left foot steps on the ground and the right foot swings to the right, which helps increase the momentum of the trunk to rotate to the left. The radius of rotation is enlarged when the trunk is straight and moves down (直腰下俯 ). It is lengthened when the two arms stretch out and swing. When the rotation radius is enlarged, the momentum

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is enhanced, which leads to a better rotation effect. Therefore, the momentum can be enhanced by lengthening the rotation radius prerotation. In flight, the momentum produced by the swing of upper and lower limbs is transferred to the trunk. So the effects of body rotation will be enhanced in butterfly spinning. Other kinds of rotation in martial arts can also improve their results by transferring the momentum produced by the swing and rotation of limbs to the trunk. This will greatly increase the force of the punch.

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67. Is it possible that the force of a punch from a slim man is the same as from a stout man?

According to Newton’s second law of motion, the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to, and in the same direction as, the external force acting on it which inversely proportional to its mass. It can be formulated as F=ma (where F is external force, m is the mass of the object, and a is the object’s acceleration). From this, we can see that the

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force of a punch may be the same from both a stout man and a slim man. The effect of the punch depends on the mass of the practitioner’s limb in motion and its acceleration. A stout man with an arm weighing 30 kg, whose large body means he has a low acceleration of 5 m/s2, can exert a final force of 150 newton. A slim man, though his arm weighs much less, say, 20 kg, with a much higher acceleration of 10 m/s², he can reach a final force of 200 newton. Therefore, as acceleration is greatly related to the player’s body, a slim man and a stout man can exert the same force of punch. Thus, when a slim man faces a stout man’s attack, the former is not necessarily defeated by the latter. On the contrary, the slim man may defeat the stout man. The key to winning is the force which is the product of acceleration and mass. If the acceleration of a slim man is much greater than that of a stout man, he can defeat the stout man.

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That is why speed training is so important in Chinese martial arts. For example, Jeet Kune Do (截拳道 ) and Wing Chun both emphasise speed. They both have very fast punch speed. In addition, the attacking speed of Tai Chi boxing is also fast. Although the tempo of Tai Chi boxing may seem slow, exponents change from defence to attack so quickly that the opponent may not be aware of the change in time. The Tai Chi player can defeat his opponent through punch speed and power.

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68. Which is the most powerful Quan (punch) of all?

There is a big difference in the power and force in different martial arts postures. There are even huge variations in the strength of different basic punching techniques including Heng Quan (horizontal punch, 橫拳 ), Za Quan (hammer strike, 砸拳 ), Chong Quan (punching fist, 衝拳 ), Zheng Quan/ Zhi Quan (straight punch, 正拳/直拳 ) etc.

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Zhi Quan is a punching technique which plays an extremely important role in all kinds of martial arts exercises. It is widely used in actual combat. it not only produces a strong destructive power in a very short distance, but also prevents attack. There are two kinds of fighting methods for Zhi Quan: one relies on the coordination of the whole body to heavily attack an opponent with the aim of beating him down with a single blow. The other kind is to strike the opponent with a quick extension of the arm, then gradually beat the rival down with a series of boxing combinations. As it strikes over a short distance in a straight line, the attack of Zhi Quan can produce the greatest impact in the shortest time and hit the opponent’s vital or soft parts with the hard part of the fist which renders the opponent incapable of further opposition.

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69. Is it possible to “attack a naked blade empty-handed”?

“Attack a naked blade empty-handed” (空手入白刃 ) is not a fixed movement, but a general term and a summary of different techniques that are used to fight someone with a weapon when one is unarmed. In fact, every school of martial arts has a similar set of movements and they are often shown in Kung Fu films. “Seize a naked blade” is purely a kind of catch and hold technique, which aims to seize the weapon while “attack naked blade” is directed at the person more than the weapon. “Attack” can be interpreted as intruding into the defence area of the opponent. There are two explanations of “attack a naked blade empty-handed”: the first is that it is a kind of special skill in ancient martial arts for dealing with weapons empty-handed. One who is good at this kind of skill is certainly an agile and bold master. The other is a routine of duel exercises in modern Kung Fu, such as combatting a handgun or seizing a dagger empty-handed. These are all carefully arranged routines. One can observe the training level of practitioners from their coordination. These are different from “attack naked blade empty-handed” in ancient martial arts. Whether in ancient society or modern society, one who can “attack a naked blade empty-handed” is a person who is highly skilled in martial arts. Ordinary people should not try this as it is dangerous.

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70. How does the law of inertia apply to Kung Fu?

Any object, without bearing any force, will remain stationary or in a state of uniform linear motion. Newton’s first law shows that an object, unless acted on by a force, will remain in its original state forever. In other words, an object has a quality of keeping its original state of motion, which is called inertia. Therefore, Newton’s first law is also called the law of inertia.

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Inertia is an inherent quality of objects, which can be measured by the mass of an object; it has nothing to do with outside force and its state of motion. In Wushu, we often meet problems of inertia. For example, at the moment of movement, the velocity of this movement cannot reach its maximum instantly; and after one finishes the movement, the process of movement does not stop immediately either. Both are because of inertia. However, we can also take advantage of the law of inertia. In general, it is similar to the principle of making force from a borrowed force. In other words, one decides when and how to attack by making use of the opponent’s inertia. When the opponent attacks, one can seize the momentum that the opponent has made in his attack and use this in a variety of ways. For example, one can dodge to make his opponent lose his balance and fall forward. Or one can take advantage of when the

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opponent is in the process of moving and his centre of gravity is unsteady. Then one may apply a force in the same direction as the opponent’s movement or with a slight angle to the opponent’s body in order to make him lose his balance with only half the effort. In Tai Chi boxing this is called “avoiding frontal attack and attacking an opponent on his side”.

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71. What are the benefits of the law of inertia?

Mastering the law of inertia well and using it properly in martial arts can help practitioners to relax and contract their muscles in a timely and rhythmical manner. Through making their movements in a more economical style, it can reduce energy consumption. That is what we call “making use of skilful force”.

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For example, in Chang Quan (long boxing, 長拳 ) routines, there are continuous jumping movements such as flying kicks followed by whirlwind kicks. In these, one must consider the role of inertia if the movements are to be practical and energy-efficient. When the process of flying kicks is complete (running, jumping, flying and falling), the tendency is to fall forwards and downwards to the ground. Thus, one is already prepared for the next set of whirlwind kicks due to the initial velocity of forward and downward movements. According to the law of inertia, it is easier and more labour-saving to maintain speed than to change speed. At this point, one should take advantage of the inertia of the human body, continue accelerating with two more steps and move immediately into the whirlwind kicks. In this way, you do not only reduce energy consumption, but also make use of final velocity when you finish flying kicks and touch the ground. It provides a greater initial velocity to the movement of whirlwind kicks before jumping, which helps one to perform those kicks more effectively. Part IV: Ultimate Battle

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If, on the contrary, one uses his muscles to brake after touching the ground, then rushes to accelerate and perform whirlwind kicks from a velocity of zero, then energy is wasted in the process of connecting the two movements. Furthermore, the initial velocity of the whirlwind kicks is smaller, which makes it harder to finish the movement and influences the quality of those movements as well. In the practice of Wushu routines, one should apply one’s own inertia to “make use of skilful force”, which saves effort and energy, makes movements coordinated, fluid and artistic and thus heightens the effect of martial arts movements. The ancients made full use of the law of inertia in connecting martial arts movements in order to present both their beauty and their power.

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72. How does one save effort during combat?

In mechanics, the principles of inclined plane and rotation can save effort. This theory can be applied to actual combat in martial arts to increase the effectiveness of both attacking and defending. For example, if you deliver a straight punch to your opponent, you can rotate your wrist when it is about to contact him. In this way, your force will be more stable and

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powerful, and your wrist will not be easily caught by your opponent. If you rotate your body, the power in the punch will be increased. Therefore, you can achieve an effective attack. This attacking method is frequently used in Shaolin boxing and Wing Chun, most of whose techniques are about rotating the arms and body. In using the principle of inclined plane and rotation, defence movements can reduce the force of the opponent’s punch and eliminate the effect of their attack. Some of these methods are defusing danger by making contact, reducing force by arc-shaped or circular movements and neutralising the offensive by redirecting and tripping. Defusing danger by making contact means that after comprehending the opponent’s offensive strategy, you can make contact with his body with parts of your hands, feet or body. When the inclined plane is formed in the contact region, the attacking part of the opponent can be made to

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slide along with the inclined plane. As the stressed area will be enlarged and the action time will be prolonged, the intensity of the opponent’s force will be reduced. Reducing force by arc-shaped or circular movements means that when the opponent is attacking, you may make arc-shaped or circular movements around the attacking body part to let the attack force move in a direction away from your body or divide the direct force into several component forces in different directions. As a result, the speed and force of the opponent’s attack will be reduced. The method of neutralising the offensive by unloading and dragging is based on the principle of inertia. You can reduce the opponent’s force along the line of his attack by traction. To be specific, when facing the opponent’s attack, you can dodge and drag the opponent’s force with you and add your force in the same direction. At the same time, you should make him lose his balance by tripping or kicking his legs. In the end, you can not only neutralise the opponent’s offensive, but also bring yourself an opportunity for effective attack.

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73. What is the importance of the centreline in Wing Chun ?

“Centreline” refers to the line from the Bai Hui (百會 ), a point on the top of the head, through the coccygeal vertebra and to the ground. This line is very important because there are many weaknesses along the line, such as the point between the eyebrows, nose bridge, lower jaw, throat, precordium and external genitalia. If you can harm the enemy’s centreline

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you can inflict great damage on them and defeat your opponent quickly. Hitting the sides of someone’s body, in contrast, will waste energy. Therefore all kinds of martial arts attach great importance to the centreline theory, especially in Wing Chun, which even has the motto, “grab the centreline”.

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74. Why do martial artists refuse to kill their enemies?

Confucians value humanity. They believe benevolence means to love others. Martial arts is a supplementary means of the salvation of morality and the soul but not a killing tool. For masters in Wushu field therefore, the essential purpose of the skills of martial arts is not to hurt others but to stop others’ aggressive behaviour. The skills described in this book should be used for self-defence or punishment of wrongdoing, but should go no further. For this reason, there are restrictions on the usage of martial arts skills, both for the practitioner and the opponent. For example, when performing the exercises of the Shaolin Cinnabar palm (硃砂掌 ) and immortal palm (仙人掌 ), the learners should practise with their less dominant hand to avoid accidentally injuring their dominant hand. There are agreements also to avoid fatal harm to opponents, which state eight positions that must not be targeted and eight that may safely be hit without causing excessive damage. Shaolin Kung Fu is a typical example of this practice. In Buddhism, there are five taboos, the first of which is ahimsa, which is a taboo against

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Restrictions on the Use of Martial Arts The eight positions of human body which are not fatal when hit are the brow ridge and eyes, philtrum, lower jaw, ribs and the organs under ribs, knees, pubis, shoulder blades, shin bones. The eight positions where a blow could be fatal are the temples, throat, precordium, costal cartilage under armpits, crotch, kidney, caudal vertebra and ears.

killing animals. Hence the famous Shaolin Kung Fu uses cudgel and fist techniques, which are less harmful to animals than sharp weapons. An understanding of the scientific principles of Kung Fu should give the practitioner a respect for its power and an appreciation of how and for what purpose these skills should be employed.

Part IV: Ultimate Battle

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References

English Jamieson, John C. and Lin Tao, An Elementary Chinese Text, (Chinese University Press, 2002). Lorge, Peter Allan, Chinese Martial Arts: From Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century, (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Zeng Xianglin (曾祥林 ), “On the strength of Wushu”, Boxing: The Science of WuShu, vol. 7, Shanghai University of Sport, Oct. 2010 Oxford Dictionaries — Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar, http://www.oxforddictionaries. com/definition/english/kung-fu, (accessed 26 February 2011).

Chinese Zhao Guoqing 趙國慶 , “Chuan Tong Wu Shu Zhen Yi De Si Kao Yu Xun Yi” 傳統武術真意的思 考與尋譯 , Ti Yu Wen Hua Dao Kan 體育文化導刊 , (September 2003) Zhao Ye and Xu Tianhu (ed.), Wu Yue Chun Qiu, 《吳越春秋 , 越女論劍 》 (Nanjing Shi, Jiangsu Gu Ji Chu Ban She, 1999).

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Titles in This Series

基督宗教與中國— 文化•藝術篇 馮志弘.徐麗莎 ISBN: 978-962-937-264-4 159 x 210 mm • 348 pp

塗鴉香港— 公共空間、政治與全球化 【第二版】

基督宗教與中國— 歷史•哲學篇 馮志弘



ISBN: 978-962-937-242-2 159 x 210 mm • 250 pp

張讚國.高從霖 ISBN: 978-962-937-255-2 159 x 210 mm • 336 pp

東西方電影【增訂版】 魏時煜 ISBN: 978-962-937-265-1 159 x 210 mm • 584 pp

160

Kung Fu and Science

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Reading Hong Kong, Reading Ourselves Edited by Janel CURRY, Paul HANSTEDT

匆促的記者— 公民新聞、媒體與社會 張讚國 ISBN: 978-962-937-224-8 159 x 210 mm • 224 pp

ISBN: 978-962-937-235-4 159 x 210 mm • 336 pp

2016/7/7 10:54:58 AM