Wudang Kung Fu
Wudang Kung Fu is one special internal martial arts form in China and enjoys the parallel position with Shaolin Kung Fu in Chinese Kung Fu field. Therefore comes the popular saying “In the north respects paid to Shoalin Kung Fu; yet in the south honor should be given to Wudang Kung Fu.”
It is widely heard that the founder of Wudang Kung Fu was a local Taoist called Zhang Sanfeng. The historical recordings differ much in different books and the following below carries some different information:
1. Zhang Sanfeng was a popular boxing player in Song Dynasty. Also an alchemist in Mount Wudang. 2. Zhang Sanfeng, a Taoist, was born in Yi State of Liaoing Province. Once in a time stayed in Mount Wudang and much recordings concerning him remained in books in Ming Dynasty,… These are recordings carried with book Source of Words. It is really a very complicated problem when in a one book two Zhang Sanfengs came out in different time, one in Song Dynasty and another in Ming Dynasty. Is it possible that they meant the same person or did the one in Song Dynasty live a very long life till Ming Dynasty? Yet, in consideration with the following factors as the same religion, the same practicing place, the same Kung Fu arts they practiced and the same fame for themselves, together with traditional Chinese name-giving customs, the historians in China still cannot give a convincing conclusion as to the details of Zhang Sanfeng’s personal information.
Other recordings concerning Zhang Sanfeng and his Kung Fu master history may have to be related to Huang Zongxi, who was one famous Chinese thinker and historian in late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty. In his books History Files In Song- and Yuan Dynasty, History Files In Ming Dynasty and History Files Of Scholars In Ming Dynasty, he held the view many times that Zhang Sanfeng was a famous Kung Fu master in Song Dynasty. One manuscript handed down by Li Yifan-- who was Wu-style Taiji boxing bearer –- also carried such message as “Taiji boxing originated from Zhang Sanfeng in Song Dynasty.” Therefore, in today’s Kung Fu circle many martial artists generally regard Zhang Sanfeng as the founder of both Taiji boxing and Wudang Kung Fu in Song Dynasty.
It is a general viewpoint circulating in Kung Fu arena that Taiji boxing originated from inter Kung Fu created by Zhang Sanfeng. One collect book with China State Library called Taiji Masters Lineage has the following messages as “Sir Zhang Sanfeng, surname Zhang, first name Sanfeng, went to Mount Zhongnan when he was 61 years old. There he chanced to meet one immortal called Dragon Fire who late transferred his knowledge regarding inner alchemy to him after knowing he was a competent practitioner.”
Later Zhang Sanfeng traveled a lot to famous resorts in the south and finally settled down in Mount Wudang. Then ordering disciple Qiu Yuanqing to stay in Five Dragon House, Lu Qiuyun in Southen Cave, Liu Guquan in Purple Heaven Palace, Zhang Sanfeng constructed a house in the place where Immortal Encountering Palace now stays. Cultivating true self for as long as nine years, Zhang Sanfeng finally succeeded in achieving Tao. People called him an immortal who can excise unimaginable power to restrain the bad and promote the good, and transform all corporeal things into different forms as the he wished to do. All the universe turns to become one thing staying in his hand waiting for him to deal with.
Later, Zhang Sanfeng taught one set of boxing forms to Zhang Songxi and Zhang Cuisan, which was the very original form of Taiji boxing. Because there are only thirteen forms people called it Thirteen-Form Taiji Boxing. Among these 13 forms, stretching out, stamping, squeezing, chopping downward, picking up, changing place, using elbow, leaning against symbolize separately the eight trigrams, while moving forward, retreating backward, watching to the left, turning to the right and staying in the center indicate separately the five elements. From these specific sayings there came the name of Thirteen-Form Taiji boxing. Based upon the Yin- and Yang-Qi theory and aimed at regulating operation of the inner organs according to five-element theory, TaiChi boxing incorporates many soft movements imitating cats, birds, snakes and monkeys, thus gaining the effects of soothing the inner mental state, harmonize the operation of inner viscera, strengthening the immune system, etc. Taichi boxing developed very quickly among general people and later different branches came out to develop into different forms after long-term evolution. Nowadays, Chen-style, Yang-style, Wu-Style, Sun-style Taichi boxing compete to present themselves.
In fact, Taichi boxing originated from inner alchemy. Such key movement points as lowering Qi into Dantian, squaring shoulder, standing spine upright are just as same as the requirements for inner alchemy. Nowadays, people begin to forget their relationship and often treat Taichi boxing as a separate entity. That is totally wrong.
Chinese people prefer to using former experience and tend to know the lineage for anything in a long run. Yes, under such circumstances, the consecutiveness and unification gained an important position. Yet, in the same time, qualitative changes often gained no enough attention. Therefore, regardless it is Shoalin School, Wudang School, or it is DaMo, Zhang Sanfeng, people should go to the very root after getting rid of the superficial phenomena. Zhang Sanfeng, the founder of inner Kung Fu, stayed there in history as a flying flag. Just under the direction of this flying flag Wudang Kung Fu began to develop and gradually became rich in contents and looked mysterious from outside after many Kung Fu masters’ hard working and donation. After hundreds years of development, Wudang Kung Fu incorporated much useful nutrition form ancient Kung Fu defence and offence theory, from the theory of I Ching, from the practice of achieving stillness and emptiness widely adopted in inner alchemy, and thus forming its own special features as summarizing the essentials, detouring to reach the core, nourishing Qi, concentrating attention, getting free of any frivolousness and rigidity. Accordingly, Wudang Kung Fu seems more to aspire for the full inner strength, the tremendous harmonization between hardness and softness, the ever-changing position adapted for different circumstances.
As of today, Wudang Taoism Association and other organizations had published more than 30 schools of Wudang boxing forms, 18 schools of Wudang weapon forms, 9 schools inner Qigong practice forms. Among them the popular are as following below: Wudang Taiyi Five Element Boxing, Wudang Pure-Yang Boxing, Yin Yang Ba Gua Chang, Wudang Sword, Wudang Original Taichi Boxing, Taihe Boxing, Zhaobao Taichi Boxing, Wudang Heavenly-Gate Qigong, Wudang Moon-Watching Qigong, Wudang Southern School, etc.
Wudang Kung Fu is excellent cultural heritage for Chinese people. Nowadays, more and more people get involved in the campaign to treasuring this art form and making efforts to promote its healthy development. Every year, many famous Kung Fu masters, Qigong masters come to ShiYan City to pay respect to Mount Wudang and exchange their experience and skills.
The Brief Introduction of All Wudang Kung Fu Schools and Different Genres
The Chinese Kungfu is divided into two different genres: one is external, called Shaolin Kungfu;another is internal, called Wudang Kungfu
Taoist Kungfu can fully demonstrate the essential things lodged in Wudang Kungfu. Ever since the Zhang Sanfeng lineage came into existence many famous Kungfu masters showed up in succession as the time elapsed. The internal alchemy practice widely intriduced and permeated into the Kungfu performance chracterise the whole Taoist Wudang Kungfu which win a broad acceptance among general practitioners. With the Black Turtle school serving as the neucleus of Wudnag Taoist Kungfu, other schools develop in a variety to presents each own characteristics, which greatly enriches the big family of Chinese Kungfu.
Nowadays, the QianKun school, Taiyi school, Purity & Minute school and Primeval Chaos school, etc., are well gain circulation among common walk of people. Later on, those circulating among common people began to devide into Southern Branch and Northern Branch. In Southern Branch the Pine Stream school remains as the mainstay while in Northern Branch the TaiChi school the main actor.
The Wudang internal Kungfu school base their theory upon the doctrine upholded by Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. They regard the whole human body should be in a communing state with the outside realm rather than imposing infliction upon outside. " Man should follow the example of earth, earth follows the example of heaven and heaven follows the example of naturalness. " These are typical sentence people can find in the book of Lao Tzu. Also, some classics such as I-Ching book, Yellow Courtroom, Yin Compliance, Internal Chapter of Pao Pu Tzu, Internal Kung Fu Personal Narrative, etc., supplied very rich nutrition to the sound development of internal Kingfu school.The following below list the typical Wudang Kungfu genres, from which people can learn some basics of each one.
Internal Sanfeng Boxing
Being promoted very famous by Huang Zhonxi, who lived in early Qing Dynasty, such boxing passed on to Wang Zhengna who taught Huang Baijia. In the book Orgin of Internal Boxing there carry the following message as "Shaolin boxing is famous for the valor it demonstrates but because ot prefers to take action first and the opportunity is offered in the same time for opponent to take advantage. Internal boxing, on the contrary, can arrest the motion with stillness, and can get in the opponent in an instant. Differing much from Shaolin, internal boxing originated from Zhang Sanfeng. In the taboo there stipulated with the following prohibits,'not to teach scheming, bellicose, alcohol-addictive, indecent people.' It features the following contents as acupoints pointing, ten-piece brocade, 18 steps of stances, 35 steps of hand training, opponent-responsive knack.
SanFeng Primeval 13 Posture Tai Chi Chuan.
It was introduced to public by great Kung Fu master Wan Lai Sheng when he was 80 years old. What do the 13 postures mean, people may ask. In fact, postures as shed, catch, shove, press, poke, swing, elbow and lean against shall well match the eight trigram of Qian, Kun, Zhen, Dui, Xuan, Kan, Gen, Li. Step forward, step backward, look leftside, look right side and hold onto center compose that well matching 5 elements. So, adding them together we can get the total number of 13. Based upon the 13 postures, Zhang San Feng develop it further and thus gave arised the San Feng 72 Posture Tai Chi Chuan.
Wudang Taiyi Five Element Boxing
Originally given the name of Wudang Taiyi Five Element Capture 23 Posture Form Set. It was until in 1980 when a Kung Fu demonstrator called Jin Da Tao showcased the arts that it became to be popular gredually. By Jin Da Tao's account, in 1929 he went ot Purple Heaven Palace and studied the art 7 months with then Taoist Priest Li He Lin. By Li He Lin's words, this form set was created by Zhan Shou Xing (1488 - 1504) in Ming Dynasty who incorporated breathing, DaoYin and boxing together based upon Tai Chi 13 Postures.
This Kung Fu form set well accords to the five element theory, especially the generating and controling relationship. It focuses upon both the health preservation and boxing application together, pay attention upon the mind-will deployment rather than the force using. It can unconsciously melt the upcoming force and find the weakness point exposed in the process and take hold of the opponent in an hidden way. Stillness and motion are well weaven into together to form an integrity. Breathing and mind are combined together as like the flowing water and flying cloud, presenting intangible circumstance into which opponents can not peer into. The main feature are as follow: hand postures are soft and thread, the stump stance steady, two arms holding in a circle, foot stance in circular form, movements more like the snake walking through grass, all postures connected tight without apparent gap.
Wudang Pure Yang Boxing
It is heard the Lu Dong Bin, the famous immortal in Taoism, created this form set. It has been circulating continusly in secret in WuChang area, Hubei Peovince. In DaoGuang period of Qing Dynasty, Wudang taoist Wang Zi Dao studied with Long Xin priest and in 1928 Wang moved to WuChang area and taught this art to Liu Ding Guo who later practiced this art for more than 50 years and never exposed it the least to the outside. In 1972 he passed on this form set to Wang Zhao Hui. The mechanism of Pure Yang Boxing is based upon the He Drawing, Luo Writing, as they holds that left side revolution leading to birth of each other, right revolution leading to a restrain of each other. The main contents include the Belly Breathing GaoYin kung, Qi Deployment process, Purity Yang Preservation kung. Purity Yang Boxing is required to be learnt forst and Purity Yang Sword the next.
Zhaobao Tai Chi Boxing
Starting from Wen County, Henan province, Zhaobao Tai Chi Boxing began to circulate among common people. In the book Ancestral Source of Tai Chi Chuan published in 1939 towards such Tai Chi form there has the clear description as to the lineage, theory basis. In recent times, some descendants like Liu Hui Zi, Xie Jian Hai, Liu Rui one after another published articles claiming its Wudang Kung Fu similarity. The boxing progressing influence, fighting doctrines it holds onto features many similarity with Wudang kung Fu. Also, they regarded Zhang San Feng as the common ancester. Zhaobao Tai Chi Boxing altogether boasts up to 75 postures, incorporating Push hand, free fighting and stances posing. Also, the 24 methods are well melted into the skills and upper level, middle level and low level each has 8 methods unified. It is the true kung fu form.
Wudang San Feng Naturalness School - Tai Chi Broken Ring Palm
It was introduced to public by the Wudang Naturalness school headmaster Liu Huan Yun. It is heard that it originated from Zhang San Feng who passed on it to Hao Xuan Qing and other people. Later one many sub-schools were established and began to circulated in Shandong and Henan Provinces. The main routines include Tai Chi Broken Ring Palm, Tai Chi Hun Chasing Palm, Tai Chi Long Boxing, Wudang Sword, Five-Element Sword, 12-kind Weapon plays. The inner practice plays include Chaos Qi Mixture Gong, Plam Gong.
Wudang LangMei School - Fish Door Boxing
Wudang LangMei School was created by LangMei Taoist Lee Shu Er. The disciple Liu Ying Wen began to study this art with the descendant of Wudang LangMei School in Wuhan. Later the Cheng Ya Dong, nicknamed as "The first among Kung Fu Masters upon Rivers and Lakes" learn this art and became the desendant of this school. Fish Door Boxing looks simple, rich in the classic style, of very practicel application and of strong fighting ability. Later it was very famous in Wuhan city. It was honored as the "living fossil of ancient Kung Fu."
Wudang Ba Gua Chang
In Qing Dynasty Kung Fu master Dong Hai Chuan creadted the Ba Gua Chang. The beginning period when it circulated in Beijing, people called it turing-grinding-stone boxing. Later on it was fixed to be called as Ba Gua Chang and 64 postures were thus set up.
Wudang KunLun School --- 5-Elements Retreating Yin Yang Ba Gua Chang
It belongs to KungLun school of Wudang Kung Fu and was introduced to the public by Chen Shao Kung who learn the art 7 years with taoist priest Gong in TianShui area, Hubei Province. This kind of boxing emphasizes the combination of internal magicity and external magicity. The former denotes the Qi training and preservation, the latter outside postures. Deploy the inner Qi to elbow and excise the forthcoming power outside. In such way the emptiness carries the hardness and vice versa, thus effect the result of conquer the hardness with softness. The boxing frame mainly complies with the nine palace and eight trigrams and proceeds according to the routes they direct. The boxing proceeding influence looks nimble and smooth, fast yet never lack discipline. Practitiners should use more time practicing palm routine, boxing routine, finger routine and leg stances.
Wudang Dragon Door, Mind-Will School --- TaiYee Softness Gong
There are altogether 43 plays, each connecting another in a very tight way. It lloks like to withdraw the thread from the cocoon and yet unconsciously the inner force can burst in a sudden way. It is heard that it was created on the basis of He Drawing, Luo Writing, Four Emblematic Symbols and Eight Trigrams, with reference of yin and Yang rising and declining theory, 5-element theory. The stances and body pose and palm routine and elbow routing combine harmoniously when follows the special routes to proceed. It is seldom for people to meet the person who still know it and practice it.
Soul Captivation Boxing
One Wudang Taoist called Shen Cheng Kuan learnt this art when he wandered to White Cloud Temple in Mt. Heng of Shanxxi Province. Later on it was passed on to Zhan Kai Wen, the No. 18 descendant of the lineage. Its practice doctrine holds that it features Yin and Yang, five element magicity, harvesting excellency of Tai Chi Xing Yi and Ba Gua.
Wudang Pine Tree Stream School - Inward and Outward Turning Pound
Wang Wei Shen, the No. 20 descendant of Wudang Pine Tree Stream school, donated this art to the public. As the founder of Wudang Pine Tree Stream school, Zhang Songxi studied many kinds of kung fu forms with many then kung fu masters and later he smartly incorporated the essence of inner kung fu created by Zhang San Feng. So there came into being of the new style of kung fu form. The main characteristics manifest on the following: to discipline the mind-will inwardly, to train the body outside, use the mind-will to lead the way, apply eyes to show the magicity, combine inward with outward.
Taiyi Six Harmony Kung
It was presented to public by Cheng Ding Yuan, who was the No. 22 descendant in the lineage. Six Harmony is the treasure among Wudang Tai Chi Chuan, belonging to motion kung fu and Daoyin category. It is devided into six pieces and the whole postures look smooth and slow and graceful. It intends to reach a harmony in harmony and emphasizes the stump stance, take the cat-like foot stance, incorporeating some elements from Shaolin school.
Cyclone and Thunder Boxing
Then aged 12, Wang Shu Zhang apprenticed to Zhao Chao Ran, a taoist wandered away from Wudang. Wang studied the art 12 years and learnt the steel head Kung, steel board Kung, Eargle Claw boxing and Cyclone and Thunder boxing.
Taiyi Primevals Blending Ball
This arts belong to Steel Pine Faction, Wudang Taiyi School. It was introduced by Liu Tie Cheng. There exists a professional book telling the details of this kinds of martial art. In fact, it compose of three parts, Taiyi Primevals Blending Ball is the first step, the other two is Eight Trigram Ball and Go-as-you-like Purple Gold Ball. Some people regard it as the most valuable treasure among Wudang Internal Kung Fu.
Wudang Taiyi Heavenly Eagle
This kung fu form is the small faction of Wudang Taiyi school. It is recorded to be handed down by a hermit living in Sun-facing cave in Southern part of Wudang mountain. It enjoyed more than 200 years of history.
Southern School of Wudang Kung Fu
Created by hermit living in Wudang. Till Deng Zhongsan it is altogether 9 generations.In 1822, Qing Dynasty, it was so famous across China that in east-sothern China many practitioners can be found. Among them the famous are as follow: Huang Chun Ya, Zhao Shi Cheng, Lee Song Ru, Deng Ji Xia, etc. It is a treasure store, including Boxing, soft-nature kungfu, hard-nature kungfu, body-lightening kungfu and special forms.
Taiyi Magic Sword Boxing
It is heard to be created by Zhang Sanfeng. In 1988 Master Guang Heng jiu offered the arts to the public. It was originated from the book Wudang Anscestral Boxing written by Master Guang's anscetor. There are altogether 24 Chinese charactors in the recording. One character one set of kung fu form. Therefore, one character is used to train the external Kung Fu, internally it is used to train the magic sword - the fingers it mean. The adversary generally do not regard fingers as a sword and may omit its attack power. But when in the close-by fight it can play a decisive role.
Wudang Purity and Emptiness School Kung Fu
Wudang Purity and Emptiness School serves as one member among the four schools of Wudang Kung Fu (dragon door, Heaven Square, Purity and Emptiness, Taiyi). It originated from the taoist called Pei Yuan ( In Chinese it means Primeval Preservation) who once stayed in Great Homony Palace in Golden Top temple. Purity and Emptiness school features more softness and less hardness, emphasizes non-weapon fight. The doctrine they hold is as follows: practice Danyin, do without waepon, master in empty hand fight, where is the possible fear when one hand reaching out succeeding another.
Wudang Alchemy Sword
It is heard to be creadted by Zhang San Feng, who divided such fome set into three parts and the lowest serie was handed down to the taoist called Wild Crane. There is a poem describing the sword wielding status as "I practice sword and gradually get into the subtle stage, magic hand holding the magic sword, the flying birds are to be frightened into flee while no dust dare attach to the sword. In a flashing light by sword blade no people can be beheld."
Wudang Eight Immortals Sword
Also called Tong Bei Palm. Together with Tai Chi, Xing Yi, Be Gua to be called as Wudang Four Haomonization. Its theory is well based upon the doctrine holding that kidney works as the source of Qi circulation, connects the small water wheel and large water wheel, deploying Qi with mind-will, use Qi to deploy the body. Therefore, all flexibility of body movements is centered upon the golden mean doctrine, to capture, to point, all presenting the unfathomable inner meaning. The palm progression is well tightened and connected as a whole. The rhythm is clearly marked to show the force contained in it.
Small Threading Hand Play-108 forms
It is heard to be taught by Taoist priest Yunxiang, who happened to travel in Shandong Province and chanced to find satisfied disciple. Inherited the essentials of Wudang boxing, incorporate the skills of Capture and counter-capture, offense and defense, to form an continuous double-fighting form set, featuring counter-capture, nicety-capture, borrowing-momentum, issuing capture in the snare, offering solution in circle, etc.
Wudang Taoist Kung Fu Academy
Purple Heaven Palace
Mount Wudang Scenery Zone
ShiYan City, Hubei Province, China 442714
Tel: 0086-139-9820-6370 (foreign)
Tel: (0)-139-9820-6370 (domestic)