Wushu god Zhao Chang Jun demonstrating his amazing staff form. In China it is said that Jet Li was the the #1 Champion of the 70's and Zhao Chang Jun was the #1 of the 80's. Zhao Chang Jun was raised in the traditional curriculums of Cha Quan and Tan Tui(two Hui minority Kung Fu styles.) He broke into contemporary Wushu secondary and the power and ability from his traditional training is very apparent in his Wushu play.
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Meteor Hammer from the "Chinese Wushu" documentary
Pigua Quan or axe-hitch Chuan was known in ancient times as armor wearing Chuan. Ming Dynasty General Qi Jiguang included the move of putting on armours while fighting as laid out in his book, A New Essay on Wushu Arts.
When the National Wushu Institute was founded in Nanjing in 1928, Pigua Quan specialist Ma Yingtu was put in charge of the fist play department of the Institute. He invited another Pigua Quan pugilist Guo Chang-sheng from Hebei to lecture. The two of them delved into the Chuan adjusting the moves but keeping the excellent essentials and adding speed and explosive power as well as the skills from the 24-form Tongbei Quan. The revised edition of Pigua Quan turned out to be a com-pletely new art, which was said to be feared by even deities and demons.
Pigua Quan in fashion at present has come mainly from this revised version. The axe-hitch Chuan which is popular in Gansu Province consists of axe-hitch, blue dragon, flying tiger, Taishu and Dajiazi Quan (big frame Chuan ) while the popular version in Cangzhou is made up of axe-hitch, blue dragon, slow and fast axe-hitch and cannon Chuan.
Execution of the axe-hitch Chuan demands accuracy, fluency, agility, continuity, speed, power, dexterity, excellence, subtlety and uniqueness. Be it single moves, combinations of moves, or the entire routine, the axe-hitch Chuan requires a learning process which ranges from simplicity to complexity. In the first place, the stance and execution of movements must be accurate and standard. The emphasis then goes from accuracy to fluency, to agility and continuity, and then to speed, power, dexterity, excellence, subtlety and uniqueness.
Pigua Quan also concentrates on combinations of movements which are complementary to one another and is known for its slowness in pitching stances but its swiftness in delivering fist blows and its subtle use of tricks. The execution of moves and tricks involves tumbling, strangle-holding, axing, hitching, chopping, unhitching, scissoring, picking, brushing, discarding, stretching, withdrawing, probing, feeling, flicking, hammering and beating.
The features of the axe-hitch Chuan include abrupt starts and stops, powerful axing and hitching, straightening arms, holding arms and connecting wrists, twisting waist and hips, restraining chest and protruding back, standing high and creeping low, closing knees and clawing feet to the ground, lowering shoulders and breathing deep, as well as continuity of movements. Different styles of axe-hitch Chuan, however, have different stresses in execution
Monkey Staff from the "Chinese Wushu" documentery
Chaquan from the "Chinese Wushu" documentary
Cha Quan or the Cha style of Chuan is popular in north China. According to the chronicle of the Cha-family Chuan, a Tang Dynasty (618-907) crusade went on an expedition to east China. When the army reached Guanxian County in today's Shandong Province, a young general named Hua Zongqi had to remain behind to recover from a serious wound. When he recovered and re-habilitated, thanks to considerate care by local residents, General Hua Zongqi taught the local people his martial art Jiazi Quan (frame Chuan) in appreciation. Because Hua had good Wushu skills and taught his art very earnestly, a great number of people followed him. Since he could not handle them all alone, Hua invited his senior fellow apprentice Cha Yuanyi from his residence to help him. Cha Yuanyi was proficient at martial arts, especially the body posture Chuan. Cha and Hua stayed together and became esteemed Wushu teachers.
Jiazi Quan had fully extended movements and was called Dajia Quan (big frame Chuan). The body posture Chuan is compact and fast and it was called Xiaojia Quan (small frame Chuan). After Cha Yuanyi and Hua Zongqi died, their followers named the two styles of Jiazi Quan after their tutors in their memory. The body posture Chuan passed down by Cha Yuanyi was called the Cha-style Chuan, while the Jiazi Quan taught by Hua Zongqi was named the Hua-style Chuan.
Later on, the Cha-style Chuan and the Hua-style Chuan were known as one style. Those who were good at Cha-style Chuan were also good at Hua-style Chuan. Subsequently, this style of fist fight became known as the Cha-Hua Chuan.
The Hua-style Chuan has four routines. Three of them are long programs with varied tricks and moves, which are considered the cream ofjiazi Quan.
The Cha-style Chuan or body posture Chuan has 10 routines. During the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1736-1795), the Cha-style Chuan divided into three technical schools at Guanxian County and Rencheng County in Shandong Province. The Zhang-style of the Cha-style Chuan, represented by Zhang Qiwei from Village Zhangyin at Guanxian, is fast, agile and compact. The Yang-style of the Cha-style Chuan, represented by Yang Hongxiu from the southern part of the town of Guanxian, is upright, comfortable and graceful. The Li style of the Cha-style Chuan, represented by Li Enju from Jining, is powerful, contin uous and masculine.
Wushu masters Wang Ziping, Chang Zhenfang and Zhang Wenguang, well-known in China, were all experts in the Cha-style Chuan and they have contributed to the dissemination and development of this school.
The characteristics of the Cha-style Chuan lie in the fact that its movements are graceful, comfortable, clear, continuous and rhythmic. The generation of strengths and forces are abrupt, and the use of energy is economical. This style of Chuan stresses the usage of both hands and feet at the same time in executing the movements. Various tricks and moves are combined and linked to facilitate continuous attacks.
Fanzi from the "Chinese Wushu" documentary
Fanzi Quan or tumbling Chuan is also known as Bashanfan (eight-flash Chuan). It is so called because of its eight major flashing movements, which are executed as fast as lightning and thunderclaps. The movements in tumbling Chuan are varied and continuous.
The Fanzi Quan ballad says: "Wu Mu has passed down the Fanzi Quan which has mystery in its straightforward movements." Wu Mu is the other name for Yue Fei, a famous general of the Southern Song Dynasty. Some people have taken this to mean that Fanzi Quan was created by Yue Fei, but no historical record has verified this.
Earlier mentions of Fanzi Quan appeared in A New Essay on Wushu Arts written by anti-Japanese general Qi Jiguang of the Ming Dynasty. In Volume XTV of Quan Jing (Chuan Text), it says: "Throughout the history of fist fights, there have been the 32-form Chang Quan of Emperor Taizu of the Song Dynasty, Liubu Quan (six-step Chuan), Hou Quan (monkey-imitating Chuan), E'quan Chuan, etc. Though their names are different, the routines are roughly the same. As for today's 72-move Wen-family Chuan, 36-move locking fist fight, 24-move reconnoitre Chuan, eight-flash Chuan and 12-move short style Chuan, they are among the best styles."
exactly tumbling Chuan of today. Bashanfan was the old name used in the Ming Dynasty. From Qi's account, it is evident that Bashanfan was already a comparatively complete and perfect style of fist fight in the Ming Dynasty. Fanzi Quan centers on the Bashanfan (eight-flash moves) while others are merely derivatives of this.
During the Qing Dynasty, Fanzi Quan was popular in north China, especially in Raoyang, Lixian and Gao-yang areas in Hebei Province. During the reigns of Qing emperors Xianfeng and Tongzhi (1851-1874), a recluse called Zhao Canyi lived at Raoyang in Hebei. Zhao was not only proficient at Fanzi Quan but was also well known for his master/ of Chuojiao Quan (feet-poking Chuan). He taught the Chuan arts to Duan and Wang families respectively. The brothers of Duan Zhixu and Duan Zhiyong learned Chuojiao while Wang Laozi and Wang Zhan'ao studied Fanzi Quan. Later on, the two families taught each other and exchanged their knowledge. Fanzi Quan stresses the use of hands, whereas Chuojiao emphasizes the use of feet. Modern Fanzi Quan experts often practise feet-poking skills as well.
Fanzi Quan spread far and wide after it was introduced into Hebei, developing many branch styles. The eagle-claw tumbling Chuan was evolved on the basis of a combination of the eagle-claw moving Chuan, eagle-claw running Chuan and tumbling Chuan. When hitting, the hand is in the form of clenched fist. When retrieving, it is in the form of an eagle claw. Fist jabbing can be as fast as the swing of a whip and as relentless as teeming rain. Another combination is Digong Quan (ground stroke Chuan) and Fanzi Quan tumbling Chuan, called Digong Fanzi Quan (ground stroke tumbling Chuan). It absorbs both the tumbling Chuan tricks of fastness and variation and the ground stroke Chuan moves of falling, pouncing, wrestling and leg locking. Because there are some feet-poking tricks in the ground stroke tumbling Chuan, it is also called by some the feet-poking tumbling Chuan. Other combinations include Shaolin tumbling Chuan, long-style tumbling Chuan, short-style tumbling Chuan, Yanqing-style tumbling Chuan and soft palming tumbling Chuan.
Contemporary Fanzi Quan master Yu Boqian not only inherited the tumbling techniques from his predecessors but also improved it by programming two new routines of wave-poking tumbling Chuan and back-rolling tumbling Chuan.
Dadao from the "Chinese Wushu" documentary
9 section whip (chain whip) from the "Chinese Wushu" documentary
Dan dao from the "Chinese Wushu" documentary
Wushu monkey boxing. Enjoy!
...for more information about David Toeroek and the Berlin wushu team please visit the following sites:
sanda wushu, *******www.fredenchine****/