|Categorizing Styles of Chinese Martial Arts
For simplicity, styles of Chinese martial arts may be broadly categorized by the terms Northern and Southern.Northern and Southern refer to the geographical region of o-rigin and/or development. The Yellow River, in China, is used as the arbitrary line of division. Northern styles are those which are derived from north of the Yellow River, and Southern styles are those which originate from south of the river.
Chinese Wushu embodies a profound philosophy and a sense of human life and social values (some people therefore call it "philosophic Chuan"). It emphasizes traditions, experience and rational knowledge, all of which are clearly reflected in the martial ethics of Wushu. That's why it can display the oriental civilization via combat skills and become an inexhaustible treasury of the human body culture.
The weapons used by Wushu masters originate mainly from ancient military weapons. The Eigh-teen-Arms, the term used to describe Wushu weaponary includes the sabre, spear, sword, halbert, axe, battle axe, hook, fork, whip, mace, hammer, talon, trident-halberd, cudgel, long-handled spear, short cudgel, stick and meteor hammer. Some weapons are used to fight at a distance, while others at close range. Some are overt whereas others are covert. Some are hard while others are soft. Their functions are wide ranging-they beat, kill, hit, shoot and block with cutting blades, hooks, points or pricks.
Wushu (also known as kung-fu or martial arts) is one of the typical demonstrations of traditional Ch-inese culture. It is a sport which utilizes both brawn and brain.
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Quan is also called "philosophical Chuan," meaning that its principles and techniques all contain the idea of Tai Chi in Chinese classical philosophy. To learn Tai Chi Quan calls, first of all, for under-standing this philosophical thought. This helps to know the techniques of Tai Chi Quan.
Tai Chi Chuan history and styles
The word Tai Chi first appeared in Book of Changes of the Zhou Dynasty. The essay says: "Where there is Tai Chi, there is peace and harmony between the positive and the negative." Tai Chi means supremacy, absoluteness, extremity and uniqueness. Tai Chi Quan takes its name for the implication of superiority. Tai Chi Quan got its name when Shanxi secular Wushu master Wang Zongyue used the philosophy of the positive and negative from the Book of Changes to explain the principles of the Chuan.
Shaolin Kung Fu
Shaolin Quan or Shaolin Chuan originated in the Shaolin Temple on Mount Songshan at Dengfeng in Henan Province. It was named after the temple. The founder of the Shaolin Quan was said to be an Indian monk, Bodhi-dharma. The proposition, though very influential, was proved to be false, for there was a monk named BodhHiharma but he knew nothing at all about Chinese Chuan. In fact, Shaolin Quan was the manifestation of the wisdom of the monks of the temple, secular Wushu masters and army generals and soldiers.