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Traditional Wushu (commonly referred to as kung-fu) is the root of sport wushu, and has a long and diverse history. As wushu originated in China, traditional wushu practices have developed and spread throughout its geographical terrain and absorbed distinct cultural, ethnic and philosophical characteristics of the various groups in China. Originating from the need for self-defense, survival as well as an art of war, over its thousands of years of development different styles and practices emerged featuring various methods, content, philosophies, tactics and techniques. While at its core traditional wushu is a method of attack and defense, its practice has surpassed a simple means to an end and it is deeply intertwined with ethical and moral principles. Traditional wushu’s practice is aimed at preserving the principles, methods and legacies of previous generations which developed and relied on these arts as a method of survival and for life improvement.

A wide variety of styles and practices can be found, some featuring mainly hand techniques, other focusing on leg techniques, some featuring wrestling; some focus on attack and defense while yet others strive to promote and preserve health and well-being. Traditional wushu also includes an extremely vast array of traditional weaponry which has been handed down from the age of cold weapons with methods that have been preserved by subsequent generations. With numerous clans, sects, family systems and styles, traditional wushu is diverse and colourful and is an extremely deep and complex physical culture. It is practiced by people from all walks of life, irrespective of race, gender, age, social class or physical condition. Traditional wushu is the cultural and sporting gem of the Chinese people.

The hundreds of different styles and schools of Chinese martial arts (中國武術) are collectively called kungfu (功夫), wushu (武術), kuoshu (國術), or ch'uan fa (拳法), depending on the persons or groups participating. The following list is by no means exhaustive.

List of Traditional Wushu StylesEdit

The following martial arts have not been influenced by other cultures or have a lineage that predates the 1940s:

  • Bafaquan (八法拳) - Eight method
  • Baguazhang (八卦掌; Bagua Zhang) - Eight trigrams palm
  • Bājíquán (八極拳) - Eight extreme fists
  • Bak Mei (白眉拳) - White Eyebrow
  • Chāquán (查拳) - Cha Fist
  • Changquan (長拳) - Long Fist
  • Chuōjiǎo (戳腳) - Poking Feet
  • Choy gar (蔡家拳) - Choi Family style
  • Choi Li Fut (蔡李佛; Càilǐfó)
  • Ditangquan (地躺拳) - Ground-Prone Fist, Ground Tumbling Boxing
  • Duan Quan (短拳) - Short Range Boxing
  • Emeiquan (峨嵋拳) - Emei Fist
  • Fanzi (翻子拳) - Overturning Fist, Tumbling Boxing
  • Five Ancestors (五祖拳) - Wuzuquan or Ngo Cho Kun
  • Five Animals (五形)
  • Fujian White Crane (福建白鶴拳) - also known as Bai He Quan (白鶴拳)
  • Fu Jow Pai (虎爪派) - Tiger Claw System
  • Fut Gar (佛家)- Buddhist Palm
  • Gouquan (狗拳) - Dog Fist
  • Hap Ga (俠家)
  • Houquan (猴拳) - Monkey Fist
    • Drunken Monkey (醉猴)
  • Hei hu quan (黑虎拳) - Black Tiger Fist
  • Huaquan (華拳) - China Fist
  • Hung Fut (洪佛) - Hung and Buddha style kung fu
  • Hung Ga (洪家拳; also known as Hung Kuen)
  • Jing Wu Men (精武門) - Jing Wu, a famous school founded in Shanghai that teaches several different styles.
  • Jow-Ga Kung Fu (周家) - Jow family style
  • Lai Tung Pai - Shaolin Style that mixes long and short fist
  • Lama Pai (喇嘛派)
  • Leopard Kung Fu (豹拳)
  • Li Gar (李家) - Li Family or Lee Family style
  • Liuhebafa (六合八法; Liu He Ba Fa) - Six Harmonies, Eight Methods or Water Boxing
  • Longquan (龙拳) - Dragon Fist
  • Luohan Quan (羅漢拳) Arhat Boxing, Loh Han Kuen
  • Meihuaquan (梅花拳) - Plum Blossom Fist
  • Mian Quan (棉花拳擊) - Cotton Boxing
  • Mizongyi (迷蹤拳; Mízōngquán) - Lost Track Fist (also known as My Jong Law Horn; 迷蹤羅漢拳)
  • Mok Gar (莫家拳) Mok family style
  • Nam Pai Chuan (南北拳) - North South Fist
  • Nanquan (南拳) - Southern Fist
  • Ng Ga Kuen - Five Family/Five Animal style (Hung, Mok, Li, Choy, Fut)
  • Northern Praying Mantis (北派螳螂拳)
  • Northern Shaolin (北少林) - Bei Shaolin
  • Pào Chuí (炮捶) - Cannon Fist, Sanhaung Paochui
  • Piguaquan (劈掛拳) - Chop-Hitch Fist, Axe-hitch boxing
  • Shaolin Kung Fu (少林拳) - Shaolin Fist
  • Shequan (蛇拳) - Snake Fist
  • Shuai jiao (摔跤; Shuaijiao) - Chinese and Mongolian styles of wrestling
  • Southern Praying Mantis (南派螳螂拳)
    • Chow Gar (周家) - Chow Style Southern Praying Mantis
  • T'ai chi ch'uan (太極拳; T'ai chi ch'uan; Tai Chi) - Supreme Ultimate fist
  • Tán Tuǐ (彈腿/譚腿) - Springing legs style
  • Tibetan White Crane (白鶴派)
  • Tien Shan Pai (天山派)
  • Tongbeiquan (通背拳) - Through-the-Back Fist
  • Wing Chun (詠春 or 永春)
    • Wing Tsun (詠春)
    • Ving Tsun
    • Yǒngchūnquán (詠春拳)
  • Wudang chuan (武當拳)
  • Xingyiquan (形意拳; Hsing-i Chuan) - Form-Intent Fist
  • Yau Kung Moon (软功門) - Flexible-Power Style
  • Yingzhaoquan (鷹爪拳) - Eagle Claw Fist
  • Yuejiaquan (岳家拳) - Yue family Fist/Boxing
  • Yiquan (意拳; I Ch'uan) - Mind Boxing
  • Zi Ran Men (自然门) - Natural Boxing or "fist of nature"
  • Zui Quan (醉拳) - Drunk Fist

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