The Wudang Mountains consist of a small mountain range in the northwestern part of Hubei, just south of Shiyan. They are home to a famous complex of Taoist monasteries associated with the god Xuanwu; the Wudang Mountains are renowned for the practice of Tai chi and Taoism as the Taoist counterpart to the Shaolin Monastery, affiliated with Chinese Chán Buddhism. The Wudang Mountains are one of the "Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism" in China, an important destination for Taoist pilgrimages. On Chinese maps, the name "Wudangshan" is applied both to the entire mountain range, to the small group of peaks located within Wudangshan subdistrict of Danjiangkou, Shiyan, it is the latter specific area, known as a Taoist center. Modern maps show the elevation of the highest of the peaks in the Wudang Shan "proper" as 1612 meters; some consider the Wudang Mountains to be a "branch" of the Daba Mountains range, a major mountain system of the western Hubei, Shaanxi and Sichuan. For centuries, the mountains of Wudang have been known as an important center of Taoism famous for its Taoist versions of martial arts or Taichi.
The first site of worship—the Five Dragons Temple—was constructed at the behest of Emperor Taizong of Tang. Further structures were added during the Song and Yuan dynasties, while the largest complex on the mountain was built during the Ming dynasty as the Yongle Emperor claimed to enjoy the protection of the god Beidi or Xuan Wu. Temples had to be rebuilt, not all survived. Other noted structures include Nanyang Palace, the stonewalled Forbidden City at the peak, the Purple Cloud Temple; the monasteries such as the Wudang Garden were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. On January 19, 2003, the 600-year-old Yuzhengong Palace at the Wudang Mountains was accidentally burned down by an employee of a martial arts school. A fire broke out in the hall. A gold-plated statue of Zhang Sanfeng, housed in Yuzhengong, was moved to another building just before the fire, so escaped destruction in the inferno. At the first national martial arts tournament organized by the Central Guoshu Institute in 1928, participants were separated into practitioners of Shaolin and Wudang styles.
Styles considered to belong to the latter group—called Wudangquan—are those with a strong element of Taoist neidan exercises. Typical examples of Wudangquan are Taijiquan and Baguazhang. According to legend, Taijiquan was created by the Taoist hermit Zhang Sanfeng, who lived in the Wudang mountains. Wudangquan has been reformed to fit the PRC sport and health promotion program; the third biannual Traditional Wushu Festival was held in the Wudang Mountains from October 28 to November 2, 2008. Tao yin Wudang Sect Xuan Wu Yang Luchan Five Immortals Temple Pierre-Henry de Bruyn, Le Wudang Shan: Histoire des récits fondateurs, Les Indes savantes, 2010, 444 pp. Media related to Wudang Mountains at Wikimedia Commons UNESCO World Heritage Sites descriptions Wudang Mountain Kung Fu Academy International Wudang Federation Wudang Global Federation
Chan Heung was the founder of the Choy Li Fut martial arts system. Chan was born on August 23, 1806, in King Mui, a village in the San Woi district of Guangdong province in China, he is known as Din Ying and Daht Ting. At age seven, Chan Heung's uncle Chan Yuen-Wu, a boxer from the Qingyun temple near Dinghu Mountain started teaching him Fut Gar "Buddha Family," which specializes in palm techniques. Chan Yuen Woo had received his training from Du Zhang Monk; when Chan Heung was fifteen, Chan Yuen-Wu took him to Chan Yuen-Wu's senior classmate. Li Yau San had trained under Zhi Shan Monk. Chan Heung spent the next four years learning the Li Gar style under Li Yau-San's instruction. Impressed with Chan Heung's martial arts abilities Li Yau-San suggested he train with a Shaolin monk called Choy Fook to learn Choy Gar, a northern Shaolin style, as well as Chinese medicine and other Shaolin techniques. Choy Fook had learned his martial arts from Jue Yuan Monk, Yi Guan Monk, Li Sou, Bai Yu Feng and Cai Jiu Yi.
There is some speculation that Choy Fook studied under Choy Gau Yee, the founder of Choy Gar. Choy Fook no longer wished to teach martial arts. Chan Heung set out to Lau Fu mountain to find him. Choy Fook, had been burned and his head had healed with scars; this gave him the nickname "Monk with the Wounded Head". Using that description, Chan Heung located the monk and handed him a letter of recommendation from Li Yau-San. However, Chan Heung was disappointed. After much begging Choy Fook agreed to take the young man as a student, but only to study Buddhism. One morning, when Chan Heung was practicing his kung fu, Choy Fook pointed to a heavy rock and told him to kick it into the air. Chan Heung exerted all of his strength as his foot crashed against the rock, sending it twelve feet away. Instead of being complimented, Choy Fook placed his own foot under the heavy rock and effortlessly propelled it through the air. Chan Heung was awestruck by this demonstration. Again he begged Choy Fook to teach him his martial arts.
This time the monk agreed, for nine years Choy Fook taught Chan Heung both the way of Buddhism and the way of martial arts. When he was twenty-eight, Chan Heung left Choy Fook and returned to King Mui village in 1834, where he revised and refined all that he had learned. In 1835 Choy Fook gave Chan Heung advice in the form of a special poem known as a double couplet. 龍虎風雲會, The dragon and tiger met as the cloud. 徒兒好自爲, My disciple, you must take good care of your future. 重光少林術, To revive the arts of Shaolin, 世代毋相遺. Don't let the future generations forget about this teaching. In 1836, he formally established the Choy Li Fut system, named to honor the Buddhist monk Choy Fook who taught him Choy Gar, Li Yau-San who taught him Li Gar, his uncle Chan Yuen-Woo who taught him Fut Gar, to honor the Buddha from which the art was named. Chan Heung died on 20 August 1875. In 1988, Hong Kong broadcaster TVB adapted a wuxia TV series of the life of Chan Heung, featuring Meng Fei; the title of the series is called "The Rise Of A Kung Fu Master".
Its first airing was on 18 January 1988 and features 20 episodes
Mount Hua is a mountain located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, about 120 kilometres east of Xi'an. It is the western mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China, has a long history of religious significance. Classified as having three peaks, in modern times the mountain is classified as five main peaks, of which the highest is the South Peak at 2,154.9 metres. Mount Hua is situated in Huayin City, 120 kilometres from Xi'an, it is located near the southeast corner of the Ordos Loop section of the Yellow River basin, south of the Wei River valley, at the eastern end of the Qin Mountains, in southern Shaanxi province. It is part of the Qinling or Qin Mountains, which divide not only northern and southern Shaanxi, but China. Traditionally, only the giant plateau with its summits to the south of the peak Wuyun Feng was called Taihua Shan, it could only be accessed through the ridge known as Canglong Ling until a second trail was built in the 1980s to go around Canglong Ling. Three peaks were identified with respective summits: the East and West peaks.
The East peak consists of four summits. The highest summit is Zhaoyang Feng, its elevation is reported to be 2,096 m and its name is used as the name for the whole East Peak. To the east of Zhaoyang Feng is Shilou Feng, to the south is Botai Feng and to the west is Yunű Feng. Today, Yunű Feng considered its own peak, most central on the mountain; the South peak consists of three summits. The highest summit is Luoyan Feng, with an elevation of 2,154 m. To the east is Songgui Feng, to the west is Xiaozi Feng; the West peak has only one summit and it is known as Lianhua Feng or Furong Feng, both meaning Lotus Flower Summit. The elevation is 2,082 m. With the development of new trail to Hua Shan in the 3rd through 5th century along the Hua Shan Gorge, the peak to the north of Canglong Ling, Yuntai Feng, was identified as the North peak, it is the lowest of the five peaks with an elevation of 1,614.9 m. As early as the 2nd century BC, there was a Daoist temple known as the Shrine of the Western Peak located at its base.
Daoists believed that in the mountain lives the god of the underworld. The temple at the foot of the mountain was used for spirit mediums to contact the god and his underlings. Unlike Taishan, which became a popular place of pilgrimage, because of the inaccessibility of its summits, only received Imperial and local pilgrims, was not well visited by pilgrims from the rest of China. Huashan was an important place for immortality seekers, as many herbal Chinese medicines are grown and powerful drugs were reputed to be found there. Kou Qianzhi, the founder of the Northern Celestial Masters received revelations there, as did Chen Tuan, who spent the last part of his life in hermitage on the west peak. In the 1230s, all the temples on the mountain came under control of the Daoist Quanzhen School. In 1998, the management committee of Huashan agreed to turn over most of the mountain's temples to the China Daoist Association; this was done to help protect the environment, as the presence of taoists and nuns deters poachers and loggers.
Huashan has other religious structures on its slopes and peaks. At the foot of the mountains is the Cloister of the Jade Spring, dedicated to Chen Tuan. Additionally, atop the southern-most peak, there is an ancient Taoist temple which in modern times has been converted into a tea house. There are three routes leading to Huashan's North Peak, the lowest of the mountain's five major peaks; the most popular is the traditional route in Hua Shan Yu, first developed in the 3rd to 4th century A. D. and with successive expansion during the Tang Dynasty. It winds for 6 km from Huashan village to the north peak. A new route in Huang Pu Yu follows the cable car to the North Peak, is the ancient trail used prior to the Tang Dynasty, which has since fallen into disrepair, it had only been known to local villagers living nearby at the gorges since 1949, when a group of seven People's Liberation Army soldiers with a local guide used this route to climb to the North Peak and captured over 100 Kuomintang soldiers stationed on the North Peak and along the path of the traditional route.
This trail is now known as "The Intelligent Take-over Route of Hua Shan", was reinforced in early 2000. The Cable Car System stations are built next to the beginning and ends of this trail. A second cable car line, to the West Peak, was opened in 2013. From the North Peak, a series of paths rise up to the Canglong Ling, a climb more than 300 m on top of a mountain ridge; this was the only trail to go to the four other peaks—the West Peak, the Center Peak, the East Peak and the South Peak,—until a new path was built to the east around the ridge in 1998. Huashan has been a place of retreat for hardy hermits, whether Daoist, Buddhist or other. With greater mobility and prosperity, Chinese students, began to test their mett
Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts named under the umbrella terms kung fu and wushu, are the several hundred fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are classified according to common traits, identified as "families", "sects" or "schools" of martial arts. Examples of such traits include Shaolinquan physical exercises involving Five Animals mimicry, or training methods inspired by Old Chinese philosophies and legends. Styles that focus on qi manipulation are called internal, while others that concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness are called "external". Geographical association, as in northern and "southern", is another popular classification method. Kung fu and wushu are loanwords from Cantonese and Mandarin that, in English, are used to refer to Chinese martial arts. However, the Chinese terms kung fu and wushu have distinct meanings; the Chinese equivalent of the term "Chinese martial arts" would be Zhongguo wushu. In Chinese, the term kung fu refers to any skill, acquired through learning or practice.
It is a compound word composed of the words 功 meaning "work", "achievement", or "merit", 夫, a particle or nominal suffix with diverse meanings. Wǔshù means "martial art", it is formed from the two words 武術: 武, meaning "martial" or "military" and 術 or 术, which translates into "art", "discipline", "skill" or "method". The term wushu has become the name for the modern sport of wushu, an exhibition and full-contact sport of bare-handed and weapons forms and judged to a set of aesthetic criteria for points developed since 1949 in the People's Republic of China. Quanfa is another Chinese term for Chinese martial arts, it means "fist method" or "the law of the fist", although as a compound term it translates as "boxing" or "fighting technique." The name of the Japanese martial art kempō is represented by the same hanzi characters. The genesis of Chinese martial arts has been attributed to the need for self-defense, hunting techniques and military training in ancient China. Hand-to-hand combat and weapons practice were important in training ancient Chinese soldiers.
Detailed knowledge about the state and development of Chinese martial arts became available from the Nanjing decade, as the Central Guoshu Institute established by the Kuomintang regime made an effort to compile an encyclopedic survey of martial arts schools. Since the 1950s, the People's Republic of China has organized Chinese martial arts as an exhibition and full-contact sport under the heading of “wushu”. According to legend, Chinese martial arts originated during the semi-mythical Xia Dynasty more than 4,000 years ago, it is said. The Yellow Emperor is described as a famous general who, before becoming China’s leader, wrote lengthy treatises on medicine and the martial arts. One of his main opponents was Chi You, credited as the creator of jiao di, a forerunner to the modern art of Chinese wrestling; the earliest references to Chinese martial arts are found in the Spring and Autumn Annals, where a hand-to-hand combat theory, one that integrates notions of "hard" and "soft" techniques, is mentioned.
A combat wrestling system called jiǎolì is mentioned in the Classic of Rites. This combat system included techniques such as strikes, joint manipulation, pressure point attacks. Jiao Di became a sport during the Qin Dynasty; the Han History Bibliographies record that, by the Former Han, there was a distinction between no-holds-barred weaponless fighting, which it calls shǒubó, for which training manuals had been written, sportive wrestling known as juélì. Wrestling is documented in the Shǐ Jì, Records of the Grand Historian, written by Sima Qian. In the Tang Dynasty, descriptions of sword dances were immortalized in poems by Li Bai. In the Song and Yuan dynasties, xiangpu contests were sponsored by the imperial courts; the modern concepts of wushu were developed by the Ming and Qing dynasties. The ideas associated with Chinese martial arts changed with the evolution of Chinese society and over time acquired some philosophical bases: Passages in the Zhuangzi, a Daoist text, pertain to the psychology and practice of martial arts.
Zhuangzi, its eponymous author, is believed to have lived in the 4th century BCE. The Dao De Jing credited to Lao Zi, is another Taoist text that contains principles applicable to martial arts. According to one of the classic texts of Confucianism, Zhou Li, Archery and charioteering were part of the "six arts" of the Zhou Dynasty; the Art of War, written during the 6th century BCE by Sun Tzu, deals directly with military warfare but contains ideas that are used in the Chinese martial arts. Daoist practitioners have been practicing Tao Yin from as early as 500 BCE. In 39–92 CE, "Six Chapters of Hand Fighting", were included in the Han Shu written by Pan Ku; the noted physician, Hua Tuo, composed the "Five Animals Pl
Sammo Hung known as Hung Kam-bo, is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist, film producer and director, known for his work in many martial arts films and Hong Kong action cinema. He has been a fight choreographer for other actors such as Jackie Chan. Hung is one of the pivotal figures who spearheaded the Hong Kong New Wave movement of the 1980s, helped reinvent the martial arts genre and started the vampire-like jiangshi genre, he is credited with assisting many of his compatriots, giving them their starts in the Hong Kong film industry, by casting them in the films he produced, or giving them roles in the production crew. Jackie Chan is addressed as "Da Goh", meaning Big Brother. Hung was known as "Da Goh", until the filming of Project A, which featured both actors; as Hung was the eldest of the kung fu "brothers", the first to make a mark on the industry, he was given the nickname "Da Goh Da", Big, Big Brother, or Biggest Big Brother. Hung's ancestral hometown is Zhejiang. Born in Hong Kong, both of his parents worked as wardrobe artists in the local film industry and guardianship was thrust upon his grandparents.
His grandmother was archetypal martial art actress Chin Tsi-ang and his grandfather was film director Hung Chung-ho. Hung joined the China Drama Academy, a Peking Opera School in Hong Kong, in 1961, he was enrolled for a period of seven years, beginning at the age of 9, after his grandparents heard about the school from their friends. The opera school was run by Master Yu Jim Yuen and as was customary for all students, Hung adopted the given name of his sifu as his family name whilst attending. Going by the name Yuen Lung, Hung became the foremost member of the Seven Little Fortunes performing group, would establish a friendly rivalry with one of the younger students, Yuen Lo. Yuen Lo would go on to become international superstar Jackie Chan. At the age of 14, Hung was selected by a teacher who had connections to the Hong Kong film industry to perform stunts on a movie; this brief foray into the industry piqued his interest in film and he took particular interest in the operation of film cameras.
As the eldest of the troupe, Hung would give his opera school brothers pocket money from his earnings, endearing him to his young friends. Shortly before leaving the Academy at the age of 16, Hung suffered an injury that left him bedridden for an extended period, during which time his weight ballooned. After finding work in the film industry as a stuntman, he was given a nickname after a well-known Chinese cartoon character, Sam-mo. Many years in 1988, Hung starred in Alex Law's Painted Faces, a dramatic re-telling of his experiences at the China Drama Academy. Among the exercises featured in the film are numerous acrobatic backflips, hours of handstands performed against a wall. Despite some of the more brutal exercises and physical punishments shown in Painted Faces and the rest of the Seven Little Fortunes consider the film a toned-down version of their actual experiences. Hung appeared as a child actor in several films for Cathay Asia and Bo Bo Films during the early 1960s, his film debut was in the 1961 film Education of Love.
In 1962, he made his first appearance alongside Jackie Chan in the film Big and Little Wong Tin Bar, followed by a role in The Birth of Yue Fei, in which he played the ten-year-old Yue Fei, the historical figure from the Song Dynasty who would go on to become a famous Chinese general and martyr. The majority of Hung's performance was alongside another actor portraying Zhou Tong, Yue's elderly military arts tutor. In 1966, at the age of just 14, Hung began working for Shaw Brothers Studio, assisting the action director Han Yingjie, on King Hu's film Come Drink with Me. Between 1966 and 1974, Hung worked on over 30 wuxia films for Shaw Brothers, progressing through the roles of extra, stunt co-ordinator and action director. In 1970, Hung began working for the Golden Harvest film company, he was hired to choreograph the action scenes for the first Golden Harvest film, The Angry River. His popularity soon began to grow, due to the quality of his choreography and disciplined approach to his work, he again caught the eye of celebrated Taiwanese director, King Hu.
Hung choreographed A Touch of Zen and The Fate of Lee Khan. In the same year, Hung went to South Korea to study hapkido under master Ji Han Jae. In 1973, he was seen in the Bruce Lee classic, Enter the Dragon. Hung was the Shaolin student. In 1975, Hung appeared in The Man from Hong Kong, billed as the first Australian martial arts film. Toward the late 1970s, Hong Kong cinema began to shift away from the Mandarin-language, epic martial art films popularized by directors such as Chang Cheh. In a series of films, along with Jackie Chan, began reinterpreting the genre by making comedic Cantonese kungfu. While these films still featured martial arts, it was mixed with a liberal dose of humour. In 1977, Hung was given his first lead role in a Golden Harvest production, in the film Shaolin Plot, his next film, released the same year, was his directorial debut, The Iron-Fisted Monk, one of the earliest martial art comedies. In 1978, Raymond Chow gave Hung the task of completing the fight co-ordination for the re-shoot of Game of Death, the film Bruce Lee was unable to complete before his death in 1973.
In 1979, Hung directed his second film, the comedy Enter the Fat Dragon, for H. K. Fong Ming Motion Picture Company playing the lead role Ah Lung. Hung has impersonated Lee on film twice more -
The Eight Immortals are a group of legendary xian in Chinese mythology. Each immortal's power can be transferred to a vessel that can destroy evil. Together, these eight vessels are called the "Covert Eight Immortals". Most of them are said to have been born in the Shang Dynasty, they are revered by the Taoists and are a popular element in the secular Chinese culture. They are said to live on a group of five islands in the Bohai Sea; the Immortals are: He Xiangu Cao Guojiu Li Tieguai Lan Caihe Lü Dongbin Han Xiangzi Zhang Guolao Zhongli Quan In literature before the 1970s, they were sometimes translated as the Eight Genies. First described in the Yuan Dynasty, they were named after the Eight Immortal Scholars of the Han; the tradition of depicting humans who have become immortals is an ancient practice in Chinese art, when religious Taoism gained popularity, it picked up this tradition with its own immortals. While cults dedicated to various Taoist immortals date back to the Han dynasty, the popular and well-known Eight Immortals first appeared in the Jin dynasty.
The art of the Jin tombs of the 12th and 13th centuries depicts a group of eight Taoist immortals in wall murals and sculptures. They became known as the Eight Immortals in the writings and works of art of the Taoist group known as the Complete Realization; the most famous art depiction of the Eight Immortals from this period is a mural of them in the Eternal Joy Temple at Ruicheng. The Eight Immortals are considered to be signs of prosperity and longevity, so they are popular themes in ancient and medieval art, they were frequent adornments on celadon vases. They were common in sculptures owned by the nobility, their most common appearance, was in paintings. Many silk paintings, wall murals, wood block prints remain of the Eight Immortals, they were depicted either together in one group, or alone to give more homage to that specific immortal. An interesting feature of early Eight Immortal artwork is that they are accompanied by jade hand maidens depicted servants of the higher ranked deities, or other images showing great spiritual power.
This shows that early on, the Eight Immortals became eminent figures of the Taoist religion and had great importance. We can see this importance is only heightened in the Qing dynasties. During these dynasties, the Eight Immortals were frequently associated with other prominent spiritual deities in artwork. There are numerous paintings with the Three Stars together. Other deities of importance, such as the Queen Mother of the West, are seen in the company of the Eight Immortals; the artwork of the Eight Immortals is not limited to other visual arts. They are quite prominent in written works too. Authors and playwrights wrote numerous plays on the Eight Immortals. One famous story, rewritten many times and turned into several plays is The Yellow-Millet Dream, the story of how Lǚ Dòngbīn met Zhongli Quan and began his path to immortality; the Immortals are the subject such as paintings and sculptures. Examples of writings about them include: The Yueyang Tower by Ma Zhiyuan The Bamboo-leaved Boat by Fan Zi'an The Willow in the South of the City by Gu Zijing The most significant is The Eight Immortals Depart and Travel to the East by Wu Yuantai in the Ming Dynasty.
There is another work made during the Ming, by an anonymous writer, called The Eight Immortals Cross the Sea. It is about the Immortals on their way to attend the Conference of the Magical Peach when they encounter an ocean. Instead of relying on their clouds to get them across, Lü Dongbin suggested that they each should exercise their unique powers to get across. Derived from this, the Chinese proverb "The Eight Immortals cross the sea, each reveals its divine powers" indicates the situation that everybody shows off their skills and expertise to achieve a common goal. Furthermore, they have been linked to the initial development of qigong exercises such as the Eight Piece Brocade. There are some Chinese martial arts styles named after them, which use fighting techniques that are attributed to the characteristics of each immortal; some drunken boxing styles make extensive use of the Eight Immortals archetypes for conditioning, qigong/meditation and combat training. One subsection of BaYingQuan drunken fist training includes methodologies for each of the eight immortals.
Established in the Song Dynasty, the Xi'an temple Eight Immortals Palace Eight Immortals Nunnery, is where statues of the Immortals can be found in the Hall of Eight Immortals. There are many other shrines dedicated to them throughout Taiwan. In Singapore, the Xian'gu Temple has the Immortal Woman He from the group as its focus of devotion. In modern China, the Eight Immortals are still a popular theme in artwork. Paintings and statues are still common in households across China and are gaining some popularity worldwide. Several movies about the Eight Immortals have been produced in China in recent years. In Jackie Chan's movie Drunken Master, there are eight "drunken" Chinese martial arts forms that are said to be originated from the Eight Immortals. At first, the protagonist
Styles of Chinese martial arts
There are hundreds of different styles of Chinese martial arts, each with their own sets of techniques and ideas. The concept of martial arts styles appeared from around the Ming dynasty. Before the Ming period, martial skills were differentiated by their lineage. There are common themes among these styles which allow them to be grouped according to generalized "families", "sects", "class", or "schools" of martial art styles. There are styles that mimic movements from animals, or otherwise refer or allude to animals or mythical beings such as dragons, others that gather inspiration from various Chinese philosophies or mythologies; some internal styles tend to focus on practice relating to harnessing of qi energy, while some more-conspicuously external styles tend more to display skills and abilities in competition or exhibition. The rich variety of styles has led to the creation of numerous classification schemes. Geographical location such as regional affiliation is one well-known example. A particular Chinese martial arts style can be referred to as either a northern fist or a southern fist depending on its point of origin.
Additional details such as province or city can further identify the particular style. Other classification schemes include the concept of internal; this criterion concerns the training focus of a particular style. Religious affiliation of the group that found the style can be used as a classification; the three great religions of Taoism and Confucianism have associated martial arts styles. There are many other criteria used to group Chinese martial arts. Another more recent approach is to describe a style according to their combat focus; the traditional dividing line between the northern and southern Chinese martial arts is the Yangtze River. A well-known adage concerning Chinese martial arts is the term "Southern fists and Northern kicks"; this saying emphasizes the difference between the two groups of Chinese martial arts. However, such differences are not absolute and there are many Northern styles that excel in hand techniques and conversely, there are many different types of kicks in some Southern styles.
A style can be more classified according to regional landmarks, city and to a specific village. Northern styles/Běi pài feature extended postures—such as the horse, bow and dragon stances—connected by quick fluid transitions, able to change the direction in which force is issued; the group of Northern martial arts includes many illustrious styles such as Baguazhang, Bajiquan, Chāquán, Eagle Claw, Northern Praying Mantis and Taijiquan. Chángquán is identified as the representative Northern style and forms a separate division in modern Wushu curriculum. Northern styles exhibit a distinctively different flavor from the martial arts practiced in the South. In general, the training characteristics of northern styles put more focus on legwork and acrobatics; the influence of Northern styles can be found in traditional Korean martial arts and their emphasis on high-level kicks. It has been suggested that the presence of high kicks and flying kicks found in Southern styles, in Okinawan martial arts, hence in modern non-Chinese styles such as karate and taekwondo are due to influence from northern styles during the first half of the 20th century.
Southern Chinese martial arts/Nanquan feature low stable stances and short powerful movements that combine both attack and defense. In practice, Nanquan focus more on the use of the arm and full body techniques than high kicks or acrobatic moves. There are various explanations for those characteristics; the influence of Southern styles can be found in a karate style from Okinawa. The term Southern styles applies to the five family styles of Southern China: Choy Gar, Hung Ga, Lau Gar, Ng Ying Kungfu, Li Family and Mok Gar. Other styles include: Choy Li Fut, Fujian White Crane, Dog Style Kungfu, Five Ancestors, Wing Chun, Southern Praying Mantis, Hak Fu Mun, Bak Mei and Dragon. There are sub-divisions to Southern styles due to common heritage. For example, the Fujian martial arts can be considered to be one such sub-division; this groups share the following characteristics that "during fights, pugilists of these systems prefer short steps and close fighting, with their arms placed close to the chest, their elbows lowered and kept close to the flanks to offer them protection".
Nanquan became a distinct component of the current Wushu training. It was designed to incorporate the key elements of each major Southern style. Chinese martial arts can be identified by the regional landmarks, city or village; this identification indicates the region of origin but could describe the place where the style has established a reputation. Well-known landmarks used to characterize Chinese martial arts include the famous mountains of China; the Eight Great Schools of Martial Arts, a grouping of martial arts schools used in many wuxia novels, is based on this type of geographical classifications. This group of schools includes: Hua Shan, Emei Mountains, Wudang Shan, Mt. Kongtong, Kunlun Mountains, Cang Mountain, Mount Qingcheng and Mount Song Shaolin. There are 18 provinces in China. Each