武術的歷史 HISTORY OF MARTIAL ARTS

 

Martial Arts are as old as China itself. Not merely a means of waging war, it was closely tied with China’s native religion of Daoism (sometimes spelled Taoism). It placed a heavy emphasis on virtue (see Wu-De), artistic technique, and nurturing the mind, body and spirit for health and longevity. Martial displays were performed at important celebrations and even used as a way to worship Heaven. It’s no surprise then that classical Chinese dance evolved out martial arts. In Chinese, even the way you pronounce martial arts and dance is the same.

The difference between Internal and External Martial Arts can be a subject of much scholarship. However, most simply put,the Internal Martial Arts (Taichi, Bagua, Xingyin, etc) emphasize inner development and cultivation, such as paying attention to body structure, the flow of energy, or qi, through the body, etc.

External Martial Arts likes Cha Quan, Hua Quan, the Shaolin animal forms, etc, trains the body from the outside in,strengthening muscles through physical forms and stances.

The first style to appear was called “Jiao-di” a style of wrestling used in the legendary battle between the Yellow Emperor and the rebellious Chi-you that established the Xia Dynasty (2852-2205 BC) and began Chinese civilization. During the chaotic period known as the Warring States Period (476-221 BC) saw the rapid development of sword forms and techniques. Sword techniques reached their peak in China’s golden age, the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). The introduction of Buddhism brought with it the famous animalstyles of the Shaolin Temple. After the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) Dynasties, famed Daoist practitioner Zang Sanfeng created Taichi Quan, the pinnacle of the Daoist theories of Yin and Yang. Then in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911) Ba Gua and Xingyi Quan began to spread. These were the beginning of what became known as the Internal Martial Arts.

Over the years, a division between Northern and Southern styles also appeared. There also were Northern and Southern versions of well-known Shaolin styles. Since southern China was more crowded and the streets were usually narrower, Southern styles tend to have more compact movements compared to the fully extended movements of Northern styles.Today there are more than 200 known styles, over 1000 different forms and more than 18 different weapons. And this is just Chinese martial arts!

太極拳的起源 The Origins of Tai-Chi Quan

Tai-Chi Quan comes from a kind of Taoist cultivation. In the Ming Dynasty, there was a Taoist cultivator named Zhang Sanfeng (born in the 12th century AD). He cultivated on Wudang mountain achieving immortality, yet only left the techniques and theories of his Tai-Chi Quan art to later generations and not the law of the heart. In the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911), in the Chen family village in Wen county, Henan province, from the founder of the Chen clan style of Tai Chi, Chen Wangting and Wang Zongyue from Shanxi etc… sprang numerous different styles and theories of Tai Chi Quan. Today many different styles of Tai Chi have developed from the Chen style and given rise to many masters. The many styles include the Yang style, the Wu style, the Wu (different character to the other Wu) style, and the Sun style. These styles generally place largest importance on developing the body and self-defense.

There are three aspects to the origins of Tai-chi.

1. It is said that the enlightened Taoist Zhang Sanfeng, during his cultivation process, witnessed a fight between a crane and a snake and enlightened to some fighting techniques. From this he then created a fighting system and later Chen Wangtingattracted the masters of various fighting systems to learn this Tai-chi Quan. Of particular note is the 32 stanceLongfist system of Qi Jiguang. Other Tai-chi systems thendeveloped based on the Experience of martial artists.

2. An integration of ancient Taoist internal exercises. Tai-chi Quan emphasizes using mind-intent to sink the qi to the Dan Tian, emphasizing a tranquil heart, a relaxed body and internal strength, so it is referred to as one of the internal arts.

3. Tai-chi contains the ancient Chinese Taoist theory of Yin and Yang as well as Chinese medicine’s theories of guiding Qi and opening the two energy channels of Ren and Du (down the front center of the body and up the center back), to create the large and small Heavenly Circuits. Tai-chi uses the theories of Yin and Yang and the five elements to explain the different types of attacks and counters and changes in the fighting system.

Tai-Chi uses “Peng, Luo (rubbing one’s hands along something), ji (to push, squeeze), an (to press), cai (to pick), lie (?), zhou (the elbow), kao (following), jin (advancing), tui (retreating), gu, pan, and ding” as the basic techniques. The movements are slow and free, one is required when practicing to keep an upright waist, chin in, straight back, sunken shoulders and a feeling of floating. The Tai-Chi masters of the Qing dynasty said: “The fist is like the great ocean, an unceasing torrent.” At the same time, Tai-Chi Quan places importance on developing the essential Qi, summoning the spirit and returning to emptiness. The so called “essence, Qi and spirit” is fundamental to cultivating the human body, this is one of the characteristics of Tai-Chi Quan as an internal style of Kung Fu. Because in practice Tai-Chi combines intention, Qi, form and strength, it allows the spirit, the QI and blood, internal organs, the muscles, tendons and bones to be equally nourished and exercised, and to obtain a balance of Yin and Yang.

The practice of Tai-Chi Quan has been tested over a long period of time.Through medical,

 

physiological, biochemical, dissection, psychological, and mechanical research, Tai-Chi has been proven to be very effective in countering aging, trips and falls, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, hepatitis, joint problems, stomach and intestine illnesses, weakening of the nervous system as well as other chronic illnesses. So it can achieve the effect healing where there is illness and strengthening the body where there is no illness as well as lengthening one’s life.

Tai-Chi is also an art of self defense, it’s characteristics include: “Going from formless to form, using the soft to restrain the hard, making use of tranquility in dealing with attacks, using roundedness to deflect the straight, using the small to defeat the big, using the weak to defeat the strong.” It is an organic combination of martial art and the principles laid out in Sun Zi’sArt of War. Thus, Tai-Chi Quan, especially the Yang style has been popularized. The stances are simple, it is easy to study and practice, it’s unique charm has been happily accepted by the people of the world.

心武門拳社