Wisdom of life through martial arts

By Xia Huan ( China Daily )

Updated: 2008-08-14

Wisdom of life through martial arts

Wudang Kungfu, an important school of Chinese Martial Arts, has a very long history. Chinese martial arts of all sorts have a long history and a great diversity of methods and styles. Generally speaking, they are divided into two big schools: the south and the north.

The north school originated from the Shaolin Temple of Songshan Mountain, the Holy Land of Buddhism, and is called the Shaolin Sector with its boxing called Waijiaquan, known as External Kungfu.

The south school originated from Wudang Mountain, the Holy Land of Taoism, and is called the Wudang Sector with its boxing called Neijiaquan, known as Wudang Internal Kungfu.

Thus Wudang and Shaolin are considered the two main types of Chinese martial arts. Wudang martial arts are a great contribution of Wudang Taoism, which is a famous branch of Chinese Taoism.

Wudang Kungfu, as a culture, took root in the fertile soil of the thousand-year-old Chinese civilization, and contains profound Chinese philosophical theories combined with the traditional notions of Taiji (shadow boxing), Eight-diagram and Xingyi, converted into boxing theories and skills.

It is said that the father of Wudang Internal Kungfu is Zhang Sanfeng. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), he created the Wudang Sector on the basis of the theory of alchemy.

Besides the vigorous North School and Benshan School Taiji, the four modern Taiji schools are all derived from the same origin. They all share the same score theory of Yin and Yang, Eight-trigram and Five-elements.

Aimed at maintaining good health, prolonging lifespan as well as self-defense, Taiji Boxing has many features such as defeating a tough rival with a soft approach, winning by striking only after the opponent has struck, deflecting a forceful thrust with a tiny amount of force, and is also effective in prolonging lifespan and developing wisdom.

Influenced by the Taoist idea of "self-protection and self-cultivation in isolation", the skills of Wudang Kungfu are characterized by not taking the initiative in an attack, as "removing is fighting, and fighting is removing".

The rich philosophical ideas in Taiji deal with balance between Yin and Yang, compatibility of strong and soft, the complementarity of the dynamic and static, and harmony between human beings and nature, which make Taiji not only a martial arts theory, but also a store of profound wisdom of life. With this wisdom, man can judge the external world sensibly, and improve the internal world beneficially.

For centuries, Wudang Kungfu has respected Zhang Sanfeng as a flagbearer, deriving various schools from one origin. With development through many succeeding generations, Wudang Boxing has become an important genre among Chinese martial arts, enjoying good reputation both at home and abroad, with a long and profound influence.

Because of his enormous contributions, Zhang Sanfeng is greatly respected by people. Wudang Taiji interprets the collective wisdom of the Chinese nation and spreads oriental philosophy and esthetic sense in the practice of internal Kungfu and cultivation of the body and mind.

Through its merits of practicing skills and maintaining health, the Taiji culture draws worldwide attention and enjoyment.


Wisdom of life through martial arts

Wisdom of life through martial arts

Flight services linking Wudang Mountain (Xiangfan Airport) and other airports in China. Note: It takes 90 minutes to travel from Xiangfan to Wudang Mountain.[China Daily] 

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