Overview of Wudang Mountain

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2011-07-11

Wudang kungfu

Overview of Wudang Mountain

Photo by Yang Guangzhi

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.

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".

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, an action film directed by Ang Lee in 2000, attracted students of kungfu to travel from all over the world to study with the masters at Wudang. Lucky visitors may be able to see masters practicing on the roofs of halls and on the mountain.

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. According to legend, Zhang Sanfeng was inspired by a fight he witnessed between a pied magpie and a snake.

Yuzhen Palace is the cradle of Wudang kungfu. In 1417, Emperor Zhudi decreed Wudang to be the "Grand Mountain" and ordered the construction of the Yuzhen Palace for Master Zhang Sanfeng.

On January 19, 2003, a fire broke out in the hall, reducing the three rooms that covered 200 square metres to ashes. A gold-plated statute of Zhang Sanfeng, which was usually housed in Yuzhen Palace, was moved to another building just before the fire, and so escaped destruction in the inferno.

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