Wudang Inner School Boxing
( chinaculture.org )
Photo by Zhang Xing
Wudang Inner School Boxing, which originated on Wudang Mountain, is already known in China and abroad as the mountain’s natural scenery and majestic ancient building.
It is said that the renowned Taoist Zhang Sanfeng founded Wudang Inner School Boxing. One day, Zhang Sanfeng was meditating in a thatched hut when he suddenly heard a magpie chirping. The magpie was focusing on a snake lying on the ground. The snake raised its head and looked up at the magpie. After a while, the magpie threw itself at the snake and pecked at it. The snake dodged the attack by moving its head unflappably. As he watched this, Zhang Sanfeng wondered why the ferocious magpie could not beat the soft snake. Then he watched the magpie and found that the snake could dodge the magpie’s attacks because it knew how to use quietness to defeat movement and use softness to defeat firmness, which was precisely the philosophy of Lao Zi’s Tao Te Ching. Imitating the fight between the magpie and the snake and incorporating the meditation of Taoism’s Mysterious Gate sect, Zhang Sanfeng created a special kind of boxing based on the theory of using quietness to defeat movement and of using softness to defeat firmness.
Since this kind of boxing originated on Wudang Mountain, it was called Wudang Boxing and, because it emphasizes inner cultivation, people also call it Wudang Inner School Boxing. Forms of Wudang Inner School Boxing practiced nowadays include the popular Taiji Quan or Shadow Boxing, Xingyi Quan or “mental form” boxing, and Wudang Sword.