Southern Fist (Nanquan)

Southern Fist (also Southern Boxing or Nanquan) is a type of traditional Chinese Kung Fu with a history of 400 years. It is so named because it originated in the southern China, especially in Guangdong and Fujian Provinces. Due to its popularity and distinction, it has occupied important positions in the Kung Fu novels and movies.

Its distinctive styles are reflected in the stabilization of feet and fists and in the strength of motions. Less jumps, more short punches and much more nimble hand motions make it different from the martial arts in northern China. Because people in southern China are generally short in height, they usually practice Southern Fist by playing short punches. The basic skills are Wooden Dummy, Iron Palm, Punching Sandbag, Dim Mak (Dianxue), Arhat Kung Fu and others.

There are many styles, such as Wing Chun and Cai Li Fo (Choy Li Fut) of Guangdong, Crane Boxing and Arhats Kung Fu of Fujian, Zhou Style Boxing of Guangxi and others. Among them, Hung Kuen (Hongquan) or Hung Ga Kuen, Wing Chun and Cai Li Fo are the well-spread ones.

Hung Kuen (Hongquan)

Hung Kuen ranks first among the five boxing styles in Guangdong. Other four are Liu Style, Cai Style, Li Style and Mo Style. It’s generally thought to be first established in Taiwan by Zheng Chenggong, a patriotic general. A widely-spread saying shows that its foundation has close relation with South Shaolin Temple and Hong Xiguan, one of the Shaolin disciples.

Hung Kuen includes many techniques. The hands styles lie in the fist, palm, claw, hook and finger. Many other elbow styles also reflect its uniqueness. The existing popular styles of Hung Kuen are Tiger-Crane Double Fist Styles, Five Shapes Boxing and Iron Thread Boxing. Five-Shapes Boxing is presented by imitating the different shapes and manners of dragon, snake, tiger, leopard and crane. Besides, there are other animal imitating styles, such as Elephant Boxing, Monkey Boxing, Lion Boxing and other. The weapons include staffs, swords, spears, iron rulers, fans, walking sticks, umbrellas and other strange objects.

Generally, Hung Kuen combines the internal practicing on the spirit, willpower and courage as well as external practicing on the hands, eyes, waist and the overall physical conditions. As a result, it helps to strengthen the functions of the cardiovascular system, the digest system and the respiratory system.

Wing Chun

It’s said that Wing Chun was originally well-spread in the Yongchun County of Fujian Province. As an attacking skill with the purpose of actual combat, it reflects the philosophical ideology of traditional Chinese Buddhism and martial arts. Wooden Dummy is the basic skill of Wing Chun. The practice of Wooden Dummy is divided into 9 phases from the primary practice to the mature skills. Bruce Lee, a world famous Kung Fu King, played very good Wing Chun, based on which he created Jeet Kune Do.

Cai Li Fo (Choy Li Fut)

Combining the strength of the boxing styles of Cai family, Li family and Fo family, Cai Li Fo emphasizes the skills of fist, palm and Qiaoshou (a basic Kung Fu skill). Flexibility and diversity make it different from other styles. The fist skills are straight punch, horizontal punch, straight sweep, horizontal sweep and oblique sweep; the leg skills are forward kick, lateral kick, horizontal stamp, backward kick and others. The coordination of the fist and the leg skills provided the basis for the 49 series of Cai Li Fo skills.

Liu Style Boxing is characterized by flexible steps. The main skills are Dayuntian, Xiaoyuntian, Ten Fists, Eight Pictures Kung Fu, Liu Family Boxing, Liu Family Sword and Liu Family Staff. Xinhui Li Style Boxing is famous for its fist skills and weapon playing. Five-Linking Boxing, Thirty-Six Elbow Skills, Ziwu Interlink Staff and Gold Lock Interlink Double Sword are the main representatives. Cai Style Boxing, created 200 years ago, includes Fist and Elbow Skill, Six-Linking Fist, One-end Staff and Both-end Staff. Mo Style Boxing is usually well-known for its diversified leg skills, including Chick Supporting Foot, Tiger Tail Leg, Guamei Leg and others.

In the recent years, Southern Fist has been well-known throughout the world. A great number of training centers have been established in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and foreign countries.

- Last modified on Jun. 27, 2017 -
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