Chángquán and relation to WuTan Bājíquán
Chángquán 長拳 or "Islamic Long Fist" was inducted by Wu-Tan as a necessary style to study to compliment Li Shu Wen's Bājíquán, in order to develop high quality Martial Artists. Bājíquán takes a very long time to develop and is not recommended for teaching children. Yet it cannot be ignored there is a distinct advantage and incredible development of instinct when a child grows up with Martial Arts. This phenomenon across the world happens in every style, and such the some of the greatest champions in history often started training young. Following the traditional Bājíquán curriculum, A student may not be "Combat Ready" for 3 years or more. Thus, it was expected for students to have already become competent with another style. In short, True beginners would be excluded and lost. Chángquán and Tánglángquán were chosen to fulfill this purpose.
Children are the future
The ideal candidate for Bājíquán or any competitive martial arts, will be a child, 5-7 years old. Encouraging proper accelerated growth and development of the physical body during a time when the mind and body happens to be the most moldable, as well as mental discipline and moral values. Power, strength, and speed will eventually develop and the child will do well to learn responsibility, control, and discretion as the child matures and notices what it means in compared to untrained peers. At the cost of a "childhood", It will ensure a true warrior in the future.
Beginning martial arts in later stages in life, as a older child or a teenager, Is still a wonderful and encouraged commitment. Other sports and athletics activities prior can also be a beneficial substitute. At this age there will be a trust and respect barrier consideration with the relationship of student and teacher.
As a young adult the opportunity for taking advantage of instinctive muscle memory cells, and promotion of guiding a youth wavers and the benefits of shaping the tendons, bones and muscles are reduced. Nonetheless studying Chángquán will still provide a deep stretch and promote slower chiropractic like changes as beginner adults often start with stiffness and rigidity.
Not Found in Bājíquán
Chángquán also fills many of Bājíquán's missing pieces; namely Acrobatics & Dynamic Kicks. Northern styles exhibit a distinctively different flavor from the martial arts practiced in the South. In general, the training characteristics of northern styles put more focus on legwork, kicking and acrobatics. The influence of Northern styles can be found in traditional Korean martial arts and their emphasis on high-level kicks.
Generally, New students begin by studying the basic foundational stances and Tan Tui to stretch out the ligaments and teach controlled defensive and offensive tactics that are the building blocks of everything one will learn in our systems taught. Building a strong stance, bodywork foundation or structure gives one both protection and method to developing power and fluid speed. When learning, the attention to refining the detail is the key to success. A minor misalignment of the feet greatly affects the stability and power of the stance. Long Fist, a style that emphasizes flexibility, stretching, and stamina. At the Wu Tang we teach Tan Tuei (spring legs), which is a basic movements of the Long Fist System. Its relative simplicity allows the learner to gain a greater awareness of his/her body, and it gives the learner a taste of learning long sequences of movements. Despite it’s apparent simplicity, Tan Tuei is an efficient, useful and direct movements all applicable to fighting.
It has been suggested that the presence of high kicks and flying kicks found in Southern styles, in Okinawan martial arts, and hence in modern non-Chinese styles such as karate, Kenpo and taekwondo (and by extension modern kickboxing) are due to influence from northern styles during the first half of the 20th century.
The Chángquán lineage of Wu Tan is under Grandmaster Li Mao-Ching (李茂清) was born in Qingdao, China, on July 5, 1927. He first began training martial arts in 1934 when he was eight years old, under the instruction and guidance of his father and his cousin Shang, Huan.
When Master Li was 16, he was drafted into the army. Much of the military training was run and overseen by many of the most renowned Chinese martial artists of that time, so Master Li had the unusual opportunity of learning from more than one teacher. He learned Longfist (Chang Chuan, 長拳) from Han Ching-Tang (韓慶堂), Praying Mantis (Tang Lang Chuan, 螳螂拳) from Fu Jia-Bin (傅家賓), and Sun Bin Chuan (孫臏拳) from Gao Fang-Xian (高芳先). At one point in time, Gao Fang-Xian was one of Chiang Kai-Shek's most esteemed generals.
|Chang Chuan Great-Grandmaster Han Ching-Tang|
No serious discussion of the history of Chang Chuan could exclude mention of the legendary Longfist master, Han Ching-Tang (韓慶堂). Born at the turn of the last century, Master Han was of tremendous influence on the development and promotion of Chang Chuan during his life. He began his fundamental training of Kung Fu at an early age, and when he was a young man began his serious study of Chang Chuan with several masters of the art including Shen Mo-Lin, Jiang Ben-He and Zhang Bing-Chang. No serious discussion of the history of Chang Chuan could exclude mention of the legendary Longfist master, Han Ching-TangIn 1928 the Chinese government founded the Zhong Yang Kuo Shu Guan (Central Martial Arts Institute) in Nanjing in order to promote the exchange of knowledge between the styles and remove traditional rivalries and prejudices. During his years at the institute Master Han's main focus was on Longfist and its enhancement. He also spent time studying Xing Yi Chuan, Tai Chi Chuan, and Shuai Jiao, and conducted much research on Chin Na (joint locks), which he developed to a high level of mastery.
Han Chin Tang Lineage
Northern Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu Includes:
- Barehand Forms
- Qin Na Dui Da (Joint Locking skills & sets)
- Two Man Fighting Routines
- Self Defense Applications
- Iron Palm Training (Internal)
When the Institute held its first graduation exams, Han ranked first out of the five students that passed. He later taught martial arts to both the Hangzhou Police Academy and the Chinese Central Intelligence Agency before relocating to Taiwan when the communist government seized the mainland. In Taiwan, he continued to teach martial arts at the Central Police Academy and did so until he retired.
Han Ching-Tang was one of the many students who graduated with the first generation of the famous Nanjing Central Guoshu Institute (中央國術館), an organization that was established to preserve, propagate, and further Chinese martial arts during the early 1900s. After Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist Party withdrew to Taiwan in 1949, Master Han was invited to teach at the Central Police Academy (中央警官學校) in Taipei. He was very well-known at the time for his skills in Qin Na.
In 1963, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming's college classmate, Mr. Nelson Tsou (鄒延凱), introduced Dr. Yang to Master Li. At that time, Mr. Tsou had already been training under Master Li for several years. Together, Dr. Yang and Mr. Tsou founded the Tamkang College Kung Fu Club in Tamshui, Taiwan. Master Li was formally invited to become the primary instructor of the club, teaching Long Fist. It was there that he began teaching Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.
Wu Tan Chángquán Curriculm
While there is no surviving evidence of discussions, meetings, or records of Liu Yun Qiao's decision on inducting Chángquán between Han Qing-Tang, and Li Mao-Ching, We do they must have crossed paths and Chángquán was made official well before 1971. Wu Tan only highlights only a small number of Chángquán forms, Instead focusing on the initial principles and to reap the benefits of limber flexibility. Further study can be found with Master Nelson Tsou, Yen-Kai and Dr Yang Jwin-Ming who are friends and allies.
Real World Uses
Part of the WuTan curriculum in the Changquan stage is with developing Athleticism. Teaching youths especially takes advantage of their ability to perform more advanced routines, However at its base, Is the study and refinement of how to walk, run, jump, sprint, crouch and fall. Using these heightened escape techniques, the concept of Parkour becomes natural, instinctive and possible. While jumping kicks, aerials and gymnastics have little use in combat, There is a strength and dedication of physical conditioning in being able to perform them. Due to popular media, being able to perform stunts has become a criteria for Martial Arts, At least in the view of public eye and average citizen. The superb physical conditioning and fitness required to perform gymnastics is still very impressive but the line of discussion remains.
- Ji Ben Gong 基本功 - The 9 Basic Stances of Chángquán are all found in Wu-Tang.
- Tan Tui (潭腿) or Springing Legs
- Chuōjiǎo 戳腳 'poking foot' is a Chinese martial art that comprises many jumps, kicks, and fast fist sequences. The fist and feet work in unison and strike continuously.
- Xiao Hu Yan (小 虎 燕) - Emphasizes low stances, powerful kicks, leg sweeps, trapping, and striking
- Lian Bu Quan (連步拳) - Consecutive Linking Step Fist
- Gong Li Quan (功力拳) or Power Fist Form
- Si Lu Ben Za (四路奔砸 ) or Four Way of Running and Smashing