Most Popular Style of Kung Fu?

arnisador

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I presume that Tai Chi is the most popular CMA, but what is the most popular form of kung fu (by number of practitioners world-wide)? I know what the first few most popular styles of karate are but not kung fu. If I had to guess I'd say either Shaolin/Sil Lum and its variants, or else Wing Chun (just because it's the one I hear about most often).
 
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Chiduce

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Originally posted by fist of fury
Wing Chun does seem to be the most popular cma.
I would say The White Crane System because Wing Chun is a part of and was derived from the White Crane Methodologies! Sincerely, in Humility; Chiduce!
 

Cthulhu

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Originally posted by Chiduce
I would say The White Crane System because Wing Chun is a part of and was derived from the White Crane Methodologies! Sincerely, in Humility; Chiduce!

Actually, this depends on what subsystem of Wing Chun you're talking about. Different subsystems have different origin stories. Though many are similar (involving women name Ng Mui and Wing Chun), some are remarkably different.

Cthulhu
 

Black Grass

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I would recon that Modern Wushu is the most popular style (next to tai chi) for the fact that it is the offcial MA of the Republic of China and since there are billion + chinese, stands to reason.

Outside china I would say Preying mantis (all methods), wing chun (all methods), choy lee fut and hung gar. Basically southern fist styles because it seems to me that the southern peoples of China tended to immigrat more.

Now this is all speculation.

Regards,

Black Grass
 
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Sanxiawuyi

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I believe the southern styles of Gong fu are probably the most popular in the west, due to the influx of immigrants from that area of China, i.e. Guangdong (Canton) and Fujian provinces, via Hong Kong. As well as Southern Shaolinquan (Fist of Shaolin Temple)

The Northern Systems are becoming more popular now as a result of more reputable teachers from Mainland China coming to the west.

Styles of shaolin branch (Sil Lum in Cantonese):

Shaolinquan (Fist of Shaolin Temple)
Digong lohanquan (ground-fighting branch of lohanquan)
Xiuquan (fist of the best)
Shaolin shisanzhua (13 claw-strikes of Shaolin)
Shaolin ershisi pao (24 cannon strikes of Shaolin)
Shaolin wuxing bafa quan (Shaolin fist of 5 forms and 8 methods)
Xinyiba (grabbing the heart and mind)
Shaolin chanmen (Chan's gates of Shaolin)
Fohanquan



Styles of Fujian province:

Youngchunquan (Wing Chun)
Gouquan (dog style)
Huzunquan (tiger style)
Longzunquan (dragon style)
Hequan (crane style)
Lohanquan (fist of arhats)
Taizuquan (fist of Zhao Kuangyin emperor)
Houquan (monkey style)
Wuzongheyangquan (fist of five ancestors and teacher He Yang)
Shezuquan (fist of She nationality)



Styles of Guangdong (Canton) province:

Cailifoquan (Choy Lay Fut)
Hongjiaquan (Hung Gar)
(fist of Hong family)
Liujiaquan (fist of Liu family)
Lijiaquan (fist of Li family)
Caijiaquan (fist of Cai family)
Mojiaquan (fist of Mo family)
Hongfoquan (fist of Hong and Buddha)
Zhoujiaquan (fist of Zhou family)
Hongtou caiwei (head of Hong, tail of Cai)
Caimoquan (fist of Cai and Mo)



"Inner" styles:

Tajiquan (Fist of Great Ultimate)
Baguazhang (Palm of Eight Trigrams)
Xingyiquan (Fist of Form and Mind)
Wenshenquan
Dachengquan (fist of Great achievement), or Yiquan (fist of mind)
Liuhebafaquan


Northern styles:

Paochui (Cannon fist)
Chuojiao (Thrusted-in feet)
Fanziquan (Rotating fist)
Huaquan (Blossom fist)
Huaquan ("Fist of Valuables" or "fist of Hua Zong")
Meihuazhuang (Pillars of Meihua Plum)
Yingzhaoquan (eagle's claws style)
Tongbeiquan (Fist of spreading power from the back)
Shuihuquan (Fist of "Water margin")
Yanqingquan (Fist of Yan Qing), also known as mizongquan (Fist of lost track)
Zhangjiaquan (Fist of Zhang family)



North-Western styles:

Bamenquan (Fist of eight gates)
Shijiaquan (Fist of Shi family)
Gaojiaquan (Fist of Gao family)


North-Eastern styles:

Tanglangquan (Fist of Praying Mantis)
Santongquan (Fist of three Tongs)
Sunbinquan (Fist of general Sun Bin)
Boziquan (Fist of lame man)


Styles of Jingwu Assotiation:

12 rouitnes of tantui
Mizong luohanquan


Wudang styles:

Kongmenquan (fist of empty gates)
Yumenquan (fish fist)
Taiyi wuxing qinpu (grappling of five elements and Great One)
Jiugong shibatui (18 legs of nine palaces)

Emei styles


Regards,
Sanxiawuyi
The Kenpo Exchange
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Dronak

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Wow, that's an impressive list of styles. I've heard a few, at least by the translated names, but most of them are unfamiliar to me. This may be a simple question, but what does Pek Sil Lum translate to? If I read your post write, Sil Lum refers to a Shaolin style; does Pek just mean north or is it something a bit more descriptive? Since you posted lots of translations, I figured I'd ask.

I have the book _Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu_ by Yang & Bolt and this contains some of what I'm being taught now. Lucky pick, I guess, because I didn't know that for sure when I bought it. I've been hoping to find another book that contains forms and such that this one doesn't have. I was considering _Secrets of Northern Shaolin Kung-Fu : The History, Form, and Function of Pek Sil Lum_ by Hung Lai, but I wasn't sure if it was going to contain the same stuff that I'm being taught. Perhaps having a full translation of Pek Sil Lum would give me a better idea of what's inside the book.
 
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arnisador

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That's some list! I really enjoy learning about the diversity of styles. What's the source? And, you used a lot more geographical regions than just the usual North (more kicks, higher stances) vs. South (more fists, lower stances) distinctions we hear about. Can you say anything about those regional distinctions?

I've never heard of many of those styles, including Gouquan (dog style). Thanks for posting this!
 
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Sanxiawuyi

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I'm glad you enjoyed the list, but as I look over it I am sure I missed some, Ill let you know.

Dronak, I am not sure what Pek means. It is probably Cantonese or another dialect. Sil Lum is Cantonese for Shaolin, so Pek is probably Cantonese as well. Sorry, I dont speak that language, only Chinese Mandarin and some Japanese.

For info into Chinese language, check out my site The Kenpo Exchange, and the link to Kung fu or Gong fu?

Arnisador, as to the regional distinctions, I wont get in to much here, because my own opinions may offend some people, and I would never ever want to do that, but I will say that most Northern Chinese martial artist think of southern martial arts as being more pugilistic in nature. Understand? In the northern regions, systems like Bagua Zhang, Xingyiquan, Taijiquan, the Emei styles and the Wudang styles gather much respect on many levels as being very intellectual with a rich martial history (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon). The Southern styles are described as a faster road to self-defense. Both are uniquely different and gather respect on different levels. I like both sides of the coin. I have a base in Southern fist styles, but as I got older I gained deep respect for the so-called internal systems, and now do both. There are some teachers, in China, who will not teach the internal systems until you have a strong basic foundation.

Anyway, sorry to go on.

Scott (Sanxiawuyi)

Check out some links, you may enjoy:

The Deer & The Cauldron - The First Book

Imperial Palace Baguaquan

Hsing Chen Internal Martial Arts Konghua Xingyi Quan

Chen Style Taijiquan Web Resource

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arnisador

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I haven't heard the Northern vs. Southern issue stated quite as you have before--I don't mean to lead you to trouble but I'd be curious to hear more of your thoughts on the regional variations.

Thanks for the info. and links--I'm finding it very interesting. I can't believe there are so many styles I've never heard of!
 
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Sanxiawuyi

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Again, I wont get into much here, mostly because I need some sleep :eek:

My opinions are based upon my own research I have done, but there are a lot of social issues involved. It is not un-like the U.S., in its views of its countrys diversities. We know how people in the Northern U.S. think of the South right? Well, lets just say its similar. I really cant get into it here though. Sorry.
 

Dronak

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Thanks for the link, Sanxiawuyi. Too bad it wouldn't translate "pek sil lum" for me. On the division of styles, I thought it worked more like arnisador said -- there were certain things that stood out as being characteristic to one group of styles or another. It doesn't work like that for some of the divisions you listed? I suppose divisions can be made in all sorts of ways, but I was under the impression that martial arts were divided based on the characteristics of the style (and place of origin, I guess) and that social factors weren't involved. Interesting stuff.
 
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Sanxiawuyi

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Dronak, "pek sil lum" wouldnt translate for you in the link I gave you because its not Chinese (Mandarin). It is Cantonese. As I said, Sil Lum is Cantonese for Shao Lin. Its like Shorin-ji in Japanese.

Social factors are very much involved within the division of martial arts of Asia, not just China. You even see it in the West (U.S.) in how some people think of boxing. Look at Japan at its initial reaction to the Tou-de systems that came out of Okinawa. They wouldnt accept it until it became more refined, more of a do then "jutsu". Good for Funakoshi, bad for Motobu.

I have even seen post referring to the percentage of Chinese influence in Okinawan martial arts. Some people dont like to admit it, but I would say that 95%, or more, of Okinawas martial arts come from Guangdong (Canton) and Fujian provinces, and also Shanghai.

Its also interesting to note that there is a lot more enfaces placed on animal styles in the Southern styles and more enfaces on human development in northern styles. Things that make you go hmmm



Black Grass, I am not familiar with Ngo Cho Kun Tao. It may be a variation between Wade-Gillis Chinese translation and Cantonese. Tao is Dao in Pinyin Mandarin Chinese, Kun is probably is probably Cantonese for Quan or fist. But I dont know what Ngo Cho means. It is not Chinese, but probably Cantonese and means the same. Whatever it means, Kun Tao translates to fist way.

Five ancestors boxing is know as Wuzongheyangquan or the shorter and more commonly known wuzuquan = five ancestor fist.

Sanxiawuyi

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arnisador

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Originally posted by Sanxiawuyi

I have even seen post referring to the percentage of Chinese influence in Okinawan martial arts. Some people don?t like to admit it, but I would say that 95%, or more, of Okinawa?s martial arts come from Guangdong (Canton) and Fujian provinces, and also Shanghai.

I recently made a post about this in the Karate forum: I have heard that Okinawan karate is 40% Southern Chinese kung fu, 40% indigenous Okinawan arts, and 20% other, but I think that the Chinese influence is greater than 50% in most systems (even if you exclude Uechi which is nearly 100% Chinese).


Black Grass, I am not familiar with Ngo Cho Kun Tao.

See this book, Five Ancestor Fist Kung Fu : The Way of Ngo Cho Kun and the link here. I have the book--it's a very karate-like art and you can clearly see how it might have influenced karate. It may just be because Ngo Cho Kun was also heavily influenced by the crane of course.
 
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Sanxiawuyi

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I checked out the link you gave for the book, Five Ancestor Fist Kung Fu: The Way of Ngo Cho Kun, and its definitely a Fukenese or Hokeinese translation of Wuzuquan (Five Ancestors Boxing). I believe you that "it is a very karate-like art", as a mater of fact, a lot of Karate systems are directly related to it.

Take a look at Sanzhan or 'Saam Chien' (Sanchin kata)-- Three Battles--, as it is not only the foundation form of Wuzuquan, it is also the foundation of Goju-ryu and Uechi-ryu. It is the internal energy and body hardening (iron shirt) qigong exercise of Wuzuquan, which comes from huquan (tiger boxing) and hequan (crane boxing).

Within its simple framework lies the nucleus of all Wuzuquan's techniques. Being the most basic and most advanced form. This tension form when done properly, diligently and with patience can yield a body of internal strength and power by developing the intrinsic energy through the five parts power of the arms, legs and body.

As for Okinawan arts, they are absolutely derived from Chinese martial arts. Obviously they had their own pugilistic way of fighting, but this was fairly insignificant compared to what they learned from the Chinese.

I dont think this inaccuracy lies totally with the Okinawans; the Japanese seem to forget sometimes that almost all their culture is based upon Chinas, specifically the Tang dynasty. You see it in their language, art, culture, etc. Even they Bonsai tree, which everyone associates with Japan, is actually from China and is called Panzai.

It is also interesting to note that what we now refer to as Karate did not always mean "Empty Hand." It use to mean Chinese/China Hand."

The Japanese changed the Chinese character for "Kara" in 1923 to the new one which would mean "empty." They felt the art that they now practiced was more Japanese then what had been brought from China and mixed with Okinawa's "Bushi No-Te" (Warriors Hands) or Okinawan-Te. It was no longer Chinese; it was now a new style!?

Note: there are those who practice martial arts in Okinawa who still refuse to use the new character; they still use the one, which means China/Chinese.

To recap, the word Kara-te can have two different meanings, reflecting the word's history. When written in its original form, Kara means "China" (or Tang--pronounced "tong"--referring to the Tang Dynasty). In the second meaning, which is more commonly used now, Kara means, "Empty." Thus, Karate became "Empty Hand."

I would highly recommend reading the Bubishi (Wu Bei Zhi in Mandarin), which directly was the largest influence on karate. The Bubishi is known as the Bible of karate and is a classic Chinese work on philosophy, strategy, medicine, and techniques as they relate to the martial arts, including the obscure technique called the Dian Xue (Dim Mak in Cantonese), and cavity striking.

Here are to fantastic translations, although I am more partial to McCarthys:

The Bible of Karate : Bubishi, trans. by Patrick McCarthy

Bubishi : Martial Art Spirit, by George Alexander

:asian:
 

Black Grass

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Kun Tao is a generic name for Chinese martial arts as practiced in SE Asia. Most of the chinese in SE are I believe are Fukienese (because of proximity).

Ngo Cho Kun Tao is also called Five Ancestors Fist and is based on:
Peho (Fujian White Crane)
Kao Kun (Monkey Boxing)
Tai Cho (Grand Ancestor Boxing)
Lohan (Internal Buddhist Boxing)
Tat Chun (Damo's Iron-Body Training)

Its founder is Chua Giok Beng. The book arnisador mentions has one of my teachers , Christopher Ricketts in it who I got a very limited exposure to the system through. Much of my training centred around Sam Chein form.

Regards,
Black Grass
 
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arnisador

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This is all very interesting! I am familiar with McCarthy's Bubishi book--I have a copy--and I also find it very interesting.

I studied Uechi for a year and liked it. I always thought I liked Okinawan karate but perhaps what I really liked is Southern kung fu? I am not ready to agree that the native Okinawan arts were quite so simplistic and rudimentary but I do think that they got most of their depth and most of their current form from the Chinese, absolutely.
 
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Chiduce

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Originally posted by Sanxiawuyi
I checked out the link you gave for the book, Five Ancestor Fist Kung Fu: The Way of Ngo Cho Kun, and its definitely a Fukenese or Hokeinese translation of Wuzuquan (Five Ancestors Boxing). I believe you that "it is a very karate-like art", as a mater of fact, a lot of Karate systems are directly related to it.

Take a look at Sanzhan or 'Saam Chien' (Sanchin kata)-- Three Battles--, as it is not only the foundation form of Wuzuquan, it is also the foundation of Goju-ryu and Uechi-ryu. It is the internal energy and body hardening (iron shirt) qigong exercise of Wuzuquan, which comes from huquan (tiger boxing) and hequan (crane boxing).

Within its simple framework lies the nucleus of all Wuzuquan's techniques. Being the most basic and most advanced form. This tension form when done properly, diligently and with patience can yield a body of internal strength and power by developing the intrinsic energy through the five parts power of the arms, legs and body.

As for Okinawan arts, they are absolutely derived from Chinese martial arts. Obviously they had their own pugilistic way of fighting, but this was fairly insignificant compared to what they learned from the Chinese.

I dont think this inaccuracy lies totally with the Okinawans; the Japanese seem to forget sometimes that almost all their culture is based upon Chinas, specifically the Tang dynasty. You see it in their language, art, culture, etc. Even they Bonsai tree, which everyone associates with Japan, is actually from China and is called Panzai.

It is also interesting to note that what we now refer to as Karate did not always mean "Empty Hand." It use to mean Chinese/China Hand."

The Japanese changed the Chinese character for "Kara" in 1923 to the new one which would mean "empty." They felt the art that they now practiced was more Japanese then what had been brought from China and mixed with Okinawa's "Bushi No-Te" (Warriors Hands) or Okinawan-Te. It was no longer Chinese; it was now a new style!?

Note: there are those who practice martial arts in Okinawa who still refuse to use the new character; they still use the one, which means China/Chinese.

To recap, the word Kara-te can have two different meanings, reflecting the word's history. When written in its original form, Kara means "China" (or Tang--pronounced "tong"--referring to the Tang Dynasty). In the second meaning, which is more commonly used now, Kara means, "Empty." Thus, Karate became "Empty Hand."

I would highly recommend reading the Bubishi (Wu Bei Zhi in Mandarin), which directly was the largest influence on karate. The Bubishi is known as the Bible of karate and is a classic Chinese work on philosophy, strategy, medicine, and techniques as they relate to the martial arts, including the obscure technique called the Dian Xue (Dim Mak in Cantonese), and cavity striking.

Here are to fantastic translations, although I am more partial to McCarthys:

The Bible of Karate : Bubishi, trans. by Patrick McCarthy

Bubishi : Martial Art Spirit, by George Alexander

:asian:
I tend to strongly disagree with the view that the Okinawans were not skilled martial artists until they incorporated what they learned from the chinese. Yet the chinese influence in very evident in their modern martial arts. Fact is that the Okinawans were the only martial artists to combine there odori secrets with the knowledge they learned from the Jigen Ryu and the Minamoto Bujutsu. This was before they examined the chinese martial way and began to incorporate their (chinese) arts into the Okinawan Martial systems of today. The prevalent okinawan system of our time is of course the Hakutsuru or White Crane System/ Bai He Quan, in which the Bubishi is based along with Monk Fist Boxing etc,. Myself being of the Matsumura Hakutsuru Lineage demands an understanding of the history of a very rich, mysterious, and intellectually martial people. Dr. William Durbin/Soke is the Headmaster Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei. His insights on okinawan history made him a consultant on the McCarthy Bubishi Translation. Soke Durbin is a martial authority on the history and martial arts of the okinawan people! You will find in his writings, facts very contrary to what is believed about the martial arts of the okinawan people! The url is http://www.kiyojuteryu.org/soke/articles.shtml Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
 
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Sanxiawuyi

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Chiduce,

First, I didnt say the Okinawas were not skilled martial artist, although how would I know for certain because I wasnt there at that time, I just said there pugilistic systems were insignificant compared to what they learned from the Chinese. That makes perfect sense, because if they werent, why would they learn a totally new way and practically give up the old?

You stated a lot of things which come directly from Bill Durbin, which I will talk about in a little later, but first your reference to Jigen Ryu and the Minamoto Bujutsu:

Jigen Ryu is a Kenjutsu form and Minamoto is a family jutsu. These would have bean extremely difficult to learn if you were a commoner in the Ryuku islands. Only someone of noble stature would be able to learn these. A common person wouldnt even be allowed to pick up a sword, never mind actually using it!

As too William Durbin, first, there is NO mention of Mr. Durbins consultation on the McCarthy Bubishi Translation of the Bubishi.

Please tell me where he is listed. There are many great martial artists, many I know, but I dont see Mr. Durbins name anywhere!? In addition, as an historian, and old provincial neighbour, I have spoken with Mr. McCarthy at length in the past about the history of Kenpo, and he never once mentioned Mr. Durbin.

Furthermore, when I was doing research into kenpo, I contacted Mr. Durbin and we exchanged many letters, inormation, etc., I gave him valuable research, including telling him about The Bugei Ryuha Daijiten (which he had no idea) written by Watatani Kiyoshi and Yamada Tadashi that list all the ryu of Japan, dating of Ryuha, and also sharing other sources. He later wrote about these things and gave me NO mention or credit!

I would say he is a martial authority, as I am myself, but I still say they are his views based on his research, not facts.

Sanxiawuyi
:asian:
 
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