Kung Fu Styles – An Introduction to the Martial Arts

Here is a list of some Kung Fu styles.

Snake Fist Kung Fu (She Quan) – Snake fist is, like many shaolin styles, spotable by the characteristic hand shape that represents a snakes head. The arm is bent up at 90 degrees at the elbow then again at the wrist making it paralel with the lower arm. The hand will either have all 4 fingers pointing out and the thumb beneath, or will have the middle and index finger pointing out, while the others are coiled in, with the thumb pressed against the finger nails. The first position represents the head of a snake and the second the talons. Snake fist involves a lot of striking the eyes, groin and other sensitive areas. It also encompasses much coiling back and leaping forwards. To see it demonstrated with great mastery I recommend you rent out Jackie Chan’s ‘Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow.’

Ditang Quan (Ground Falling Boxing) – Ground falling boxing is a very hard style, involving high jumping, air tricks and then painful brake falls, it is a favorite of JC stunt man Brad Allen. I must admit, I fancy having a go!

Eagle Claw Kung Fu (Ying Zhao Quan) – Eagle claw can again be seen in SITES, it has lots to do with joint locks and the painful squeezing of muscles to generate max pain!

Cui Quan (Drunken Boxing) – Drunken boxing was recently made famous by the excellent film ‘Drunken Master’ it involves staggering like a drunk, and attacking from awkward positions, however, although it is extremely clumsy, it is also very graceful in parts, many aerials (No handed cartwheels) are performed and although the falling looks ridiculous, the brake falls are very hard to master. You can spot a Cui Quan expert by his inward curling wrists. Another famous Drunken Boxer is Shun Di from the excellent Virtua Fighter series.

Monkey Style Kung Fu – Monkey style Kung Fu is a fast martial art, characterised by quick little steps and light jumping. It also was founded by a yang, not however, the Tai Chi ‘invincible Yang but the same guy responsible for preying mantis Kung Fu. Monkey style also involves stick usage. One amazing feat pulled off in one set I saw involved a man actually perched on the top of his wooden staff like Yoshimitsu!

Mantis Fist – Mantis fist is also founded by Yang who founded Monkey Style. It is a very low stanced kun fu, famous for the one protruding finger on the hands of the participants.

Wing Chun – Wing Chun is a style of Kung Fu that is essentially the ‘bare bones’ of Kung Fu.

The list goes on! There are many, many more I have not mentioned: Bak Mei (White Eyebrow, known to be one of Jackie Chan’s favourites), Lion Fist, Xiangxiang Quan, Dragon Fist, Beiquan, Nanquan, Black Crane… Having been around for thousands of years it’s developed a range of variations, and each is deadly.

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