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Kung Fu Styles

Written by Sierra Rein
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Due to the evolution of the Chinese Chuan, or kung fu, it is almost impossible to describe all the schools of kung fu styles available to the martial arts student. Over the centuries, families of schools developed their own versions of forms, kicks, poses, philosophies, and regiments that made their method of kung fu unique to their own. The following are some of the most dominant kung fu styles, as an introduction.

Perhaps the most well-known of kung fu styles is that of the Northern Shaolin Kung Fu (properly named Shaolin Chuan). Founded by Da Mo (Bodhidharma) in 512 A.D, it is one of 400 styles of Chinese boxing. However, unlike Western boxing, Shaolin Chuan utilizes flowing, balanced movements through both hand and foot to strengthen the body and out-move the opponent.

Other Popular Kung Fu Styles

Tai Chi Chuan is said to have been founded by Chang Sen-Feng between 1279 and 1368 A.D. He based the movements of this kung fu style after watching a snake and crane fight, with neither one winning. Based on these slow, gentle movements, it is popular among people of many age to exercise the mind, body, & spirit.

A third popular form out of many kung fu styles is that of Pa Kua Chuan, or Eight Trigram Fists. This internal style of martial arts was founded by Tung Hai-Ch'uan and dates back to the 1700's. It is known for its rapidly changing circular and flowing movements in addition to its many health, self-defense, and meditative qualities. If you need more information regarding kung fu styles, you may want to look at the other pages here at the Martial Arts Supplies Zone!

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