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Styles classification

Styles and schools

There are hundreds of various styles and schools related to wushu. On this reason, it is difficult to make classification that would include all the styles and traditions of wushu. Generally speaking, they may be classified in conformity with three main criteria:
1) power – there are external and internal styles;
2) religious and philosophical systems (Daosizm, Buddhism);
3) geographical origin (Northern, Southern, Northwest Regions, mountains Udan, E-mei, temple Shaolin, etc.).



Ways of force display

Ways of display of force

External and internal styles differ from each other mainly on ways the power displayed. Under power we mean not only muscular force but the special power connected to inner human energy. Pressure and might, hard strikes and widely peak movements prevail in external styles. Some styles imitate movements of real or mythical animals (like tiger, crane, dragon etc.). For internal styles the main thing is management over qi-energy flowing considered by ancient Taoists to be born in special energetic center - dantyan.

The master of internal style can instantly shift it in a required direction, using it for neutralization and control over opponent.
In this case an opponent’s power may be used against him/herself. Just a small master’s effort of 4 ounces overcomes the power of 1000 li, so they say in China.
Taiji, pigua and cinji are internal styles of wushu.
Energy management Laws correspond with general principles of transformations described in the Book of changes (Itszin), with interaction of Yin-Yan powers. Special internal rhythms of taolu (formal complexes) made wushu styles different. For wushu schools often named after their founders it was usual that knowledge was given from one to another using private methods of psycho-training, traditions and rituals.

All the time wushu was divided on hundreds and thousand styles, schools and branches. Even in ancient China rough development of martial arts lad to necessity of their classification. So, there was a classification of wushu with weaponry - 18 kinds of martial arts were defined as basic including hand-to-hand fight, work with spears, axes, swords and so forth. An attempt to classify wushu was made by Tszue Yuan in the beginning of XVI century. Together with two other wushu masters, Lee Izyan and Bai Yui-Fenem, he gathered miscellaneous techniques and methods coming from different schools. Their classification included five basic styles: tiger, crane, leopard, snake and dragon. Each of them assumed development of certain qualities in person. It was considered, that a tiger style make stronger human bones, a crane - sinews, a leopard - muscles, a snake style awake internal energy "Qi" and a dragon - "Shen" spirit. All-round preparation needed for studying all of the five styles. It emphasized the unity of “internal” and “external” wushu.

Majority of Chinese wushu schools nowadays, namely those who declare tradition fidelity, have "secret knowledge" and take “great” names, are false. Laypersons can hardly distinguish original wushu from its poor substitution. Though it’s enough to get involved in formal complexes taolu to understand whether it is true martial art or not. Only family schools went through time test, kept their best traditions and secrets of combat, the unique information about methods of "internal work" and self-control.

And such a school in China as well as in Russia welcomes all willing to join. It is the school of a well-known Chinese Master, Ma Menta.
A person interested in wushu quite often has a question, “What style, branch or school is better?” And the question is relevant taking into account an amount of so-called wushu schools. Any way, starting trainings make sure you are in the group with your age, health, physical abilities, gender, etc. "Soft" styles with their “internal work” are recommended for older people and women. And on the contrary, to young people, physically healthy and active it is better to be skilled powerful and rigid styles. On the other hand, ancient masters always emphasized, "there are no bad or good styles, strong and weak - there are bad and good students". All the true wushu schools, no less than good families, are similar to each other, so they say in China. And this is true. Despite different external demonstration and character of movements coming from different schools, masters could always find the core: cosmogonic laws, principles of "yin" - "yan" interconversion and control over Qi and Quin energy.



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