|47 Third Street||A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS|
|Cambridge, MA 02141||A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHINESE HEALING ARTS|
|(617) 497-4459||CLASSIFICATION OF STYLES|
There are several hundred systems or schools of Chinese martial arts. They may be classified by the three main regions of China. Styles coming from the Pearl River area are called Southern styles. Those coming form the Yangtze River area are called Middle styles. Techniques coming from the Yellow River area are called Northern Styles. Dr. Leung teaches mainly the Northern Styles.
Some practitioners classify the Martial Arts into two schools, External or Internal. In 1929, the Nanking Central Martial Arts College in China classified them into four kinds:
1. Shaolin, which included Northern and Southern Shaolin and other styles mostly specializing in kicking techniques.
2. Hsing-I, which was composed of the Five Elements, the Twelve Animal Forms, and several Linking forms. Hsing-I specializes in punching techniques.
3. Pa-Kua, which derived from the Eight trigrams of the Book of Changes (the I Ching). Pau Kua specializes in the use of the palm combined with evasive circular steps.
4. T'ai Chi, which is based on the theory of complementary opposites as set forward in the Yin and Yang. It specializes in the neutralization of an attack by turning of the waist.
Of these four categories, the first can be said to be External, and the rest Internal. All four were taught by the College to train more complete martial artists. Dr. Leung's teacher and father in law, Han Ch'in T'ang, was a graduate of the College.
The purpose of these exercises, as taught in the American Jiann Shyong Kung Fu Club, is to strengthen the body, for self-defense, bring about peace of mind and relaxation, help circulation, and balance the internal energy (Chi) to help the practitioner attain longevity.
For more information about classes and private instruction, call Dr. Leung at (617) 497-4459.