At some point in our lives, many of us will be interested in learning some form of self-defense. Perhaps, you’ll become interested in learning one specific type of ancient Chinese defense arts or perhaps something more popular use such as Japanese karate or the Korean tae kwon do. Whatever discipline you choose, it is always important to know its background and use.
Chinese defense arts are not all the same since there may be forms that are more practical and more advanced in certain ways.
The tai chi chuan is one of the more popular forms of martial arts. It basically is known as some type of soft art that emphasizes more on control, healing, and health than being an empty-hand form of combat. The reason for this is that tai chi chuan is a defense art that depends on harmony. In the Song Dynasty, it was refined and enhanced over the last millennium to attain efficient soul and body alignment. Another form is known as the kung fu Shaolin Long Fist. This form is, what to many Americans, became the epitome of ancient Chinese martial arts to this day. Shaolin Long Fist kung fu makes use of the entire body with movements that involve a number of open palm techniques, knee attack, elbow strike, jumps, spins, punches, low kicks, and high kicks. This form can be an ideal workout and self-defense, all in one.
There’s also an ancient form of Chinese martial art known as Wing Chun. Compared to the other self defense forms of Chinese martial art, Wing Chun is much younger but has become a very popular Chinese martial art form all over the world. Basically, Wing Chun emphasizes more on practical self-defense methods. This form involves very rapid counter attacks and strikes while sticking to the principle that less is more. Women are usually more into this style since it doesn’t rely on raw brute strength/force.
Ancient Chinese martial arts can indeed be a bit confusing. People wanting to learn one or more of these defense arts may be at a loss when selecting an exact form to master. Narrowing down the many different forms based on your needs and preferences is the key here in choosing the form that’s best for you. For example, if you want to begin learning martial art for the purpose of self-preservation, then forms such as Tsing-Yi and Wing Chun will be good for you. Most importantly, before investing in a class, be sure that you’ve selected an experienced, qualified and skillful teacher (sifu).
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