Chángquán (Long Fist)

Chángquán (simplified Chinese: 长拳; traditional Chinese: 長拳; pinyin: Chángqúan; literally "Long Fist") is a general term for external (as opposed to internal) Northern Wushu. It is one of the types of Wushu kung fu.

A man doing cekongfan (侧空翻; "side somersault"), a common move in Changquan.

The forms within the Long Fist style emphasize fully extended kicks and striking techniques, and by its appearance would be considered a long range fighting system. In some Long Fist styles the motto is that "the best defense is a strong offense," in which case the practitioner launches a pre-emptive attack so aggressive that the opponent doesn't have the opportunity to attack. Long Fist uses large, extended, circular movements to improve overall body mobility in the muscles, tendons, and joints. After advanced study, a Long Fist practitioner will find that its forms contain Qin Na joint-locking techniques, as well as Shuai Jiao throws and takedowns.

The Long Fist style is considered to contain a good balance of hand and foot techniques, but in particular it is renowned for its impressive acrobatic kicks. Of contemporary wǔshù events, Long Fist techniques are most popular and memorable with its whirling, running, leaping, and acrobatics. Chanquan moves are difficult to perform, requiring great flexibility and athleticism comparable to gymnasts.

Long Fist’s arsenal of kicks covers everything from a basic front toe-kick to a jumping back-kick, from a low sweep to a tornado-kick. Specifically, typical moves in modern Changquan include: xuanfengjiao (旋风脚; "whirlwind kick"), xuanzi (旋子; "butterfly jump"), cekongfan (侧空翻; "side somersault"), and tengkongfeijiao (腾空飞脚; "flying jump kick").

History of Long Fist

The core of Changquan / Long Fist was developed in the 10th century by Zhao Kuangyin, founding Emperor of the Song Dynasty (960–1279). His style was called Tàizǔ Chángquán, which means "the Long Fist style of Emperor Taizu." In semi-legendary "classic" writings transmitted by Tàijíquán's Yang family, their martial art is referred to by the name Chángquán in one of the received texts. These texts can only be reliably dated to the second half of the 19th century. The Long fist of contemporary wǔshù draws on Chāquán, "flower fist" Huáquán, Pào Chuí, and "red fist" (Hóngquán).

Subtypes of Long Fist

  • Pào Chuí (Chinese: 炮捶; literally "cannon punch") pre-Tang Dynasty;
  • Chāquán (Chinese: 查拳; Cha Yuanyi style) Tang Dynasty (618–907);
  • Tàizǔ Chángquán (Chinese: 太祖長拳; "Emperor Taizu long fist") Song Dynasty (960–1279);
  • Fānziquán (Chinese: 翻子拳; "tumbling fist") Song Dynasty (960–1279);
  • Hóngquán (Chinese: 紅拳; "red fist") Song Dynasty (960–1279); and
  • Huáquán (Chinese: 華拳; "China fist") Tang Dynasty (618–907).

A sample Long Fist curriculum

North Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu Includes:

  1. Bare Hand Forms
  2. Weapons
  3. Chin na Dui Da (Joint Locking skills & sets)
  4. Two Man Fighting Routines
  5. Self Defense Applications
  6. Iron Palm Training (Internal)

Hand forms

  1. Lian Bu Quan - Consecutive Linking Step Fist
  2. Gong Li Quan or Power Fist Form
  3. Tan Tui or Springing Legs
  4. Yi Lu Mai Fu or First Form of Ambush
  5. Er Lu Mai Fu or Second form of Ambush
  6. 20 Methods Fighting Form or Er Shi Er Fa Chuan
  7. Duan Da Quan - Fighting In Close Quarters Boxing/Short Hit Boxing
  8. Hua Quan - First Set Of China Fist Yi Lu Xi Yue
  9. Hua Quan 2 - Second Set Of China Fist Er Lu Xi Yue
  10. Hua Quan 3 - Third Set Of China Fist San Lu Xi Yue
  11. Hua Quan 4 - Fourth Set Of China Fist Si Lu Xi Yue
  12. Hua Quan 2 2 Man - Second Set Of China Fist Two Man Fighting Set Er Lu Xi Yue
  13. Hua Quan 4 2 Man - Fourth Set Of China Fist Two Man Fighting Set Si Lu Xi Yue

Hand forms explained

  • Lian Bu Quan - Consecutive Linking Step Fist: the most basic Shaolin Long form containing over 70 applications.
  • Gong Li Quan or Power Fist Form: the second basic form using dynamic tension at the end of each technique which develops muscles and tendons. Contains over 70 applications.
  • Tan Tui or Springing Legs: contains spring-like kicks.

Stances used in the Long Fist system

  1. High Tiger
  2. Low Tiger
  3. Rooster
  4. High Lotus
  5. Low Lotus
  6. Bow and Arrow
  7. Horse Stance
  8. Empty - similar to the Cat Stance
  9. Tai chi - similar to Empty, but with toes up and heel on the ground
  10. Half Horse Stance (Lead foot turned forward)

Weapons training

  1. Long Staff
  2. Broadsword (Dao)
  3. Double Edge Sword
  4. Spear
  5. Chain/Nine Section Whip
  6. Dragon Phoenix Sword
  7. Umbrella
  8. Straight Sword (Jian)
  9. Double Sword
  10. Double Broadsword
  11. Pudao
  12. Meteor Hammer

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