|Tai Chi Chuan|
Chinese Martial Arts are the most traditional martial arts in the world as they existed prior to the 12th century. Chinese Martial Arts include hundreds of different styles and it is undoubtedly the most versatile martial art in the world.
Some of martial arts fighting styles that are still practiced today are types of Kung Fu including Bagua, Drunken Boxing, Eagle Claw, Five Animals, Hsing I, Hung Gar, Lau Gar, Monkey, Praying Mantis, White Crane, Wing Chun and Tai Chi Chuan. Some styles are copied from the movements of animals; while others are inspired by Chinese philosophical thoughts, myths, and legends.
Chinese Martial Arts always emphasize a basic skill, such as strength training, staff sparring, fencing, and eight methods of Shaolin. All of these methods are very effective for becoming an expert in Chinese Martial Arts. According to some Chinese experts, the martial arts of China are the ancestors of all types of martial arts practiced in Japan, Korea and Tibet. Many different techniques have derived from the arts of China, which have ultimately been very influential on Martial Arts practiced across the globe.
Chinese Martial Arts can be classified into two major categories and these are External, or softy style and Internal, or hard style. Sometimes, Chinese Martial Arts are divided according to location including the Northern category and the Southern category. There are more classifications of martial arts based on religion, styles, and so on. Each category has some distinction in style and technique. These are some of the most fundamental reasons that masters begin to create different forms of martial arts.
Apart from general classification, modern contests are divided in to six categories. They include empty-handed forms, weapon forms, choreographed forms, group practice, sparring competition, and power demonstration. Four general steps can describe all the various techniques of these arts. These are kicking, throwing, striking and controlling. Different techniques can be performed at different levels in Chinese Martial Arts. For instance, a beginner will not be given the same instructions as a veteran practitioner.
In a competition, all of these basic steps must be demonstrated by the competitor to earn full points. Eight qualities of a performer are attentively judged in a Chinese Martial Arts contest. These qualities are hands, eyes, body technique, steps, strength, spirit, breath, and ability. While these are not judged in Olympic martial arts competitions, they are judged in most tournaments.
Chinese Martial Arts have produced many eminent martial art practitioners. All of them have had important contributions to the martial art that is now popular throughout the world. Some of them are NG Mui, Wong Fei hung, Huo Yuanjia, and Ten tigers, all of whom have had a strong influence in the culture and society of China.
Chinese Martial Arts has influenced other parts of world as well. In the United States, the fighting systems from China have been very popular since the 1960's and their popularity continues to increase. Several Television shows have aired based on Chinese Martial Arts. There isn't a country in the world where a Chinese Martial Arts training center does not exist.