Description of Changquan


Changquan, which literally means "Long Fist" is an umbrella term used to refer to a certain family of external martial arts from Northern China. It is said to have been developed by the Song Dynasty's founding Emperor, Zhao Kuangyin. It was initially called "Taizu Changquan" meaning "Long Fist Style of Emperor Taizu".

True to its name, Changquan style is considered a long-range fighting system in the sense that its forms make heavy use of fully extended kicks as well as striking techniques. The movements are large, extended and circular, aiming for the improvement of the mobility of the muscles, tendons and joints in all necessary parts of the body. Techniques also include joint-locks from Qin Na as well as throws and takedowns from Shuai Jiao Whether the use of techniques with a larger ranger or reach is about offense or defense depends upon the school. Some schools believe that "the best defense is a strong offense". If you get to attack and hit the opponent first, do it so aggresively that he or she will not have any opportunity to strike back. In other schools, they believe that this style is more of defensive than offensive. The idea is that all techniques in Long Fist forms are counterattacks, an effective way to use the opponents power against him/her.

Another particular distinguishable feature of Long Fist style is its impressive acrobatic kicks as well as movements that involve whirling, running and leaping. It requires good balance of hand and foot techniques as well as great flexibility and athleticism nearly on par with gymnastics. These traits make Long Fist style moves quite difficult to perform.

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