Bodhi dharma (Father of Kung Fu) : He Was South Indian prince from the kingdom of Kanchipuram, the third son of King Sugandha. Bodhi dharma left the kingdom after becoming a Buddhist monk, he was travel from kinchipuram (India) to China and start 18 lohan hand exercises and some part of yoga.
Kung Fu (Martial Art) is born in India and developed in China and now it is a unique Chinese culture in heritance. Kung Fu is the technique and expression of Martial Arts. This wealth of experience has been accumulated over thousands of years out of war and human conflict. The ancient Chinese studied, experimented, invented and improved many skills. Many schools of Martial Arts have thus been founded, each characterized by its own style and pattern, all are effective and powerful. Kung Fu is receiving growing attention in the West .
The discipline of Martial Arts called the Art of Fisticuffs' (Chuan Shu), It is the art of 'open-hand' fighting, employing a series of moments of attracts and parries, counter-attacks and blocks, without the use of weapons. It is not like boxing in the West. In this discipline, there are two main schools, the SHAOLIN and the TAI CHI. Shoaling is the name of the monastery in the province of Henan, where a famous Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma developed the first 18 Lohan exercises for strengthening the physical constitution of the body. This happened in the 5th-6th century AD. Since then, these 18 toughening exercises were further developed and perfected by the monks who also taught them to Buddhist believers. Kung Fu was born in India and grew in China.
At a time which was marked by nomadic, warring tribes it became essential for defense against attack and was further refined into a system with a military bias- Martial Arts. Although Buddhism had been known in China since the first century AD it was not until the 6th century AD that it began to grow in influence and rival the existing philosophical and religious doctrine Taoism. The principles of Buddhism are the relief of suffering and kindness to all living things. It was natural therefore that the Buddhists should be interesting in health and increase the number of their follower, they made great use of medicine they translated many Indian medical works and brought Indian cultural values to China. Thus, in the practice of respiratory exercises, there are yogic elements. These exercises can purify the heart and calm the spirit. Therefore, medicine and Kung Fu had become twins, born of the same mother. No wonder Kung Fu is reinforced by its therapeutic value. In the 12the century AD, General Yo Fei of the Sung dynasty together with the monk Chiao Yuan built up a system of 173 series of movements.
About Kung Fu System
There are four major systems of internal Kung fu. These are Hsing ye, or 'mind boxing' pa qua or 'eight trigrams' and tai chi chuan, meaning 'great ultimate fist', Wing chun kuen.
Hsing Ye : This is regarded as the least sophisticated of the three and its movements appear similar to those used in the hard schools, although there is no spasm action of the muscles during the generation of impact power.
Pa Qua : This is said to have based its practice on the Chinese method of divination known as the I Ching, which tries to discern recognized patterns — or trigrams — created by dried yarrow stalk which have been cast on mat.
Tai Chi Chuan : This is considered the most sophisticated of the three, through the way it is normally practiced would not give this impression. When practiced at speed, tai chi chuanis an effective fighting system. Tai chi chuan training takes the form of slow, rhythmic movements combined together into training forms. The exercise of these movements is claimed to help generate and direct chi. Pair-form practice takes the form of 'pushing hands', where the partners try to sense each other’s flow of chi. Less charitable critics have suggested that tai chi chuan is an old person’s art, to be to be practiced when body has lost his strength with age, and it does indeed allow the older martial artist to continue training. His great skill, earned over years of practice, will enable him to use many short cuts of technique perhaps not available to younger participants.
Wing Chun Kuen : The southern system is one of the most popular styles of Kung fu practiced today. It is named after young women who learned it from a Buddhist nun named Ng Mui. As young might expect, if this tradition is true, wing chun kuen does not use great force in the execution of its techniques. Though some exponents do seem to use a lot of power, traditionally the style is soft one. It is also noted for the short distance that its punches and strikes travel. Wing chun kuen is close-range system of unarmed self-defence. It has one of the smallest and it syllabuses of any martial art system and it is probably one of the most scientific, It would be wrong to give the impression that the martial arts were either entirely hard, or soft; each contains elements of the other to a greater or lesser extent.
The Five Animal
Many systems of Chinese martial art are founded on the movements of five animals, the tiger, leopard, dragon, snake and crane. Animals feature prominently in Chinese martial art and in the Han dynasty (AD 25-220), the physician Hua To developed a series of fitness exercise based on the movement of the deer, tiger, bear, monkey and bird. The system's don't simply copy the action of these particular animals but rather look for correspondences, taking the essence of each animal’s nature as a model.
The Tiger : This is perhaps the best known of all the Five Animal Systems. It embodies external strength and agility, using as its principal weapons palm-heel strikes and claw-hand delivered with a short downwards arc. Each movement is paralleled with an opposite movement of your unused arms, thus ensuring a balanced delivery. Evasive movements keep your body close to your opponent while deflecting his attacks. Blocks make use of the palm-heel, or the fore-arms. Favoured target for attacks are the face and neck, the inner part of the upper arm, rips, groin and stomach. The opponent is caught in a steely grip that digs claw-like into his arms; then the vital points are attacked, paralyzing large areas of his body. To develop the fierce grip needed, a small canvas bag containing lead shot is thrown in to the air and snatched with a downwards grasp or upwards plucking movement.
The Dragon : The Dragon stylist uses a powerful and direct advance straight in to the opponent. His hands reach out like grabs, seizing the opponent in a powerful grip, Dragon training exercises work the movement of wrist and lower fore-arms—the elbow joint is not used. A jar filled with sand or lead shot until it weighs about 1 kilo is rotated from side to side into the fingers. This produces a fearsome grip and great strength in the fore-arms.
The Leopard : Leopard lies mid-way between the Dragon and Tiger, advancing like a Dragon but striking like the Tiger with palm-heel or a characteristic one-knuckle punch. Open hand strikes are quite common and the stiffened fingers are used either to attack vital points or to seize limbs. Some strikes are circular, curling around the opponent’s blocking arm to hit the target
The Crane : This is far more open style, relying on large movements, as often circular as direct. Attacks are characteristically made with the pursed fingers and blocks use the back of the wrist or an open handed slap. The Crane stylist is agile, preferring to give ground tactically rather than stand toe to toe. Opening advances are fast but not carried all the way through.
The Snake : The snake relies on internal power and therefore appears less forceful than the other style. The fingertips are the snake's main weapons and are hardened by repeatedly driving them into sand. Targets for strikes are the temples, eyes, throat, armpit, solar plexus and groin. Both arms move in synchrony such that they entrap the opponent's strikes and kicks. There is no direct meeting of force; rather the opponent's attack is re-directed and the surplus energy is used against him.
The tiger is best known of all animals styles, Its Techniques rely on external power.
The Dragon moves straight in to the opponent, Hand use like tear the grabs.
The leopard lies mid-way between the Dragon and Tiger.
The crane uses light expansive and agile movements to evade the opponent’s attack.
Snake appears to used less muscular power then other animal styles, The opponents force is re directed and used against him. .