What Are Main Characteristics of Chang Quan

Chang Quan, Called Long-style Chuan, is a general term for external Northern Wushu. It is one of the types of Wushu kung fu.

According to historical records, by the latter half of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) classifications of fist fights and Chuan schools and styles had appeared. This classification became more detailed in the Qing Dynasty. Ming Dynasty general, Qi Jiguang, and Wushu master Cheng Chongdou both pointed out the difference between the long-style Chuan and the short-range fighting. They cate-gorized the 32 stances practised by the first Song Dynasty Emperor Taizu (also known as Zhao Taizu Chang Quan) as the long-style Chuan and the Mianzhang Chuan as the short one. The modern long range fist-fighting has programmed into its routine the strong points of the Cha-family, flower, cannon and red Chuan skills. The basics in the different forms of hands, hand techniques, footwork, step forms, ways of manoeuvring, stances of the body, movements of the eyes and legs, balancing, jumping and leaping are standardized and choreographed in accordance with the direction of movement of the long-style Chuan. The jumps, leaps, rises and falls are programmed into different training routines with different degrees of difficulty, such as the long-style Chuan for beginners and long-style Chuan for youths.

The main characteristics of the long-style Chuan are expansiveness and gracefulness in posture and agility and speed in movement. Long-style boxers fight to the extreme of their arms’ length. They move fast, jump high and far and combine hardness and softness, fast ( and slow moves, motions and stillness. Their movements are clearly rhythmical. Their generation of energy is powerful and the origin and outlet of the energy are clear. The bones and ligaments of the long-style boxers are compatible with their movements and actions (see picture).

Chang Quan is more suitable to youngsters who can enhance strength, speed, agility, elasticity and endurance through exercise and practice. It helps develop the physique and teach the techniques and skills in offence and defence.

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