As its name suggests, the Emei School of Kung Fu originated from the Emei Mountain, a famous Buddhist Centre in Southwest China's Sichuan Province. It is sometimes listed alongside Shaolin and Wudang as one of the three major schools of Chinese Kung Fu. But it is different from the other two in style. Shaolin boxing, whose emergence and development have been related to Buddhism, is characterised by leaps and falls and other vigorous, sweeping movements; Wudang exercises, which are of Taoist origin, emphasise the use of gentle movements against forceful ones; while the Emei school, which is said to be younger that those of Shaolin and Wudang, has assimilated the strong points of the two. In terms of theory, the Emei School advocates the combination of movement and stillness, and of internal and external exercises. It lays stress on both fitness building and the acquisition of practical skills for combat. It requires its follower to cultivate good moral qualities and use his combat skills mainly for defence.

Here are the 7 categories of boxing styles belonging to the Emei School :


Fire Dragon Style (Picture 1)
Different stories are told about the origin of this kind of boxing. One story says that it was invented by a daughter of the late Emperor of the Ming Dynasty in collaboration with Gu Tinglin, a surviving adherent of the overthrown dynasty, while another says that it was evolved by an old Kung Fu master after observation of the fighting between two big monkeys in Emei Mountains.

A third story goes that during the Qing Dynasty an 80 year old elder of the Buddhist monastery in the Emei Mountains used this kind of boxing to fight a triumphant battle against suppressive Qing soldiers, following which its name spread far and wide.

A set of Fire Dragon Boxing consists of some 160 movements, mostly in the form of quick twists and turns of the waist and hips aided by nimble footwork. The exertion of force is based on qigong, by which one's vital energy is summoned up. In actual combat much attention is paid to taking advantage of an oncoming force exerted by the opponent. Index and middle fingers are used to attack vital points on the opponent's body so as to get the better of him. The beginner can harden his index and middle fingers by practising on a sandbag.

Dragon Style (Picture 2)
Dragon Boxing, imitating the movement of dragons, is totally different from Fire Dragon Boxing, which in fact has little to do with this fabulous creature. Devoid of the twists and turns characteristic of Fire Dragon exercise, Dragon Boxing movements are firm and steady as befits the majestic-looking figure of the legendary dragon, which is regarded by the Chinese as a symbol of national dignity.

"Sword" Boxing (Picture 3)
This type of boxing is so named because the performer does the whole set of exercise with the middle and index fingers of each hand pointing forward like a sword. He never jumps or somersaults, but frequently lunges forward to spring surprise attacks on the vital points of the opponent's body after making a lot of decoying moves. A whole set of routine contains 60 or 70 major movements and is completed at a stretch within less than two minutes.

Bazi Boxing (Picture 4)
Bazi was the name of a state existing 2,000 years ago in the eastern part of what is now Sichuan Province. Bazi Boxing has long enjoyed popularity among the Sichuan people. Its routine is short but vigorous, consisting of simple movement with clear-cut rhythm. Though its movement do not have very large amplitude, it can however be used effectively against opponents who show great swing in their actions. Leg movements generate attacking force, and arm action is accentuated by a turn of the waist. The exerciser assumes a natural posture, moving his hands and legs in perfect harmony. He breathes in such a way as to impart immeasurable strength to his movements.

Ziwu Boxing (Picture 5)
So named because Shendeng, an eminent monk in the Emei Mountains who invented it, usually practised it during zi (midnight) and wu (midday) hours. When using this kind of boxing in combat, attention is paid to attacking the centre line of the opponent's body and defending that of one's own. Emphasis is laid on the following points:
1) Dodge the opponent's attack and look for a chance to hit back;
2) When the opponent has got hold of you, press your shoulder against his body and try to get the better of him with a clever move;
3) Switch over to offensive by means of holds and infighting methods;
4) Apply the breathing method of exhaling when attacking and inhaling when retreating;
5) Give full play to your speed and skill.

Emei Plum Blossom Boxing (Picture 6)
There are many kinds of plum blossom boxing. The Emei type evolved by Sichuan's Zhao Beitao amalgamates the strong points of several varieties and acquires an easy flowing style of its own. The whole set comprises more than 100 movements which are distinctly of offensive and defensive nature, and is performed at a stretch of within 2 minutes. It is said that Zhou Beitao had spent a whole winter working under plum trees before he succeeded in creating this style of boxing. Hence the name Emei Plum Blossom Boxing.

Five-Tiger Boxing (Picture 7)
This kind of boxing is reminiscent of the fierceness of the tiger, the "King of animals". Based on five postures of a tiger now tearing down a mountain, now charging right and left, swivelling around and sitting down with head held upright, a set of Five-Tiger Boxing contains 60 major movements done with immense vigour and clear rhythm, and with perfect co-ordination between fists and legs. It can also be practised between 2 persons.

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