Five Ancestors Wuzuquan

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Five Ancestors has been attributed variously to Chua Giok Beng (pinyin: Cài Yùmíng) of Jinjiang near Quanzhou in Fujian in the second half of the 19th century or to Bái Yùfeng, a famous 13th century Shaolin monk of the original Henan Shaolin Temple in the North of China to whom Five Animals style and Hóngquán (洪拳) have also been attributed. The Cai (Chua) branch also calls themselves He Yang Pai (鹤阳派), a tribute to Cai’s teacher.

Five Ancestors Fist is a Southern Chinese martial art that consists of techniques from five different styles:

  • the hand techniques and the complementary softness and hardness of Fujian White Crane (白鶴拳)
  • the agility and footwork of Monkey (猴拳)
  • the precision and efficient movement of Emperor Taizu (太祖拳)
  • the posture and dynamic power of Luohan (羅漢拳)
  • the breathing methods and iron body of Da mo (達尊拳)

One of the primary characteristics of Five Ancestors is its reliance on the Sam Chian (literally “three battles”:三戦) stance and the corresponding hand form of the same name, which it obtained from Fujian White Crane. The “three battles” refer primarily to the three stages of Wuzu practitioners can achieve: combat preparation, combat tactic and combat strategy; all of which must be mastered in order to attained a good level. “Three Battles” has multi-faceted meaning: conceptual, physical, and spiritual.

Sam Chian can also be said to allow development of the eight Five Ancestor principles and so, is considered the most important form in the style. Indeed, it is said that this form contains all the principles of the Five Ancestors system.
Thus it is the first form taught to junior students, so that they may explore the essential points of Five Ancestors from the start of their training.

Although the exact method depends on the school, Five Ancestors is known for its large variety of power generational methods. Due to the distinct character of each ancestor, these methods change depending on the power required.

Some schools teach tension forms that develop power, of which there are about ten, and fist forms that train technique, of which there are dozens. Others stress a relaxed body, instead seeking maximum transmission of the relevant jin.

On top of this are miscellaneous hand forms, two-man forms (also known as form-drill) that may or may not include sticking hands, and forms for a comprehensive arsenal of weapons including rice bowl and chopsticks, umbrellas, even opium pipes.

Over the decades masters have added to this list introducing material they considered relevant to the time. Five Ancestors is now taught in China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, the United States, and Canada.