Videos of kungfu forms we learnt at Ren Gongfu School in Shandong, China
In this post we provided the videos and a short description of kungfu forms that we learnt from our Master Ren Qiang at Ren Family School China. The text was originally compiled from different sources for Ren Gongfu website and is reproduced here just to give a rough idea of the origin and essence of these forms; the videos are made by us (except for the last two). Those who are interested in kungfu the same way we are :-) can find more information about kungfu forms and training at Ren Gongfu website.
Master Ren Qiang performing Ren Family Long Two-Section Stuff (任氏长双节棍, Ren Shi Zhang Shuang Jie Gun):
This is a Ren family form in the sense that it was created several generations ago in the family of our Master and is passed over from generation to generation of Ren family boys. It's a derivative of Fanche Lulu Chui which belongs to the Shaolin Tanglang (Praying mantis) system. Its forms are well-organized in structure for attack and defense with strikes and defense movements that are plain and practical. The form is focused and built around the Lulu Fist and Mandarin Duck Feet of the traditional styles of Northern Chinese Gongfu. Fanche Lulu Chui is a highly sought after style by educated practitioners of the Chinese Martial Arts.
Master Ren Qiang performing Shaolin Taizu Long Fist (少林太祖长拳, Shaolin Taizu Chang Quan):
People in Henan (the province where the legendary Shaolin Temple is located) believe that Taizu Chang Quan was developed in the early Song Dynasty era, under the sponsorship of the first emperor Zhao Kuangyin. The Taizu Chang Quan style is characterized by powerful strikes and movements, structural alignment, postures flowing with coordinated steps, being very firm and stable both in standing and stepping and is effective in evading, grabbing, joint locking, and take-downs. Shaolin Taizu Chang Quan on Wikipedia
Master Ren Qiang performing Shaolin Plum Blossom Stuff (少林梅花棍, Shaolin Meihua Gun):
Meihua Quan synthesizes the ancient military tactics of China and it is the quintessence of both Shaolin and Taiji. Meihua Quan (Plum Blossom form)is the result of experiences during years and years of study, of transformations and successive experiments, and has become a typical Chinese martial art. Masters of Meihua Quan have a relaxed physical look and are free from rigidity in both thought and body postures. The practice of Meihua Quan can bring several benefits: good health, self-defense skills, enhanced prevention and recovery from illness, and improved mental ability. Traditionally, the staff used in Shaolin Plum Blossom Stuff form is made out of a material called wax wood, rather than bamboo as many people might think. Wax wood is strong, yet flexible, making it ideal as a material for the staff. The staff is fashioned with one thick end as the base and a thinner end near the tip, and is cut to be about the same height as the user. Shaolin Plum Blossom Stuff on Wikipedia
Master Ren Qiang performing Taiji Plum Blossom Praying Mantis (太极梅花螳螂拳摘要, Taiji Meihua Tanglang Quan Zhaiyao):
The mantis is a long and narrow predatory insect. While heavily armored, it is not built to withstand forces from perpendicular directions. Consequently, its fighting style involves the use of whip-like/circular motions to deflect direct attacks, which it follows up with precise attacks to the opponent's vital spots. These traits have been subsumed into the Northern Praying Mantis style, under the rubric of "removing something" (blocking to create a gap) and "adding something" (rapid attack). Taiji Plum Blossom Praying Mantis Boxing is, historically, a combination of two different lineages of Northern Praying Mantis: Taiji Mantis and Plum Blossom Mantis. Northern Praying Mantis is especially known for its speed and continuous attacks. Wrist/arm techniques in particular are emphasized, as well as knee and elbow strikes.
Master Ren Qiang performing Taiji Single Sword (太极剑, Taiji Jian):
Taiji Jian is a straight two-edged sword used in the training of the Chinese martial art Taijiquan. Also commonly known as a straight sword, it was primarily created for close fighting in closed packed environments such as small towns and cities where spears and pole-arms might prove inconvenient. Wikipedia link
Master Ren Qiang performing Taijiquan (陈式太极拳老架一路, Chen Shi Taiji Quan Laojia Yilu):
Taiji Boxing is the core of Chinese cultural heritage. It originates from Song Dynasty and has shaped its theory and fighting system through the continuous improvements by generations of masters, who based their modifications on combination of Qigong practice, breathing exercises and traditional Chinese medicine.
Taiji is characterized by a combination of firmness and flexibility, balancing of high and low speed, integration of movement and stillness, firmness and emptiness, flexible bending and stretching, performing movements without power but with full awareness. The fist movements in Taiji are continuous like spring silkworm spinning silk and like Chang Jiang River keeping a constant flow of water. Those who do not understand Taiji often think that given Taiji's slow performance and soft movements it's an exercise for old people. But in reality, in Taiji just like in any sports activity, to perfectly execute each movement, before using strength you must first relax the body: if you relax, you can perform a fast and powerful movement (this is why according to Taiji the movements must originate from a still and balanced mind).
This relaxing system and exercising method which is meant for both body and mind has many benefits:
- Improving the nervous system which in its turn improves the funtion of all bodily organs and stimulates the brain. Taiji helps its practitioners to develop wisdom of the heart, coordination and reaction ability.
- Increased heart-lung functions and vitality, improvement of circulation system. Different from other sports activities, Taiji movements start slowly, letting all body muscles to relax first in order to ensure that the heart gets sufficient blood supply without increasing the heart rate. Through slow, long and even breathing, the area around the lungs gets sufficient oxygen, intestines and stomach get exercise, thus improving the digestion and excretion function.
- Increased balancing ability and strengthening the skeleton: in Taiji some movements are specifically designed to help practitioners practise their balancing ability. During Taiji exercise, people often use one leg to support the whole body weight, in such a way developing stronger legs. Since it increases the amount of calcium in the bones, the skeleton will also become stronger.
- Artistic value and a great fitness exercise. Taiji requires its practitioners to perform all sorts of movements which makes practitioners train all the muscles of the body and therefore stay in good shape. Apart from that, Taiji - especially performed in a traditional uniform - is a very beautiful and elegant performance.
- However, health and strength are not the only Taiji benefits. Apart from being a great exercise, Taiji is also a set of very effective combat movements. Taiji attack and block movements combine both traditional and modern methods to provide the most optimized way to fight. Taiji uses quick kicking, striking, knocking, holding, pressing, stroking, squeezing, pushing, trampling, twisting, elbowing and leaning to defeat the opponent.
Master Ren Qiang performing forms and Sanda (散打) kicks:
Sanda is most easily described in English as chinese kickboxing. There are a few simple techniques of attack and defense that a practitioner develops over time. Sport Sanda competitions occur at the striking and clenching range. In competition strikes are limited to punches, kicks and takedowns. The action stops after a takedown occurs. Sanda as taught at the Ren school adds techniques that are excluded from the sport style of the art. These include elbow and knee strikes, advanced clenching techniques and more effective takedowns. Sanda has no rank or belts. The same techniques exist for beginners that do for experts. The only difference is the level of proficiency a student has achieved. Masters Ren Qiang and his brother Ren He have trained provincial Sanshou champions in both Henan and Shandong.