Northern vs Southern Kung Fu

The Chinese often claim that Northern martial arts are "long" while Southern ones are "short" - a stereotype that isn't entirely unjustified. Many Northern styles do feature deep stances, lunging punches, and high kicks. Southern arts often favor narrow stances, close-in punches, and low-line kicks. Explanations offered for this include the greater height of Northerners and the cramped quarters aboard Southern houseboats.

Weapons constitute another division. Northern stylists frequently encountered military and aristocratic arms - spears, polearms, and swords - thanks to their proximity to the capital (Beijing) and the Mongolian border. Southern fighters, generally commoners, favored everyday tools: staff, knife, cleaver ("butterfly sword"), etc.

As with most style splits, adaptations to specific needs and cross-pollination between styles make the divisions more traditional than actual. Nevertheless, "North vs. South" might generate the dramatic tension that drives a cinematic or mythic campaign!

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Martial Arts An Introduction

Martial Arts An Introduction

Anytime an individual decides to learn how to protect themselves, learn self defense, or become a better person, one thing comes to mind - Martial Arts. Martial Arts are now being practiced all over the world.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment