Chinese martial arts for mental health
Arrows faster than wind, blows stronger than lightning, and warriors faster than hawks shouldn’t be foreign to Chinese movie fans although the legend behind Chinese martial arts may be unfamiliar to them.
It is said that the history of Chinese martial arts dates back to the Xia Dynasty and that they were shaped and sharpened like a sword for over 4,000 years.
The Yellow Emperor, according to records, introduced martial arts techniques to China. We can observe different techniques in Chinese martial arts.
In melee, two fighters are involved in close range combat and refrain from using weapons, but sometimes the use of knives, sticks, and batons can be observed.
In hard and soft techniques, fighters are expected to repel attacks in armed and unarmed combat. Hard skills basically require great strength and can be used in attack, defense, and counterattack.
The key point of hard technique is to avoid attacks without receiving attacks and injuries from the opponent. In the counterattack, unlike the hard offensive technique, the fighter must break the attacks. Soft technique refers to the art of deflecting attacks to the detriment of the opponent.
Chinese martial arts can be classified according to martial arts families.
Among them, shaolin quan is the most important and oldest family of martial arts.
Thanks to the television series called “Kung-Fu”, the word Shaolin is not unknown to Sri Lankans. The Shaolin Temple is believed to have been erected in 495 AD under the leadership of Emperor Xiao Wen of the Northern Wei Dynasty. Bodhidharma Thera is said to have lived in the fifth century and is the founder of the Shaolin chan tradition in China. Bodhidharma Thera that temple bhikkus weaken because they are not involved in heavy tasks.
Thera developed martial arts techniques to help monks stay in shape. The exercises created by him are now considered the basis of Shaolin Kungfu.
Shaolin kungfu as crystal clear and as strong as rock is rooted in Chinese culture. It is a style of different styles of martial arts in China. This style of martial art was named Shaolin due to the influence of the Shaolin temple near the city of Zheng Zhou. It can be said that Shaolin techniques require great strength and rapid movements. Students have to go through a long training program to acquire the skill. We can find five major schools of shaolin kungfu: Song Mountain Shaolin, Fu Jian shaolin, Guangdong shaolin, Sichuan shaolin and Hu bei shaolin.
Shaolin weapons play a vital role in martial arts. It is obvious that no weapon, such as knives and blades, is allowed in Shaolin Kungfu, except the staff. Shao Huo stick, Qi Mei stick, Liu He stick, Yun Yang stick, Pai stick, Monkey stick and Da Mo stick are the main weapons of the Shaolin style.
The purpose of the Shaolin Staff is to increase strength, speed and power and to allow the fighter to defend himself while attacking the opponent.
This stick can be thrown at the opponent from a distance and is used for joint locks. Qi Mei Gun is a double-headed stick and must be grasped with one hand. The eyebrow stick used in Songshan Shaolin and Southern Shaolin styles is different from other sticks.
As for ancient Chinese weapons, it is not possible to skip the Stone Age and the Metal Age because during the Stone Age, the ancient Chinese made weapons from stones. In the Metal Age, the Chinese used bronze to make weapons. Powerful weapons can be seen in Chinese martial arts. Among the weapons, the most important are the sword (Dao), the longbow and the crossbow, the spear (Qiang), Emeici (it is like an arrow with sharp ends, but in the middle there is a small rotating ring so that the fighter can use the weapon comfortably), stag horn knife, wide knife, harpoon gun, club, battle ax, battle spade, halberd, spear, whip, dull turf, hammer, fork , dagger, shield and snake spear.
Related to martial arts influenced by Buddhism and Taoism, it is inevitable to focus on its psychological aspect. Buddhism emphasizes self-control, self-realization and self-awakening. Chinese martial arts allow fighters to think about their mind and body and can be divided by function and philosophy into traditional and non-traditional depending on the way of teaching.
Traditional teachers teach self-improvement while non-traditionalists teach self-defense. Spiritual development, discipline and physical fitness are the areas targeted by traditional teachers. Non-traditional teachers focus on the discipline of combat and spiritual development.
Tai chi was found to be based on a fight between a crane and a snake, is a style of martial arts that was developed in the 13th century.
The philosophy behind Tai Chi is closely related to the theory of Chinese medicine. Tai Chi can have a positive impact on health: reducing depression and anxiety, increasing physical strength, improving agility, increasing memory and reducing fatigue.
Currently, if a roadside bush is hit, hundreds of martial arts practitioners will jump according to local lingo.
But these practitioners must be aware of the main goal of martial arts which is none other than self-defense and the creation of a healthy and free society.