Top 13 Kung Fu Hometowns in China
top places to learn Chinese kungfu in China.
Chinese Kung Fu, also named martial arts, enjoys a long history and is famous all over the world. Selected as one of Top 10 Things to Do in China, it’s deeply loved by Chinese people and has gained more and more attention from many other countries and areas in the world. Chinese Kung Fu aims in self-defense, health promotion, body building and competition, integrating elegance, philosophy and strength. Nowadays, an increasing number of foreign people start to know about Chinese culture via Chinese Kung Fu which contains profound Chinese cultural connotation. The followings are some famed Chinese Kung Fu hometowns in China, boasting unique and flourishing Chinese Kung Fu.
No. 1 Cangzhou
According to historical data, Kung Fu of Cangzhou (沧州) in Southeast Hebei Province originated from the Ming Dynasty, became prosperous in the Qing Dynasty and became famous at home and abroad in late Qing Dynasty. In Cangzhou, kung fu is a popular sport favored by local people. In ancient times, Cangzhou used to be the strategically important area. Thus, local people at that time practiced Kung Fu to survive in frequent wars. Year in and year out, the custom of practicing Kung Fu has been handed down through the generations. Nowadays, Cangzhou is home to fifty-three Kung Fu schools, accounting for 40% of the total in the whole country. What’s more, there have been a large number of Kung Fu masters in Cangzhou, such as Zhang Zhijiang, Ding Faxiang and Huo Diange.
No. 2 Tianjin
Nanhe Town, located in Xiqing District of Tianjin (天津), is the hometown of China’s famous patriotic Kung Fu master and the founder of Chinwoo Association Huo Yuanjia. Chinwoo Association is the first sports Non-Governmental Organization in Chinese modern history. Since January 2009, Nanhe Town has been renamed as Jingwu Town in memory of Huo Yuanjia. Huo Yuanjia was born in a martial arts family of Nanhe Town. He organized Chinese Chinwoo Association, spreading Chinese Kung Fu and enlightening Chinese to resist foreign aggression. At present, there have been over 70 branch Chinwoo Associations in all over the world, with hundreds of thousands of members. Every year, thousands of visitors at home and abroad come to Jingwu Town to pay a formal visit and look with reverence.
Recent years, Jingwu Town opened Former Residence of Huo Yuanjia to the public, built Huo Yuanjia memorial park and established Huo Yuanjia civil and military school. In the past 10 years, there are more than 200 students in Huo Yuanjia civil and military school, and they have won over 1,000 Kung Fu champions. Huo Yuanjia civil and military school is celebrated as the cradle of champions.
No. 3 Songshan
Songshan (嵩山) is located in the west of Henan Province, where the famous Shaolin Temple is located. Each year, tourists from home and abroad go to visit the legendary birthplace of one of the world’s most famed martial arts movements, located in a small village nestled in Songshan of Henan Province. It takes about one hour from Zhengzhou or Luoyang to the village. Shaolin Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China. Every year, a number of people flock there fro pray and pay their respects. The village at Shaolin is fully caught up in Kung Fu, stopping in the village around the temple affords tourists an opportunity to see youngsters training at various schools nearby. Children of all ages can be seen spinning in mid-air, high-kicking, lunging with spears and sparring all around, with the sounds of hundreds of young voices barking in unison. Entry to the temple grounds includes access to all attractions within for 40 yuan per person.
No. 4 Mount Wudang
Danjiangkou, which is located in the northwest of Hubei Province, ranks as the cradle of the broad and profound Wudang Kung Fu. Mount Wudang is a famed Taoist site in China. Wudang Kung Fu (武当功夫), dates back to the late of the Ming Dynasty, enjoying a long history. Based on legend, Wu Dang Kung Fu was established by s Taoist named Zhang Sanfeng who lived during the late Yuan (1279-1368) and early Ming dynasties (1368-1644). He integrated traditional Shaolin martial arts with the quintessence of Chinese classics.
Wudang Kung Fu was listed in the national cultural heritage list in May, 2006. Wudang Kung Fu, also known as Wudang martial arts, mainly includes Tai Chi, Xingyiquan and Eight Trigram Palm, contributing to health promotion and body building. After years of accumulation, innovation and development, Wudang Kung Fu has formed its unique genre, spreading abroad at present. In increasing number of people would like to play Wudang Kung Fu in order to keep away from illness and prolong their lives. A number of research institutions on Wudang Kung Fu have been established.
Foshan City (佛山), located in the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong Province, is home to China’s Southern-style Kung Fu, playing an important role in the history of Chinese martial arts. In Foshan, there are various kinds of Kung Fu schools, some of which are famous at home and abroad, such as the Hung Gar system, a major figure of Southern Shaolin Kung Fu, which was founded by Hung Hei-gun and Wing Chun founded by Yim Wing-chun.
Fosahn is home to a number of well-known Kung Fu stars, such as Bruce Lee, the founder of the Jeet Kune Do system and a Kung Fu star famous both at home and abroad , Wong Feihung, the founder of Hung Gar and a national hero and Leung Jan who is the founder of Wing Chun Kung Fu.
Foshan once boasted the largest Kung Fu center in China, namely Hongsheng Martial Arts Center built by Kung Fu master Zhangyan in the year 1851, and it devotes itself to carry forward an effective system named Choy Li Fut for self-defense. Choy Li Fut was established in the year 1836.
No. 6 Jiaozuo
Jiaozuo (焦作), located in the northwest of Henan Province, is the cradle of Tai Chi boxing. In Jiaozuo City, there are 800,000 local people practice Tai Chi. At present, Jiaozuo has established more than 50 Tai Chi schools and over 200 Tai Chi associations of basic level. Wen County of Jiaozuo City, which is home to Tai Chi, boasts 100,000 people practicing Tai Chi. Now, Tai Chi spreads to over 150 countries and areas, and 150 million people practiced Tai Chi in the world. There are Tai Chi organizations in over 80 countries and areas at present.
The most famed Tai Chi is from Chenjiagou Village where the professional martial artist Chen Wangting (1580–1660) developed Tai Chi by integrating the highlights of martial art sects with a variety of elements of Chinese philosophies. The following Tai Chi sects including Wu, Sun, Yang and Woo ere originated from Chen Tai Chi. At present, there are over 150,000,000 Tai Chi practitioners in over one hundred and fifty countries and areas, and Chenjiagou Village is ranked as the cradle of Tai Chi masters and paradise for Tai Chi lovers.
No. 7 Bozhou
Bozhou (亳州), located in the northwest of Anhui Province, boasts prosperous Kung Fu and martial arts, including Liuhebafa Chuan, Wuqinxi which is also named Five Animal Frolics and Xiyang Fist-fighting of Muslim style. Wuqinxi, established by the well-known Chinese physician of the Eastern Han Dynasty Hua Tuo, boasts a long history of ober 1,800 years. Inspired by the habits, characteristics and movements of some varieties of animals such as bears, deer and monkeys, Hua Tuo created the system. Nowadays, Wuqinxi ranks as a famous Kung Fu exercise for health promotion and body building. At present, over 100,000 people in Bozhou practice Wuqinxi. Liuhebafa Chuan (Six Harmonies Eight Methods Boxing), which can date back to over 1,000 years ago, was established in Bozhou by Chen Chuan who was the legendary Taoist sage. In Bozhou, large numbers of outstanding people practicing martial arts come forward.
No. 8 Mount Emei
Mount Emei (峨眉山), one of the four famous Buddhist Mountains in China, is home to the prosperous Emei Kung Fu which is one of the three major martial arts together with Wudang Kung Fu and Shaolin Kung Fu. Mount Emei is located in Emei City in the southwest of China’s Sichuan Province. Emei Kung Fu can date back to the late Warring States Period (476-221 BC), and it becomes a unique prosperous Kung Fu section nowadays after years of development on the basis of other forms of Kung Fu. Emei Kung Fu has over 1,600 ways for training.
No. 9 Quanzhou
Quanzhou, located in southeastern Fujian Province of China, is home to Southern Shaolin Kung Fu, which dates back to the Jin Dynasty and Tang Dynasty and becomes prosperous in the Song Dynasty. Shaolin Kung Fu is composed of two parts, namely the Southern Shaolin and the Northern Shaolin Kung Fu. Southern Shaolin martial art is composed of Wuzu Quan (Five Ancestors Boxing), Tai Tzu Boxing and Wing Chun Boxing. Quanzhou is also home to great persons, such as Zheng Chenggong, the hero of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. Since the Ming and Qing dynasties, Quanzhou Southern Shaolin has spread to Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
No. 10 Yongnian County
Yongnian County (永年), located in Handan City of China’s southern Hebei Province, is the birthplace of Tai Chi Boxing. It’s home to Yang Tai Chi, Wu Tai Chi, Wu Tai Chi and Sun Tai Chi, boasting the well-known Tai Chi masters including Yang Luchan, Hao Weizhen, Wu Yuxiang, Li Yishe and Yang Banhou. At present, about 70% of the total population are Tai Chi practitioners in Yongnian. Tai Chi boxing has become a popular exercise for health promotion and body building in Yongnian.
In Yongnian County, the most famous area for Tai Chi pilgrimage is Guangfu Ancient Town that is ranked as the cradle of Wu and Yang Tai Chi schools. Out of those Tai Chi sects, the most well-known and influential Tai Chi is Yang Tai Chi established by Yang Luchan in Daoguang Emperor (1820-1850) in the Qing Dynasty.
Nowadays, Yongnian ranks as the national and even the world’s Yang and Wu Tai Chi boxing center, where Tai Chi boxing unfolds on a magnificent scale. In Yongnian, visitors will fully laden with riches no matter they are touring Yongnian Tai Chi ancient city, paying a formal visit to former residences of Tai Chi masters or enjoying the performances of Tai Chi masters and making communications with them.
Since the year 1991, supported by governments of different levels and martial art associations, Yongnian usually holds international-level Tai Chi exchange assembly every two years, when tens of thousands of visitors will flock to Yongnian to view, emulate, enter the competition and exchange Tai Chi skills. From the grand assembly, a number of Tai Chi elites are selected. After years of development, Yongnian has become the center for exchanging Tai Chi, researching and holding Tai Chi activities. In 1998, hosted by the National Association for Sport, in the great performance of Ten Thousand People Tai Chi in Tiananmen Square, Yongnian Tai Chi representative team was the only Tai Chi team from other areas instead of Beijing.
No. 11 Huaiyang County
Located in Zhoukou City in the east of Henan Province, Huaiyang County (淮阳) was included in the list of home to martial arts, boasting profound Kung Fu culture. In Huaiyang, there are not only professional Kung Fu training bases, but also famed Kung Fu groups and martial art masters. At present, Huaiyang is home to over 20 martial art sects, and over 300,000 people practice Tai Chi in Huaiyang. Out of those Tai Chi sects, Fu Xi bagua ranks as one of the rarest and most precious boxing styles in China.
No.12 Mount Hua
Mount Hua (华山) is located 120 kilometers east of Xi’an City of Shaanxi Province, whose Kung Fu can date back to the Qin and Han dynasties. Long time ago, there were a number of legends about knight-errants spreading near Mount Hua. Nowadays, after years of promotion, Huashan Kung Fu has become an eminent martial art sect out of those martial arts. Among those, its swordsmanship becomes the most prosperous. Thus, Huashan Kung Fu is also known as Huashan swordsmanship.
No. 13 Dengfeng
Dengfeng (登封) is located in the Midwest of Henan Province, boasting over sixty Kung Fu associations and schools where there are more than 60,000 students from home and abroad. The local people in Dengfeng work much enthusiasm on Kung Fu, no matter in the park practicing or by the roadside. Dengfeng City has attracted an increasing number of people of various ages that are interested in Chinese Kung Fu.
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