Introduction to Wutang Shan Nei Jia Chuan

Some movements from the 12th Wutang Shan Chuan Form

About 700 years ago, on Wutang (Wudang) mountain, Chang San Fen created a martial art system for fighting that contained special chi kung exercises which would increase ones chi and invigorate its circulation around the body to improve health. It was called Wutang Shan Nei Jia Chuan – Wutang Mountain Internal School of martial art. This is often shortened to Wutang Shan Chuan – Wutang Mountain Fist.

A much more detailed explanation of Wutang Shan Chuan is contained within The Training Manual of The College of Chinese Martial Arts

The forms were also a type of moving meditation which had a spiritually transforming effect upon the people who practised them. The movements of this system where incorporated into many other martial arts styles and eventually those other styles merged with each other and became what we today call Tai Chi Chuan.

The Lang Mei (Plumb Blossom) Temple on Wutang Mountain dedicated to Chang San Fen

Inside is a statue of Chang San Fen

A wall carving says that Chang San Fen created the Wutang Style Martial Arts based on the principles of the interaction of Yin and Yang and that by working with ones internal chi energy one can become immortal.

The Twelve Forms of Wutang Shan Chuan

The Penetration Form
The Leaping Form
The Eight Directions Form
The Spiral Form
The Waving Form
The Closing Up Form
The Water Form
The Earth Form
The Wu Chi (Emptiness) Form
The Stillness Form
The Prenatal Form
The Finishing Form

The Twelve Hand Weapons of Wutang Shan Chuan

Here is a very brief description of The Twelve Hand Weapons. These are two person training methods which teach fa jin dim mak continuous attack as well as sensitivity and awareness and are a way of practising applying the movements learnt in the 12 forms listed above. They also teach us how to know the intention of the attacker and as a result be in a position to attack him whilst avoiding his attacks. In all these training methods the hands reflect the shape and activity of the weapon that the sequence is named after.

The Hammer Hand
We have the active hand in the shape of a fist known as the Hammer Hand and its attacking movements are like delivering hammer blows. We first hammer his arms and then his throat and temple and then his neck.

The Spear Hand
The hands are cut across the opponents eyes like a slicing spear tip and then they attack the neck. All Chinese spears have a loose flexibility so that the spear tip slashes back and forth, if this Spear Hand method is trained correctly we get the same effect with the fingertips.

The Sword Hand
The hands like the blade of a sword slice across his neck and we do a palm strike to his temple as if pounding the flat of the blade across the side of his head and then stab him in the neck with our fingertips as if they were the point of the sword.

The Plough Hand
Like digging up the ground we cut into the attackers arms and turn them away and then plough into the opponents neck.

The Axe Hand
The hands are like axe blades which slice into the enemy, chopping him down with strikes to his neck and torso, felling him like a tree.

The Three Section Staff Hand
We use our hands and forearms like the Chinese implement for thrashing wheat or rice, the three section staff. We thrash the opponents arms and neck.

The Combination Weapon Hand
We use a combination of the previous methods, first we attack with the staff, then we use the hinge arm from the hammer and then the back of the hand like the flat of a sword blade and then a chop like an axe.

The Dart Hand
The dart is like a spear tip on a piece of string that is shot out at great speed, the hands duplicate this movement in their attacks.

The Drill Hand
We literally drill our way through the opponents defenses as we counterattack.

The Spade Hand
We use our hands like a flat spade to slam the enemy with great force.

The Double Blade Hand
Both hands slice, cut and chop at the opponent.

The Tree Stump Puller Hand
We pull out the opponents joints like pulling out the stump of a plant. His wrist, elbow and shoulder are all dislocated.


Paul Brecher in China on Wutang Mountain

A much more detailed explanation of the whole Wutang Shan Chuan system is contained within The Training Manual of The College of Chinese Martial Arts