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Changjia Quan (Chang-family Chuan)

Changjia Quan or the Chang-family Chuan was created by Chang Naizhou (1724-1783) during the Qing Dynasty. Chang Naizhou was a scholar but when he was not reading, he practised fist and cudgel plays. He traveled far and wide to learn from Wushu masters. He practised hard year in and year out but did not stick only to the style he had learned but absorbed the strengths of of Chuan to create his own style. He thus succeeded and developed the Zi Chuan, monkey Chuan, Tai Chi Chuan and drunkard Chuan. Chang's basis was ancient Chinese philosophy and ideas of spiritual guide, give-and-take, the positive and negative, and the network of blood and air passages throughout the human body which enabled him to theorize his own Chuan style.

The Chang-family Chuan requires the use of mentality to facilitate air flows and the use of air flows to create the form of the body. It demands building up energy for concentration which helps gather inner air flows. In combat, a Chang-style boxer stresses the combination of substantialness and emptiness; in exercising, he lets his arms be supple and agile and refrains from using clumsy force; in wrestling, he tries to put one of his front foot behind the opponent; in practising, he should do the routines naturally. The tactics are not to move if the opponent does not move; if the opponent attempts to move he tries to preempt him. The Chang-style boxers try to move first to gain the dominant position and if they happen to move second, they try to make their blows reach the opp-onent first. While outwardly they look calm, they are intense inside. They wait at their ease for their exhausted opponents. Once they are on the move their actions are well connected.

The Chang-family Chuan stresses both the combination and separation of the hard and supple, the substantial and empty and the positive and negative. The movements of the head should be as fast as dragonflies skimming the water; the actions of their fists should be as powerful and sudden as a goat charging with its horns; their waists should be like chickens and ducks tucking their tails, their footwork should be as fleeting as swallows flying to and fro in the woods. Though Chang-style boxers adopt the might stances of the Ar-hats, their movements are as deft as those of monkeys and apes. Their plays change within strictly arranged routines, combining the mental and physical.

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