Kung Fu, the least known schools


In Occiente the term kung fu is used to refer to a specific limited number of Chinese martial arts, but in reality in China the term kung fu means a different kind of different, all disciplines that tend to acquire a specific skill .

The Chinese term for martial arts in the strict sense is wushu, or art of war. So let's talk about generic terms that contain an infinite number of different schools in philosophy, intent and methodologies.

There are certainly more famous schools of kung fu, made such by the Hong Kong cinema, by Bruce Lee and by the greater diffusion of their practice, we must not forget that many kung fu schools were and are still secret .

Among the most famous schools there are certainly:

> shaolinquan, the Shaolin school with rigorous, almost monastic training methods based on the Chinese Buddhist tradition and on the legends of the five animals;

> taijiquan, an internal style based on Chinese Taoist alchemy, based on sweet forms and aiming at immortality; the xing yi, an aggressive northern style based on straight lines;

> baguazhang, based on the energy generated by circular movements;

> wing chun, widely practiced also in the West and considered an effective form of self-defense;

> and the sanda, or Chinese boxing, the sporting aspect of kung was similar to kickboxing with the addition of projections.

Lesser-known schools

But the world of kung fu is composed of an undergrowth of secret or little-known styles, even if they are effective and peculiar. Let's find out some interesting ones.


Literally "palm cutting", it is a northern style, explosive, based on long distances and with an emphasis on open-hand palm strokes. It is composed of gentle and elegant movements, and energy is generated by the rotation of the torso.

Hung ga

This is a Cantonese kung fu style, strongly based on the position of the rider and in some way associated with shaolin. Includes powerful hand techniques, including so-called "iron fists".

Choy li fut

It is a relatively young style, of only two centuries, which represents a set of techniques chosen by the various styles of kung fu from the north. We find strong fists, circular movements and rotations. In choy li fut we find intense work on the footwork. Suitable for multiple combat.


Ancient style, based on the very short distance and the extreme speed of the hands, compared to the falling of raindrops.

Mian Quan

It means "cotton fist", a clear allusion to his completely soft and relaxed style to become rigid only on impact. It is a style based on adhering to the opponent.


It is also an ancient style, very acrobatic, based on long distance and full extension shots, a legacy of a time when white weapons were commonly involved.


Complete style and codified since ancient times, including a large set of forms. It is based on the fluidity of movements and related to the study of qi gong and chin na. It has an esoteric aspect and many of its forms represent stages of Taoist alchemy.

Zi Ran Men

An interesting northern style in which qigong breathing is extremely important. In his practice, meditation is also included and one of his goals is complete control of the mind. It is based on quick combinations of strokes and during training it is common to train with metal rings.

Fu Jow Pai

It is a school of the south, that of the tiger claws, very aggressive, which includes catches, scratches, blows of palm and fingers.

Choy gar

A curious Cantonese self-defense style, a mixture of snake and rat style, in which both steps and arm movements are very fast. The position of the center of gravity is very low to generate energy.


Particular style, including a wide range of jumps and kicks, which associates each stroke with one step in an endless series of combinations called "shooting stars", which leave no time for the opponent to recover.

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