Zui Baxianquan: the style of the drunk


The history of the style of the drunk is very complex and ancient, in fact we find in it roots that join the Taoist alchemy, Buddhism and tantrism, the latter two mixed in turn with shamanism to form the Tibetan Lamaism.

There is not just one style of drunk but many sub-styles, generally called zi quan, or drunken fist . In this style of kung was made famous in the West by Jackie Chan, the martial aspect is mixed with the esoteric one, as it was in use in antiquity, in fact often the wine and the liqueur in dharmic cultures like the Chinese and the Indian, are metaphors of inner energies, and in this case of qi .

An abdomen full of wine would in fact identify a dantien (energy center located under the navel) full of qi, as an ideal condition for implementing the secret techniques of this style .

As mentioned there are mainly two schools, a Buddhist linked to the Shaolin, and a Taoist linked to the alchemical legend of the eight immortals.


The style of the drunk is one of the most difficult kung fu styles ever, more elitist and less orthodox than any other. In it we find football techniques such as fist, elbow, knee and head, many aerial techniques as well as ground techniques.

We also find many fakes, rotations, level changes, acrobatic dodges, knockdowns and projections, falls and so on. Generally we learn through established forms.

This style is based above all on the relaxation of the limbs and on the absence of muscular contraction, as happens when we drink too much.

Shoulders and even relaxed, upper body independent of the lower one, unstrung legs and active center of gravity are the cornerstones of the drunk's style.

It is well known that many practitioners have over time really devoted themselves to the habit of alcohol to disinhibit, relax and get around an excessive sense of mind control over the senses but as much as it is a heterodox style of kung fu, the true style of drunk merely imitates the movements of a drunk like that of the tiger imitates those of the aforementioned animal .


The zui baxianquan is one of the most well-known styles of kung fu but less practiced as it is often considered merely aesthetic and not very effective. In fact, one of the main reasons for its poor distribution is the difficulty of finding serious masters of this style outside of China.

In fact the practice of the drunken style is based not only on the forms but on a very hard physical training, made of hours and hours of stretching and work on the joints, especially knees, hips, shoulders and wrists. Thighs, dorsal and abdominal muscles work a lot . It is rare to see this style in sports fights but some of its elements are sometimes incorporated into other styles.

Some benefits

> As for the capoeira, also the style of the drunk becomes really effective when integrated and applied together with other martial arts, as it alone does not offer complete bases but above all very useful principles and a great work on the body.

> The style of the drunk is closely linked to qi gong and longevity . Longevity; not only in terms of long life, but in terms of the quality of old age . All that work on the joints and the qi make it possible to go through a healthy and strong third age.

> Through the zui baxianquan a profound psychological work is carried out, or better a work on the conscience : the drunk does not allow himself to be deceived by the senses, as these are for the most part turned off; the drunk influences forces and dynamics without contractions and force reactions ; the drunk knows how to adapt to situations and does not judge them, as the brain is completely intoxicated; the drunk does not plan or have conditioned reflexes, as he is completely absorbed in the present moment .

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