As a child I always loved watching movies. I would watch videos at home during my free time or after school, and over the weekends, we’d go to cinema halls with my siblings. As a matter of facts I still love movies today, but due to many activities that I partake today, I don’t find time to watch movies as often as I did back then, and when I do, you will find me watching documentaries most of the time.
That does not imply that I never gained any interest in martial arts. Watching martial arts movies was to every school boy’s fantasy. There was the need to portray to our peer and mostly girls that we had matured to men. Also knowing and mimicking some styles of some legendary martial arts’ stars like Bruce Lee was a plus for any boy at school. It made you get respect from the big boys.
Martial arts may be considered as a sport today but it plays vital role in teaching one the skills of self-defense and also how to fight. For instance, kickboxing teaches one how to kick an enemy with tact and in the event that your enemy pins you to the ground, then knowledge of the Thai kickboxer can be used to hit back on the enemy. But that is no a good reason for one to train martial arts. What are the reasons then?
Martial Arts teaches one to Focus and be Alert.
TVs, internet and other digitized devices have greatly drained the activeness of most kids and youth today. When the body is inactive, the mind becomes inactive too. This is a threat to us. During the training sessions, there is serenity in the training centers which is vital to reduce distractions and increase focus and attention.
Gain Self Esteem and Self Confidence.
When one undergoes training in martial arts, he/she gets some overwhelming confidence and self esteem which boosts morale and productivity on his/her daily activities. The training also helps one accept that people have varying strengths which results to an atmosphere of mutual respect and humility.
Also when a person has the fighting skills, then worries of physical confrontations are minimal because one is relaxed and comfortable of dealing with the threat.
Connection of Mind and Body.
Unlike in fitness centers, at martial arts centers a person is trained to listen to his/her thoughts and pay attention to inner instincts. For a person to experience awareness of his/her emotions and needs, and those of others then one has to feel and listen to his/her inner self. This enables one to tap into his/her inner intuition, fear or courage.
In martial arts training centers, one has to observe discipline. There must be respect for the trainers as well as other trainees. Also there are rules which one needs to abide with. These values are adopted by the trainee in his/her activities.
When you train for any martial art you gain the skills required and when the need to defend yourself or your loved one’s arises then these techniques can be put into use.
Meihua Zhuang is a martial art whose techniques employ the use of either ground markings or logs attached to the ground, which are set in a pattern that resembles a plum blossom petal. The pattern used is inspired by ancient Chinese theory or ying- yang and five elements. A person who seeks to learn this art can either train footwork on top of the logs, or can alternatively circle around them with varying movements.
The person who trains for this art needs deep comprehension of everything involved- even the tiniest details. The fundamentals of this art lie in the skills of motion referred to as ‘arts of steps’. The skill is divided into two distinct sections namely:
- Tian Pang Zhuang which is also called ‘celestial poles’ or Ma Bu Zhuang. This skill deals with the static positions and several methods of steps and movements on the logs.
- Di Pan Zhuang also called ‘terrestrial poles’ or Lian Huan Zhuang. This skill deals with techniques and homogenous series of leg techniques.
Mei Hua Zhuang was originally practiced on top of logs which have varying heights according to the skill level of the practitioner. The practitioner then acquires dedicated footwork and balance because they train on top of the logs.
Principles if Meihua Zhuang.
This martial art is said to possess 4 abilities namely:
- Great self-defense abilities.
- Improved mental capabilities and speed to figure out responses.
- Improved physical health.
- Improved general body health.
It is a common practice for people to undergo fitness exercises so as to improve the general health of the body. One health condition that people are not comfortable with today concerns increase in weight which is oft seen as an invitation to other complicated diseases. Hence many people go to gyms and other fitness areas.
The general health of a person is also connected to the emotional and mental status of that person. Good mental health can motivate hastened healing and general health.
In Meihauzhuang, the training techniques focused on freeing the practitioner body and mind from fixed patterns of motion and ideological thinking. The practitioner’s harmonized their mental and physical state of their bodies through various qigong healing techniques. This is achievable because the training environment is quiet and encourages concentration.
Internal styles lay emphasis on the development and nurture of the internal qi through the various exercises and meditation involved. Relaxed and expanded motions of this art emphasizes on the development of power. These help the release of stress which improves the health of the practitioner.
External styles lay emphasis on the overall body fitness and the yielding of an aerobic capacity. The training schedules eventually harmonizes the entire body and mind into one through the styles and the needs to co-ordinate both mental and physical aspects to yield the desired results. This results to increased body balance, strength and co-ordination.
Mastering Styles used in Martial Arts
‘strengths can not overcome style and on the other side a style can not overcome mastery’.
‘Consequently, a master of strength is not a master of style, and a master of style is not a master of internal art’.
These statements try to explain why people train martial arts. One trains in order to gain the skills (styles) needed to fight. But in fighting one needs to be strong to subdue and use the styles well. Then it all boils down to the use intelligence to subdue an opponent who is both strong and has skills needed. Hence the need for total mastery of the art. In martial, it doesn’t matter how strong the opponent may be because if one engages them withthe right skills and mastery then they are more poised to win and conquer.
Martial arts fall in several various categories and they are classified according to two factors:
• Styles. These are further categorized using form which details the type of training involved. For instance styles without forms are ‘Internal’ such as Jing, Qi and Shen while those with forms are termed as ‘external’ Martial arts. The forms used in martial arts are intended to train muscles, cardiovascular, bones and the skin to be tough and endure pain
• Tactics which could be soft or hard martial arts.
In martial arts, people are trained the styles to use in combat. There are various training methods which may be involved physically. These equip the practitioner with massive and powerful bones, heavy built muscles and so much of strength and spirit.
But all that is external. For such a person to have complete and total mastery of a style, he/she will need to undergo training of hundreds or may be thousands of ‘external’ styles involved, overcome many instances of hard tasks and difficulties, master the spirit required and get all the details and strengths needed in order to master the deep secrets involved. This is the case of masters.
There are different types of martial arts and the most common ones include:
• Judo. This technique is more modern. It originates from the Chinese. The most underlying technique in this art mastery of either to throw or takedown the opponent to the ground and disarm them or conquer over them. Styles employed to achieve this includes joint lock, strangle hold, grappling or choking the opponent.
- Tai Chi. This is an internal form of Chinese martial art which is practiced for both its health benefits as well as the defense of the practitioner.
- Tae Kwon Do. It originates from Korea. The practitioner has to learn a system of blocks, kicks, punches and open-hand strike. Also one is taught several techniques of taking the opponent down, and also styles such as throws, and Joint locks. All these enable one to master and develop speed, strength, balance and flexibility as well as boost the spirit of the practitioner.
Unlike karate which is known for its hand strikes, Tae Kwon Do lay emphasis on kicking strikes.
- Karate. This martial art is more common and originates from Japan. It employs styles like punching, kicking, knee strikes and elbow strikes to fight an opponent. It lays emphasis on hand strikes in fighting opponents.
• Kung Fu. Also known as Gong Fu in ancient Chinese is a collection of various martial arts which have been developed and practiced in China. The styles vary according to the different reasons adopted to train the styles and also according to the theme which include families, sects etc.
Some styles may involve the mimic of animal movements such as Eagle Claw, Praying Mantis, Five Animals (Shaolin Kung Fu) etc.
There also are styles which are inspired by Chinese philosophies.
The internal styles of Kung Fu mainly focus on mastering of qi while the external styles seek to better muscular cardiovascular fitness.
- Hapkido. This is a martial art which originated from Korea. It uses joint locks, punches and kicks for striking an opponent. Also weapons can be used such as swords, ropes, nunchaku etc. A lot of emphasis is laid on circular motions, non-resisting movements and total control of the opponent, using footwork and positioning of the body to gain advantage and leverage strength against that of opponents.
- Aikido. This art draws origin from Japanese and is performed by flowing with the motion of the opponent instead of counter- attacking it. This helps one gain advantage of the opponent since less physical strength is used. The practitioner leverages on the opponent by entering and turning motions of the opponent momentum and is thus at a better position to attack through joint locks or throws.
- Mei Hua Zhuang is a martial art whose techniques employ the use of either ground markings or logs attached to the ground, which are set in a pattern that resembles a plum blossom petal. The pattern used is inspired by ancient Chinese theory or ying- yang and five elements. A person who seeks to learn this art can either train footwork on top of the logs, or can alternatively circle around them with varying movements.
This site was initially dedicated to teaching and promoting the martial art of Mei Hua Zhuang. It went to great levels to outline the origin and history of the martial art as well as its training and the core principles involved.
The site was left to expire, but someone saw the usefulness the site was providing to the visitor who wants to know more about martial arts and decided to recreate it so as to continue serving the dedicated community.
Go through the categories on the site to learn more. Don’t forget to the recent post which might have the information that you are looking for.