Kung Fu Styles

The Chinese term kung fu can refer to any skill achieved through hard work and practice, but most people relate the term to Chinese martial arts.

Kung fu fighting styles are identified according to common traits, such as families, sects or schools of martial arts. Examples of such traits include physical exercises that mimic animals or methods of training methods that are inspired by Chinese philosophies, religions and legends. Styles that focus on the manipulation of qi (energy) are called internal arts, while those that concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness are called “external arts”. Some arts are based on a geographical association such as “northern” and “southern” arts.

Bafaquan – Eight Methods
Baguazhang (Bagua Zhang) – Eight Trigrams Palm
Bajiquan – Eight Extremes Fist
Bak Mei – White Eyebrow
Black Tiger Kung Fu
Chaquan – Cha Fist
Changquan – Long Fist
Chuo Jiao – Poking Feet
Chow Gar – a form of Southern Praying Mantis
Choy Gar – also known as Rat Kung Fu
Choi Li Fut
Dachengquan – Great Achievement Boxing (Yiquan)
Ditangquan – Ground-Prone Fist, Ground Tumbling Boxing
Do Pi Kung Fu
Dragon Kung Fu (Lung Ying)
Duan Quan – Short Range Boxing
Emeiquan (O Mei Ch’uan)
Fanziquan – Overturning Fist, Tumbling Boxing
Feng Shou – Hand of the Wind
Five Ancestors – Wuzuquan or Ngo Cho Kun
Five Animals
Fujian White Crane
Fu Jow Pai – Tiger Claw System (also titled Black Tiger Kung Fu or Hark Fu Moon)
Fut Gar – Buddhist Palm
Gouquan – Dog Fist
Hong Cha
Hop Gar
Houquan – Monkey Fist
Drunken Monkey
Heihuquan: see Black Tiger Kung Fu
Hsing-i Ch’uan: see Xingyiquan
Huaquan – China Fist
Hung Fut – Hung and Buddha style kung fu
Hung Gar ( also known as Hung Ga or Hung Kuen) – Shaolin Style and ancestor to many southern styles
I Liq Chuan – Mind-Body Art, founded by Chin Lik Keong of Malaysi
Jeet Kune Do – Way of The Intercepting Fist
Jing Wu Men – Jing Wu, a famous school founded in Shanghai that teaches several different styles
Jing Quan Do – a modern synthetic style
Jow-Ga Kung Fu – Jow family style Kuntao – Way of the Fist
Kuen-Do – Way of The Fist
Lau Gar – Lau family style
Lai-Ga-Sau – A recently created separate branch based in the United Kingdom
Lai Tung Pai – Shaolin Style that mixes long and short fist
Lama Pai
Leopard Kung Fu
Li (Lee) Family – Li Family or Lee Family styl
Liu Seong Kuntao (also Liu Seong Gung Fu, Liu Seong Chuan Fa) – A Chinese art with Indonesian influence, practiced primarily in the United States
Liuhebafa Chuan (Liu He Pa Fa, Lok Hup Ba Fa) – Six Harmonies, Eight Methods or Water Boxing
Luohan Quan Arhat Boxing, Law Horn Kuen
Mei Hua Quan (Plum Blossom Fist)
Mian Quan (Cotton Boxing)
Mizongyi (Mízōngquán) – Lost Track Fist (also known as My Jong Law Horn)
Mok Gar – Mok family style
Monkey Kung Fu see Houquan
Nam Pai Chuan
Nan Quan – Southern Fist
Northern Praying Mantis
Northern Shaolin – Bak Sil Lum
Pai lum – White Dragon, Pai Family Method, a modern style based on Kenpo with Chinese influences found mainly in the US and Canada
Paochui – Cannon Fist, Sanhaung Paochui
Piguaquan – Chop-Hitch Fist, Axe-hitch boxing
Praying Mantis: see either Northern or Southern Praying Mantis
Sanda or Sanshou – Free Fighting
San Soo
Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan – Southern Shaolin Boxing
Shaolin Quan
Shen Lung Kung Fu – Modern variations of Southern style Chinese martial arts based in the United States
Shequan – Snake Fist
Shuai Chiao (Shuaijiao) – Chinese Wrestling
Southern Praying Mantis
Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan) – Supreme Ultimate Boxing

  • Chen style tai chi chuan
  • Yang style tai chi chuan
  • Wu/Hao style tai chi chuan
  • Wu style tai chi chuan
  • Sun style tai chi chuan

Tantui – Spring Leg style
Tibetan White Crane
Tien Shan Pai
Tongbeiquan – Through-the-Back Fist
White Crane: see either Fujian White Crane or Tibetan White Crane
Wing Chun – See also Wing Tsun
Wu Wei Gung Fu – “The Spontaneous Movement of the Gung Fu”. A modern composite style containing elements of Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun and other martial arts
Xingyiquan (Hsing-i Chuan) – Form-Intent Fist
Yau Kung Mun – Flexible-Power Style
Yingzhaoquan – Eagle Claw Fist
Yuejiaquan – Yue family Fist/Boxing
Yiquan ( I Ch’uan) – Mind Boxing
Zhuan Shu Kuan – A modern composite style containing elements of Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and Changquan. It is based in the United Kingdom
Zi Ran Men – Natural Boxing or “fist of nature”
Zui Quan – Drunken Fist

Often related to the term kung fu is Wushu, but this term was invented only for competition. There are seven categories in wushu competition:

Changquan – Long Fist
Nanquan – Southern Fist
Daoshu – Knife Techniques
Jianshu – Sword Techniques
Kunshu – Staff Techniques
Chiangshu – Spear Techniques
Taijiquan – Tai Chi Chuan