Shaolin Kung Fu: drunken form

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  • Published on:  Monday, October 15, 2012
  • Shaolin Kung Fu drunken style (醉拳: zui quan)
    by monk Yan Bin
    - combat strategy:

    this advanced style teaches extreme tactics of misguiding and trapping the opponent. its main tactics are:

    tactic 33 - "sowing dissension tactic (反间计)": follow no standard to be unpredictable. confuse the opponent by abnormal moves from unlikely angles.

    tactic 34 - "be wise, play foolish (假痴不癫)": pretend mental disorder, like being drunk.

    tactic 35 - "self-infliction tactic (苦肉计)": pretend physical disorder, like a weakness or injury. these make the opponent underestimate and so loosen guard.

    tactic 36 - "toss a brick to take gem (抛砖引玉)": expose or even bait parts of your body to lure the opponent attack there. though risky, as defense, this can save you by luring the opponent away from his own plan and, as offense, can trap the opponent by luring him into your ambush.

    Shaolin drunken style follows no standard and, unlike other Shaolin styles, doesn't have a standard form. it is a free-form style and everyone can have his own different drunken form.
    - history:

    Tang dynasty (618-907):
    at the beginning of the dynasty, in 621 AD, 13 monks from Shaolin temple intervened prominently in a war to help the new dynasty. Li Shimin (李世民), son of the new emperor and the commander of the Tang army, appreciated it and endowed the monks with officialdom, land, and wealth, and came to Shaolin temple in ceremony of the victory, and gifted the monks with the permission to disavow the Buddhist rule of not consuming meat and wine. monk Zhishou (智守), one of the 13 monks, had a prior interest in wine before becoming a monk and is said to had been able to drink 5 catties of wine in one breath. following the permission, he grabbed a jar and drank a huge amount of wine. monks blamed him, but fully intoxicated, he challenged the monks in disorder with his staff and then bare hand when disarmed, and could defy a vary large group of monks. the abbot praised this 'drunken style' and it was adopted, refined, and inherited over generations. because of their Buddhist vows, monks did not standardize this style, but most lineages of the monks developed their own drunken form and kept it as their hidden advanced style.
    - note: there are various other drunken forms and styles in Chinese kung fu, and they are different from Shaolin zui han quan. most of them are based on imitating the Daoist tale of the 8 drunken immortals, while Shaolin zui han quan is based on the Buddhist character of a drunken luohan. though technically similar, these are different styles.
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