Brief Historical Origin
Wu Dang’s origins come from Mont Wu Dang in the region of Hubei which is also the cradle of Taoism. The firsts Taoist philosophers, like Lao Zi, practiced around 500 BC a series of physical activities that is very close to Tai-Chi-Chuan under the denomination Wei-Wu-Wei «action without action».
Principle and Philosophy
This internal martial art focuses on the development of a supple and dynamic force called Jing, which is in opposition to a physical force called Li. One of the many rules of Wu Dang is the relaxation, Song, or more precisely, Fang Song, with the idea of the natural relaxation of the hair. This relaxation guaranties the fluidity of movements and their coordination, like the movement of the fist that is birthed at the waist and flows to the shoulders before reaching the arms. The muscles are used in a coordinated way and the penetrating force comes from the tensing of the muscle at the moment of impact.
Once the relaxation Song is developed, the practitioner can then work on Peng Jing, or internal force, a characteristic of Wu Dang which consists of linking each body part while remaining calm. If one section of the body moves, your whole body moves; if one section stops, your whole body stops. Wu Dang controls while exercising forces that are tangential or rotational.
During attacks, the energy is first concentrated at the inferior Dantian then, like a whip, it is liberated through undulation via the articulation of the practitioner. We call this action: to surge the force or Fa Jing. It is crucial that the position of the legs follow each movement using the three principal that are the horse stance, the bow step and the empty step. These steps follow eight fundamental directions. The principal techniques applied in the practice of combat are also regrouped in eight parts: push (An), under grip (Cai), press and stick (Ji), shoulder strike (Kao), separate and spin (Lie), pull and deflect (Lu), parry and project (Peng), elbow strike (Zhou). Striking techniques with the palm and the fingers exist, however, being somewhat dangerous they are rarely taught.