Chaquan is a very old martial art. Through historical documents, it can be traced back to the Tang dynasty (618 – 906 A.D.). According to such documents Chaquan by that time was already well developed by the militaries of the central Asian plains and used extensively the by the Caravan Guards of the ancient “Silk Road”. It was during the early Tang Dynasty, when China could not defend its borders, that it invited these fighters and armies to help. They succeeded easily and the martial art of Chaquan, and many other things from central Asia, became adopted as Chinese.
Chaquan established a designation of martial arts called “long fist”. This is because the arms and legs move in an extended manner. The whole body is continuously mobile. The idea is to use the flow and momentum that is generated by the unified movements of the entire body to generate power. The whole body becomes a fist – “long fist”.
It seems amazing that principles such as this, determined so long ago, are only recently understood by science. For example, Verkhoshansky in “Supertraining, 1990”, a staple for training of high-performance athletes explains that, ‘only when the joint angles of the limbs are mostly extended can the power of the entire kinetic chain (including the torso) be expressed fully at the extremities’. To be clear, this very succinctly describes the signature method of power generation used in Chaquan and its family of styles. There is nothing similar any other martial art. It is unique and ultimately effective.
Our Chaquan curriculum comes to us through the following path. Yu Zhensheng, the main “long fist” instructor at Huang Pu Military school in the 1930’s taught the entire art to Xu Gongwei, who in turn taught it to John Spak, the founder of the “Fists of Mystery and Truth” Kung fu School. It is this curriculum that is being presented here.