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Nanquan (Chinese: ??; pinyin: Nánquán; literally “southern fist”) refers to those Chinese martial arts that originated south of the Yangtze River of China, including Hung Kuen, Choi Lei Fut, and Wing Chun.
The contemporary Wushu event Nanquan is a modern style created in 1960 derived from martial arts derived in the Chinese provinces south of the Yangtze River and predominantly those styles popular in Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian and Zhejiang. The basis of contemporary Nánquán hail primarily from traditional Cantonese family styles of Hong (Hung), Li (Lei), Liu (Lau), Mo (Mok) and Cai (Choi) along with their more contemporary Kung Fu variants of Choi Lei Fut and Hung Ga.
Contemporary Nanquan features vigorous, athletic movements with very stable, low stances, extensive hand techniques and a vocal articulation called fasheng (“release shout”) which is the predecessor of the Japanese and Korean martial arts kiai. Power is driven from sharp waist movement with special emphasis on fast stance transition to generate power and speed in the arms. Signature hand techniques of Nanquan are the consecutive downward strikes of the left and right fist called Gua Gai Quan (Gwa Kup Kuen; ???), and consecutive upper cut while driving forward called Paoquan (Pow Kuen; ??). There are relatively few kicks in Nanquan although the Tengkong Pantui Cepu (???????; “flying cross legs kick and land on the side”) and Li Yu Da Ting (??????; carp skip-up) are very common in advanced Nanquan routines. Nanquan also has its own contemporary weapons – the Southern Broadsword (Nandao; ??) and Southern Staff (Nangun; ??), which were included in the International Wushu competition in 1999.
In 2003, the International Wushu Federation (IWUF) changed the rules of contemporary Nanquan to make jumping techniques (??) mandatory in Nanquan routines. Jump kicks spinning in mid-air between 360 and 720 degrees before touching the ground are now used in all Nanquan forms along with Stationary Back Flip (?????) and Single Step Back Tuck (?????) for advanced competitors.
Nanquan is also another form of Chinese boxing with a rather long history and a lot of schools and one of the more dynamic styles of Wushu. Nanquan is relatively popular in various parts of Guangdong Province, with each system having different styles and features from the others. To form this series of Chinese boxing, the essentials of the different postures of the various schools were systemized and summed up. As a result, a series of systematic and integrated United Nanquan has been created. It has very powerful and intense forms and tense postures which enable every part of the body to be fully toughened, so young people are very eager to learn this style. Practicing the various styles within the Nanquan system gives one great physical benefits.