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Wudang Internal Kung Fu

Wudang Kungfu           The Founder

Zhang Sanfeng was a semi-mythical Chinese Taoist priest, who is believed by some to have achieved immortality. His legend varied from either the late Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty or Ming Dynasty. His name was Zhang Junbao 張君寶, before he became a Taoist. (Zhang Sanfeng—simplified Chinese: 张三丰; ancient Chinese: 張三丰; pinyin: Zhāng Sānfēng; English spelling: Chang San-feng; variant 張三豐. Pronunciation keeps the same.)

As a legendary cultural hero, Zhang Sanfeng is credited by modern practicers as having originated the concepts of neijia (內家), in other words, the soft, internal martial arts. To put it concretely, the Taichi Quan is one of the neijia kungfu, which is the result of a Neo-Confucian syncretism of Zen Buddhist Shaolin martial arts combined with the principles of his Taoist neigong. In legends, he is also associated with the Taoist monasteries at Wudang Mountains in Hubei province. Stories from the 17th century onward recorded that he initiated the internal martial arts. In the 19th century and later, the credit for the creation of Taichi Quan went to him.

In addition, Zhang Sanfeng is said to have been an expert in the White Crane and Snake styles of Chinese martial arts, as well as in the use of the Chinese straight sword. According to the documents preserved within the Yang and Wu family's archives, the name of Zhang Sanfeng's master was Xu Xuanping 許宣平, who was said to be a hermit poet and Taoist Tao Yin master in Tang Dynasty.

The Taichi Quan families who ascribe the foundation of their art to Zhang generally, and celebrate his birthday on the 9th day of the 3rd Chinese lunar month. Owing to his legendary status, his name frequently appears in Chinese novels and action films as a spiritual teacher and master of martial arts.

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