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Qinggong 轻功 - The Most Intriguing Martial Arts

15 June 2006

Of all 72 styles of Shaolin Kung Fu, Qing gong is certainly one of the most intriguing. It is also the one that is most frequently practiced. Highly accomplished Qin gong masters can be found among each generation of Shaolin monks.

The photo on the left was taken on the date of 19 October 2004, in which a student from Shaolin Martial Arts School in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, meditates with his body being sustained in the air by a rope around his neck hanging from the ceiling.

It is a high art to turn an ordinary human body into a weightless object. A maestro of Qinggong is supposedly capable of scaling walls, gliding on water, flying over rooftops, or taking huge leaps through the air, much like what has been depicted in the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".

Qinggong as a form of martial arts is not just confined to the Shaolin style. A case in point is that the Qingong masters in Lee An’s film are all from Daoist sect. And then, the man mounting the wall to reach the rooftop in Photo below is neither a Buddhist monk nor a Daoist, but a corner-store owner in Ningxia Hui Muslin Autonomous Region.

His name is Ge Qiang, the author of a book titled Scaling Walls and Flying over Rooftops, published in 2003 by the PLA Publishing House. One of the military experts suggested in his review that the techniques illustrated in Mr. Ge’s book could be employed to train China’s police officers and firemen alike.

Though extraordinary with spiderman-quality, Wall Scaling is perceived as being a relatively simple expression of Qinggong. On 4 June this year, a 14 year-old girl called Long Fengzhi performed a more demanding Qinggong stunt in Nanjing by dancing on the sharp knife-edges bare footed.

(Sources of the photos; China Today)


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