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Wudang Kungfu (Taoist Gongfu)
21/10/2008 10:12:10    Author : ANDY    Browse : 1036

Since Wudang Mountain is a famous sacred land for Chinese Taoism, Wudang Wushu(martial arts)is also called Taoist Gongfu.

There are geographical as well as historical reasons in regard to Why Zhang San-feng created Tai Chi Chuan in Wudang Shan. Mt. Wudang was named Taihe Shan, Xianshi Shan in the ancient time. In the Spring and Autumn and Warring period of Chinese history, Chu Kongdom stationed its army in this area and resist the invaders from Qin Kingdom, the Mountain was then changed to Wudang Shan - WU means martial force and DANG means resistance.

Wudang Shan stands majestically in the heartland of China. The highest peak,1614 meters, is called Tianzhu, heavenly pillar. All the other peaks in Wudang Shan area seem to be bowing towards the Heavenly Pillar Peak in the middle. Whoever comes here can perceive the Chi field which is unparalleled in other places. Since early, it has been reputed as "Unparalleled Wonderland and No. 1 Fairy Mountain under the Heaven". In the past two thousand years, Wudang Shan is always where those hermits and Taoists meditated and cultivated.

The earlist historical figure who withdrawed from society and lived in Wudang Shan was Yin Xi,a senior official in King Kang"s times. Seeing the purple Cloud coming from the east, he presupposed that there must be a valuable person approaching. And then Lao Zi (or Lao Tzu), the founder of Taoism, appeared just as expected. Lao Zi riding on the back of a black buffalo was passing by . Yin Xi accommodated him warmly and insisted having him as his teacher from whom he explored Tao. Therefore Lao Zi settled down in Hangu Pass and wrote down the masterpiece 5000-character Dao De Jing. Lao Zi was said to go on with his way to the west of the Pass and was seen nowhere ever since! Yin Xi, however, deeply felt the profoundity of the masterpiece, abandoned his official position and retreated to the Wudang Mountains for a thorough reading of Dao De Jing. He did a lot to spread this great book wide and long. Lao Zi founded the Dao and Yin Xi spread the Dao. So the Taoist inheritor Zhuang Zi paralleled Yin Xi with Lao Zi, regarding them both " Profound True Man Since Time Immortal" . Later generations gave name " Yin Xi Crag" to the third Heavenly Gate on Wudang Mountain where he set up his cave house and cultivated.

Yin Xi"s diciple Yin Gui also came to Mt Wudang to learn Tao and people called him " Un-exceeded True Man " . He had numerous diciples . Together with them, he established Lou Guan branch of Chinese Taoism. This branch began to prosper in North Dynasty and was particularly prosperous in Tang Dynasty. After Yin Gui, many high level Taoists, like Dai Meng, Ma Ming-sheng and Yin Chang-sheng in Han Dynasty, Lu Dong-bin and Sun Si-miao in Tang Dynasty, Chen Tuan in Song Dynasty all came here for cultivation.

Wudang Shan had long been reputated as a sacred land for cultivation, and it would naturally draw the attention from all the dynasties. Emperor Tai Zong Li Shi-min called himself a descendant of Li Er (Lao Zi"s actual name) and advacated Taoism instead above Buddhism, so the Taoist activities became more and more auspicious. In Li Shi-min"s reign, Five Dragon began to be built, initiating the constructions of the temples and palaces in Wudang Mountains. Such construction reached its summit in Yongle reign of Ming Dynasty. The emperor Zhu Di tried to make people beleive that his power was granted by the Grand Lord Zhenwu, No 1 deity worshipped in Wudang Mountains. ( About the name of this mountain, there is another explanation related to Zhenwu who, according to the Taoist scripture, can deserve this holy mountain. From the statement "Fei Zhen Wu Bu Zu Dang Zhi" come the two characters Wu and Dang )In order to thank him, he ordered 300,000 people for the massive construction in the next 10 years and thus came into being the 9 palaces, 9 temples, 36 halls and 72 shrines. Altogether there are 200,000 rooms and 33 building complex. There were then as many as over 20,000 Taoist monks. The pilgims were from different parts of the country. No wonder it was called " the No 1 Daoist Spot under the heaven"!

The construction on Mt Wudang further motivated the high Taoist figures to cultivated here. They used their own knowledge, developed the Taoism theory,combined with the previous Taoist arts and laid solid foundation for Zhang San-feng who, having absorbed the achievements in the past, created Wudang Taiji 13 Shi. The Founder of Ming Dynasty Zhu Yuan-zhang and his son , Emperor Zhu Di gave contiluously 200 imperial edicts to summon the high Taoist Zhang San-feng to the royal court. Zhang simply was unwilling to go there - that was another matter. The Ming emperors, in actual fact, helped spread Wudang Taoist Gongfu.

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