4 Chinese Martial Arts You Might Not Know About

When we hear the phrase, “martial arts,” what usually comes to mind is boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, or Karate. However, there are more martial arts that exist around the world — some of which we never even heard of, like Yağlı güreş or oil wrestling.

Here are the other martial arts that exist in China:

Wing Chun, 詠春 (yǒng chūn)

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Derived from the idea of counter-attacking, Wing Chun is a style of self-defense and a Chinese martial art that is concept-based. It focuses on close-range fighting, employing both striking and sticking.

Some of the famous practitioners of Wing Chun are Grandmaster Ip Man and his student, Bruce Lee.

Sanda, 散打 (sǎndǎ) 

Sanda. Photo courtesy of Fightland.

Also known as Chinese kickboxing, Sanda is a hybrid of martial arts developed by the Chinese military. It is almost similar to Muay Thai, but with additional techniques.

Baji Quan, 八極拳 (bājíquán)

Baji Quan (Eight Extremes Fist).


Baji Quan or eight extreme fists focuses on explosive, short-range power but is much more forceful compared to Wing Chun or Tai Chi. According to Deason (2017), “its tactics involve opening the opponent’s arms to mount leveled attacks, focusing on elbow, knee, shoulder, and hip strikes.”

This style is practiced by Julia Chang, Michelle Chang, and Leo Kliesen from Tekken.

Chow Gar, 周家 (zhōu jiā)

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My Chow Gar

This style is from the Southern Praying Mantis school of martial arts and drew its inspiration from the praying mantis who moves swiftly. It focuses on aggressive, close-range fighting.


Now that you’ve read about different martial arts, why not learn about the greatest kung fu masters who ever lived?

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