Drunken Boxing, also known Drunken Fist or Drunkard’s Boxing, is a style of boxing that imitates a drunkard in its movements, involving both offensive and defensive skills. The striking features of the boxing are its fast speed and unpredictable changes in beating the opponent. It is also known for its unique appreciating, health-boosting and practical values.
It is said that Drunken Boxing was derived from the fighting skills used by Wu Song, one of the characters in the novel Outlaws of the Marsh, when he beat a hooligan surnamed Jiang after getting drunk, as well as the attacking skills used by Lu Zhishen, also a character in the novel, when he caused an uproar in the mountain as he was drunk. The movements of Drunken Boxing are guided by the principle of “drunken in appearance but not in spirit”.
The postures of Drunken Boxing are pretty much like the staggering movements of a drunkard, but the boxing is actually well choreographed with no drunkenness at all. It is a routine of martial art skills involving stringent arm, leg and body movements.
Even though the style seems irregular and off balance it takes the utmost balance to be successful. To excel one must be relaxed and flow with ease from technique to technique. The major postures include beating, pushing, throwing, rolling, leaping and jumping. While retaining the beauty of body art, all the postures are practical fighting skills. Swaying, drinking, and falling are used to throw off opponents. When the opponent thinks the drunken boxer is vulnerable he is usually well balanced and ready to strike. When swigging a wine cup the practitioner is really practicing grabbing and striking techniques. The waist movements trick opponents into attacking sometimes even falling over. Falls can be used to avoid attacks but also to pin attackers to the ground while vital points are targeted.
Drunken Boxing techniques are highly acrobatic and skilled and require a great degree of balance and coordination. The postures are created by momentum and weight of the body, and imitation is generally through staggering and certain type of fluidity in the movements. So it is considered to be among the most difficult martial arts styles to learn due to the need for powerful joints and fingers. It also has a fairly high requirement on the practitioner in terms of the person’s flexibility in the waist, legs and joints as well as the functions of internal organs, willpower and moral integrity. In addition, the performance of the boxing is supposed to give a straight, light and graceful feel.
by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com
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