NORTH & SOUTH
fighting styles was found that used geographic distibution with respect to the YAN-TSE river.
As it runs from West to East it delimits two areas within which different trends in bare-hands fighting have evolved.
To the North
Of this line, chinese boxing styles relied heavily on legwork
(fast movements, dodging skills, kicks, jumps, fast foot-and-fist sequences,acrobatic movements...).
The explanation for this was that those fighting styles reflected
the lifestyle of nomadic people that hunted on horses, as was
the norm in the northern part of the vast Chinese empire.
To the South
however, the emphasis was noticeably different, and the focus was on the upper limbs
(short but destructive hand techniques, a tendency towards wrestling, strong static stances...);
This was explained again by examining the lifestyle and environment of the inhabitants,
who relied on fishing and the cultivation of rice to sustain themselves.
They would therefore make more use of their torsoes, arms and hands.
It is important to point out that there is a second theory, still geographic in its approach,
which can withstand a much more thorough examination.
The North is more specifically the area that is home to so-called
"External" styles (WAI CHIA), the techniques of which are mostly based on muscular strength.
Tradition has it that these styles spread out from their original home at the Shaolin Temple.
Kung-Fu schools are the most likely ancestors of Japanese Karate, as many experts from
Okinawa had studied in China before defining their own methods, which were transmitted to
Japan after 1920.
The South on the other hand possesses more
"Internal" styles (NEI CHIA), in which the aim is the liberation of the human body's
internal energy in relation to cosmic forces.
These styles usually lead to deep philosophical aspects.