Kung Fu: Attainment of skill. An ability attained through time and energy (i.e. Practice!).
Chi Kung: Attainment of energy. Again, through the practice of specific exercises involving movements, or sometimes from stationary positions, combined with set breathing techniques, etc. Chi Kung can be practiced with different goals in mind, requiring different sets of exercises. In other words, absorbing and emitting Chi, spiritual/religious (Daoist and Budhist), medical and Wushu (or the martial arts).
Chi: Energy. A word the Chinese use for all types of energy; or, the intrinsic vital force behind all substance in the universe. Chi, or Qi, often referred to as breath.
Tai Chi: The great or grand ultimate. A simple diagram often referred to as the “Yin Yang” symbol. This is a diagram to illustrate the constant waxing and waning of Yin (the dark fish) and Yang (the bright fish) energy within the great cosmos.
Taijiquan: Internal system of kung fu, meaning “Great Ultimate Fist” or style/boxing. Most popular in the West for its relaxing and health aspects. For anyone practicing Kung Fu, if taught correctly, Tai Chi Chuan and its many exercises are great for perceiving the mechanics and connection required for correct movement to produce whole body power (as should all internal systems!).
Bagua, Baguazhang, Pa-Kua: All terms used when referring to what is commonly known as the sister of Tai Chi Chuan. The Bagua is a diagram made up of eight Trigrams. The internal Kung Fu system of “Eight Trigram Palms” which adheres to the scientific principle of the Bagua, is exclusive in its sole use of open hand or “palm” techniques. The “sister” of Tai Chi Chuan, as it is considered more aggressive/harder than Tai Chi but not as direct or “harder” than Hsing-Yi.
Hsing Yi, Hsing-I, Xingyiquan: Hsing-Yi Chuan or Shape Mind Fist, or Shape Mind Intent/Boxing. The brother of Tai Chi Chuan. Considered the most aggressive and direct of the internal Kung Fu systems, with less of wide sweeping movements, and more linear, direct attack, involving fists and open palms.
Dachengquan,(Yiquan): Great Achievements Shadow Boxing. Internal Kung Fu system founded by Wang Xiang Zhai, also a Hsing-I Master. Uses excellent forms and exercises to examine correct posture and connection of mechanics, to produce natural phenomenal power vital for effective Kung Fu. A system responsible for the practice of Zhan Zhuang in its most common forms today.
Zhan Zhuang: Pronounced Jan Jong, or Jam Jong. Meaning standing like a tree or standing like a stake. A Chi Kung exercise normally associated with Da Cheng Chuan. Great for achieving mindset through meditation, re-alligning and healing the body, etc. Ideal for any pugilist/martialist who knows the importance of Jin. Used essentially for martial purposes, synonymous with Da Cheng Chuan, although other systems use standing positions. Also anyone can do Jan Jong (with few exceptions). Basically involves standing with arms and legs in varying positions.
Jin: Meaning Martial Power. Consisting of vital ingredients, needed to produce the effect: Li – muscle strength; Chi – intrinsic energy (see article on “What is missing in most martial arts today?” to find the missing ingredient for Jin!)
Wing Chun: Translates as “Beautiful Springtime”. Essentially an external system of Kung Fu. Made internationally popular with its association with Bruce Lee and his connection to Grandmaster Yip Man. Useful in its direct approach to hand and feet positions and techniques, with useful exercises. An external Kung Fu style.
Chin Na: The Art of Seizing and Control. All good Kung Fu systems should teach some grabbing and holding skills. Chin Na is closely associated with Dim Mak, The Art of Artery or Meridian Pressing, using certain pressure points on the body to “seize the breath” in order to kill or render an enemy unconscious.
Etheric: From ethereal, the heavenly plain. To fight with the etheric body in Kung Fu is to put oneself on a higher level with ones mind, body and soul as one, not separate. Requires a much elevated form of spirit (Shen).