Category: History 歷史


張熙政1 傳統的「七長八短」 陳雲濤在《螳螂拳略論中》説道:「通背拳為七長之拳,而螳螂拳則七長八短,長短俱備,八剛十二柔,剛柔相濟,為短打之絕妙好拳」2。馬漢清在〈淺談螳螂拳的七長八短、八剛十二柔〉中提出長拳短打並不能計量區分,「七長八短」也無法精確說明,所以有「長拳即短打,短打即是長拳」之說,然後他再具體説明何謂「七長八短」3。 所謂的「七長」:

A Bit of History on Chinese Wrestling

Two people prepared to wrestle. Ink sketch found in Mogao Caves No.17. Dunhuang.

Chinese wrestling depicted in an ink-sketch (~9th c.) found in the Mogao Caves No.17, stored in the British Museum (as told by some Chinese articles).

Chinese wrestling has many names. Modern nomenclature follows Ming and Qing convention and uses the term Shuāi Jiāo (摔跤 lit. throws and trips). It was also called Jué Dǐ (角抵 lit. antlers butting ). Xiāng Pū (相撲 lit. pounce against each other) was the more popular name in the older days. Here you guessed it, they are the same characters used for sumo (相撲).

Xiāng Pū back in Tang and Song’s (~7th-13th c.) time was a very popular sport and form of entertainment. They used to host the wrestling games at temples during major festivals, with the matches dedicated to some deities, and the wrestlers would go and compete from all over the country. The novel Water Margins describes a wrestling match dedicated to the deified Mt. Tai.

Winners of the matches would gain lavish match prizes sponsored by businesses and artisans, country-wide recognition, and massive following. The sport was so popular and well-developed that, like football back in that time, wrestlers were organised into clubs governed by wrestlers societies. To make the sport even more enticing, there was also a women “division”, for the lack of a better term, and they were competing half-naked. Women wrestling was so hot that the Emperor was caught watching it and subsequently scolded by one of his minsters (the Emperor could been participated in the organisation of it even, but the details are not very clear).

Many of the traditions are still followed by Sumo in Japan today. Sadly, the tradition of women wrestling is discontinued.