The “Twelve Descriptions” of Wushu

east bay wushu 武术 十二型

The basic skills of Wushu, generally referred as basics or jibengong (基本功), are the essential fundamentals – the building blocks – for becoming an accomplished Wushu practitioner.

Wushu practice starts and ends with the basics, and there is a wide range of physical and mental attributes that contribute to a superior performance. For this, a set of twelve traditional figurative phrases, known as the Twelve Descriptions (十二型) was compiled during the process of development of Wushu, in order to help masters and practitioners understand some of these core characteristics and requirements.

These Twelve Descriptions are featured in the back of our school T-shirts and they are:

动如涛 Dong Ru Tao Move Like A Large Wave
静如岳 Jing Ru Yue Still Like A Mountain
起如猿 Qi Ru Yuan Rise Like An Ape
落如鹊 Luo Ru Que Land Like A Bird
站如松 Zhan Ru Song Stand Firm Like A Tree
立如鸡 Li Ru Ji Stand Still Like A Rooster
转如轮 Zhuan Ru Luan Turn Like A Wheel
折如弓 Zhe Ru Gong Bend Like A Bow
缓如鹰 Huan Ru Ying Stealth Like An Eagle
快如风 Kuai Ru Feng Fast Like Wind
轻如叶 Qing Ru Xie Light Like A Leaf
重如铁 Zhong Ru Tie Heavy As Iron

Grasping the inner meaning of each one of the Twelve Descriptions will allow Wushu practitioners to be able to identify and connect with each one these different characteristics and therefore improve their level of practice and understanding of Wushu techniques.

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