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15 July 2015

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Ziran Men (Nature Chuan)

Ziran Men (Nature Chuan) was created by Dwarf Xu of Sichuan Province in the late years of the Qing Dynasty. Xu's style of Chuan was standardized by Du Xinwu of Cili County of Hunan Province. Du followed Xu for eight years to learn the nature Chuan and came to understand the essence and secrets of the martial arts.

Nature boxers do not pursue tricks nor do they emphasize mastery of unique skills. Instead, they pay attention to tempering the mind, spirit and air flows inside the body and to the good application of eyesight, fist plays, footwork and movements of the body. They can fight their opponents with whichever part of their body they see fit and they can even launch attacks in situations which others would think impossible.

They believe that to practise combative basics is to practise breathing and vice versa. The mind guides the flow of air inside their bodies, and when the mind reaches a certain point so does the air flow, and when the mind stops so do the movements. All movements follow the natural feeling and thinking. When nature boxers play lightly they are also steady and when they play heavily they are not clumsy. The hands are played along a straight line, and fist plays are so fast that others cannot see them during a bout. There is hardness in the suppleness and vice versa.

Nature Chuan is now practised in Fujian and Hunan provinces of China.

Zi Ran Men (Traditional Chinese: 自然門; Simplified Chinese: 自然门; literally “the natural style”), also known as Natural Boxing, is a Northern internal style of Kung Fu that is taught in conjunction with Qigong breathing techniques. The style traces its lineage to Dwarf Xu, who based it on ancient Taoist philosophy. Du Xinwu, the second generation of the martial arts, served as a bodyguard to Sun Yat-sen, then the provisional president of the Republic of China. Du imparted his knowledge of "Natural Boxing" to Wan Laisheng, a prominent martial artist in twentieth century. 

Zi Ran Men/nature boxing is based on ancient Taoist philosophy, traditional Chinese Medical Theory, and most importantly, the philosophy of "One and Zero". It combines physical training, Qigong (Chi kung), meditation and combat techniques. Through training, Zi Ran Men is said to enhance the spirit of the mind, regulate the circulation of Chi and develop physical sensitivity. According to practitioners when the body is in harmony, you will live a long and healthy life.

Zi Ran Men Theory
There is no beginning or end of movement; there is no beginning or end of stillness, and there is no beginning or end of change. Actual attack is hidden within fake attack, and movements are within stillness, according to practitioners. When you can successfully apply these theories, you will have freedom of movement. Your attacks and defence will be fluid and agile.

Zi Ran Men Chi Kung
Chi Kung is the primary concern in Zi Ran Men. It is divided into two components: Physical training and combat techniques. These two components combine for one purpose, which is said to enhance the health of body and mind.

Combat Techniques
Initially, students learn particular forms and follow certain rules. Through practice, these movements progress from awkward to natural. When this level is reached, you can fight successfully.

The methods of Zi Ran Men combat follow the rules of nature - apply the techniques without thought, movements come from nothing.

When still, the stance resembles an ancient Chinese General holding a decree tablet. This is known as "Bao Bei Shou". When moving, the feet remain in the shape of the letter 'T' and the hands hold the form of "Ghost Hands".

Fighting the enemy
Avoid the attack. Retaliate when his force is spent, before he has time to regather. Move when the enemy moves, attack when he attacks. Exploit the situation, be light and nimble. Attack is within defence and defence is within attack. Both are real and apparent.