In this episode we explore how the Ape is linked into KungFu. Amazingly enough, I find out at the start, that what I thought was going to be the Ape, wasn't going to be. Over the years, I see many kungfu styles use the Gorilla as part of their icon to represent their Chinese Martial Art. I didn't know that the Gorilla wasn't ever native to China. The only historical references I found was the possibility a few may have been brought over as gifts to Chinese royalty. Another big ape I discovered that called China home was the 'Gigantopithecus'. He was 10 feet tall and weighed 1,200 pounds. Can you say, 'Sasquatch'?
The real Ape in China is the Orangutan.
Looking up Orangutan Kungfu took me to the 'Inside Kungfu Magazine Encyclopedia', where it says : "Orangutan Kungfu - See Tienbao Quan" That where I go, I take us through the history of one of the most popular northern systems of kungfu.
Tienbao Quan has two distinct styles :
The original version, that Xiang Qi created during the Qing Dynasty The more supple version, that his son developed. A General and Scholar, Jianchi Xiu, is an excellent carrier of the system and develops the manuscripts to explain it. This includes the 8 Judgements and training theories. It wasn't where I was expecting to go when I started this podcast, but I am glad that I followed it, where it took me.
Mentioned in the Ape's Link to KungFu:
The Ape : Chinese Martial Arts and the Legendary Creatures