Drunken Kung Fu (醉拳; pinyin: Zuì Quán) (called Zuì Quán in China, the country of its origin) is an advanced form of wushu. There are many legends surrounding its development, with the most prominent being the tale of eight immortals at a banquet in an undersea kingdom. The immortals became drunk, and the kingdom's guards attacked -- only to be repelled by an impromptu style created by the immortals, which would eventually become zuiquan.
The element of surprise is key to the success of Zuì Quán fighters. Mimicking the clumsy, erratic movements of a drunkard, they confuse their opponents and hide their combative attacks. Zuì Quán practitioners are extremely flexible and dexterous, as the art demands supple joints and fluid motions. This style is usually one of the last styles a wushu student will learn, as it is extremely difficult physically and requires a deep understanding of wushu theory.
Even though the style seems irregular and off balance, Zuì Quán techniques are highly acrobatic, and require a great degree of skill, balance and coordination. The postures are created by momentum and weight of the body, and imitation is generally through staggering and certain type of fluidity in the movements. It is considered to be among the most difficult wushu styles to learn due to the need for powerful joints and fingers.
To excel, one must be relaxed and flow with ease from one technique to another. Swaying, drinking, and falling are used to throw off opponents. When the opponent thinks the drunken boxer is vulnerable, he is usually well balanced and ready to strike. When swigging a wine cup, the practitioner is really practicing grabbing and striking techniques. The waist movements trick opponents into attacking, sometimes even falling over. Falls can be used to avoid attacks but also to pin attackers to the ground while vital points are targeted.
- Zuì Quán has been made known worldwide by Jackie Chan, in the 1978 martial arts film Drunken Master.
- Drunken boxing at Wikipedia.