This chapter provides an overview of the Shaolin monks' hand combats. In the seventeenth century, Shaolin monks had developed sophisticated empty-handed techniques (quan), which eventually replaced the staff martial arts as the dominant form of Shaolin fighting technique during the mid-Qing period (the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries). The chapter reviews two treatises—Hand Combat Classic, Collection of Hand Combat Methods (Quan jing, Quan fa beiyao) and Xuanji's Secret Transmission of Acupuncture Points' Hand Combat Formulas—both of which employ an identical martial vocabulary in providing the fighting principles of the martial art. The two had circulated in Qing manuscript editions before being published in Shanghai during the Republican era.
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