ICMAC Kung Fu Camp

Styles Overview

Competition overview

One of our goals is to provide a Kung Fu/Wushu tournament that offers a competition platform for all Chinese Martial arts styles both Modern and Contemporary. To fulfill this task, our tournaments offer a great number of divisions for various age groups and skill levels.

Among the major categories featured are: Traditional Northern Kung Fu styles, Traditional Southern Kung Fu styles, Contemporary Wushu, and Internal Chinese Martial Arts styles. Each of these categories includes numerous events so that the maximum number of Kung Fu/Wushu styles can be featured.

Traditional Kung Fu/Wushu Styles Overview

Note: The Traditional Categories are intended to present the styles in their original content so as to preserve them for future generations. Forms that are altered for the sake of improving the chance of winning in competition undermine this goal and we ask all Masters, Sifus and Coaches to have their students present their art without deviating from or embellishing the styles original structure. Our Judges will also be instructed to look for these discrepancies.

There are a plethora of different Chinese martial arts styles and each has its own distinguishing characteristics; these should be reflected within the content of hand and weapon forms performed by a competitor.

General Requirements

There are certain general skills that are required of the competitor regardless of style. These skills and attributes must show a marked improvement from Novice to Beginner; Beginner to Intermediate; and Intermediate to Advanced.

Novice: A Novice Competitor generally has less  than one Year of training. At this level their understanding and mastery of speed and power is limited and their skill demonstrated this limitation. Nonetheless, a Novice must show a certain level of achievement in the following parameters:

  • Stances may not be solid but should be correct
  • Proper formation of anatomical weapons (fist, palm e foot formations)
  • Punches and kicks should be clear
  • The posture should be erect and the eyes should follow the general direction of movements

Note: Empty Hands Forms for a Novice should reflect the type of skills that a trainee would learn within a span of a few months to a maximum of one year of training. Teaching students skills which are behind their abilities is counterproductive and demonstrate that the student is further advanced than the one year of training.

The following guidelines apply to all competitors in the Novice Level:

  • Forms should be approximately up to 45 seconds in length
  • Must have limited jumping techniques
  • Any jumping kicks are limited to front jump kicks
  • Weapons are not permitted at this level

Beginner: A Beginner Competitor generally has between one and two years of training. At this level stances are more stable and footwork more agile; striking and kicking are more authoritative; and speed, power, focus and balance can be easily distinguishable from those of the Novice. The Beginner competitor must show a certain level of achievement in the following parameters:

  • Stances should be correct and firm
  • Striking and kicking is more precise and executed with more sharpens
  • Balance is markedly improved and posture is correct
  • Handwork is more coordinated with Footwork
  • Focus is more determined and eye and hand coordination is more precise

Note: Empty Hands and Weapons Forms should now reflect the skill level of trainees with up to two years of experience. Confidence and awareness of the competition floor should be more evident; speed and power more apparent. Techniques should not be attempted that are still beyond one's skill level. There is no reward for doing an advanced skill badly only deductions which will hurt your overall score.

The following guidelines apply to competitors in the Beginner Level:

  • Forms can be up to one minute in length
  • Forms can display a greater variety of movements and jumping skills
  • Weapons should be limited to Staff, Broadsword, Daggers, and Short Stick.

Note: The Erjie Gun, AKA Nanchaku, is allowed at this level and fall into the Short Weapons category. The weapon must display the characteristics of the style it represents. This weapon is not widespread in Chinese martial arts and is only practiced within few Southern Chinese Style

Intermediate Skill Level: An Intermediate Competitor has between two and up to four years of training. At this level stances are low and very stable; footwork is quick, smooth and precise; speed in striking and kicking is clearly visible and the climax of power more discernible in each technique; a sense of real combat is now evident in the form. The Intermediate competitor must show a certain level of achievement in the following parameters:

  • Stances are correct and reflect a high level of stability
  • Footwork is quick and fluid
  • Speed is reaching optimal levels
  • Power is easily distinguishable and employed in the manner akin to the style
  • Focus and concentration are optimal
  • Fighting content is clearly visible

Note: At this level the competitor is approaching advanced skills and the variety of Empty Hand and Weapon Forms now contains elements that are more complex and demanding. Even difficult techniques are executed with more ease and confidence is at a maximum; speed and power are superb; mastery of the competition floor is very apparent.

These following guidelines apply to competitors in the Intermediate Level:

  •  Forms can be up to two minutes long (up to 3 minutes for Southern Styles)
  • All weapons can now be used as long as they are entered in the appropriate category
  • There is no limit to the intricacy or difficulty of movement but guidelines have to be adhered to regarding specific categories

Advanced Skill Level: The major differences between Intermediate and Advanced competitors lies in the assertiveness, floor mastery and the ease with which an advanced competitor performs even the most advanced skills. An advanced competitor that struggles, lets say doing a tornado kick, a split, a butterfly kick or other demanding technique, cannot be considered as such. Competitors should not attempt techniques in which they are inept at and cannot execute properly. Difficult skills will only score well if they are executed flawlessly; there is no reward for making a mess of things. The Advanced competitor must show a certain level of achievement in the following parameters:

  • Stances, footwork, balance and posture are near perfect
  • Speed is explosive and power is released with smoothness and precision
  • There as an interplay of hard and soft, stopping and going, fast and slow
  • Combative intent is displayed in all techniques
  • Competitor understands the application of every skill and not simply perform movements by rote that are void of any functionality
  • Advanced competitors should display skills and abilities that all lower skill levels can aspire to emulate and achieve

The guidelines for Advanced Competitor are the same as the those in the Intermediate Level but overall skill is markedly higher in all aspects of execution.

Style Characteristics

Long Fist Category includes but are not limited to:

Cha Quan, Hua Quan, Hong Quan, Pao Quan, Tan Tui, Northern Shaolin, Eagle Claw, Mizong Quan, Mizong Luohan and other systems that contain long-range movements, jumping and kicking techniques; quick and agile footwork, sweeping techniques, and are void of yelling.

Key points:

  • High leaps and jumps are followed by soft landing
  • Low drops are coupled with high crane stances
  • Crane stances reflect poise and strong balance
  • Punching combinations are fast and precise
  • Eyes are piercing and coordinated with handwork
  • Forms cover a large distances and generally begin and end in the same spot


  • Unstable stances and clumsy footwork
  • Poor posture and balance
  • Mixing of Northern and Southern techniques
  • Punches and kicks are not clear and lack explosiveness
  • The structure of the form lacks fighting content

Long Fist Video Overview

Other Northern Kung Fu Styles include but are not limited to:

Tong Bei, Fan Zi, Pi Gua, Chuo Jiao and similar systems that are from the Northern school but which have certain characteristics that distinguish them from the Long Fist styles. Chiefly, their stances and techniques are not as open; handwork has more sweeping and chopping motions; and postures display a more concave chest.

Note: Traditional styles are limited to only open acrobatic technique, these include: Butterfly kicks, hand-springs, flips, kips ups, and ground rolling techniques and one split!

Northern Open Kung Fu styles include:
Systems that incorporate acrobatic, tumbling and falling techniques—such as Monkey Kung Fu, Drunken Kung Fu, and Di Tang are included in this category.

Depending on the championship, special divisions may be available for Praying Mantis Kung Fu, Eagle Claw Kung Fu, and Baji.

Southern Styles Overview

Southern Long Hand styles:
Hung Gar Kung Fu (Hong Jia), Lau Gar Kung Fu (Liu Jia), Choi Li Fut Kung Fu (Cai Li Fo), Jow Gar Kung Fu, and other similar systems that employ strong low stances, long-range strikes and strong bridging techniques fall into this category.*

* Wherever possible, the Pinyin spelling for each style is provided.

Southern Short Hand styles:
Systems that employ a close-in stance and close-in fighting techniques such as White Eyebrow, Dragon Style, Five Family Style, Wing Chun, Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu and other similar styles are included in this category.

Internal Competition Styles

Styles such as Taiji (Tai Chi), Xing Yi, Bagua, and Liuhe Bafa belong in the Internal styles category.

Taiji has evolved into several different schools and includes the following major styles: Chen Taiji, Yang Taiji, Wu Taiji, Hao Taiji and Sun Taiji.

Contemporary or Modern Wushu

Contemporary Long Fist Wushu, commonly known as Chang Quan, is mostly based on the traditional Cha Quan and Hua Quan styles along with elements from other Traditional Long Fist Kung Fu systems.

Nan Quan refers to Southern style contemporary Wushu routines that are also based on the Traditional Southern systems, such as the Hong, Liu Quan, Li Quan, Mo and other styles.

Animal imitation routines, Drunken and Di Tang (falling and tumbling styles) are also found in the Contemporary Wushu repertoire.

Weapon Routines

The numerous weapons divisions in both traditional Kung Fu and contemporary Wushu include long, short, flexible, and open weapons categories.

Long weapons: Staff and spear

Short weapons: Sword and saber

Flexible weapons: Three-sectional staff, rope dart, and chain whip

Other weapons: Any weapon not classified in the above categories such as: Fan, Pu Dao, Guan Dao, Double Headed Spear, Two Section Staff (not Nunchaku), Tiger Fork, Monk's Spade etc....

Note: Drunken, Monkey, and other acrobatic styles fall into the Other Weapons Category and are limited to only open acrobatic technique, these include: Butterfly kicks, hand-springs, flips, kips ups, and ground rolling techniques and one spllit!


Reaction Skills Competitions

Reaction skills events involve two competitors who engage in a match. Each of the different reaction skills is governed by certain rules, as follows:

Tui Shou or Push Hands:
Tui Shou is a distinctive reaction skill common to Tai Chi tournaments. It is offered in all of the Chinese Martial Arts Championship Worldwide Circuit competitions. We feature Fixed Step Push Hands, Restricted Step Push Hands and Moving Step Push Hands.

Light Contact Continuous Sparring:
Continuous light contact Sanda permits flowing action; the match is not stopped every time someone scores a point. This allows for a flurry of techniques to be exchanged between opponents.

Chi Sao:
Chi Sao incorporates sticking, redirecting and striking techniques. This is one of the key training aspects of Wing Chun Kung Fu. But competitors from other disciplines may enter this category to develop and sharpen their sensativity and sticking skills.

Shuai Jiao:
Commonly known as Chinese wrestling, this is a dynamic art that uses many throwing techniques.

Sanda is unique to Chinese martial arts. It is an exciting full contact sport that features kicking, striking, and throwing techniques. All Sanda (Full Contact Fights) hosted by ICMAC will be sanctioned with ISKA.

Sword Sparring:
This sparring event allows competitors to display the skills of Chinese swordsmanship.

Journal of Chinese Martial Arts

City Century LLC

Helen Gee Chin Scholarship Foundation


American Shaolin Kung Fu


Shaolin Kung Fu Academy





International Shaolin Wushu Center


Chen Style Tai Chi

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