I'm new to Wushu, and I've read some stuff on the web about it, but I still don't understand a lot of things, for example:

Is Tao lu the name of the northern Kung Fu style? Or is it a general name for a series of movements (routine), like those from the Wushu championships?

Is Chang Quan the same thing as Tao lu?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


Taolu means "form" or "routine" in Mandarin in the same way that kata means "form" or "routine" in Japanese.

Chang Quan means "long fist". Originally, this was probably a distinct style, but came to mean a general category of Northern Chinese martial arts that includes styles like Cha Quan, Mizong Quan, and Shaolin Quan. In general, you can tell that a phrase refers to a Chinese martial arts style by the designation Quan, which translates to "Fist". Quan in this context is a shortening of Quan Fa which translates "Fist Method", and therefore refers to a style of martial arts.

Chang Quan contains many Taolu ("forms"), but also many things besides forms. I risk digression, so I will stop while I'm ahead.

  • Well, thanks a lot. So Chang Quan is for all northern wushu, and Nan Quan for Southern? Commented Feb 9, 2014 at 23:59
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    Bei Chuan (also spelled Pei Quan) is northern shaolin. Nan Chuan is southern shaolin. Chang Chuan is "long fist", and there are many styles that are considered chang chuan. Also keep in mind that many southern styles also contain long-fist, yet they don't belong under the Chang Chuan umbrella. For example, Choy Lay Fut. So the phrase "Chang Chuan" can refer to either the martial art system or to a quality of techniques within the martial art. Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 5:54

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