Zui Quan

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Zui Quan (Traditional and Simplified Chinese: ??; pinyin: Zuì Quán, literally Drunken Fist, also known as Drunken Boxing or Drunkard’s Boxing) is a traditional Chinese martial art concept as well as a classification of Wushu form. It is a category of techniques, forms and fighting philosophy that appear to imitate a drunkard’s movements.[1] 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 more difficult wushu styles to learn due to the need for powerful joints and fingers. Zui Quan is sometimes called Zuijiuquan (???, literally “Drunken Alcohol Fist”).

While Zuì Quán is often accompanied by actual intoxication in fiction, if one were to actually attempt fighting while drunk, they would likely severely hurt themselves and not be able to fight at all, as the form requires a great amount of balance and coordination (which are crippled while intoxicated).

Many Traditional Chinese Martial Arts utilize drunken techniques and fighting philosophy within forms and techniques. For example:

Performance Wushu contains several exhibition forms called “Drunken” forms that bear no actual connection to the forms found in Traditional Chinese Martial Arts. [4]

Shaolin-Do teaches Drunken forms beginning at the first degree blackbelt level.[5] It has not been verified whether or not Shaolin Do is a Chinese, Japanese or Indonesian style, or a mix of these and/or other arts.

Zui Quan received mainstream media attention outside of China after the premiere of the film Drunken Master in 1978. Drunken Fist’s legendary style and execution is featured in many books, movies, comics and television shows.