Lineages And Traditions Of Wudang Pai Kungfu

In Wudang Kungfu there are a lot of lineages and back at its peak time their number counted up to more than 80 lineages. Lineages, sects, school or styles, in chinese ‘pai’ or ‘men’, have different sizes, meanings and reasons why they were created. Some are very big like our school’s main lineage the longmen pai – dragongate lineage – which is by far the biggest in whole china and around 70% of the daoist monks on mt. wudang derive from this lineage. In the family tree of the lineages the dragongate lineage is the trunk while other lineages like the chunyang pai are branches of the same tree. Many things are lost now and today some of the smaller lineages consist only of a few things teached within them. Most of them died out or were interrupted for a long time. The Sanfeng Pai and the Xuan Wu Pai which so far are the most spread in present wudang are good examples for resurrected lineages which have been interrupted before. It was Wang Guangde, the former abbot of wudang who resurrected these two lineages and nominated You Xuande as representative for the xuanwu pai and Zhong Yunlong as for the sanfeng pai. Don’t get confused by the names of the lineages. For example the name of the sanfeng pai lineage, doesn’t mean that only this lineage is representing the handed down kungfu of Zhang Sanfeng, who himself was a student of the dragongate daoist ‘Huolong Zhen Ren’. Zhang San Feng, the founder of taijiquan, didn’t invent wudang kungfu and even taijiquan has its roots in older wudang traditions. As well as Qiu Chu Ji, the founder of the dragongate lineage, he passed his knowledge to his 7 main disciples, which later formed the universe of lineages throughout china. Zhang Sanfeng’s last disciple was Zhang Songxi. It were his disciples who founded the songxi pai lineage, which today is another very big and important own lineage outside of the bigger tree of the dragongate lineages. Today many lineages struggle with the emergency concerning the problem whether they will be passed on or not.


Longmen Pai Master Wang mainly represents this lineage and teaches a lot of its very rare kungfu which in wudang is only taught by him. This lineage is big and old and consists of many different things ranging from internal kungfu fighting skills to qigong, meditation, massage etc. It is by far the biggest daoist lineage.
Chunyang Pai Chunyang Pai or Chunyang Men had almost dissolved, but, coming deep from the last monastery daoist traditions of the five dragon palace, grandmaster Liu Li Hang teached it to the outside world and with this guaranteed its nearer future. Chunyang Pai is known for its famous chunyang boxing, chunyang sword and chunyang qigong.
Songxi Pai Outside of the dragongate longmen traditions this pai is a big and still passed on lineage containing of a lot of old traditional kungfu of very important value because of its pure character of original internal wudang style boxing.
Wudang Pai this term is usually used for the whole of wudang arts and culture but not only martial arts. We use it also for many of the old forms which can not be traced back to any certain lineage, but which were teached traditionally in wudang.
Ziran Men is the lineage from which a lot of master wang’s fighting skills derive. Ziran Men emphasizes fighting abilities and for this purposes uses the highest rule of daoism “dao fa zi ran” which means that the law of the dao is the nature. Therefore this tradition emphasizes on natural reflexes and the reflective development of internal applications. Practicing this lineage will come along with a rapidly increasing martial ability and cat quick reflexes. Very interesting for lovers of real internal fighting skills.

There are many more lineages not mentioned yet like qingxu pai, tiangang pai, our grandmaster’s wudang third heavenly gate lineage (santianmen pai). The list is too long. At the end we want to add that it is not easy to get a good overview of the character and meaning of all of the lineages and schools. Even after a well-intentioned little introduction like this, there may be many questions left. But we want to encourage you to not just get confused or feel left alone with a lot of questions. We want to inform. If you want to discuss the lineages, wudang kungfu or anything to do with it, then you are always welcome to write an email, use our guestbook, or visit us on facebook, twitter, youtube, or g+ or pinterest.

Two daoist orders: Quanzhen Jiao and Zhengyi Jiao

All of daoists disciples, monks and priests are generally seperated by the two religious orders, the quanzhen jiao and the zhengyi jiao. These two orders (sects) have different ways of cultivation and played different roles in the history of daoism. While quanzhen jiao is the more secluded order with many rules and a cultivation way of a monk in a monestary, the zhengi jiao is the more worldly order which also include a normal career and a family life. For the quanzhen jiao the way of cultivation leads through sutra recitation, ceremony, the use of medicine, health preservation, longevity practice and internal martial arts mainly. It is also traditionally known for internal alchemy. Disciples of this order are not allowed to eat meat or drink alcohol and practice celibacy. Zhengyi pai disciples have a different way of cultivation which could include all of the quanzhen jiao practices but mustn‘t. They worked a lot for the benefit of the society with catching ghosts, using magic, healing the sick, helping to maintain the balance of yin and yang with fengshui (chinese geomancy) etc. Their way of cultivation is not the one of limitation and pureness, but the one of following the nature and therefore for example having a family and children. The practice of external alchemy is traditionally related to the zhengyi jiao.


With this text we don’t want to offence any person or lineage, but want to inform the people about certain questions that we’ve been frequently asked throughout the years. Here is not enough space to write everything very detailed, so please apologize when there are names and facts missing. The purpose of this text is only to introduce wudang daoist lineages. Everybody is welcome to contact us for more information.