As one of the most ancient forms of martial arts, Kung Fu has held sway for millennia. Originating in ancient China, the form encompasses many diverse styles and focuses on extreme discipline in its combat training. Besides combat, however, Kung Fu offers a diverse array of philosophical and moral subjects to its students, truly creating a way of life.
Kung Fu: The Mythical Martial Arts Form
Kung Fu is one of the oldest forms of martial arts, with the earliest mention dating back to Fifth Century B.C. China. Legend has it that the form is even older, pointing towards almost 4,000 years ago when the mythical Yellow Emperor armed his soldiers with hand-to-hand training.
Kung Fu: The Modern Era
The modern popularity of Kung Fu is largely based on the failed Boxer Rebellion, in which several martial arts activists rose against foreign occupants of China. Chinese Kung Fu masters were widely encouraged to teach their art, and as many began to escape the new Chinese regime, Kung Fu became diffused across the world.
Kung Fu: A Combat Training Approach
Kung Fu focuses on four major combat training areas: basics, forms, applications, and weapons.
Basics: Before advancing to more difficult training, a student of Kung Fu must master the basics. This typically involves learning techniques, practicing fundamental stances, and learning how to focus one’s “qi,” or life energy.
Forms: After learning the basics, Kung Fu students learn continuous sets of movement called forms. Done both solo and with a partner, these choreographed sequences are meant to teach basic combat principles.
Applications: Kung Fu teachers ensure that their student are able to succeed outside of the classroom. By applying techniques to sparring and drills, students are able to learn how to respond in a fight.
Weapons: As an ancient art, Kung Fu training employs many traditional Chinese weapons in training. Most of these are accompanied by special forms and applications.
Kung Fu: A Philosophical Approach
In addition to the intense physical training regimen, Kung Fu focuses on lifestyle and philosophy. Some Kung Fu schools may teach meditation, Chinese culture, ethics, and sometimes medicine. All Kung Fu disciplines focus on a specific philosophy set, however, called “wude,” which translates to “martial morality” and focuses on two major principles.
Morality of Mind seeks to produce personal harmony between the “emotional mind” and “wisdom mind” and involves the following: Courage (Yong), Patience (Ren), Perserverance (Yi), Endurance (Heng), and Will (Zhi).
Morality of Deed attempts to foster social relationships and uses these concepts: Humility (Qian), Sincerity (Cheng), Courtesy (Li), Morality (Yi), and Trust (Xin).
Kung Fu students will gain many valuable combat tools and learn how to react in any situation. Beyond that, learning Kung Fu provides a calm and balanced lifestyle. This ancient art has survived this long with good reason, and continues to carry significant international influence due to its effectiveness.
What Is Kung Fu?
Kung Fu, also known as Chinese martial arts, is a technical fighting skill and Chinese tradition that has been developed and diversified by martial arts masters for many centuries. Kung Fu originates in China and consists of a great number of schools (sub-styles) that are defined by the unique suite of skills and fighting styles they focus on teaching students.
Schools of Kung Fu
Some schools specialize in the mastery of mimicking animals, such as the monkey, the tiger or the stork and these combat styles have become the defining characteristic of the individual Kung Fu school. Others may focus on religious belief or Chinese philosophy. There are many different Kung Fu styles and sub-styles, which can be categorized according to the region from which they originated (click on the links to learn more).
Northern Kung Fu Styles:
Southern Kung Fu Styles:
Choy Li Fut
The Popularity of Kung Fu
Kung Fu became greatly popular in the west with the exposure it gained through martial arts film and media. Bruce Lee, in particular, had a huge impact on the development and spread of martial arts and released several blockbuster films prior to his unfortunate death in 1972. Today, Kung Fu is practiced across the world for many reasons, including health and fitness, self-defense, competitive sport, tradition and even for fight choreography.
To learn more about Kung Fu, check out the links below:
Links of Interest to Come Soon:
History of Kung Fu
The Sub-styles of Kung Fu:
- Northern Styles (Shaolin Kung Fu and more)
- Southern Styles (Wing Chun and more)
Kung Fu Training
Kung Fu Schools
Kung Fu Forms
Kung Fu for Kids
Kung Fu Tournaments
Notable Fighters in Kung Fu
Local Kung Fu Schools
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