Home>>>Chinese culture>>>>Chinese Kung Fu

Welcome to chinese kungfu

The filiation and development of  Wushu(Kungfu)
 
           
Wushu(Kungfu) is also called national skill or feat, it is a kind of Chinese traditional sport item. It contains series of actions and many single action to fit kick, strike, tumble, hold, fall, cleave…together in some certain rules. It has wide foundation during the mass, it is an precious and varied culture bequest which Chinese accumulate during the long social practice.
The beginning of Wushu(Kungfu) may come back to primitive society. A t that time, men began to fight against the beasts with the primitive tools like sticks as weapons in order to protect themselves and get living things. Later they made weapons with more execution for getting others' fortune. So more weapons were made and the skills of fight were also improved during the war.
In Yin and Shang Dynasty, some coppery weapons like spears, daggers, halberds, axes, swords broadswords had come out. Meanwhile how to use these weapons appeared, too.
In Chunqiu and War Periods, with the development of ironware and the rising of footmen and cavalrymen, weapons' handles were changed into short ones, short ones into long ones in the war. Then there were so many kinds of weapons, and the characteristic of attack was more extrusive.  And people also attached importance to it.
         
     In Qin Dynasty head-fighting and hand-fighting were prevailed. In Han Dynasty the dances of swords and double halberds had come forth. These show that the Wushu(Kongfu) dance had had obvious feat, it had not only actions to attach and protect, but also series of it presented. Many different art styles of genres had come into being.
   In Jin, North and South Dynasties, in the continuous wars bureaucrats and peers wanted to have eosin lives, it affected the lives of different social estates. The practice of Wushu(Kungfu) was taken instead by the absurd heresy. Therefore lore Wushu(Kungfu) stopped.
   In Sui and Tang Dynasty, Wu Shu rose again. In Tang Dynasty the excellent knights were given some corresponding titles according to their skills. Every title had its own standard.
         
   In Song Dynasty the civilian organization of Wu Shu presented. They practiced on the street and it was full of jollification. In Song Dynasty Wu Shu was mostly taught secretly in one family.
   Ming Dynasty was a developing period for Wushu(Kungfu), different styles of genres came forth, especially in boxing and engineeries. Some works wrote its genres, evolution, action names, characteristic, moving ways and technical theories, some had pictures and verses to show the action clearly. It gave the important basic for the late generation to research Wushu(Kungfu).
         
In Qing Dynasty some kinds of boxing had formed such as Shadowboxing, the Eight Diagrams Boxing andthe Form and Will Boxing After the PLA was founded ,Wush(Kungfu) is inherited,cleared up and improved as the bequest of an excellent people. And a large number of associations have been come into existence while our nation also has the special departments to be in charge of the exercise of Wushu(Kungfu) and regards it as a formal competition.

References to the concepts and use of Chinese martial arts can be found in popular culture. Historically, the influence of Chinese martial arts can be found in books and in the performance arts specific to Asia. Recently, those influences have extended to the movies and television that targets a much wider audience. As a result, Chinese martial arts have spread beyond its ethnic roots and have a global appeal.

Martial arts play a prominent role in the literature genre known as wuxia . This type of fiction is based on Chinese concepts of chivalry, a separate martial arts society (Wulin, 武林) and a central theme involving martial arts.Wuxia stories can be traced as far back as 2nd and 3rd century BC, becoming popular by the Tang Dynasty and evolving into novel form by the Ming Dynasty. This genre is still extremely popular in much of Asia and provides a major influence for the public perception of the martial arts.

Martial arts influences can also be found in Chinese opera of which Beijing opera is one of the best-known examples. This popular form of drama dates back to the Tang Dynasty and continues to be an example of Chinese culture. Some martial arts movements can be found in Chinese opera and some martial artists can be found as performers in Chinese operas.

In modern times, Chinese martial arts have spawned the genre of cinema known as the martial arts film. The films of Bruce Lee were instrumental in the initial burst of Chinese martial arts' popularity in the West in the 1970s. Martial artists and actors such as Jet Li and Jackie Chan have continued the appeal of movies of this genre. Martial arts films from China are often referred to as "kungfu movies" , or "wire-fu" if extensive wire work is performed for special effects, and are still best known as part of the tradition of kungfu theater. (see also: wuxia, Hong Kong action cinema).

In the west, Kung fu has become a regular action staple, and makes appearances in many films that would not generally be considered "Martial Arts" films. These films include but are not limited to The Matrix Trilogy, Kill Bill, and The Transporter.

Martial arts themes can also be found on television networks. A U.S. network TV western series of the early 1970s called Kung Fu also served to popularize the Chinese martial arts on television. With 60 episodes over a three-year span, it was one of the first North American TV shows that tried to convey the philosophy and practice in Chinese martial arts. The use of Chinese martial arts techniques can now be found in most TV action series, although the philosophy of Chinese martial arts is seldom portrayed in depth.

 
 Wushu, or Martial Art, is an important component ofthe cultural heritage of China, with a rich content over the centuries. Literally, "Wu" means military, and "Shu" means art. Wushu therefore means the art of fighting, or martial arts. Martial training includes Ti (kicking), Da (punching), Shuai (throwing), Na (controlling), Ji (hitting), Ci (thrusting), etc. Related to each style are basic forms, or sequences, which may involve defense strategies, offense, retreat, mobility and immobility, speed and slowness, hard or soft postures, emptiness and fullness, with or without weapons.  
 
Wushu was born and has steadily grown and attained perfection as an integral part of Chinese culture. As such it is bound to be influenced and conditioned by other forms of culture, first and foremost by philosophy, art and literature, and religion. Wushu reigns as one of the most traditional and popular national sport in China, practiced by the young and old alike.
 
Wushu was originally a military training method, bearing a close relationship with ancient combats. Practical skills, such as strength training, fencing, staff sparring, spear training, etc., are still used now by policemen and soldiers. Today Wushu has been organized and systematized into a formal branch of study in the performance arts and has become an athletic and aesthetic performance and competitive sport. Every movement must exhibit sensible combat application and aestheticism. Chinese Wushu is classified into various styles according to different regions, different schools and families, as well as different fighting techniques. Routines are performed solo, paired or in groups, either barehanded or armed with traditional Chinese weaponry. Wushu can be viewed in terms of two categories, including Taolu (Forms with or without weapons) and Sanshou (Free Sparring).
Taolu is a performance of set offensive and defensive Wushu movements based on
 
Chinese Wushu principles. It includes the following four main categories: Bare-
Handed Forms, Weapon Forms, Duilian, and Group Forms.
 
Duilian form consists of sets of offensive and defensive movements for two or more practitioners in mock combat routines. They usually include three groups -- Bare-handed vs. Bare-handed, Weapon(s) vs. Weapon(s), and Bare-handed vs. Weapon(s). Group Forms are usually for demonstrations only and performed with or without weapons by a group of six or more persons.
 
Wushu's emphasis has shifted from combat to performance, and it is practiced for its method of achieving health, self-defense skills, mental discipline, recreational pursuit and competition. In 1990, Wushu was adopted as an official medal event in the Asian Games, and since then World Championships have been held with 56 nations participating. Now Wushu is vying for the
Olympic Games in the 21st century.
 
The more famous Chinese kung fu includes:
Shaolin Kungfu
Shaolin Kungfu has a history of about 1500 years. It is the style of Kungfu (a martial art) that originally developed in the Shaolin Monastery in China. The Shaolin school is very popular in secular society with a myriad of followers. Over the years it was enriched theoretically and its techniques perfected to form a colossal system of fist fight.

Choy Li Fut:
Choy Li Fut is one of the most powerful styles of Wushu. It relies on very powerful hand and arm techniques. Four main hand techniques are used, including the straight punch, the back fist, the uppercut and the hook punch. It incorporates oriental medicine and philosophy. The emphasis is on learning through forms practice and many hands and weapons forms are taught, most of which have between one hundred and three hundred moements. Speed, balance and power are all important elements in this style of Wushu, which also combines hard and soft techniques. Many full contact fighters follow this system.

Tai Chi Chuan
One of the three orthodox "internal" styles of Chinese martial art (the other two being Hsing Yi Ch'uan and Pa Kua Chang). The term "T'ai Chi" refers to the ancient Chinese cosmological concept of the interplay between two opposite yet complementary forces (Yin and Yang) as being the foundation of creation. "Ch'uan" literaly means "fist" and denotes an unarmed method of combat. T'ai Chi Ch'uan as a martial art is based on the principle of the soft overcoming the hard.

WING CHUN
One of the most popular forms of Kung Fu. Wing Chun was an obscure and little known art until the mid twentieth century. While multiple histories of the art do exist (some with only minor discrepancies), the generally accepted version is thus: The style traces its roots back over 250 years ago to the Southern Shaolin Temple. At that time, the temple a was sanctuary to the Chinese revolution that was trying to overthrow the ruling Manchu. A classical martial arts system was taught in the temple which took 15-20 years to produce an efficient fighter. Popularized by Bruce Lee.

Chinese Kung Fu developed with the Chinese social society. The Shang period before the 16th and 11th centuries B.C. saw the flourishing of the Bronze Age in China, giving rise to an array of bronze weapons, such as the wave-bladed spear, dagger-axe, halberd, axe, battle-axe, broad-sword and rapier. These weapons required a corresponding development in skill wielding them.

 
 
 
 
 
                             act  now       
 

China Kungfu Tour
 
    Kung Fu, also known as Wushu, is the generic name for any Martial Art that comes from China, both "internal" and "external," "bare-handed"and "with weapons","traditional" and "contemporary".
    There are 4 basic skills in Chinese Kung Fu --- kicking, punching, wrestling and seizing-finishing (Qin-na in Chinese). Advanced skills are involved in pressure points, arts of war as well as various weapons.
    Kung Fu is the most popularly known of all the martial arts. It employs kicks, strikes, throws, body turns, dodges, holds, crouches and starts, leaps and falls, handsprings, somersaults and etc. These movements include more techniques involving the open hand, such as claws and rips, than those used in Karate. As a very ancient form of martial arts, Kung Fu also has innumerable styles and sub styles. It includes the legendary Shaolin style of fighting, which was named after a 6th century monastery in Henan province, China.
    Kung Fu is a great exercise for discipline, encouragement, concentration, flexibility, balance as well as self-defense. Kung Fu has greatly benefitted the physical well-being of the people who practice it.