Chinese martial arts (also known as Chinese Kung Fu, Gong Fu or Wu Shu) is a series of fighting styles (such as Shaolin, Emei, Taichi, Qigong) that developed over a very long period of time in China. Chinese Kung Fu is one of the most important examples of traditional Chinese culture, and it is probably one of the earliest sports that gain more and more popularity. Now, Chinese Kung Fu is seen as a representative for Chinese culture. Many Chinese people practice martial arts for the purpose of health, physical training, and self-defense. Chinese Kung Fu also promotes virtue and peace, not aggression or violence.
Chinese Martial Arts History
Chinese Kung Fu can be dated back to primeval society. At that time, Chinese people developed primary means (such as kicking, leaping, tumbling) to fight against wild beasts. Gradually, they accumulated experience in self-defense. When the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) began, wrestling, spear skills, and swordplay became well-developed and were popular. Also, hunting was considered an important measure of Kung Fu training.
Kung Fu become a large system that has many branches and schools or sects. The most outstanding and influential schools include Shaolin Martial Arts, Wudang Martial Arts, Emei Martial Arts, TaiJiQuan (Tai Chi), and Chinese QiGong, etc.
Significant Chinese Kung Fu Masters
Yip Man was a Chinese martial artist who had several students who later became martial arts teachers (Bruce Lee was one of them).
Bruce Lee was a martial arts instructor and the founder of Jeet Kune Do.
Huo Huanjia was a Chinese martial artist and a co-founder of a martial arts school in Shanghai.
Wong Feihung was a Chinese martial artist, physician, acupuncturist, and revolutionary.
Chinese Kung Fu Stars
He was a Hong Kong American martial artist and actor, who is considered by many people as the most influential martial artist of the 20th century. He used Wing Chun, a branch of Chinese Kung Fu as his base and founded his own technique, Jeet Kune Do.
He is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist, and singer. In his movies, he is known for injecting his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, and stunts into his martial arts performances. In 2008, he sang at the closing ceremony of the 2008 Bejing Summer Olympics.
Jet Li (Li Lianjie in Chinese) is a film actor, film producer, martial artist, and WuShu champion who was born in Beijing. He won the national WuShu champion five times, and he is also an actor in Hollywood films.
Three Chinese Phrases
1. Chinese Martial Arts is called Gong Fu or Wu Shu.
2. The Kung Fu master or teacher is called Si Fu, which means your teacher as your father.
3. A student of Kung Fu is called Tu Di.