Kung Fu An Introduction to Traditional Chinese Arts

Bruce Lee screams! A young Buddhist monk snatches a pebble from the hand of an old Chinese master. Low budget movies with acrobatic fighting scenes and poorly dubbed audio.

These are some common mental images that the words ‘kung fu’ create for those unfamiliar with the art. But what is kung fu, really? If you don’t already know, read on. Do not let the movie executives in Hollywood and Hong Kong form your opinions for you!

What is “Kung Fu”?

Kung Fu is not a single art, but a term used to describe many of the traditional fighting arts of China. There are hundreds of different styles of kung fu. Each was created during various points in Chinese history by distinctive groups of people and for a number of diversified purposes.

Literally translated, the term “Kung Fu” means “hard work and time”. Anyone who practices traditional Kung Fu can tell you that this descriptive label is an accurate one, as competent Kung Fu skills will only come after several years of diligent training and study.

Generally, it takes longer to achieve competency in kung fu as compared to other martial arts.

Though the emphasis of particular concepts or techniques vary by style.

Kung Fu can be quite comprehensive, with a curriculum that can include all aspects of hand-to-hand combat including the utilization of kicks, strikes, joint locks, throws, and ground-fighting.

Some popular styles of Kung Fu include Wing Chun, Hung Gar, Choy Li Fut, Tang Lang, Baguazhang and Taijiquan (Tai Chi).

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