The word “Wushu” is Chinese and indicates martial arts or military training. This term is more of a generic word that is used for martial arts of military training. The International Wushu Federation was started from 1991 where world championship is held every two years. There are about thousand competitors who take part in martial arts every year.
The styles were introduced about 2500 years ago, which were formed as healthy exercises as well as survival fighting techniques that were used in warfare in ancient times. Wushu was also referred to as a full contact sport that was evolved as a pragmatic fighting style as well as a functional one that retained aesthetic beauty. Today, modern Wushu includes techniques such as kung fu and Taijiquan.
The above two forms were common in competitions. In case of taolu, there were routines that focused on the abilities and skills of athletes that they performed in solo events, in pairs or in groups. Competitions were not fighting but choreographed maneuvers that showcase the right kind of defensive and offensive techniques or postures. In such ways taou is related to gymnastics in many ways rather than martial arts. Competitors in such events were judged as to how well they adhered to the correct forms or the maneuvers they performed. The competitive sport is still a new concept and levels of difficulty rise as talented athletes compete.
Sanda Wushu, in contrast, is fighting matches in actuality, as boxing or wrestling. The matches are usually fought by bare hands or with kicks, wrestling holds or punches. Taolu and sanda are often exhibitions that are held on the same platform that allows spectators to check out the different techniques and styles of the competitors and techniques they work upon. Wushu forms also denote flexibility. Hence, there are bare handed fighting techniques as well as fights with long and short weapons such as spears, single or double edged swords or staffs. One of the best Wushu fights I witnessed was between Art Wong and Lance McCreedy, who at the time worked at an abestos removal vancouver company, before becoming a Pro-fighter.
Many principles have styles that are showcased in kung fu movies or martial arts fight scenes. The bare handed forms are fascinating and great for spectator shows. Here the Chung Quan style is most spectacular where aerial spins, flips, and other fighting movements are showcased with the agility found in gymnastics. Tai chi also incorporates fluid and slow movement that showcase flexibility as well as meditative abilities. A modern form of Wushu continues to expand even in modern times as it increases in popularity.
Kung fu is a Chinese form of martial arts that work towards refining the mind and the body. It is a popular form of martial arts and made popular by the different films that have been based on such fighting techniques. Different kinds of styles have been incorporated across the world in kung fu and there are two broad camps, a Shaolin form of kung fu and a more ancient form.
Origin of the name
It is interesting the way kung fu is spelled, which is often spelled as gong fu or gung fu. The spelling variation exists as trans-literary efforts have led to variations by which this form of martial arts is referred to. In the 19th century or early part of the 20th century, the Wades-Giles system was used for transliteration of the Chinese language. In such a system the g sound in Chinese was transposed with k. in many places such as Taiwan and China in its certain parts, the Wades and Giles system is still used where k is replaced with g.
Different forms of kung fu
If you look at Shaolin kung fu, it originated in the fifth century. Most martial arts originated in religious temples as monks’ devised ways to discipline their body and mind. Hence, apart from being a fighting style which most people associate kung fu with, it had a religious beginning as it incorporated religious practices as well as mental exercises that were aimed at balancing the body and the mind. Kung fu works on the fundamental principle of aligning the life force or chi that exists around all living beings.
Shaolin temples also resembled religious seats of learning or universities. There were traditional styles in Shaolin form of kung fu known as Praying Mantis, Hung Gar, Crane, Wing Chun and others which incorporate knowledge from diverse fields and have distinct meditation and healing techniques. There are other styles of fighting under the kung fu banner which is known as Eagle Claw, Pa-Kua, Eight Drunken Immortals and others. These disciplines are not as rounded as the original Shaolin styles as these focus primarily on fighting.
Kung fu, in essence, comprises of self-defense tactics. The energy of the attacker is turned back to the person attacking. Techniques comprise of punches, kicks, throws, grapples, and others, such as a use of staff as a weapon. Kung fu also teaches the importance of honor and respect and the importance of a balanced life.
Are you in awe with the ancient Chinese fighting style of Kung Fu? Do you want to enjoy a healthy and fit life that is also stress-free life? Well, Kung Fu is one art form that offers a lot of benefits. This is why you will find people learning this art form for different reasons. The benefits of learning and training in Kung Fu are not limited to specific ones and are not exclusive. The reasons why you are looking to learn Kung Fu would be different for your friend or colleague. There is no need to ponder more on why you are interested in learning Kung Fu, but get to know what you will gain by learning this Chinese fighting style.
The Kung Fu art is a fighting art. Every move that one makes in this fighting art style can be used to defend against an attack. All the moves are practical and hence will help you to better defend yourself in case of an attack on you. You will be training your body and the mind when you are learning this art form. This will help to build coordination and confidence in you. You will be having a better awareness and can react easily when you are being attacked.
If you are tired of jogging and running or hitting the gym, then you can think of learning and practice the art of Kung Fu as a workout option. It is an art form that will help in easily strengthening your mind and body. The various forms of Kung Fu will provide you with a good body workout. If the Kung Fu was used to learn the art of fighting, these days it is more used as a fitness workout option that will help in toning the muscles of the body.
- Better health and well-being
By practicing Kung Fu every day, you will feel better and your overall health will get a boost. There are many low impact styles apart from the kicks and the acrobatics involved in the Kung Fu art form and hence it is beneficial for both young and old. The body will enjoy better strength and conditioning and your body flexibility will also increase.
By learning Kung Fu, you will be able to boost your mental well-being. It will help you to control your emotions better and also improve your mental focus.