Kungfu, also called Wushu or Chinese martial arts, is the fruit of Chinese people’s wisdom. It is a traditional Chinese sport which applies the art of attack and defence in combat and the motions engaged with a series of skill and tricks. It is also an important part of Chinese traditional culture and is the unique “martial art” in the world. Chinese Kungfu has exerted a great influence on the world.
In Chinese, Kung Fu can be used in contexts completely unrelated to martial arts, and refers colloquially to any individual accomplishment or skill cultivated through long and hard work. In contrast, wushu is a more precise term for general martial activities.
Chinese Kungfu has a long history in China, which originated from the productive labor of our ancient ancestors. In their hunting activities, they gradually developed the skills of splitting, chopping and pricking. This kind of primitive skills of both offensive and defensive are the basis of the martial arts.The Martial Arts we recognize today as Kung Fu had their origins in the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. During the following Qin and Han Dynasties, wrestling, swordplay and spear skills became well developed and were popular among civilians and troops. Following the Song Dynasty, various schools, boxing styles, movement sets and weapon skills flourished.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, martial arts flourished. In 1985, the first International Marital Arts Invitational Tournament was held in Xi ‘an, and the Preparatory Commission for the International WuShu Federation was established. This is a historic breakthrough in the development of Chinese martial arts. In 1999, International Martial Arts League was invited as a member of International Individual Events Federation by International Olympic Committee, which was the sign of Chinese Martial Arts walking global.
Classification of Chinese Kungfu
Shaolin Kung Fu
Originated in the Shaolin Temple in Henan, this is considered the premier style in China and is widely spread all over the world. Both of its physical exercise and mental training are based upon Buddhist philosophy. The Shaolin Boxing, Southern Fist (Nanquan), Northern Legs (Beitui) and Wing Chun are the representatives of this school.
Emei Kung Fu
Emei Kung Fu originated from the pre-Qin period (the 21st century – 221 BC) in the famous Mt. Emei of Sichuan Province.It is named after the place where it is based, Mount Emei. Emei sect was originally created by a women. With its style stronger than Wudang sect and softer than Shaolin Kungfu, it emphasizes both strength and softness, quickness and slowness, dynamic and static, virtual and actual, ups and downs, lightness and weight.Together with Shaolin and Wudang, Emei is one of the three main schools of Chinese Kung Fu.
Wudang Kung Fu
Wudang Kung Fu was created in the early years of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) by a Taoist named Zhang Sanfeng. It combines the essence of the Book of Changes and the Tao Teh King (Daodejing) of Laozi (an ancient well-known philosopher). Originated in Mt. Wudang, a Taoist holy land, it is of great value to fitness and body-building. By now, it has become popular in China and worldwide, as a kind of fitness sport. Wudang boxing, also known as the Neijia boxing, this kind of boxing is aiming at cultivating the body and health protection. At present, its major skills are well presented by Tai Chi (Taiji), Form/Intention Boxing (Xingyiquan) and Eight Diagram Palm (Baguazhang).
Kung Fu Masters
Bruce Lee is a Hong Kong and American actor, film director, martial artist and the founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do, one of the Wushu or Kungfu styles. He is widely considered be one of the most influential martial artists of all time and often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films. He pioneered the Chinese approach to Hollywood, making it possible for westerners to understand and learn Chinese Kungfu, while making action films one of the mainstream films in Hong Kong.
Jackie Chan not only represents the brilliant achievements of Hong Kong films, but also has an important influence on the world film industry. He is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts. He is the spokesman of Chinese Kungfu movie, showing foreigners the concept of the hero in Chinese traditional culture, and has opened a window for the world to understand Chinese culture, who become the disseminator of Chinese traditional culture.
Jet Li is one of the most famous martial arts stars in the world today. He had won the national martial arts all-around champion for five consecutive years , later made his debut with the film Shaolin Temple. Jet Li has created classic figures on the screen, Fong Sai Yuk, Zhang Sanfeng, Huo Yuanjia, Chen Zhen, and so on, reputed as a Kungfu emperor by domestic and foreign media . After 1997, he starred in a number of Hollywood blockbusters, joining a-list action star in Hollywood.
Yen is one of Hong Kong’s top action stars. Yen has displayed notable skills in a wide variety of martial arts, being well-versed in Tai Chi, Boxing, Kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, Hapkido, Taekwondo, Karate, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wing Chun, and Wushu. In Hong Kong’s action actors and martial arts guides, Donnie Yen is alone into one.