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What is Kung Fu?
By Professor Matt Zhang

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.”

Kung Fu or Gong Fu is a well-known Chinese term used in the West to designate Chinese martial arts. Its original meaning is somewhat different, referring to one's expertise in any skill, not necessarily martial. Literally Kung (Gong) means effort and Fu
means time. The words "Kung Fu" refers to "skill from effort" or “achievement”. It can be used to describe anything that requires
a person to invest both time and effort into training to become skillful. Thus, little Kung Fu means little achievement. Good Kung
Fu means big achievement. Therefore, many consider Wushu a better term for Chinese martial arts, as it translates directly into martial art.

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. 
6/30/2006

 

 

 

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