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Kung Fu

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The Chinese martial arts have existed for thousands of years and there are many types of them. These arts are enclosed in a term, kung fu , a word made up of two words, ” gōng “ means work and the word ” fu ” means man . Basically the word means continuous work. Chinese martial arts are an excellent form for self defense but also improve mental health , concentration, and mastery.

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What is kung fu?

The kung fu which is a fighting style that has been part of the history of the Chinese people and is now considered a traditional sport that has improved and developed today leaving an important influence of this culture.

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What does it consist of

Kung fu is an important system that includes theory and practice as well as a number of important values that include harmony and peace . It consists of a combat technique and at the same time self – defense that is not related to violence. It is a discipline that is based on self-control , body harmony and inner peace.

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Kung fu characteristics

Among its main characteristics are the following:

  • It is also known by the name of wushu .
  • It is a traditional sport of Chinese culture .
  • Kung fu defends virtue and peace , not aggression or violence.
  • Its original function is that of self – defense .
  • He uses a series of movements including kicks , blocks and punches using open or closed hands to defend himself.
  • Throws and joint locks can be performed in some styles .
  • It is a type of sport that is characterized by its fluid and aesthetic forms .

What is kung fu for

Kung fu is a type of martial art that, in addition to being an excellent sport that benefits the health of the body and improves the self – control of the person who practices it, inculcates a series of important values ​​that include perseverance , discipline and respect , aspects that become important in daily life. The practice of this type of discipline improves physical and cardiac performance , improves body condition , promotes weight loss and improves the use of energy and balance . In addition, it is one of the best techniques of personal self defense as it produces a great amount of flexibility, energy and strength.

Story

The history of kung fu begins in China , a place where it was created to protect itself from enemies as a martial art technique. According to history, the Chinese emperor Huangdi was the one who began to formalize this type of art by inventing a fighting style for his troops. With the passage of time the technique was improved and different types of blows , joint locks and fundamentals were included .

Martial arts evolved and began to be used even as part of education . The people of China used to hold wrestling contests in order to select the best candidates for martial arts . In all the dynasties that existed in China, improvements were said to him and organizations and clubs that trained warriors in this discipline began to be created.

It was during the Ming dynasty , that kung fu managed to develop with greater importance. In 1927 the National Martial Arts Center was created and in August 1936 the first participation of a team in the Olympic Games in this discipline took place. From that moment on, comfort took on special importance in the world and today, there are many competitions that are held worldwide.

Kung fu types

There are several types of kung fu, some of the most important are mentioned below:

  • Shaolin Kung Fu : This style of kung fu was born in the Buddhist temple of Shaolin and is one of the most important styles in China that has managed to spread in the world. It consists of a set of movements with a high level of mental energy as it is based on the teachings of Buddhism .
  • Monkey-style kung fu – you do strange twists, hold your arms at odd angles, and generally fight like a primate. There is also a lot of swinging and original movements, like those of the monkeys.
  • Kung fu Wing Chun : in this type of sport, balance is important as practitioners are never caught in a bad defensive posture. They also keep the elbows close to the body and tend towards a tall, narrow posture. All attacks start from this stable and protective position .
  • Tai chi : This is a much slower yet elegant style that combines the principles of Taoist philosophy , traditional Chinese medicine, and exercise . With tai chi, we seek to find a balance between the opposing forces that the body has, in other words, Yin and Yang.

Fundamentals

Among its main fundamentals which must be learned by apprentices are the following:

  • Forms of attack that include a series of blows with the fists, open hands, legs and other techniques such as chin na (catches, levers), shuai jiao (thrusts and throws) and weapons.
  • Basic principles that are a series of rules related to the hands, eyes, body, feet, posture and breathing.
  • Movements that include shifting, standing still, jumping, crouching, or rolling, quickness, push-ups, and thanks.
  • The principle of the three fronts that includes the eyes, hands and feet, addressing the same intention or the same destination.
  • The dangers posed by the attacks that can be received by the enemy.
  • Center line that is based on the movements with respect to the participant go also with respect to the position that the enemy has.
  • The principle of balance necessary to maintain good stability and the principle of doors that involves the angles and heights at which the actions are made.
  • Connection principle in which an attempt is made to connect the external with the internal.

Philosophy

The philosophy of kung fu teaches important values and a code of conduct for both training and life. A philosophy that helps you cope with today’s stress, anxiety and pressure. Kung Fu is based on the philosophy of Taoism and the vital goals are compassion , humility, and restraint . Taoism consists of living within the laws of nature and in harmony with its cycle . It consists of recognizing that everything is interconnected , that everything that is done affects everything that surrounds us. Taoists seek to live inharmony with the Tao , then kung fu aims to keep us in harmony and balance .

Kung fu techniques

There are many techniques that are part of kung fu, here are the most important:

  • Positions or postures which represent the base and the form of the fighter.
  • Rider, Bow, Empty, Cross- legged , Suspended Leg, Kneeling, Bow and Seven-Star Position .
  • Hand techniques
  • Palm, hook and cuffs.
  • Kicking techniques
  • Front kick, side kick, crane kick.
  • Fighting techniques
  • Includes projection and dislocation techniques.
  • Dislocation techniques
  • Grips and control techniques

Belts

There are several types of belts which reflect the degree that the athlete has as well as the experience or level. The colors are as follows:

  • White belt: represents the purity, resumption and the spirit of the martial art. It is awarded to beginners who are beginning their training.
  • Yellow belt : represents the earth and assimilation, the spirit of art on the skin. It occurs when the learner begins to understand basic knowledge.
  • Orange belt : represents knowledge and symbolizes energy and enthusiasm.
  • Green belt : it occurs when maturity is acquired and the body and mind are in better shape. It symbolizes nature and life.
  • Green belt : symbolizes wood and wind . It occurs when greater maturity has been achieved.
  • Purple belt : symbolizes strength and is awarded when you have efficiency in technique and confidence.
  • Brown Belt : Awarded when the student has the skills, maturity, and understanding. It symbolizes seriousness and responsibility.
  • Black belt : represents water and energy. It is an advanced level belt.

equipment

The kung Fu uniform is known as yī-fu (clothing) or  (suffix for clothing). A military uniform is called a zhì-fú. In Tai Chi Chaun the uniform is called Tai Chi-fu . In Shaolin Kung Fu the traditional dress called hàn fú is used.

Learning

In order to learn kung Fu, it is necessary to constantly practice the basic movements and postures . It is important before starting to practice it to warm up properly. To learn it, it will likely take several years to acquire all the necessary skills and basic knowledge. The technique is essential because doing it incorrectly can even cause injuries or impacts on the part of the opponent.

You must also increase and improve the strength of your fists and kicks as well as to be able to withstand the impact produced by the blows. The resistance is also important and it should be both aerobic and anaerobic to improve the quality of the participant. Another of the fundamental aspects is the speed to be able to execute the blows and the elasticity of the body to be able to do the movements correctly. Finally, you must learn all the values that sport includes.

Kung fu representatives

Some known representatives have been:

  • Bruce Lee : who was the founder of Jeet Kune Do and a great actor in the discipline during the 70s. It was through him that kung fu was spread throughout America and the world.
  • Yip Man: one of the best Wing Chun masters.
  • Huo Yuanjia : participated in the founding of the School of Martial Arts.
  • Jackie Chan : one of the best artists in Hong Kong who is also an actor and singer.
  • Jet Lee : National Wushu Champion.

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