What is Kung-Fu Wu-Shu?

In the western world “Kung Fu” (Chinese: 功夫; gōngfu) is thought to mean “martial arts”.  However in Chinese Kung Fu means ‘reaching excellence’. ‘Wu-Shu’ (Chinese: 武术; wǔshù), is the correct term for ‘martial arts’ (‘Wu’ meaning martial or war, ‘Shu’ meaning technique or skill).  So ‘Kung Fu Wu-Shu’ refers to mastering martial arts. The sameness or difference between Kung Fu and Wushu has confused many people, that said the following explanation should clear the confusion.

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Complications started when in mid-19th century the present Chinese government promoted newly invented modern Wushu (wirtten Wushu but not Wu-Shu anymore) as a sport, and not as a marital art. They gathered together some WuShu masters of various styles with the objective of synthesizing the various styles into one uniform style, which is today’s modern Wushu.  The trend has been so established that today when the term Wushu is used, especially in the West, it is understood to be a demonstrative sport, whereas when the term Kung Fu is used it is understood to be a martial art. Wushu was invented solely for sports, and never as a martial art. For the purpose of competition, Wushu was divided into seven categories, namely:
  • Changquan, or Long Fist

  • Nanquan or Southern Fist

  • Daoshu or Knife Techniques

  • Jianshu or Sword Techniques

  • Kunshu or Staff Techniques

  • Chiangshu or Spear Techniques

  • Taijiquan or Tai Chi Chuan

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At the Wu Shu Academy you are taught both modern and authentic Wu Shu that are a number of fighting styles up to 5000 years old.  These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as “families” (家, jiā), “sects” (派, pài) or “schools” (門, mén) of martial arts. Examples of such traits include physical exercises involving animal mimicry, or training methods inspired by Chinese philosophies, religions and legends. Styles that focus on Qi (vital energy) manipulation are called “Internal” (内家拳, nèijiāquán), while others that concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness are called external (外家拳, wàijiāquán). Geographical association, as in northern (北拳, běiquán) and southern (南拳, nánquán), is another popular classification method.
Wu Shu Northern and Southern Fist is the style taught at Wu Shu Academy which is an authentic Kung Fu style with internal and external benefits. It sets apart from other Kung Fu styles since both modern and authentic Wu Shu are taught, that involves equal emphasis on developing upper body techniques and lower body techniques. At Wu Shu Academy students are taught to master each move before moving to next, moves need to be relaxed and controlled to apply power just at the moment of impact;  this way  energy is applied at its full force only when required. At Wu Shu Academy you also learn the use of many short and/or long weapons such as broadsword, staff and spear to name a few. The basic theory for weapons training is to consider the weapon as an extension of the body. Although use of weapon skills can be very practical, the weapon forms are merely used to express the art of Kung Fu and to help with conditioning the body as well as coordination, accuracy, fluency, speed, timing and balance.

Wu Shu has also enjoyed great success in the world of action movies.Kung Fu actors known to you such as Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Ray Park and Donnie Yen are all former Wushu athletes. Fight scenes from movies like the Fearless, Matrix, Kill Bill, Crouching Tiger – Hidden Dragon, and many other countless Chinese Kung Fu movies are all heavily Wu Shu based.

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