What is Kung Fu? Kung Fu is an umbrella term for a wide variety of Chinese martial arts. In China, Kung Fu is greatly respected not only as a means of self-defense, but for the value it places on respect, humility, patience, and morality. The monks of the Shaolin Temple were the first people to practice Kung Fu, using it for health and self-defense on their path towards enlightenment.
Kung Fu Philosophy
The philosophy of Kung Fu is neither aggressive or hostile. Rather, students are taught to be tolerant, to avoid fighting, and to maintain calmness of mind and clarity of thought even under duress and demanding situations. While the ability to defend oneself is part of Kung Fu training, the martial art also emphasizes character training, developing the inner faculties of the mind, gaining self-confidence, and develops qualities such as discipline, perseverance, endurance, loyalty, and a reverence for life.
Chinese Kung Fu Techniques
Kung Fu encompasses more martial arts techniques than its counterparts, such as judo, karate, and taekwondo. Kung Fu attack and defense techniques include:
Kung Fu Benefits
Chinese martial arts offer these benefits:
- Overall improved health and fitness
- Greater life force energy
- Increased physical strength
- Improved breathing
- Quicker reaction time
- Better balance and coordination
- Enhanced mental clarity
- Calm mind
- Perseverance and Endurance
- Character Training
- Mastery-based learning (learning at one’s own pace while advancing towards mastery)
Kung Fu Belt Levels and Standards
Kung Fu progression is marked by belt colors (beginning with white and ending with a black belt), wherein students wear a cloth belt of the color representing their level. To be awarded a new belt, students must demonstrate mastery of specific “standards,” comprised of:
- A specific kick
- A form (a series of moves)
- Two self-defense maneuvers
When looking for a Kung Fu class, be sure it is taught by a certified Kung Fu practitioner.