Do you know all famous martial arts film stars Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan and pretty Zhang Ziyi are Wushu practitioners? I think Chinese film stars are more super, they have not just acting skills but also martial arts skills and foreign language skills. How magic and terrific! Anyone who has seen classical Chinese Kung Fu movies will be deeply impressed by the Chinese Wushu, which is called Kung Fu or Chinese martial arts in the west.
The hottest international welcomed Kung Fu movie in 2005 is Zhang Yimou’s HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, which put the previous the Hollywood hit Kung Fu moving, Chow Yun-Fat’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, in shame!!
Literally in Chinese mandarin, wu means military while shu means art, thus Wushu the art of fighting or martial arts. The term Wushu has been widely accepted among British martial arts world as Chinese Martial Arts. Another widely used Chinese term ‘Gong-Fu’ has the similar meaning as Wushu but with a nuance. Wushu emphasizes on the art of action and demonstrates many forms and styles; ‘Gong-Fu’ stresses on the amazing capability of doing things, such as Qi-Gong and Light Weight ability. Wushu is an important and unique component of Chinese cultural heritage with centuries of cultural history attached. Wushu not only includes physical exercise but also Chinese philosophy, meditation and aesthetics.
In the past, Wushu was developed for the sake of military prowess and physical well being. Wushu was seen as crucial to a soldier’s survival in the time of hand -to -hand combat. Today, military function has faded and it has been organized and systematized into a formal branch of study in the performance arts by the Chinese, while it’s physical welfare and athletic functions become dominant. Today, Wushu is popular among many nations to pursue health, defense skills, mental discipline as well as entertainment and competition.
Wushu can be practiced solo, paired or as a group, barehanded or armed with ancient Chinese weapons. In centuries past, Wushu developed into many systems and styles. The most famous systems include Shaolin Temple system and Mt. Wudang System. Wushu has hundreds of styles, such as are Chang quan (long fist), Nan quan (southern fist), Tai Chi (shadow boxing or supreme ultimate fist), Xingyi quan (mind fist), Bagua quan (eight directions fist). The former two belong to the external style which emphasizes physical strength and abilities while the latter three belong to the internal style that depends upon internal power-Chi. The ancient weaponry of Chinese Wushu consists of many represented by 18 named weapons.
Recently, Chinese Wushu has been modernized. Training and competing standard systems have been set up. Continuing its fighting function, Wushu becomes a more athletic and aesthetic performance and competitive sport. More and more people worldwide enjoy learning the mysterious Wushu. Chinese Wushu is vying to be a sport of the Olympic Games soon.
Ms-L would like to continually work with British Wushu Associations and promote this wonderful, healthy and moral sports, hope it will replace the cruel boxing sport one day.
There are some recommended schools. See the bottom.