Kung Fu, the basics

“The mother of all Martial arts”


China the worlds largest country by population is widely recognised as the home of “Martial Arts” and its numerous diverse styles from “praying mantis” to “tiger” Kung Fu the Chinese Martial arts utilize all that is natural to create some of the most visually beautiful and graceful styles ever to hit the planet.

6th century ce, Bodhidharma a Indian buddist monk known as “Da Mo” arrived in China with the aim of spreading Zen Buddism across China, he later settled in the temple of “song shan” in “Henan” province, the temple of song shan also known in the west as the “Shaolin Temple” housed hundred’s of “Buddist monks” and “Kung Fu” practitioners, “Da Mo” in legendary recorded texts noticed that the monks at “song shan temple” lacked sufficient flexibilty to meditate comfortably, always complaining that their bodies ached. “Da Mo” introduced a series of “yogic” excercises called the “18 luohan hands”.

Decades later “Da Mo” took the teachings to the “Emporer” of “China” asking to pass the knowledge onto as many temples and citizens of China willing to practice the “18 hands”, luckily for “Da Mo” the “Emporer” accepted after a brutal challenge of words. Over thousands of years these practices have been formed into what we call today “Kung Fu”, the “Shaolin” used the knowledge of “Da Mo” to there own advantage and created many systems of “Internal” Kung Fu (tai chi, qi gong) and “External” Kung Fu (tiger, snake) the “Shaolin” now trust in the sayings “Polish your body, Polish your mind” and “Internal and External are unsepperable” meaning use the same focus and you do in your “Internal” forms such as “meditation” and “qi gong” and bring that focus to “External” or “Hard Style” Kung fu “crane” and “frog”.

Wushu or “Martial Art” in Chinese is now one of the “national” sports of China, students as young as ten can obtain a “scholarship” in “Wushu” and can go on and progress in “Kung Fu” all hope-fulls have the dream to one day join the “Shanghai”, “Beijing” or “Hong Kong” Wushu team where they can then progress on to the “Chinese opera” (similar to Cirque du Soilei) and may even become the next “Jet Li” who took this route when his mother enroled him at a young age achieving “National” (china only) and “International” (world) championship titles, lucky enough for Mr Lee the talent spotters saw great potential.

Polish your mind and you polish your body. This is the way of Kung Fu.

The Mother of Martial arts


Words: Conor Holden
All images belong to their rightful owners and are used under fair use.

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