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What is the Kung Fu ?
The term Kung Fu refers to the martial arts of China. Kung Fu originated in a place called the Shaolin Temple, where monks practiced Kung Fu for health and self-defense during their quest for enlightenment. The first Shaolin temple was a Buddhist monastery built in 377 A.D. in the Henan province of China.
The Basics are a vital part of any martial training, as a student cannot progress to the more advanced stages without them. Basics are usually made up of rudimentary techniques, conditioning exercises, including stances. Basic training may involve simple movements that are performed repeatedly; other examples of basic training are stretching, meditation, striking, throwing, or jumping. Without strong and flexible muscles, management of Qi or breath, and proper body mechanics, it is impossible for a student to progress in the Chinese martial arts.A common saying concerning basic training in Chinese martial arts is as follows:
Train both Internal and External.
External training includes the hands, the eyes, the body and stances. Internal training includes the heart, the spirit, the mind, breathing and strength.
Stances (steps or 步法) are structural postures employed in Chinese martial arts training.They represent the foundation and the form of a fighter’s base. Each style has different names and variations for each stance. Stances may be differentiated by foot position, weight distribution, body alignment, etc. Stance training can be practiced statically, the goal of which is to maintain the structure of the stance through a set time period, or dynamically, in which case a series of movements is performed repeatedly. The Horse stance (骑马步/马步; qí mǎ bù/mǎ bù) and the bow stance are examples of stances found in many styles of Chinese martial arts.
In many Chinese martial arts, meditation is considered to be an important component of basic training. Meditation can be used to develop focus, mental clarity and can act as a basis for qigong training.
Use of Qi – Gong :
The concept of qi or ch’i is encountered in a number of Chinese martial arts. Qi is variously defined as an inner energy or “life force” that is said to animate living beings; as a term for proper skeletal alignment and efficient use of musculature (sometimes also known as fa jin or jin); or as a shorthand for concepts that the martial arts student might not yet be ready to understand in full. These meanings are not necessarily mutually exclusive.The existence of qi as a measurable form of energy as discussed intraditional Chinese medicine has no basis in the scientific understanding of physics, medicine, biology or human physiology.
There are many ideas regarding the control of one’s qi energy to such an extent that it can be used for healing oneself or others.Some styles believe in focusing qi into a single point when attacking and aim at specific areas of the human body. Such techniques are known as dim mak and have principles that are similar to acupressure.
Weapons training :
Most Chinese styles also make use of training in the broad arsenal of Chinese weapons for conditioning the body as well as coordination and strategy drills. Weapons training are generally carried out after the student is proficient in the basics, forms and applications training. The basic theory for weapons training is to consider the weapon as an extension of the body. It has the same requirements for footwork and body coordination as the basics. The process of weapon training proceeds with forms, forms with partners and then applications. Most systems have training methods for each of the Eighteen Arms of Wushu in addition to specialised instruments specific to the system.
Application refers to the practical use of combative techniques. Chinese martial arts techniques are ideally based on efficiency and effectiveness.Application includes non-compliant drills, such as Pushing Hands in many internal martial arts, and sparring, which occurs within a variety of contact levels and rule sets.
When and how applications are taught varies from style to style. Today, many styles begin to teach new students by focusing on exercises in which each student knows a prescribed range of combat and technique to drill on. These drills are often semi-compliant, meaning one student does not offer active resistance to a technique, in order to allow its demonstrative, clean execution. In more resisting drills, fewer rules apply, and students practice how to react and respond. ‘Sparring’ refers to the most important aspect of application training, which simulates a combat situation while including rules that reduce the chance of serious injury.
Competitive sparring disciplines include Chinese kickboxing Sǎnshǒu and Chinese folk wrestling Shuāijiāo, which were traditionally contested on a raised platform arena Lèitái represents public challenge matches that first appeared in the Song Dynasty. The objective for those contests was to knock the opponent from a raised platform by any means necessary. San Shou represents the modern development of Lei Tai contests, but with rules in place to reduce the chance of serious injury. Many Chinese martial art schools teach or work within the rule sets of Sanshou, working to incorporate the movements, characteristics, and theory of their style.Chinese martial artists also compete in non-Chinese or mixed Combat sport, including boxing, kickboxing and Mixed martial arts.