Chinese Martial Arts

The Chinese martial arts are a group of fighting styles which have developed over many centuries in China. It is sometimes referred to as "Wushu", a Mandarin Chinese term and is popularly known by the name Kung Fu. The fighting styles used in Chinese Martial Arts is generally classified depending on the common traits known as "families", "schools" or "sects" of martial art. Examples of these traits include training methods that originated from Chinese philosophies legends and religions as well as physical exercises that involve animal mimicry. The Internal Styles are known to focus on the manipulation of qi while the External Styles focus on improving the cardiovascular and muscle fitness. Another popular method for categorizing Chinese martial arts is Geographical association (northern and southern).


The terms Wushu and Kung-fu are applied in the English language for referring to Chinese martial arts. But, these two terms have separate meanings. The Chinese terms that literally means "Chinese martial art" is "Zhongguo Wushu".

The literal meaning of "Wush¨" is "martial art". The term originated from the 2 words "wu", meaning "military" or "martial" and "sh¨", meaning "skill", "discipline" or "method".

Chinese Martial Arts Photo Wushu also denotes the modern full-contact and exhibition sport played with bare hands or using weapons. This game originally developed in China in the year 1949.


The need for self defense, military training and hunting techniques in ancient China are considered to be responsible for the growth of Kung Fu. Weapons practice and hand-to-hand combat were very important factors in soldier training in the ancient China.

Detailed knowledge regarding the development and growth of Kung Fu or Kung Fu can be studied from Nanjing decade (1928 to 1937). During this time, the Kuomintang regime established Central Guoshu Institute did a survey of Kung Fu schools to compile the history of Kung Fu. Since the 1950s, Kung Fu has been organised by China as a full-contact sport and an exhibition under the name of Wushu.


The training procedure for Chinese martial arts consists of:

  1. Basics
  2. Forms
  3. Applications
  4. Weapons

Different styles put varying levels of emphasis on every component. Ethics, philosophy and medical practice are also highly regarded by Kung Fu. A complete training program should also teach students about the Chinese culture and attitude.


Like any other martial training, the Basics are the most vital component of Chinese martial art. A student cannot be able to move to the advanced levels without proper basic training. Some examples of the basic training include meditation, stretching, throwing, striking and jumping.

The structural postures used in Kung Fu training are called Stances. They represent the form and the foundation of the fighter's base.


In Kung Fu, Forms or taolu are a series of pre-determined movements that are combined in a way to practice them as a linear set of a number of movements. The Forms were originally designed for containing the literal, representative as well as exercise-oriented types of applicable techniques that would be tested, extracted and trained by martial arts students during sparring sessions


Practical use of the combative Kung Fu techniques is referred to as Application. The techniques of Kung Fu are based on effectiveness and efficiency. Application includes various non-compliant drills including Pushing Hands and sparring.


In many Chinese styles, it is preferred to train in the broad Chinese weapon arsenal for conditioning the strategy drills and coordination of the students along with their physical training.