Last week I talked about Bruce Lee. This time I would like to dg deeper and talk about the Chinese Kung Fu.
Kung Fu is also called Wu Shu, which means the technique to stop fighting. It seems a paradox. How can Kung Fu, fighting techniques, to stop fighting? Those real Chinese martial artists train themselves to stop two things: those people trying to fight them and themselves trying to fight others. For those who are not familiar with Chinese Kung Fu, it just means what those moves shown by Bruce Lee, Jack Chen and Jet Li. Kung Fu itself is not just certain moves we can see, but also is a spirit, which was concentrated in about 4000 years Chinese history. Chinese Kung Fu means modesty, peace and brave. Indeed, Kung Fu was invited to kill at the beginning. As time went on and killings were less and less, Chinese people started to use Kung Fu as the tool to protect us, and also made Kung Fu a way to train our minds. In Chinese history, Kung Fu was transformed from a brutal fighting technique to our traditional core culture, so it is short-sighted to think Kung Fu is just a kind of martial art.
Kung Fu is also a general name for all kinds of Chinese martial arts, like Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do. Its concept is “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation”. Bruce Lee is not only a great martial artist, but also a great philosopher. Jeet Kune Do is not a certain style. It is more like a conception. Lee said he wanted to free his followers from styles and moves. He also said human beings are way more creative than those structured moves.
Taijiquan, a traditional Chinese Kung Fu, was invited as a cruel martial art to kill people on the battlefields. Now people have a totally different perspective about Taijiquan. People start to see it as a workout to exercise body in a gentle way, especially those elder people. Hundreds Chinese grandpas and grandmas usually like to practice Taijiquan on public spaces. It is really surprising to see the entire transformation of the purpose of Taijiquan from the beginning to modern time.
Wing Chun is another Chinese martial art spreading over the world. A Chinese female monk invented this martial art for females who are weaker than man. This martial art got famous when Ip man started teaching. His followers were all around the world and that was the reason why Wing Chun got more and more popular back that time. Thousands Wing Chun schools in France, Spain, Germany, America, and hundreds other countries. Bruce Lee, as one of Ip man’s students, once set Wing Chun as the basic of his Jeet Kune Do.
In short, Kung Fu is a culture, a lifestyle, an exercise and also a spirit.
Well, I really need an interesting topic for next week.