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Martial Arts In China (Wushu)

by Michael Russell on November 17, 2009

Wushu is a Chinese term which is basically built of two word combinations “wu” which refers to martial and “shu” which stands for arts, so it generally refers to any type of martial arts on the globe . Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Jeet Kune Do, Defendo, Krav Maga, Kombato and more. Unlike kung fu, the term wushu is topically dedicated to what it refers to, while kung fu on the other hand, literally means a skill, just any skill. For example you can say of a doctor or a teacher “he has a good kung fu” which means skill, if he is talented in his field, but you can’t say he has a good wushu. Though nowadays wushu refers to the recent sport, namely “wushu sport ” and also called “contemporary wushu ” or “modern wushu ” which was created by People’s Republic of China after 1949, which is a combination of traditional Chinese martial arts.

Wushu’s earlier development was to enhance the opportunity of living, like killing animals for food, combat against others, live tough situations and more. There are still a lot of wushu styles in china which can be generally divided into few branches in terms of geographical region and in terms of methods. Geographically, wushu is categorised as northern style wushu and southern style wushu which basically refers to Northern Shaolin temple and southern Shaolin temple, although in the modern meaning of wushu, the term encompasses any style that originates either from the south or the north. The basic difference between this two styles is that the southern wushu style emphasizes hand skills, tough arms and a steady, ingrained stance and footwork. However, the northern style focus more on jumps, kicks and rapid movements.

Some examples of the northern Chinese wushu styles include Changquan, Tanglangquan, Chuojiao, Bajiquan, Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Bayingquan, and Yingzhaoquan and some of the southern styles include Hung Gar, Wing Chun, and Choy Lay Fut.

In terms of methods, wushu can be divided into internal soft styles like Taijiquan which focus on the balance of body energies, control of movements and the concept of QI and External or hard styles which are topical fighting styles focusing on speed, strength, deep explosive power and vigor. External styles include all other types of Wushu, except for, Liu He Ba Fa, Baguazhang ,Xingyiquan, and Taijiquan.

Most of these styles and other Chinese martial arts have practical applications which are known as forms, or “taolu” in Chinese. Forms are series of techniques and movements which are to be performed alone or with one or more partners. This form is divided into two parts; forms that are performed by one parson and “sparring” forms which are performed by two or a group of people.

The other side of the training are “basics” which include exercises for strong and flexible muscles. such as various exercises for strengthening the body, and regular stretching for flexible muscles. Most of Chinese martial arts also uses weapon training normally chines traditional weapons like Changsuijian (Long-Tasseled Sword) Shuangshoujian (Two-Handed Sword) Jiujiebian (Nine Section Whip) Sanjiegun (Three Section Staff) Shengbiao (Rope Dart) Dadao (Great Sword) Pudao (Pu Sword) Emeici (Emei Daggers) Shuangdao (Double Broadsword) Shuangjian (Double Sword) Shuangbian (Double Nine Section Whips) Shuanggou (Double Hooksword).

Author: Michael Russell
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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