Kung fu is a Chinese system of martial arts and considered the grandfather to all other martial systems due to its antiquity and complexity.
It literally translates to “great skill, acquired through hard work, over a long period of time.” It's a term not restricted to the martial arts.
Originally devised by families for the purposes of self-preservation, there are literally hundreds of styles both defensive and offensive. That information is too broad to cover.
Most information on the web is filtered due to the censure of the Peoples Republic of China. So, finding facts on true lineages and history is sparse. What we offer here at Kung Fu Connection can’t be seen in China.
Much like anything Chinese, the art of Kung Fu is highly complex and is interrelated with Chinese medicine. If done properly, is so well aligned with ones natural anatomy and energetic systems that there is little opportunity for injury. It is the martial art of choice for older students or those who are not interested in sparring or getting hurt.
Kung fu uses the least amount of force to achieve the maximum result. That’s why “skill” is required. Since most applications of our forms use killing targets related to the meridians, sparring is considered “playing.”
Real world attacks don’t look anything like the sparring you see in martial arts schools. By building awareness first, we avoid threats of violence, and only engage when necessary.
This art requires much more from the student in terms of intellect, sensitivity, self-awareness, humility, and enormous amounts of repetition.
All martial arts can offer self-defense, discipline, focus and strength. However, the Chinese arts improve beyond the function of muscles, tendons, sinew, fascia and cartilage. It is a method to increase vitality and longevity. The health benefits are too numerous to list and are an attribute of the Chinese legacy of longevity.
The main distinction for Kung fu is that it contains both internal and external practices. The yin/yang is a symbol of that balance. That’s why small people and women can demonstrate amazing power and effectivity against people twice their size. It is not physical strength that is being matched. When you pin physical against energetic, energy is unlimited, so it always wins.
In conclusion, defining a system thousands of years old requires more than one blog post. It requires a lifetime. It is not a sport for competition or demonstration, but an art form that rewards its practitioners with longevity, self-control, focus, health, power, speed, flexibility, balance and most importantly, Self-mastery.