Traditional Wushu alantang
Traditional Kung Fu
“Wu” = Military or Martial,”Shu”= Art
(Chinese: 功夫; pinyin: gōngfu; “Hard Work”)
Traditional Kung-Fu is the basis of Contemporary Wushu. “Kung-Fu”, which translates literally as “Hard Work” is the popular term in Southern China and the western world that refers to the Chinese Martial Arts. When first brought to the western world by the likes of Bruce Lee, the term stuck and has been used as recognition to the Chinese Martial Arts but is now used more often to relate to the traditional forms of the Chinese Martial Arts than it is to relate to competitive style “Wushu”.
While Wushu as a competitive sport encompasses a very detailed structure of rules and regulations, Traditional Kung-Fu is identified through lineage and history of both the teachers of the styles and the documented origins of the styles. Typically created and taught through the generations by family clans and “disciples” of the arts, Traditional Kung-Fu or Traditional Wushu reflects a great deal upon the direct applications of movements and techniques for combat and practical use. Many of the movements have traditionally been based on animals and elements of the earth.
Currently, Traditional Kung Fu is as popular as ever and are the most practiced forms of Wushu in the world. There are literally hundreds of styles and thousands of lineages to each form or style of Kung-Fu, which is one of the reasons contemporary wushu was created. To have a structured and widely recognized system of coaching and training the Chinese Martial Arts.
Popular forms and styles of Traditional Kung-Fu or Traditional Wushu include:
– Hung Gar
– Wing Chun
– Choy Lay Fut
– Praying Mantis
– Pi Gua (Eight Diagram)
– Eagle Claw, and many more…
Many of these forms of Traditional Kung-Fu have also been adapted into the competitions of Contemporary Wushu, whereas the most prominent movements and techniques have been utilized to create standard or defined routines under the contemporary system.
Traditional Tai Chi
“Wu” = Military or Martial,”Shu”= Art
(Chinese: 太極拳; pinyin: taiji; “Supreme Ultimate”)
Tai Chi or recognized in mandarin as “Taiji” in modern wushu
5 Main Schools [Styles] of Tai Chi: Yang / Chen / Wu / Hao / Sun Following the mandarin term of “Taiji”, Traditional Tai Chi is the most popular form of wushu practiced by millions of people around the world with no limits of age, gender or abilities. The modern competitive taiji routines are based on the five (5) most common schools of Tai Chi: Yang Style, Chen Style, Wu Style, Hao Style and Sun Style. Each of these 5 styles is named from the family that has practiced, taught, and passed it on to later generations. “Tai Chi” is a contraction of the more traditional term “Tai Chi Chuan”. Chuan is a general term that can be translated as “martial discipline”, or “boxing”. The physical techniques of tai chi are characterized by the use of leverage, coordination and relaxation to neutralize or to initiate attacks. The study of tai chi is traditionally broken up into 3 beneficial elements, for health; for serenity; and for self-defence.The slow motions one usually identifies as Tai Chi Chuan are known as “The Form” or “The Chuan”. This is a series of movements that may last from 10 minutes to 1/2 hour. The Form is very important and is the basis for training in Tai Chi Chuan. The form has aspects of health, martial arts and meditation. However it is still only a part of the complete training in the art. The martial aspect of The Form is not readily apparent to the uninitiated. A simple answer could be “You must be able to do it slow before you can expect to do it fast”, but there is much more to it than that. Besides the obvious martial benefits of balance, co-ordination, and looseness The Form also cultivates qualities like a relaxed focused mind and healthy resilient body. It trains the core motion and reactions of the practitioner, increasing the person’s martial potential. The Form also contains, in its movements, a myriad of martial applications and the elements of power generation. These are hidden from an untrained observer in much the same way that fine poetry will not be revealed to someone who has not learned the language yet.The Form is the basis of Tai Chi Chuan but “Push Hands” is considered the “gateway into martial arts”. There are also other martial exercises beyond Push Hands. The confusion about Tai chi Chuan being a martial art has probably arisen in part because many Tai Chi Chuan schools only practice The Form and exercises focused on health and meditation. This may be because the founder of the school has not learned the martial practices or that the students do not have the desire or have progressed far enough to learn them.