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Kung Fu - Instructions for Techniques, Kicks, Forms (Taolu), etc.
Kung Fu (also known as Gung Fu) is a Chinese martial arts that focuses primarily on hand & arm strikes and kicking techniques. However, it is hard to generalize about Kung Fu characteristics because there are many different Kung Fu schools and styles (thus you can not "transfer" easily from one Kung Fu school to another school if you move to another city).
Many Kung Fu styles also utilize traditional martial arts weapons such as the sword, staff and spear. In addition, they often practice with more unique martial arts weapons such as Sheng Biao (Chinese rope dart), Sanjiegun (three section staff) and Liu Xing Chui (Meteor Hammer). These weapons are often used in forms (taolu), demonstrations, sparring, etc.
Main Elements of Kung Fu - The sections below provide instructions and videos for Kung Fu stretches, taolu (forms), conditioning drills, etc.
Misc Elements of Kung Fu
History of Kung Fu
In the West, Kung Fu exploded in popularity during the 1970s. This was due to the rise of Bruce Lee as a major movie star. Young people everywhere wanted to be like Bruce Lee and thus sought out Kung Fu training.
According to European Wushu Federation, "The first archaic forms of barehand fighting in ancient China appeared during the dynasties Xia, Shang and Zhou. Those forms, with the invention of bronze weapons became martial skills and were used for military training under the name Junlian (lit.army training). During the period of warring states (770 - 221 b.c.) the role of martial arts grew rapidly because of constant wars between counties."
Different Schools & Styles of Kung Fu
There are many different schools of Kung Fu (i.e. Eagle Claw, Wing Chun, Shaolin Kung Fu, etc.). According to Shaolin Gung Fu Institute, there are "over 1,000 styles are known or recognized." Kung Fu is often broken into northern and southern styles. Northern Kung Fu styles typically emphasize long-range attacks and greater use of kicks. Southern Kung Fu styles typically emphasize close combat and greater use of hand techniques.
Well-Known Kung Fu Styles
National Geographic Video on Kung Fu Training
Kung Fu Techniques
As seen in Chinese martial arts movies, Kung Fu has some spectacular kicking techniques such as the Butterfly Kick. Moreover, Kung Fu is known for its unique training equipment and techniques such as Mei Hua Zhuang (or Kung Fu Plum Blossom Poles), Wing Chun Wooden Striking Dummy, Iron Palm Training, etc. These traditional training tools are often seen in classic Kung Fu movies.
Famous Kung Fu Practitioners
Some well known Kung Fu students include Jackie Chan, Jet Li and David Carradine (of the "Kung Fu" TV series).
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