Kung Fu Information

Chinese martial arts, sometimes referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term wushu and popularly as kung fu , consist of a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries. Those fighting styles can be classified according to common themes that are identified as "families" , "sects" or "schools" of martial arts. Examples of themes are physical exercises that mimic the movements of specific animals, or a history and training method inspired by various Chinese philosophies, myths and legends. Some styles focus on the harnessing of qi and are labeled internal , while others concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness and are labeled external . Geographical association, as in northern and southern , is another popular method of categorization. Each fighting style offers a different approach to the common problems of self-defense, health, and self-cultivation from a Chinese perspective.

Kung fu and wushu are popular terms that have become synonymous with Chinese martial arts. However, the Chinese terms kung fu and wushu have very different meanings. The Chinese literal equivalent of "Chinese martial art" would be zhongguo wushu .

In Chinese, kung fu can be used in contexts completely unrelated to martial arts, and refers colloquially to any individual accomplishment or skill cultivated through long and hard work. In contrast, wushu is a more precise term for general martial activities.

Wikipedia, Kung Fu, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fu (as of Apr 7, 2010)

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