Kung Fu

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What is Kung Fu?

Kung Fu ( known as kung fu , kungfu, gong fu , gung fu , Wu Shu, etc. ) is one of the most categories for Martial Arts.

In general, Kung Fu is a label used to describe any Martial Art that comes from China. It is the generic name for literally hundreds of individual Chinese fighting arts, both "internal" and "external," ancient and of relatively recent invention. It encompasses everything from the slow, elegant pace of Tai Chi to the whirling pageantry of Wu Shu to the fast, close range, combative action of Wing Chun and everything in between.
There is no direct translation of the word Kung Fu into English. Kung literally means “achievement” or “work”. Fu is simply a reference to man or person. It explains greatly why many Kung Fu artists say their Martial Arts is a way of life, not simply a series of kicks, punches, and stances.
Because Kung Fu encompasses so many different variations of Martial Arts, it is often not enough to simply say, “I practice Kung Fu.”
In general terms, when one says they practice Kung Fu, they are often referring to the long stance, fast movements that comes from a Shaolin influences on the art. You will often see many animals represented in their movements: the most common being tiger, dragon, crane, and snake.
Because the focus is to imitate a creature of nature, kung fu attacks are as deadly, or perhaps more so, with a finger as they are with a fist. You will see movements that flow, echoing the movements of grace we see in nature.
Again, because of the vast history and expansive reaches and variations, there are many weapons involved in Kung Fu. From the heavy, foreboding monk spade to the light, agile staff to the elegant broad sword. How much you learn of weapons and what depends upon which Kung Fu path you follow.
The instructors in Kung Fu are known as ShiFu , which literally translates to “teacher”. In Chinese, this refers to even normal teachers like your English instructors in school.
What to be noticed in exercising Kung fu and physical training?
There are many exercising ways to keep healthy, such as traditional Wuqin games, Tai Chi Chuan , Tai Chi sword, Wing Chun and shaolin kung fu or those items in modern days, such as walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, all these may help to keep healthy. No matter which way to be taken, the following principles must be born in mind.
I. Train step by step and depending on one's ability

Keeping health by exercising is the way to prolong life and keep health by doing unremitting physical training. The training intensity must be properly controlled while doing exercising. The purpose of training will not be achieved if it is too weak, while when it is too strong , the body enduring limitation will be exceeded and could cause body damage because of extraordinary fatigue. So exercising must be done step by step and depend on one's ability. Then what is the right way to control the training intensity? At present, it is judged by measuring the pulse after doing exercise and its calculating formula is:
170 - age=appropriate exercising rhythm of the heart
Take a man of 40 for example, if his rhythm of pulse is 130 or so after exercising, that means his training intensity is appropriate. If his rhythm of pulse is obviously over 130, which indicates his intensity is too strong ,whereas too weak

II. Persist in and keep on exercising

It is not one day's work to do exercise and training. It must be persisted in and kept on exercising for a long time. What said by Huatuo as mentioned above pointed out the principle of exercise keeping health in one hand, on the other hand, he also emphasized the importance of keeping and un-interruption of exercise. From this point of view, only by uninterrupted appropriate exercising, can one get the efficacy of keeping health.

III. Intensive by relaxation and work by rest

When we talk about keeping health by exercising, we do not mean that we must keep exercising continuously, but must stick to the principle of tension by relaxation and work by rest. Only in this way can we get to the aim of keeping health. Intensive exercise must be alternated with relaxation and rest. After exercising for a long time, we must have a proper rest or it will affect the training efficiency and cause spiritual and body fatigue, or even worse, affect our health.
Our traditional health keeping methods consists of a series of theories, principles and techniques, focusing and emphasizing the coincidence and unity of inner and outer part of the body. Two points should be noticed under the guidance of these methods:

IV. Coincidence and unity, focus on both body shape and spiritual training

In traditional Chinese exercising for keeping health, The cooperation and unity of mind, breath rhythm and movements of the body are strictly adhered to, or in other words, the unity of keeping mind, regulating breath and movements coincidence. To keep mind means you mind should concentrate on the exercise, without thinking of other matters. To regulate breath means you should adjust your breath to be even and regularly. The movement coincidence means the movements should be natural, continuous with appropriate rigidness and softness. These three aspects should be strictly obeyed and in this way could the body be trained as a whole and unified entity, the aim of keeping health and prolonging life could be guaranteed

V. Adjust with the seasons and do not miss good opportunity

As early as 2000 year ago, our ancestors suggested to keep health by adjusting timely during daily life, which means that people should arrange daily life properly according to the change of weather. Zhangzhicong, an expert of regimen in Qing Dynasty, compared one day with the four seasons of a year. He said:" One day can be divided into four parts as four seasons in a year. Morning is spring and midday is summer while post sunset is autumn and midnight is winter." From this point of view, he suggested that daily exercising should be adjusted according to the change of weather, by doing so, one can achieve the effect of health keeping with half endeavor.

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