Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Wushu and kung fu, for a long time, was confused for one another. This seeks to enlighten us about the difference between the two and give their actual meanings. The misconception of the modern world between these terms can be from the unfamiliarity with Chinese words and characters.
In the Chinese language, kung fu can be used in any aspect—may it be in carpentry, tailoring or others as long as you have the skill required for the certain work or art. The hard part about it is that kung fu has no exact English translation.
When Bruce Lee attained international stardom as an action movie star in the 1960s, all Chinese martial arts came to be known the world over as “kung fu.” However, Wushu would be the more accurate word for it.
Wushu consists of all forms of the ancient Chinese martial arts. It including the main styles with bare-hands [Changquan (Long fist), Nanquan (Southern Fist), Taijiquan (Taiji Quan)] and short weapons [Dao (single-edged sword), Jian (double-edged sword), Taijijian (Taiji double-edged sword)] Nandao [(Southern single-edged sword) and long weapons Gun (Staff), Qiang (Spear), Nangun (Southern Staff)].
Traditional Wushu was used in Ancient China for self-defense and hunting needs of the people. In 1949, modern China aimed to nationalize the use of their traditional martial arts giving birth to the modern wushu that is both a full-combat sport and performance.
The International Wushu Federation aims to further inform today’s world about wushu and established a number of suborganizations in every part of the world. In fact, when they established their South East Asia Wushu federation in 1994, Mr. Benito Lim of the Philippines became their first president.
— Angelique P. Manalad