Help from some experts

Lingjian23

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Hi. Let me preface this by saying I'm totally ignorant about all marital arts, Chinese or otherwise. However I'm writing website content for a website about China and of course the topic of martial arts comes up.

Since I figured folks at this forum are probably all experts, I wanted to show the content I made for a very very brief introduction to martial arts on the website. This isn't intended to be in any way detailed, but rather to pique somebody's interest (later they can click on more links to read a detailed article, which will come later). Here is my brief introductory text. Please tell me if I am on the mark or not. Thanks in advance for your input.

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China is the home of an astounding number of styles, forms and schools of martial arts. Each type is unique and some even have their own philosophies or religious principles. Studying these art forms in China gives students the opportunity to study various martial arts in their land of origin, and to learn from masters in the field.

  • Kung Fu
Kung Fu is actually a broad category of many different styles of Chinese martial arts, some ancient and others of more recent modern, so defining it extremely difficult. Kung fu can include weapons training and various elements of Chinese philosophy. All forms of Kung Fu seek to discipline the mind and body and prepare its students for armed and unarmed hand-to-hand combat.


  • Wushu
Wushu is an internationalized, standardized form of various other Chinese martial arts. The sport itself has two branches. Taolu is a gymnastics-like style that incorporates difficult physical patterns and manoeuvres into a performance art. Sanda is a fighting discipline that is similar to kickboxing but is also highly influenced by Chinese boxing and grappling techniques. Flexibility is key to Wushu, and can be done barehanded or with weapons of various sizes.
Wushu is an international sport and there are practitioners worldwide. It is also highly organized, and a World Wushu Championship is held every two years.


  • Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a relatively new martial art, though its complete origins are unknown. Tai Chi focuses on using an opponents strength against him, using neutralizing techniques rather than brute force. This martial art has a strong grounding in Taoist philosophy and emphasizes training the mind as much as the body.
Tai Chi incorporates certain special techniques. These techniques include a focus on correct breathing, correct posture and smooth, fluid movements. This is coupled with combat-oriented training, and are said to improve mental agility and the ability to cope with stress.
 

terryl965

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Well hello and welcome to the site and you know we have a meet and greet section for propoer intro's, as far as text goes pretty much OK what are you exactly writing for?
 

clfsean

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Hi. Let me preface this by saying I'm totally ignorant about all marital arts, Chinese or otherwise. However I'm writing website content for a website about China and of course the topic of martial arts comes up.

Ok... how so? What context? Training? Visiting & meet/greet?

Since I figured folks at this forum are probably all experts, I wanted to show the content I made for a very very brief introduction to martial arts on the website. This isn't intended to be in any way detailed, but rather to pique somebody's interest (later they can click on more links to read a detailed article, which will come later). Here is my brief introductory text. Please tell me if I am on the mark or not. Thanks in advance for your input.

Good idea on that... seriously it is. Make sure you have researched out the links you want to point people to or suggest.

China is the home of an astounding number of styles, forms and schools of martial arts. Each type is unique and some even have their own philosophies or religious principles. Studying these art forms in China gives students the opportunity to study various martial arts in their land of origin, and to learn from masters in the field.

Ok... masters is always a subjective, but accepted term.

  • Kung Fu
Kung Fu is actually a broad category of many different styles of Chinese martial arts, some ancient and others of more recent modern, so defining it extremely difficult. Kung fu can include weapons training and various elements of Chinese philosophy. All forms of Kung Fu seek to discipline the mind and body and prepare its students for armed and unarmed hand-to-hand combat.

Actually kung fu is the Western term for CMA. Most anybody in China will call it "wushu". This is for modern or traditional, internal or external. If you understand the definition of "kung fu" then you know (at least in the Chinese world) anybody can have "kung fu" at something.

But we know what you're getting ar.

  • Wushu
Wushu is an internationalized, standardized form of various other Chinese martial arts. The sport itself has two branches. Taolu is a gymnastics-like style that incorporates difficult physical patterns and manoeuvres into a performance art. Sanda is a fighting discipline that is similar to kickboxing but is also highly influenced by Chinese boxing and grappling techniques. Flexibility is key to Wushu, and can be done barehanded or with weapons of various sizes.
Wushu is an international sport and there are practitioners worldwide. It is also highly organized, and a World Wushu Championship is held every two years.

Yep... that pretty much sums it up. There are nitpicking points, but for your use, that's pretty much it.

  • Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a relatively new martial art, though its complete origins are unknown. Tai Chi focuses on using an opponents strength against him, using neutralizing techniques rather than brute force. This martial art has a strong grounding in Taoist philosophy and emphasizes training the mind as much as the body.
Tai Chi incorporates certain special techniques. These techniques include a focus on correct breathing, correct posture and smooth, fluid movements. This is coupled with combat-oriented training, and are said to improve mental agility and the ability to cope with stress.

Taiji isn't that new. The most popular "forms" or taolu are... the PRC 24 step & the competition forms, but taiji itself goes back to late Ming, early Qing. The ideas though are older than that.

What "special techniques" are you referring to? The techniques you mentioned are stressed in all MAs, not just CMAs.
 

Xue Sheng

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Hi. Let me preface this by saying I'm totally ignorant about all marital arts, Chinese or otherwise. However I'm writing website content for a website about China and of course the topic of martial arts comes up.

Ok... how so? What context? Training? Visiting & meet/greet?

Additionally why a website about China and why does martial arts have to enter into it at all?

Since I figured folks at this forum are probably all experts, I wanted to show the content I made for a very very brief introduction to martial arts on the website. This isn't intended to be in any way detailed, but rather to pique somebody's interest (later they can click on more links to read a detailed article, which will come later). Here is my brief introductory text. Please tell me if I am on the mark or not. Thanks in advance for your input.

Good idea on that... seriously it is. Make sure you have researched out the links you want to point people to or suggest.

I agree with clfsean and just as a point of reference I am not an expert

China is the home of an astounding number of styles, forms and schools of martial arts. Each type is unique and some even have their own philosophies or religious principles. Studying these art forms in China gives students the opportunity to study various martial arts in their land of origin, and to learn from masters in the field.

Ok... masters is always a subjective, but accepted term.

Sifu of teacher would be better but as clfsean said it is an accepted term

Also look here

Kung Fu
Kung Fu is actually a broad category of many different styles of Chinese martial arts, some ancient and others of more recent modern, so defining it extremely difficult. Kung fu can include weapons training and various elements of Chinese philosophy. All forms of Kung Fu seek to discipline the mind and body and prepare its students for armed and unarmed hand-to-hand combat.

Actually kung fu is the Western term for CMA. Most anybody in China will call it "wushu". This is for modern or traditional, internal or external. If you understand the definition of "kung fu" then you know (at least in the Chinese world) anybody can have "kung fu" at something.

But we know what you're getting ar.

Yup, what clfsean said and you also have a division between traditional and more modern Chinese martial arts. You have multiple divisions within CMA actually, internal/external, Shaolin/Taoist/Muslim, North/South etc.

Wushu
Wushu is an internationalized, standardized form of various other Chinese martial arts. The sport itself has two branches. Taolu is a gymnastics-like style that incorporates difficult physical patterns and manoeuvres into a performance art. Sanda is a fighting discipline that is similar to kickboxing but is also highly influenced by Chinese boxing and grappling techniques. Flexibility is key to Wushu, and can be done barehanded or with weapons of various sizes.
Wushu is an international sport and there are practitioners worldwide. It is also highly organized, and a World Wushu Championship is held every two years.

Yep... that pretty much sums it up. There are nitpicking points, but for your use, that's pretty much it.

I do believe what you are referring to is modern Wushu or contemporary Wushu since in China Wushu is Chinese Martial Arts. Also there are different versions of Sanda (also know as Sanshou) there is the competition version you are referring to and there is a version that many regular people learn and there is a version taught to the Chinese Police and military and they are not the same.

Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a relatively new martial art, though its complete origins are unknown. Tai Chi focuses on using an opponent&#8217;s strength against him, using neutralizing techniques rather than brute force. This martial art has a strong grounding in Taoist philosophy and emphasizes training the mind as much as the body.
Tai Chi incorporates certain special techniques. These techniques include a focus on correct breathing, correct posture and smooth, fluid movements. This is coupled with combat-oriented training, and are said to improve mental agility and the ability to cope with stress.

Taiji isn't that new. The most popular "forms" or taolu are... the PRC 24 step & the competition forms, but taiji itself goes back to late Ming, early Qing. The ideas though are older than that.

What "special techniques" are you referring to? The techniques you mentioned are stressed in all MAs, not just CMAs.

Well I guess it all it all depends on how you define new. It has a verifiable history back to Chen Wangting (1600-1680) it has a mythological history that is much older. The origin is pretty much academically accepted as Chen Wangting. And although it does much of what you are talking about I do believe you are getting what taijiquan really is mixed up with some of the new age and modern definitions that are floating around.
 

clfsean

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Xue... we're on the same page too much... spooky... or cool, depending on the state of your center... :mst:
 

oxy

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Actually kung fu is the Western term for CMA. Most anybody in China will call it "wushu". This is for modern or traditional, internal or external. If you understand the definition of "kung fu" then you know (at least in the Chinese world) anybody can have "kung fu" at something.

I'm quite certain Cantonese people (at least from my experience in Hong Kong), kung fu is also commonly used for martial arts. Presumably that's why Bruce Lee used it in interviews.

Wushu (mo soot in Cantonese), wugong (mo gong), quan fa (kuen faat) are more formal ways of saying martial arts from a Cantonese perspective. Mostly reserved for TV dramas because it sounds a bit pompous. That's my impression of it anyway.

Either way, kung fu in Hong Kong and presumably the greater Cantonese speaking population is a legitimate term for martial arts.

Personally, I haven't heard kung fu used much in its "hard work" meaning as often as the "martial arts" meaning from Cantonese speaking people.
 

mograph

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Hmm ... I was under the impression that wushu is a modern term, and that before Mao, there wasn't a general term for Chinese martial arts. There was Shaolin, Wudan, Taijiquan and so on.

I think it's like this: to native North Americans, "Indian" is a modern term. To them, there were only Cherokee, Iroquois, Pawnee and so on.

I could be wrong.
 
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Lingjian23

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To be more specific about what I'm doing:
I'm writing a series of web articles for a company that arranges study programs in China (for all sorts of things, including language, business, art, martial arts, etc.) Essentially this article is part of the introduction to what you can do in China, since a lot of people don't really know what the possibilities are.

I appreciate everyone's feedback, it's really helpful actually.
 

oxy

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Hmm ... I was under the impression that wushu is a modern term, and that before Mao, there wasn't a general term for Chinese martial arts. There was Shaolin, Wudan, Taijiquan and so on.

I think it's like this: to native North Americans, "Indian" is a modern term. To them, there were only Cherokee, Iroquois, Pawnee and so on.

I could be wrong.

Either way, it's written for the modern audience.
 

clfsean

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I'm quite certain Cantonese people (at least from my experience in Hong Kong), kung fu is also commonly used for martial arts. Presumably that's why Bruce Lee used it in interviews.

Wushu (mo soot in Cantonese), wugong (mo gong), quan fa (kuen faat) are more formal ways of saying martial arts from a Cantonese perspective. Mostly reserved for TV dramas because it sounds a bit pompous. That's my impression of it anyway.

Either way, kung fu in Hong Kong and presumably the greater Cantonese speaking population is a legitimate term for martial arts.

Personally, I haven't heard kung fu used much in its "hard work" meaning as often as the "martial arts" meaning from Cantonese speaking people.

In my experiences with Cantonese speakers, it's been a varied array of words & terms depending on mood, reason, focus, etc... gung fu has been one them.

The guy was asking for general info safely presumably for the mainland, so I answered with that in mind.

If he'd asked specifically about the south, then I would've responded accordingly.
 

Xue Sheng

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If you are on the mainland and in the North where Mandarin is spoken Wushu is the word used to describe Chinese Martial Arts and as far as I know it is not a new term but I will check.

Bottom-line there is no delineation between what you see in a physical education university for acrobatics competition, what you see in the ring for a Sanshou match, what you see in the park being done by 2 guys in their 80s or 2 police officers training their MA or a Xingyiquan Sifu teaching a student in terminology, it is all Wushu in Mandarin. As far as the term Kung Fu goes it was a misunderstanding combined with a miss translation and bingo you get Chinese Kung Fu instead of Chinese Wushu. The term Kung Fu has never been used, as far as I know, on Mainland China to describe Chinese Martial Arts beyond it takes Kung Fu to train Wushu.

As to Cantonese, I have considerably less experience with that but I have heard Gong Fu, but then I cannot be sure if that is what was used in Guangzhou (mainland) or if it is said for our benefit here in the west. I will ask my Sifu the next time I see him, he speaks 3 dialects, one of them Cantonese, but you are going to have to wait a week for a response on that one.

Possible ggg214 could give a better answer about that, but I do not believe his dialect is Cantonese or Mandarin, but I do beleive he speaks Mandarin
 
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oxy

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From relatives in/from Hong Kong, I've only heard Gongfu, or Mogong.
 

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