Wushu Question.

W

Wormtail

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Hi everyone, I'm new on this site. I like what I've read so far...- Healthy Discussion.
I have a question for the well versed in the Martial Arts world:
Is WUSHU (you know .... Jump real high, run around aann--nd Po-ose!) a real form of martial arts? or is it just a performance sport? The reason I ask this is because I have heard several people argue on both sides: Some arguing that it was formed as a spectator sport back when the Chinese Govt banned MA practice back in the day, whereas some argue that it is a real form of MA.
I like Jet-Li, I like his speed and reflexes. I would hate to even think that there's a possibility that he's not a real MAist but nothing but a good exhibitionist.
 
Wushu isn't necessarily the same as movie kung fu, and its more than just its sport/demonstration component. I guess I'd count it as "real" but with a strong emphasis on "art" and less on "martial". But Judo and Kendo are certainly martial arts, and they're (essentially) all sport.
 
"Martial Arts" translates as "pertaining or concerned with war or warfare'. "Wu" translates in chinese as "Martial Arts", and "Shu" translates as "Skills". Wushu literally translates as "Martial Techniques". So, it is safe to assume that the term "Wushu" can mean the Martial Skills Of Techniques Executed Within The Rules Of Engagement In Armed And Unarmed Combat.
Sincerely, In Humility;Chiduce!
 
hi, im back,

it seems to me that there are to components to the term. wushu really does mean martial arts, and another term, "modern wushu" hints more towards the exhibition stuff, which is actually a combination of gymnastics and martial arts forms that has been encouraged as a national sport by the china govt. since the 1960's, at the same time the government apparently made some laws to the effect that combat martial arts were discouraged.

therefore, my answer to the question would be that "modern wushu" is not a true combat martial art.
however, modern wushu instructors in america, such as my own, jinheng li, his teammates (jet li being one of them), have reintegrated many different aspects of the traditional. and what we are left with is a very holistic approach, that combines a wide variety of the old and new. it was probably the influence of the beijing wushu team's amazing teacher, wu bin that encouraged such an ambitious curriculum.

what we are left with is a very broad curriculum that soaks in over time-and if you ask a modern wushu practitioner if they can fight, they may tell you no, but that could be the farthest thing from the truth.
 
Back in 1981, my teacher went to China with a group of 30 American martial artists...while there, he met many distinguished martial arts teachers, some of them Masters...One of the demonstrations the Chinese put on for their American guests was a wushu performance...my teacher asked one of the Masters if they actually used THAT for fighting...the Master replied that there were very few combat effective techniques in THAT kind of wushu...it was for show and for fitness (although many of the performers later developed very severe arthritis of the lower back)...

The Master assured my teacher that there were still many authentic martial systems alive and well, but those were not put on public display...

Bear in mind that someone who practices "performance" wushu may also practice some other more "legitimate" martial art...

As an analogy: I occasionally run into folks who tell me that a Smith & Wesson will always beat a martial artist's skill...I reply with "Do you have it on you?"...but I digress...my point is, just because I practice martial arts doesn't mean I don't spend a fair amount of time on the range with my pistol...one does not preclude the other...

:asian:
chufeng
 
good point, chufeng

so i guess we are leaning towards the answer that modern wushu (spinning around and flipping and stuff) is not a real combat art, but it is a martial art in the sense that maybe capoeira or other systems that have been adapted as artforms.
 
Is the monolingualism of Americans.

Time to jump back in the ring with Chiduce again... :argue:

Originally posted by Chiduce

"Martial Arts" translates as "pertaining or concerned with war or warfare'.

No. Martial Arts translates (from English into English?) as Martial Arts. A vague, obscure reference term used to generalize the combative practice, both armed and unarmed, usually originating in Asia but also allowed to encompass fighting methods from other parts of the world...

"Wu" translates in chinese as "Martial Arts",

No, it doesn't. Wu in Chinese (Mandarin) or bu in Japanese are the same character. The meaning is multi-layered as it is with all characters. There is the common use of the term, but there is also the meaning inside the character derived from its component parts. The common meaning is "military." The implied meaning, when the components of the character are examined, is "to stop the lances of invaders." When combined with other characters, words such as wushu (martial arts), wuda (martial arts), wuduan (arbitrary), wugong (martial {arts} skill), wuli (military force), wuqi (weapons), wushi (warrior, knight), wuxia (chivalry), wuyi (martial {arts} skill), and wuzhuang (arms, weapons, armaments) are created.

and "Shu" translates as "Skills".

Again, no. Shu translates commonly as "method," or "technique." Its implied meaning is "to proceed with/on a road."

Wushu literally translates as "Martial Techniques".

For a third time, no. Wushu's common translation is "martial arts," but the deeper understanding of the word really means something more along the lines of "the methods and techniques by which aggression may be defended against."

So, it is safe to assume that the term "Wushu" can mean the Martial Skills Of Techniques Executed Within The Rules Of Engagement In Armed And Unarmed Combat.

Several errors here.

First, it is never safe to assume anything. Not in martial arts, not in military engagements, not in using foreign languages improperly. A mispronunciation of the word "map" in Japanese can also mean "vagina." Important distinction there, when asking to look at someone's graphic representation of a portion of the Earth's surface while in public... :D ("Excuse me, could you show me your ____ ?" Oops!)

Second, what does "Within The Rules Of Engagement" mean? Rules of engagement apply in military contexts or self defense situations relating to the law easily, but within the definition of this particular word they have absolutely no relevance whatsoever. Your reliance on too many words to make your posts carry the weight of legitimacy fails every time. You have posted very informative details elsewhere on other topics, but I would ask that you check your translations before posting in such an authoritative manner... That will lend more credibility to your comments than capitalizing every word or using an exclamation point as your only form of punctuation... :asian:

End Argument with Chiduce :argue:

The word/term wushu is the proper Mandarin term for martial arts, real or otherwise, as we know them. The same characters are pronounced bujutsu in Japanese, but their common use is nearly identical to the implied meaning.

In the common misuse of foreign words in the US, wushu has come to be the label used for the jumping, spinning, acrobatic martial forms that were, in fact, created at the direction of the Chinese government in the years following the Cultural Revolution. In Taiwan, the term kuoshu or guoshu (alternate pronunciations), which in common translation refers to "national" arts as opposed to "martial" arts, is used for authentic combative martial arts, while in the US we thank David Carradine for introducing us to kung fu (which can refer to any skill developed over long periods of time, such as driving, golfing, whatever...).

Bottom line, and back on topic, wushu can be real or fake, depending on what they are doing. If it is jumping around, slapping pencil thin staves on the floor, brandishing paper thin aluminum unsharpened swords in each other's faces... Then it is fake. If it includes strong fighting skills, realistic approaches to self defense, and a lot of bruising and pain inflicted from genuine contact by good techniques... I suspect the answer is right there in front of you...

Gambarimasu.
 
I have a question which, hopefully, isn't veering *too* far off the subject of this thread (if so, let me know and I'll relocate).

Last year for a history course I did a big paper on culture and region and how they effect various martial arts and all that. Anyway, I really wanted to include how the transition of China's government effected its martial arts (namely, whether the national arts were prettied up and watered down, to prevent any Boxer Rebellion-esque happenings). This discussion made points that I was dwelling on, but I had a horrible time finding resources to cover it. Anyone know of any? Or, could anyone give a run-down of how/when/why/what happened?
 
Hi, Wertle,
and anyone else reading this thread, a brief, but resourceful text for the history of Chinese Martial Arts is "THE SPRING AND AUTUMN OF CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS-5,000 YEARS", by Professor Kang Ge Wu, from Plum Publishing. It's very handy, covering a wide span of Chinese Martial Culture and History, and more authoritatively researched than most other works in English on the subject. If anyone out there knows of a more voluminous text, that is as well researched and presented, please tell us. I hope this is useful, best regards.
 
My question to is related to this.

Is Wushu same as KungFU?

I read the term KungFu is banned from China, and it is now known as Wushu. But Wushu has been modernized from a couple or many chinese systems and put together over many years is less dangerous that KungFu.
 
Originally posted by Shinryu

My question to is related to this.

Is Wushu same as KungFU?

I read the term KungFu is banned from China, and it is now known as Wushu. But Wushu has been modernized from a couple or many chinese systems and put together over many years is less dangerous that KungFu.


I lived in China for 3 years and used the kungfu/gungfu a lot and heard it used a lot. It most assuredly is not banned.

Kungfu and Wushu are basically both fighting arts but with an emphasis in different areas.
Wushu tends to be the crowd pleasing type wear it's practitioners jump and fly around armed or unarmed and kungfu is the older more "serious" studying of fighting techniques.
 
Originally posted by RyuShiKan




I lived in China for 3 years and used the kungfu/gungfu a lot and heard it used a lot. It most assuredly is not banned.

Kungfu and Wushu are basically both fighting arts but with an emphasis in different areas.
Wushu tends to be the crowd pleasing type wear it's practitioners jump and fly around armed or unarmed and kungfu is the older more "serious" studying of fighting techniques.

Yea, I would agree :)
 
actually, for some reason, many teachers use the term "wushu kungfu" now as one entity. dont ask me why?
 
So, just to show my stupidity, how much training in sparring is used in modern ws ?


7sm
 
its not necessary, some schools only practice two man sets which are just 2 people doing their wushu forms around eachother and all the contact is fairly inconsequential, as you might expect, it looks pretty nice. so there is really no sparring involved, but that would be only in the example of a school that offered nothing but wushu. most teachers mix it up nowadays.
 
Originally posted by theneuhauser

its not necessary, some schools only practice two man sets which are just 2 people doing their wushu forms around eachother and all the contact is fairly inconsequential, as you might expect, it looks pretty nice. so there is really no sparring involved, but that would be only in the example of a school that offered nothing but wushu. most teachers mix it up nowadays.

What is commonly mixed with mws, wing chun mostly ?


7sm
 
there is no wing chun in mws, they went along completely divergent paths. wu shu appears to be more northern in its big and flashy movements. wing chun is very tactile and direct, more for fighting, not for show at all.
 
you said mws teachers don't use sparring, but some will "mix it up". What would they be mixing with? OR do they just use basic cma techniques or so?


7sm
 
my instructor uses almost no "cross cultural" type training. its all just variety from cma. eg. taiji, pakua, xing i, qin na, san shou, 5 animals. all this is to develop in the areas where the mws might be lacking.
 

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