The practice of Kung Fu, as a martial art has been in existence for over several thousand years. According to historians, this art was taught to the Chinese as a form of self defense by an Indian Brahmin. Buddhist monks were being harassed by looting dacoits and need to learn how to practice self defense.
To learn this martial art, one can practice either one of the two styles in vogue. One is the Northern style that is practiced by the Mandarin people. In this style, concentration is given to use of difficult patterns and various types of acrobatic legwork. The Cantonese who practice the Southern style on the other hand, use low stances and practice various types of kicks. The techniques used in the Southern style seem stronger and easier to perfect as the Cantonese people are short and built stocky.
Many different styles have been evolving since this form of martial art was encouraged. One of the popular forms that is effectively carried out today is the Tiger-Crane style. When this form is combined with the White Crane, which is an advanced form, the technique is far more powerful and superior to many of the styles used. There is yet another style that uses smooth movements that are slow and quite similar to Tao Chi. Students are taught to practice this style so that they can strengthen their internal system and learn how to perfect their chi and this is often a prerequisite when learning the Southern Shaolin type of system.
There is no doubt that the Kung Fu martial arts have been responsible for influencing the other type of younger martial arts such as karate. Nowadays, these types of competitions are being held frequently and have resulted in mushrooming of several schools in China today.
The mind, spirit and the body are all put to use when this type of martial art is being taught to students who learn how to hone their skills in self defense. They learn how to dwell on all aspects that help them develop their insights and introspection skills so as to learn how to lead a meaningful life.
All schools are very particular about hiring masters who have an authentic lineage behind their name. The master must be very well informed about the art in its truest form. It is only then that he can impart the right knowledge to his students. The student is therefore taught the right form that has been handed down over the centuries through masters before them. That is how this form of martial art has remained pure and passed the test of time. Not only has the tradition been maintained but they are confident that when they become masters, they will be able to teach their children and grandchildren the same traditions and art.
The various circular movements used, when practicing this technique, involves the use of hands. The fluid graceful movements look appealing visually as the hands move slowly from one stance to another. The style is therefore referred to as “soft style” by people in North America. The fact is that thought these movements look soft and smooth; there is a lot of power packed into it. The other ‘hard styles’ used by karate and tae kwon are not really more powerful than this style though the name can be misleading.
Kung Fu is an ancient martial art form that has saved its true pure form throughout the thousand years that it has been practiced. Though the Kungfu art is called ‘soft style’ the power that emanate from the gliding circular movements are as solid as the ones utilised in other fighting techinques.