What is Wushu?

In Wushu on

Wushu, also known as kungfu is a collective term for all martial art styles which originated and flourished in China. Hundreds of different styles and systems have evolved over the past 5000 years in China from the need for self-defence. Every style has its own distinctive principles, techniques, goal and of course, weaponry.

Wushu is a discipline that focuses on the development of the mind, body and spirit of an individual. It is a way of life. A Wushu practitioner is expected to have high moral values, a warrior spirit, a peaceful heart and an athletic physique.

Traditional Wushu consists of a large number of diverse martial art styles with a complex and rich history. There is an emphasis on philosophy, the combat application behind every movement, and the flow of internal energy (Chi 气). Traditional Wushu routines are more grounded in its form.

Modern Wushu (Sport Wushu) was formed in the 1950’s as an attempt by the Chinese government to standardised Chinese martial arts for sport and competitive purposes.  There was a nationwide initiative to build a strong, healthy nation and to promote national pride. Based on the main traditional Wushu styles, Modern Wushu is created by compiling the basic movements and techniques into simplified, standard routines. Modern Wushu routines are performed with high speed and include many impressive jumping kicks, aerial twists and stylised movements.

Many traditionalists disapprove of Modern Wushu because of its focus on appearance in the competitive arena. To them, Modern Wushu has lost its original combat purpose and this ancient artform is reduced to merely an empty, acrobatic performance.

Metaphorically, Traditional Wushu is like the wise Master Shifu in Kungfu Panda: conservative values, simple and grounded with powerful moves that always hit the mark. On the other hand, Modern Wushu is like enthusiastic young Po with his swift, flashy acrobatic movements. One is not better than the other. They simply play their respective roles in the movie.

We offer Tai Chi and Wushu classes in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Contact us at 012-2211430 or email us at huayingwushu@gmail.com for more details.


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