What is Gōng Fū 功夫 Kung Fu?

Gōng Fù 功夫 Kung Fu is a way to get in shape and defend yourself. It is also called Wŭ Shù 武术 Wu Shu. It is similar to Karate in that it uses hand and foot techniques, but Gōng Fù 功夫 is one of the oldest martial arts.

Gōng Fù 功夫 Kung Fu is a phrase that means that you use a lot of energy over a long time to make something perfect. Wŭ Shù 武术 means martial art in Chinese. Outside of China, the word Gōng Fù 功夫 has become so well-known that it is now used to refer to all Chinese martial arts. The term Wŭ Shù 武术 has been and still is used to describe a more modern, performance-based set of movements.


There are many ways to do Gōng Fù 功夫, but the best-known ones come from the Shaolin Temple: Shaolin Gōng Fù 功夫. However, Gōng Fù 功夫 has a long history and was part of Chinese culture long before this first temple was built.



What is the point of Gōng Fù 功夫 Kung Fu?

Many people think that the ultimate goal of Gōng Fù 功夫 Kung Fu, or any other martial art, is to help you protect yourself. But there is much more to Gōng Fù 功夫 than just learning how to fight. It is a true art aiming to improve the body, mind, character, and soul.

Gōng Fù 功夫 is a discipline that teaches you to look inside yourself and learn to control your thoughts, feelings, and bodies. Like many other types of martial arts, Gōng Fù 功夫 teaches balance, which is the key to moving and doing techniques well. We can only understand this idea if we learn to keep our thoughts on one thing, concentrate, and get rid of all other thoughts.

Gōng Fù 功夫 can be learned by anyone who wants to. All you need is a lot of energy and a willingness to work hard and follow the rules. To grow in art, one must have or be willing to develop suitable physical, mental, and moral traits. Not every student will make the same amount of progress.

Each of us comes from a different place and has various physical and mental skills. But each student should do their best; by doing so, they will learn more and move forward.

Gōng Fù 功夫 teaches us about respect, harmony, fairness, and being able to take care of ourselves. It would help if you had these traits to succeed in a world that is getting harder and more chaotic. Gōng Fù 功夫 is a great way to keep our minds and bodies in good shape.

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What types of Gōng Fù 功夫 Kung Fu are there?

Gōng Fù 功夫 is a large set of ideas and moves. It teaches both self-defence and how to stay healthy. There is a focus on wài jiā 外家 external Gōng Fù 功夫 that goes hand in hand with internal nèi jiā 内家 internal Gōng Fù 功夫. In wài jiā Gōng Fù 外家功夫 external Kung Fu, you train your physical body. In nèijiā Gōng Fù 内家功夫 internal Kung Fu, you train your spirit, qi, and mind.

In Gōng Fù 功夫, the balance of hardness and softness, as well as both internal and external growth, are crucial. 

A lot of people around the world are interested in Gōng Fù 功夫. Not only are there a lot of Chinese and foreign movies and TV shows about Gōng Fù 功夫, but Shaolin, Tai Chi, Wing Chun, and other forms of Chinese Kung Fu are also taught all over the world. Traditional Gōng Fù 功夫 has been kept alive and introduced to new generations all over the world.



Some famous Kung Fu styles:


Tàijí quán 太极拳 Taijiquan, Taiji or Taichi

Tàijí quán 太极拳 Taijiquan also called tai chi, shadow boxing, is an internal Taoist martial art. One story about the history of Tàijí quán 太极拳 says that the Taoist immortal Chang San-Feng created it. He is said to have been inspired by watching a snake fight an aggressive eagle.


Qìgōng 气功 Chinese Qigong, breath exercise 

Qìgōng 气功 means breath exercise and is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine that goes back thousands of years. The main reason was the search for longevity, with the ultimate goal of becoming immortal, a thought that has fascinated Chinese people for hundreds of years.


Shàolín gōngfū 少林功夫 Shaolin Kung Fu

Shàolín gōngfū 少林功夫 Shaolin Kung Fu is well-known both inside and outside of China. Shàolín Tàijí quán 少林太极拳 Shaolin shadowboxing was first used to stay healthy, treat illness, protect famous mountains and ancient temples, defend oneself, and keep enemies away. It has a lot of different patterns, basic forms, and internal and external kung fu.


Related glossary

Gōngfū 功夫 Kung Fu

Qìgōng 气功 Qigong, breath exercise

Wǔshù 武术 martial arts

Shàolínsì 少林寺 Shaolin Temple

Tàijí 太极 Taiji, Taichi

Yǒng chūn 咏春 Wing Chun

Bāguà zhǎng 八卦掌 Baguazhang Kungfu

Zuì quán 醉拳 “Drunk fist”, fighting and defending yourself while pretending to be drunk.Quánshù 拳术 boxing
Gùn shù 棍术 stick technique
Qiāng shù 枪术 stick technique
Dāo shù 刀术 knife technique
Jiàn shù 剑术 fencing






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