House of China in America

Sport Karate Museum of  Sport Kung-Fu

House of China in America

The home of competition and the birth of the martial arts starting with the sport life and death challenges of the Shaolin Temples,  surely those stories could not b true of fighting to the death, no wonder trophies became so popular, they are two main ways of enlightenment, one is northern using more kicks and southern using more hands.

Kung –fu fighting is much different than karate, less dynamic but still effective in a self-defense attitude

The forms and weapons are spectacular to watch and are crowd pleasers.

It is said that Tai Chi is the most practiced martial art in the world with an estimated 200 plus million adherents. Of course China has a population of 1.3 billion and Tai Chi is practically a religion for many of them. Tai Chi Chuan (literally “Grand Ultimate Fist”) is just one of many systems of martial arts to develop in what many believe to be the birthplace of the martial arts.

But records are rare and legends abound. The most popular story about Chinese martial arts centers on an Indian Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma (Daruma in Japanese) who is said to have traveled to China around 525 AD and began teaching a system of physical and mental exercises at the Shaolin Monastery. Over the decades Kung Fu (a collective term for Chinese arts which literally only means “skilled”) developed into a refined but very diverse collection of styles. Traveling monks introduced their methods into other countries which further modified the arts into native systems. It must be noted that there were martial practices in China long before the 6th century however.

Today there are literally hundreds of systems of kung fu (or gung fu) practiced around the world. Some people make a division between “Northern” and “Southern” schools. Generally speaking, Northern China has rocky terrain and, in ancient times, was more rural. It is supposed that styles founded in this type of environment would make use of more flourish and have long range kicks. Southern China is more urban and flatter and so schools springing up in this environment would be aimed towards closer combat and would make use of more hand techniques and lower kicks.

Another, typical, classification of kung fu is external (more emphasis on physical technique) vs. internal (more emphasis on development of “qi” or “chi” internal power). In the China of today “Wushu” (literally martial arts) has become a popular national sport.