Chinese Kung Fu and Acrobatics

The History of Chinese Kung Fu
Known as Wushu or Chinese martial arts, Chinese Kung Fu is one of the Chinese cultural treasures. In the ancient time, our Chinese ancestors learned to apply the sticks, stones and ironware to attack and defense the animals, which developed into the fundamental skills kung fu- hack, stab and chop. Later dynasties, Chinese kung fu developed into various schools, so as the kung fu weapons. Nowadays, kung fu is not so much a personal defense skill, as an art; not so much a combat technique, as a kind of sport that cultivates one’s soul.

The kung fu schools and weapons
The typical Chinese kung fu schools are the Shao-lin, Wu-dang, E-mei and Nan-quan, which was developed into a lot of small branches. Among them the Shao-lin kung fu is the most comprehensive one, which covers various fist forms, such as the Tiger, Crane, Dragon, Monkey, Praying Mantis, Eagle and Snake, and different weapons, such as broadsword, spear, sword, halberd, axes, scourge, stick and hammer etc. Actually, there are eighteen kinds of weapons in Chinese kung fu, some of which may never be seen or heard of before.

The influence of Chinese kung fu
Obviously, Chinese kung fu is not merely the personal defense skill any more, but a shining art in different fields.

In our daily life, people, especially the aged, practice kung fu, such as fencing and Taiji Quan—Chinese shadow boxing, to keep fit and cultivate the soul. This is a common scene in the park.

In the sportsdom, Chinese kung fu became one of the Olympic events in 1999, and there is a growing number of foreigners who interest in Chinese kung fu.

In the filmdom, Chinese kung fu is growingly appreciated by the audience all over the world, and more leading international directors introduce the Chinese kung fu to their films and corporate with some famous Chinese kung fu actors, such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh.

The Chinese acrobatics
Chinese acrobatics is believed to originate from the wrestling- an old defense skill in the Neolithic period (more than 5,000 years ago). After the unification of Qin Dynasty, it developed into a kind of recreational skills and prevailed in China from the north to the south. On many festival occasions, the Chinese local people perform the acrobatics as a festival tradition. In some places, local governments form the organizations of acrobatics to organize people to participate some national or international competitions. The Wuqiao County in Hebei province, where was acknowledged as the home land of the acrobatics, is the typical one.

The characteristics of the Chinese acrobatics
1. The performer should be a good master of martial art and very strong in body as well as in balanced capacity. One of the amazing scenes in the Chinese acrobatics is one actor is able to hold up, merely by hands, four pairs of stone barbells and another 8 actors (approximate 500 kg).

2. The performer must be brave, self-composed, flexible and rigorous. One of the most breath-taking acts is Wire-walking, which requires the performer be the master of the acrobatics skills.

3. Originated from the manual labor, the acrobatics stage properties are the facilities used in daily life and the labor instruments, such as the dishes, the jars and ladder etc.

4. There are many acrobatics skills and performs introduced from the kung fu, opera and traditional dance.

Chinese Culture

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