5 reasons to study Gongfu (Kung Fu)

The word Gongfu literally means achievement (gong) and man (fu).  In order to master the art of Gungfu, students must devote significant amounts of time and “work hard”, which is the literal translation of the word. Also, Gongfu is known as Wushu, which translates to Wu (military) and shu (discipline).  Listed below are a few of the reasons to learn Gongfu.

 1. Self Defense

Men, women and children each can face uniquely dangerous situations in their lives.  A man may be confronted by a thief with a knife in a parking lot, a woman may be targeted by a rapist after a yoga class, or a child may be approached by a pedophile while walking home from school.  If men, women and children know the specific Gongfu techniques to defend themselves in these situations, they can escape unharmed. Spouses and parents can rest assured that their loved ones are protected in whatever situation they face.

Check out this YouTube video of a knife attack being defended by Gongfu. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHdyPSFTx4o

2. Physical Conditioning

Regular practice of Gongfu will keep your body in peak physical shape.   It will improve your stamina, strength and increase flexibility. According to the Tooele County Health Department, martial arts have been documented to burn up to 350 calories per hour.  Bruce Lee’s chiseled his physique through hours of Gong Fu practice. Strong physical conditioning will unquestionably improve your quality of life and boost your confidence.

Check out this YouTube video for physical conditioning exercises through Gongfu. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D8VHZXk17A

3. Controlled Breathing

Meditation can be an integral component incorporated into Gongfu.  By practicing meditation, you learn to focus on the present, clear your mind and control your breath. Having a clear and present mind hones your ability to concentrate on specific Gongfu movements. Controlled breathing can also be applied to different martial arts techniques.  For example, one martial arts instructor recommends inhaling when performing passive movements such as a block, and exhaling when performing proactive movements such as punching and kicking.

4. Competition

In recent years, Mixed Martial Arts fights have become popular throughout the world.  Dan Hardy a mixed martial artist from the United Kingdom trained with Shaolin monks in Henan province to prepare for one of his fights; he said the intense training by the Shaolin monks required him to practice 12 hours a day for six days a week, pushing him to his physical and mental breaking point.

To learn more about his experience training in Henan, click the link below. http://tkohub.com/dan-hardy-talks-training-with-shaolin-monks

Check out this link for more regarding Dan’s experience training with Shaolin Monks.  http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55693

5. Performance

Talented martial artists that know Gongfu may use their skills in a theatrical sense.  In Beijing’s Red Theater, martial artists perform in the play The Legend of Kung Fu.  The story revolves around a young monk that aspires to be a Kung Fu Master one day.

Check out this link below to learn more about Beijing’s Red Theater. http://www.beijing-travels.com/beijing_guide/show/chinese_kungfu.html

The above content is a guest article by China Newz, a blog that covers all things about China, including politics, history, economics and culture.

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