Chinese Martial Arts: African, Asian Journalists Introduced To Kung Fu Chinese Martial Arts

The exposure sought to deepen their experience in Chinese cultural sports.

Reporters from around the world who are in China for a 10-month media fellowship programme recently downed their pens and diaries and put on sportswear at the Beijing International Chinese College. The internal gymnasium of the college became the venue for experiential lessons on the practical interpretation of Chinese Kung fu and Wushu, and how to handle Chinese martial arts weapons.

Made popular internationally by Hollywood star, Jackie Chan and NBA superstar, Yao Ming, some of the foreign reporters described Kung fu as “Jackie Chan’s martial arts.” Practical lessons began with brief stretching of muscles, then the basics, forms, applications and swords, involving rudimentary techniques. Movements are performed with the simulated intention of striking or throwing down opponents - all of which demand proper body mechanics and flexing.

Martial artist Zou Ying told learners that Kung fu is an ancient popular China sport that evolved over the various dynasties. She added that each Kung fu or Wushu style is differentiated by the position of the foot, inclination of the body and the direction a fighter sends their hands. Once in the game, it becomes clear that a successful combat strategy involves the dynamic and rapid use of the feet and hands to attack or defend. While a tactical tilt of the body draws more attention from the public.

Kung fu or Wushu were made the more popular by stars like Bruce Lee, Shaolin, Wudang and Jackie Chan, though many sub-branches have sprung up. They focus on the application of swords of various lengths and types, using one or two hands to coordinate strategy and bodily movements.

On the use of combative techniques, Zou Ying focused exercises on a prescribed range and advised journalists not to offer an active or true resistance to any technique in order to allow its demonstration. “These exercises teach balance and coordination,” she emphasized. The instructor cautioned learners never to use what they learnt on others as Kung fu is a game, entertainment and keep-fit exercise.

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