The martial arts of China originated for survival and warfare reasons, but in modern times, Kung Fu has spinoffs in a variety of fields, sometimes retaining the authenticity of the practice, and other times, breaking off into artistic and combined adaptations.
Kung Fu is a Chinese term referring to any study or practice that requires patience, focus, and time. Though it can refer to any general skill or discipline, it is also heavily linked to the martial arts world, especially by the Western media. The pin yin word, gōngfu (功夫), means “work” and “achievement”, often referencing more the process of achieving something rather than solely performing martial arts; this is why we are pleased to introduce the section where we delve into both the cultural and lifestyle affinities linked to Kung Fu.
Kung Fu as a Skill in Various Fields
Saying that a person has “Kung Fu” in an area implies that this person has a skill that is difficult to develop in that particular field. For example, someone can have Kung Fu in painting, or Kung Fu in cooking, or even have Kung Fu in a different sport unrelated to martial arts. The excellence reached in that field is what exemplifies Kung Fu, and this is why the term is an interestingly diverse application from Chinese culture to all other cultures.
Kung Fu in Dance, Cinematography and Cuisine
The martial arts of China originated for survival and warfare reasons rather than as an art, but in modern times, Kung Fu has spinoffs in a variety of fields, sometimes retaining the authenticity of the practice, and other times, breaking off into artistic and combined adaptations. Martial arts schools teach certain routines and practices, such as the art of lion dance, and this dance has grown from a display of Kung Fu to a full and colourful dance performance. Kung Fu has also reached cinematography and has its own film genre, Kung Fu film. Kung Fu cooking and Kung Fu chefs are presented in a recent documentary that explores the life of competitive Oriental cooks who must attain Kung Fu with their impressive dishes.
Finally, celebrities’ endorsements of different Kung Fu dress and adaptation of Kung Fu in Western movies has spread around the globe, most notably, in the works of Jackie Chan or the beloved children’s animated movie, Kung Fu Panda. It is therefore safe to say that even though Kung Fu can refer to martial arts, it is also a term often used within modern culture and lifestyle, given its adaptability as an ideal and as a practice known for its standard of human excellence. It may have originated in military circles of China, but it now exists in many dimensions and categories all over the world.