What is wushu?
Wushu is the chinese term for martial art. These forms (or taolu in Chinese) are essentially routines of traditional fighting techniques done with weapons or barehand. It is more like a performance or display of martial arts prowess rather than one to one combat.
Kung Fu, the Chinese martial art that blended the skills of self-defense, hunting and military training in ancient times, has been developed into the sport of wushu. Wushu concentrates mainly on forms, which comprise basic movements, including stances, kicks, punches, jumps, sweeps and throws, which are mainly aimed at exhibitions and competitions, and often include more acrobatic jumps and movements.
More about wushu
Wushu is an important component of the cultural heritage of China, with a rich content that has remained untarnished over the centuries. Literally translated, “wu” is military, “shu” is art. Wushu therefore means the art of fighting, or martial arts.
Previously, wushu figured significantly in the simple matter of survival through China’s many wars and political upheaval. Today, wushu has been organized and systematized into a formal branch of study in the performance arts by the Chinese. It reigns as the most popular national sport in the country of 1.1 billion people, practiced by the young and old alike. It’s emphasis has shifted from combat to performance, and it is practiced for its method of achieving heath, self-defense skills, mental discipline, recreational pursuit and competition.
To describe wushu, it is best to understand the philosophy of its teaching. Every movement must exhibit sensible combat application and aestheticism. The wealth of wushu’s content, the beauty of wushu movements, the difficulty factor, and the scientific training methods are the song of the elements that set wushu apart from martial arts. Routines are performed solo, paired or in groups, either barehanded or armed with traditional Chinese weaponry. In short, wushu is the most exciting martial art to be seen, felt, and ultimately practiced.
How is wushu related to kung fu and taijiquan? “Wushu” is the correct term for all Chinese martial arts; therefore kung fu and wushu were originally the same. During the last thirty years, wushu in Mainland China was modernized so that there could be a universal standard for training and competing. In essence, much emphasis has been placed on speed, difficulty, and presentation. Consequently, wushu has become an athletic and aesthetic performance and competitive sport, while “kung fu” or traditional wushu remains the traditional fighting practice. Taijiquan is a major division of wushu, utilizing the bodies internal energy or “chi” and following the simple principle of “subduing the vigorous by the soft.”