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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.
Today, Wushu is the most popular national sport in the country
of 1.1 billion people, practiced by the young and old alike. Its 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.
"Wushu" is the correct term for all Chinese martial arts therefore
Kung fu and Wushu was originally the same, but during the last thirty
years, Wushu in Mainland China was modernized so that there could be a
universal standard for training and competing.
Traditional "kung fu" remains the Practical fighting practice style
that was past down for many centuries thru family, Martial Clans and
Famous Temples such as the Shaolin Temple.
In contemporary Wushu, there are a number of empty hand and weapons
forms that are commonly learned and used in competition.
Nanquan / Southern Fist
Nanquan is the Southern style counterpart to Changquan. While both are
external martial arts, Nanquan's emphasis leans more toward strong stances
and powerful punching strikes. Easily differentiated from Changquan even to
the casual observer, Nanquan has its own distinct "flavor" and along with
Changquan comprises Wushu's two most popular external empty-hand events.
Changquan / Long Fist
Contemporary Changquan, or Long Fist, has its source in Northern Chinese
boxing styles and martial arts once taught in the Shaolin temples. It is
characterized by fast, powerful movements that emphasize extension,
sweeping circular strikes and kicks, and aerial techniques. The contemporary
revisions not only preserve the essence of this style, but emphasize
flexibility, strength, and aesthetic grace in the martial artist performing
it. Changquan basics also provide the foundation for our learning and
practices. The first style of Wushu which all of our students learn,
Changquan is very exciting to watch and remains a favorite of many Wushu
practitioners even as they learn the use of weapons and more traditional forms.
In addition to Empty hand forms, there are many weapons that are taught
at the Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy such as Broadsword, Staff and spear in
addition to 2 person sets.
What to Expect with Wushu Practice
Wushu is a martial art and a demanding performance sport. Like any physical
sport, it helps to be prepared. You'll be doing a lot of kicking and jumping
so the right shoes are important. We Recommend light sneakers (such as Canvas
sneakers Kwons) work well. In China, these sneakers are especially for wushu.
On hot days, also bring a bottle of water so you won't get dehydrated.
The first part of class is spent mostly stretching and the second part
is spent practicing kicks, jumps, and sets. If you're just beginning wushu,
you'll learn a basic "beginner's set" that will teach you the fundamentals
of stances, kicks, and movements. You'll practice this set while also
working on the basic kicks and jumps. As you progress, you'll eventually
learn other empty hand forms and weapons. Of course, the learning process
is a long one. Wushu is an extremely challenging sport. Just take it one
front stretch kick at a time.
** Note: First Month you can wear loose, breathable clothes.
A pair of sweat-pants and a t-shirt are what most people wear.
Sweatpants are recommended because they'll help keep your legs
warmed-up and limber. Wear shoes that are light and flexible and
give you good traction on the floor, then a school uniform will be
required for best results.
Check out Five Reasons Every Kids Should Be Enrolled.
Wushu Coach - Sifu Louis Diaz
Sifu Louis Diaz is a world champion martial artist. For more than two decades,
he has been studying different forms and styles, honing his skills into
gold-medal winning form.
Click here for more on Sifu Louis Diaz.
Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy promotes the Children's Personal Conduct Martial Arts training campaign. Click the image below for more information: