The Chinese Martial Arts – Part of Culture

The Chinese martial arts are an important and unique component of the Chinese cultural heritage with centuries of history. They embody the entire Chinese cultural characteristics from one aspect. The Chinese martial arts is generally called Wushu, where Wu means military and shu means art, thus Wushu means the art of fighting . The Chinese martial arts not only include the physical exercise but also Chinese philosophy, meditation, military, strategy, techniques, education, aesthetics, etc, and mirroring the character and sagacity of the Chinese people.

The Chinese martial arts contain the traditional cultural spirit of Chinese people and pay great attention to mental activities in fighting. They stress that mind should guide breath ,breath should guide the motions of the body , that hands , eyes and pacing , spirit , breath and force , ferociousness and agility , the external and the internal , all should be harmonious , and that motions should be changeful and rhythmic . Furthermore, they advocate winning the opponent artfully and through taking advantage of the opponent’s momentums. At the same time, the martial arts practices do not mind to retreat a step first so as to be justified, advantageous and well controlled. In fighting, the players strive to hit surely, accurately and forcefully, and put sureness in the first place.

Settling the relationship between the body and the mind is the top concern of the Chinese martial arts which emphasize the “the external exercises for bones and muscles and the internal exercises for breath.” All the schools of the Chinese martial arts stress “presence of mind, breath and strength”, so as to equilibrate Yin and Yang, regulate breath and blood and build up body and strength. By settling the relationship between mind and body and the relationship between oneself and the opponent, they also settle the relationship between “form and content” of the martial arts. In fighting, it is very important to achieve “changing according to different opponents”, and “getting opportunities through defending”.

The Chinese classic philosophy is the principle of the Chinese martial arts. Generally speaking, theories of the Chinese martial arts have been influenced mostly by Chinese philosophies; while the technical progress of the Chinese martial arts corresponds with the development of the classic culture and technique, especially with the development of combating methods, artistic interests and hygiene. They underwent three phases. The first phase was the phase of bravery, based on strength and bravery; in the second phase, martial skills are developed, ground on tactics and skills; the third phase is the phase of martial arts exercises which are based on standardization and stylization. On the level of philosophy, the marital arts stress “unification of man and nature”, i. e. the unification of existence and nonexistence, acting and stopping, Yin and Yang, mind and things, the subjective and objective. And on the social level, the martial arts emphasize cultivation of mind and personality, awareness of the natural law and complacency. They thus break all prejudices with regard to winning and losing and to successes and failures, and take a calm attitude. In fighting, the practitioner of the martial arts plays calmly as in a game, with a free and initiative attitude. Therefore, the Chinese martial arts are not simply a sport event or a fighting technique, but are thinking, life attitude and personality cultivation. In a contest with an opponent the Chinese martial arts exercisers not only take a great care about the moves , and exertion of force , but also take a great care about his own temperament and mind , with a martial arts spirit transcending mere technique.

Think Martial Arts Are Just For Kids? Think Again

Walk into most martial arts schools and you’ll be likely to see classes full of kids. You might even see classes mixed with kids and adults. Sights like these turn many adults away from the possibility of actually training themselves and even reinforce common misconceptions about martial arts. There are so many great reasons that disprove these misconceptions, and you owe it to yourself and your body to read this article and to open your mind to at least the possibility of training martial arts.

1. You may think you’re too old to start.

You’re never too old to start training martial arts – whether your 18 or 78, your body will thank you for it! There are so many physical benefits to training martial arts; it’s difficult to know where to begin. First of all, training martial arts increases flexibility. Increased flexibility will give you better posture, more ability to relax your muscles and lower occurrences of injuries. Even if you’re currently physically active, martial arts will bring your physical conditioning to a new level. You’ll be working your entire body and reaching a variety of muscle groups with each workout. When training martial arts, there isn’t a need to “alternate” muscle groups because the workout is always changing. Finally, training martial arts is a great way to burn those extra calories and to lose weight.

2. You suspect that you’re not in the physical condition necessary to do such an activity.

If you find the right school and the right instructor, your training will move at a pace that’s compatible with your abilities and conditioning. This will allow you to move as fast or as slow as you need to remain comfortable in your training. Training martial arts with the right instructor will also lessen your chances of suffering an injury. Your instructor will be there to monitor your moves to make sure you’re not making a mistake that could potentially be injurious.

3. You think it will be easier to just join a gym and lift weights.

You could get many of the same benefits of training martial arts by joining a gym, but there are some benefits of martial arts that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Martial arts give you a full body workout – both cardio and conditioning – at every session. At a gym, you have to plan ahead to make sure you’re reaching every muscle group during conditioning and still have time to do a cardio workout as well. In addition to that, training martial arts with an instructor is like having a personal trainer with you at all of your workouts.

Training martial arts also gives you a mental workout like nothing else. While most people say that any physical activity can reduce stress, martial arts goes one step further. The inner balance needed to participate in these activities puts you in tune with your body, better than any other physical activity. You cannot do martial arts while reading a magazine or day dreaming about your upcoming vacation. You will be focusing on the here and now and that will help you clear you mind and better be able to deal with the daily stresses of life after your workout.

4. You don’t want to have a class with a bunch of kids.

If you cannot find a school that can give individual instruction, you can look for classes that are strictly for adults. Classes like this often become people’s highlight of the week. You’ll soon find yourself looking forward to the fun and excitement of getting together with your “group”.

5. You don’t think you have the time to spend on a new activity.

The focus and concentration you develop while training martial arts will carry over into all parts of your life. You may not realize it now, but the hours during the week that you spend training in your martial art will actually help you make better use of your time outside of your training. You’ll be able to focus on your job, home and family. You’ll be able to concentrate and get your tasks done more efficiently. Training martial arts is also a spiritual experience that can help you have inner peace – yet another quality to help you get through your busy schedule more easily.

Still not completely convinced that adults can successfully start martial arts training? Do some research and find a great school in your area to give it a try. I’ll even make it easier for you. Just contact me and I’ll send you my free guide on how to choose a martial arts school.