武術 Wushu (Kung fu / Tai Chi) – Traditional Chinese Martial Arts

    Wushu (Kung fu) ‘Traditional Chinese Martial Arts’ includes both ‘external’ and ‘internal’ styles. ‘External’ styles are mostly descended from the Shaolin Temple and sometimes called ‘hard’ styles, but ‘internal’ does not mean slow or soft. Of the major internal styles, only Taijiquan (Tai Chi) ‘Supreme Polarity Fist’ is sometimes practiced slowly, the other two – Bagua Zhang ‘Eight Diagram Palm’ and Xingyi Quan ‘Form Mind Fist’ are performed quickly and continuously.

     All these styles are used for self defence and are deceptively powerful. In external styles, strength comes from moving muscles, whereas internal force is generated by relaxing and focusing one’s qi (chi) ‘energy’. The cultivation and directing of qi has the additional health benefits of assisting in maintaining wellbeing, preventing disease and alleviating illness or injury.

     Internal styles include empty hand routines, meditation techniques, partner exercises and weapons training. They also incorporate Chinese philosophy within their foundation theory.

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