The philosophy of Kung Fu and how to understand it for a European 1

The philosophy of Kung Fu and how to understand it for a European

We are used to evaluating the meaning of sports achievements through external attributes and achieving goals that are measured by generally accepted norms.

The philosophy of Kung Fu and how to understand it for a European 2

Chinese martial artists have not yet been able to explain what Wushu is in terms familiar to Europeans, and not only because there are no exact correspondences in other languages. Wushu is not a structure, not a set of rules and exercises with a clear order of action. It is a space, an image, a picture that, without its own framework, merges with Chinese culture as a whole, combining the ways of fighting battles, meditative exercises, rituals.

The Three Beginnings of Kung Fu

In Kung Fu, three main principles are organically combined:

  • physical strength
  • equipment
  • spirit

In sports we used to put on the first place the technique and strength but Wushu masters tied on first place is spirit.

The philosophy of Kung Fu and how to understand it for a European 3

Traditional chinese martial arts — a form of achieving psychophysical perfection through training the spirit, removing mental clamps, expanding the boundaries of consciousness. By removing the artificial limitations inside, you find that the limits of the physical capabilities of the body are also expanding. You are no longer affected by external conditions, the need for physical comfort and artificial stimulants is gone.

It is rather difficult, but it is necessary to realize: kung fu inside.

Every action in kung fu is born as an internal impulse as a result of the fusion of three sources: spirit, qi energy, and physical strength. The goal of practitioners is to understand each technique at the level of a premonition, and not as a chain of changes in body position.

The philosophy of Kung Fu and how to understand it for a European 4

Wushu masters say “Just when you think about making a taolu, you should already know what the last movement looks like.”

To achieve success, it is not enough exhausting training, working out the technique to automatism. The practitioner should be in a state of complete inner peace, “create”, directing the qi energy to the right place. Only then is his body able to make an absolutely natural, natural external movement, the only correct one at the moment.

Achieve success or begin your journey. What is your goal?

What is important is not the physical training itself, but the fact that working on the same movement day after day, in any weather, without thinking about external discomfort, you gradually penetrate deep into the forms. What becomes significant is not the desire to achieve something rather, to reach the goal, to “put a check mark”. There comes an inner understanding, an almost physical sense of the way and meaning of everyday work.

Kung fu is a goal, a path, and everyday hard work.

In the history of Shaolin, there are many stories where the master introduced the student to kung fu in an unusual way, for example, forced him to carry water from the river on slippery paths and thickets from day to day, in any weather. In order not to spill a drop, it was important to go slowly, immersed in the process, completely free from distracting thoughts. A few months later, the student mastered the skills of soft, silent movement and absolute concentration, after which the training of external forms was fast and meaningful.

The philosophy of Kung Fu and how to understand it for a European 5

The master’s mission is to convey the tradition, the philosophical component, adopted from his own teacher. Thus, each master participates in the process of constant formation and renewal of wushu. Ancient knowledge is not denied, not recognized as outdated, but leads to the development and enrichment of Wushu, playing the role of a solid foundation.

The path of mastering kung fu is not perfect adherence to the canons and copying the teacher. This path is inside, in the soul, it is open only for you. The teacher will show the beginning, help you to understand the depth. But the student must overcome it himself. The willingness to find the path depends more than on the level of the teacher. If the student is ready, he will develop, even if he has not previously engaged in any practices and physical activities.

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