So we all know JET LI and know what an awesome martial artist and actor he is. As a kid I grew up with some of his early work and have followed him for years. He recently was interviewed for the website of his name ( I assume it is his own website) about everything to do with wushu and kung fu. I thought this may be an interesting piece to read for all the martial arts buffs. Here is an excerpt from his words taken from the the JET LI website:
WHAT ARE WUSHU AND KUNGFU?
Wushu 武术, the term itself originally describes the technique applied to stop or end the fighting. Wushu has evolved through time and now represents a form of sport that includes various hand combat techniques and weapons with Chinese heritage.
ARE WUSHU AND KUNG FU REFERRING TO THE SAME THING? OR DO THEY REPRESENT DIFFERENT IDEOLOGY?
In Mandarin, Kung Fu actually means time and effort. When you spend a lot of time on something: Like you have trained wushu for 5-10 years, we usually say you put a lot of efforts (Kung Fu) on training, or many efforts (Kung Fu) on cooking, many efforts (Kung Fu) on writing. Kung Fu is a broad and general term.
In the modern world, Kung Fu describes something, or mostly describes Chinese Kung Fu. It is like a vocabulary, the meaning itself will change from time to time with the culture development. Kung Fu also represents Wushu, including a lot of sport. Something that take you a long time to do can all be represented as Kung Fu.
IS MMA A TYPE OF WUSHU OR A FORM OF KUNG FU? OR MAYBE BOTH?
Mixed martial art is actually a sport with a set of rules and regulations depending on the platform in which one competes in. it combines different type of martial arts around the world, and transforms into a new discipline called mixed martial arts. If you spend a lot of time training in mixed martial arts discipline, then essentially, you are applying the idea of Kung Fu in practicing MMA.
DO YOU THINK WUSHU AND/OR KUNG FU HAVE TRANSFORMED FROM THE TIME YOU STARTED TO THIS DATE?
Unfortunately, I think there has not been many changes. With the current training, you can probably jump higher, or do more flips. Regrettably, there is no new rules or major breakthroughs that changed Wushu and this limited its development progress. This is also a question that often think about.
For those who can read Chinese, there is the Chinese written version right underneath it. I think this piece is a digestible one for those like me who are not in the total “know” on martial art forms, so it was a pretty good read.
Images via Jet Li website
To read the full article, please click on: Jet Li Talks about His Opinion on Wushu and Kung Fu