He Kung Fu , accepted by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ) as Kung Fu or Kung Fu , is a martial art similar to karate , whose origins are found in China . The etymology of the concept refers to gongfu, a Chinese word formed by gong (which can be translated as "merit" ) and fu (What does it mean "teacher" ).
The roots of kung fu date back to 6th century . It is usually noted as the driver of the discipline to the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma , who used to imitate the movements of animals as an exercise. Bodhidharma would have been the one who introduced this martial art in the Shaolin monastery .
There is enough evidence in China to place the origins of kung fu thousands of years in the past. Among the old treaties of struggle and tactics of the field military Chinese who could prove its existence at that time highlights the titled The Art of War, which dates from the sixth century BC. C.
In a complementary way, we can say that philosophy was also part of Chinese culture during the first centuries after Christ, and this includes Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. This is related to kung fu because experts believe that Chinese martial arts do not arise from the melee but from philosophy, that is, that they are their beginning philosophical those that shape it.
All this brings us to the year 527, when it is believed that the Buddhist monk called Bodhidharma first visited the monastery Shaolin, north of China. Bodhidharma believed that monks would benefit in their spiritual practices if they took care of their physical health. For this reason he taught them various exercises that would be useful to them in their meditations and from there arose the "18 LouHan ancestors", also called the"18 hands of LouHan".
With the passage of time, these exercises they became techniques of the fight. In fact, twenty-four new movements emerged from them, and this was only the beginning of a series of different styles that gradually shaped what we know today with the name of kung fu. Some say that before the arrival of Bodhidharma in the monastery, the monks already knew some of these skills.
It is important to consider that there is no single kung fu, but that there are many modalities. In general, it is a martial art that is also a philosophy of life since it is governed by moral principles and carries a code of conduct. Its evolution is closely linked to the history of its culture, and that is why there are milestones that coincide with those of the most important moments in China. Despite being such an ancient art, its evolution is not over, but even today it continues to take place.
As a combat discipline, kung fu is very complete. His practice includes melee fighting, various kinds of blows and even the use of certain weapons , like canes and swords.
In the culture Western, kung fu became popular in the decade of 1970 thanks to a series of American TV, called just "Kung Fu" . The central character was Kwai Chang Caine , a shaolin monk who interpreted David Carradine .
The work of actors like Bruce Lee and later Jackie Chan and Jet li It also helped spread the kung fu. Many movies are based on fights that take place following the techniques of this oriental martial art.
The kung fu even came to animation, being "Kung Fu Panda" One of the most famous films. This film released in 2008 has a bear panda as the protagonist