The term kung fu is not just a term relating to martial arts in the Chinese language. It also has to do with anything that requires a dedication to achievement of that thing. Thus, the history of kung fu relates to many things.
But the term has come to carry a reference to the martial arts mainly.
The history of kung fu came from efforts to improve hunting skills to supply food and defensive skills to protect from attack.
The history of kung fu may be traced back as far as 2698 B.C. in the rein of the Yellow Emperor Huangdi of China. It began as a form of wrestling taught to warriors and using horned helmets. Later, about 221 B.C., it evolved into use of blocks, joint locks, and strikes. It even became a sport about that time.
Buddhism and Buddhist monks played a major part in the history of kung fu. An Indian Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma was a significant influence on the Shaolin monks in China. He apparently taught them humility and restraint, along with some of the techniques of kung fu.
The history of kung fu seemed to reach a major peak during the Yuan Dynasty, about 1271 to 1368, with its emphasis on fighting skills coming to the fore during this time. Then in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, 1368 to 1911, it reached its absolute peak in popularity.
During the latter part of the Qing Dynasty, the history of kung fu shows the people were forbidden from practicing the art. The Shaolin Temple declined and the monks there were placed under strict supervision to prevent them from engaging in kung fu. In spite of this, the sport and its techniques continued to be practiced by the people in secret.
Today, it has developed into not just a sport, but a way of staying fit and in shape throughout your life span.
Shifu Raymond Ahles at Blue Dragon School of Martial Arts is ready and able to help you in learning how to understand the history of kung fu and use it appropriately in your training, along with many other life skills. He will monitor your training and sparring and make suggestions when he sees some area in which you may be lacking. Contact him at 201-385-3130 today and get started or started again!