Sunday, September 30, 2007
Episode Twelve: >>Chinese Martial Arts<<
This is a topic I as a Chinese don't know a whole lot about. The popularity of Chinese Gongfu movies resulted in a myth for people outside China to believe most Chinese know some martial arts. The facts are actually Chinese Wushu (martial arts) is practiced by a small group of people with a long history of adapting physical exercise elements from the ancient times and from other cultures, such as Indan Yoga. This episode introduces one main style(branch) of Chinese Wushu -- Shaolin, three kinds of exercises (Bagua, Taijiquan, Qigong), their origins, and characteristics. Hopefully the take-away for the audience after this episode is that not all Chinese know martial arts but we certainly should: there are many life-long benefits through practicing one or two kinds of Wushu.
Word of the Day
1. 武术，功夫 ‘Wu3shu4, Gong1fu4’ (Chinese martial arts, Chinese Gongfu): 中国人的武术很多西方人管它叫功夫，指的都是用于防御或进攻的身体练习。（A lot of westerners call Chinese Wushu Gongfu, which both refer to Chinese physical exercises for the purposes of defense or offense)
2． 少林派，武当派 ‘shao4lin2pai, wu3dang1pai’ (Shaolin style, Wudang style)：中国武术有很多派别，最著名的有少林派和武当派。（There are many styles in Wushu, and the most well-known styles are Shaolin style and Wudang style）
3． 八卦，太极，气功 ‘ba1gua4, tai4ji2, qi4gong1’ (names of three Chinese martial art exercises): 八卦，太极，气功是三种传播 广泛的武术练习。（Bagua, Taiji, and Qigong are three most popular Wushu exercises）