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)

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