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History of Chinese Martial Arts - Term Paper Example

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The author of the "History of Chinese Martial Arts" paper presents a historical overview of the Chinese martial arts in general terms including the evolution of styles and the cultural influences that shaped each phase of development throughout the centuries. …
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History of Chinese Martial Arts
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Download file to see previous pages The Chinese martial arts are defined by many terms.  For example, it is called the National Skill (Guoji), National Art (Guoshu), and China Fist (Zhongguoquan). War Art (Wushu) is popularly accepted and was officially approved by the Chinese government as the correct term for this country’s style of martial arts.  The expression Kung Fu comes from a small section of southern China and was popularized predominantly via American influences. Both Wushu and Kung Fu are all-encompassing terms that describe many different styles and weapons involved in Chinese martial arts. The arts have evolved into hundreds of different styles. These styles generally pattern their practices from a central subject, for example, an animal or God. “The styles of tangling (Praying Mantis), baihe (White Crane) or yingzhao (Eagle Claw) model their techniques after the respective animal characteristics comprising their names” (Shaolin-Do, 1999). 

Ancient Egyptian paintings and sculptures that date back to 5000 years ago show pose of combat, but it is the organized offensive and defensive techniques first developed in China that are the genesis of the martial arts. The classic interpretation of Chinese martial arts had its beginnings because of a need for stronger defenses from invading forces. The physical, natural and spiritual character of the art was the foundation for it becoming institutionalized as a way of life in China, some belief as long ago as the Neolithic Age, 4000 years ago. Shuai Chiao is recognized as the earliest formal style from which all other techniques can be traced. Physical records of this initial art in the form of ‘hit and thrust’ exercises date back to the Shang Dynasty (17th century B.C.). At about this same time period in the Western part of the world was the Trojan War and the building of Stonehenge. Further evidence has been uncovered that shows group and weapons exercise being widely performed during the Zhou Dynasty (1066 - 256 B.C.) (Shaolin-Do, 1999). ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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