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Chinese martial arts - Essay Example

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The Chinese martial arts are generationally adopted fighting styles and techniques that have remained in use in either their original or altered forms. They form part of the popular Chinese culture, and they are presently some of the cultural exports from China. Many are…
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Download file to see previous pages Conclusively, these arts have a significant role in the lives of those who practice them. Understanding these important roles has seen the Chinese martial arts become more popular among people of other cultures, which has ultimately led to their adoption across the world and integration into the cultural settings of non-Chinese populations. In particular, they are seemingly centered upon improving the physical strength and adaptability of the individual, enhancing muscular formation and keeping the body fit and flexible.
As the influence of the Chinese spreads around the world, Chinese martial arts have found new homes across the many places where the Chinese have settled either temporarily or permanently. The beauty of the martial arts coupled with their health benefits has seen them penetrate the Western culture, where some of the acts are changed to suit the local cultures. However, many more of the martial arts practices have remained in their original form.
Several aspects of the Chinese culture and traditions are reflected through martial arts, largely taken loosely in the outside world to be Kung Fu, but which is indeed a misconception of Chinese terms by foreigners. Such attempts to try and interpret the traditional Chinese cultural aspects to more understandable standards for the outside world indicate their growing influence and popularity globally. However, they have remained distinctively unique to the inventors and partly vague to the outside world. As noted by Theeboom and Vertoghen, more cultural aspects of the Chinese are captured by their exercising the martial arts than any onlooker from a non-Chinese community would notice.1 This highlights the fact that understanding the cultural values embedded in Kung Fu requires a vast understanding of the Chinese culture. From here we mark our journey of investigating what martial arts stand for in contemporary China.
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