“Kung Fu”, which translates literally as “Hard Work” is the popular term in Southern China and the western world that refers to the Chinese Martial Arts. Kung Fu was first introduced to the world by Bruce Lee and then further popularised by the the TV series ‘Kung Fu’ starring David Carradine. Kung Fu is the most common title given to Chinese Martial Arts around the world but is now used more often to relate to the traditional style of the Chinese Martial Arts than it is to relate to competitive style “Wushu”.
While Wushu as a competitive sport encompasses a very detailed structure of rules and regulations, Traditional Kung Fu is identified through lineage and history of both the teachers of the styles and the documented origins of the styles. Typically created and taught through the generations by family clans and disciples of the arts, Traditional Kung Fu reflects a great deal upon the direct applications of movements and techniques for combat and practical use. Many of the movements have traditionally been based on animals and elements of the earth.
There are literally hundreds of styles and thousands of lineages to each style of Kung Fu.