Why is Chinese Kung Fu important?
Why is Chinese Kung Fu so important? Many of us might be too young to have experienced the "Kung Fu Craze" of the 1970's. At the time, Chinese Kung Fu movies were at the height of their popularity. Bruce Lee was kicking bad guys across the silver screen. Fast forward to modern time. We now live in a world where the interest for anything traditional is often competing with multiple offers from television, gyms, sports, and other extra curricular activities. So where does Chinese Martial Arts fit in?
Chinese Martial Arts holds a special place among other sports by offering something that many other activities seldom do: A strong sense of self. It's true, many of us have found ourselves picking up a new sport or hobby. We test it out, play for a couple of years, and then realize that there is the crushing truth that there is a clear separation of talent and ability. Unfortunately, this leads many to simply quit a passion they could have pursued their entire lives. This is where Chinese Kung Fu comes in. Chinese Martial Art teaches you about self realization. A practitioner over time begins to learn about what their body and mind can do, and adapt that to what can be used effectively. Not everyone will wake up one day and be a Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan. Those individuals are who they are in their bodies and minds. Martial Artists can however be the best at who they are individually.
The efficacy of a martial artist is not to simply overpower or be faster than their opponent. In fact, a true martial artist will have the knowledge to exercise discipline, compassion, and restraint. Such philosophical epiphanies are rarely found in highly competitive sports, yet they are easily found at the higher levels of learning in Chinese Kung Fu.
Can we pass on strong morals to the next generation through Kung Fu? Absolutely! But it is not only simply through understanding of honesty and fair play. The gift we are potentially giving is taking our youth and allowing them to honestly look in the mirror and seek for truth. Truth about themselves, others, and what it means to be a part of society through martial arts.