Kung Fu

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The term "Kung Fu" or "Gung Fu" (功夫) is used for the enormous variety of martial arts native to China.

The term literally has a meaning something like "discipline" or "trained skill", and covers widely diverse schools such as the flowing and "dance like" Tai Chi Chuan, Wing Chun which emphasizes short-range punches and blocks, and the northern "Crane Style" with athletic kicks and punches resembling those of Korean Tae Kwon Do.

Many martial arts claim to have originated at the Shaolin Buddhist monastery. Researchers regard these claims with considerable skepticism.

Kung Fu theory often emphasizes the use of the "qi force", a mysterious energy which flows through the body and which is also said to be the basis of acupuncture.

In modern times Kung Fu has spawed a popular genre of films, see Martial arts film, Wu Xia film and a cult television series of the early 1970's.