Kung Fu - China: "skill achieved through hard work" An extremely disciplined, powerful martial art where strength is built in low stances and powerful blocks. Some Kung Fu blocks are so powerful that it can break the arm of someone who is punching you. In Chinese, the term kung fu can also be used in contexts completely unrelated to martial arts, and refers colloquially to any individual accomplishment or skill cultivated through long and hard work. It is only in the late twentieth century, that this term was used in relation to martial arts by the Chinese community. Wushu is a more precise term for general martial activities.
Kung Fu has many systems like Hung-Gar, WuShu, Wing Chun, and others. Kung Fu is for the patient, and mentally and physically strong person. It was the basis for many later forms of martial arts. Over the years, kung fu developed into different styles such as Wing Chun, Drunken boxing and styles based on animal movements like the crane or snake. The reason for such diversity was simple. People rarely traveled far from their homes and kung fu evolved in different locations.
In northern China, martial arts emphasized kicking and leg work. In the South, various forms of boxing were most common. Top kung fu stars today have mastered different styles as well. Jet Li is best known as a practitioner of wu shu which uses many different styles emphasizing fluid motion. Jackie Chan learned kung fu while training in a Chinese opera school in Hong Kong and boosts a mastery of the "five animal styles" of kung fu which is highlighted in the film Shaolin Wooden Men. Today many kung fu styles exist and are still passed on as family traditions and through classes.
The original style of Kung Fu is Shaolin Kempo or the "5 Animal Styles". It has evolved over 5,000 years and is currently practiced by the Shaolin Monks in the Shaolin Temple of China's Fukian Province. The dojo, United Studios of Self Defense, USSD, teaches this style of Kung Fu blended with "street reality" (to make it a more practical modern self defense system) in the countries of the United States, Canada, and Ireland. The founder and Grandmaster of USSD is 10 degree Don (black belt) Professor Charles Mattara. He studied with the Shaolin Monks and recieved the rank of Shihan (the highest ranking a martial artist can receive in a lifetime) from Professor Nick Cerio, a member of the World Council of Sokes (Soke is the highest above ranking honor a martial artist can ever receive). The word Soke is a Japanese play on words meaning "Is that so?" for people who claim to be Soke. The rank is given only to people who have created an internationally reknown style. Only 22 certified Soke exist.
Below is a video about Kung Fu from The History Channel TV Series Human Weapon
Please refer to our references as we have used a few different sources for the basic explanation of each martial art discipline. Many of our direct links, images and text will be from the site Wikipedia which is not known for the most accurate information when it comes to doing a thesis or studying for ones P.H.D. but does have a large collection of data that is well organized. Much of the text regarding martial arts styles on Wikipedia seems to generally sum up each discipline as good as many other sources. We do not intend to re-invent the wheel, but we do want to roll you in a good direction in order to get a glimps of each style.