Dynamic Martial Arts

Wu Shu Fighting

In competition Wu Shu routines are very appealing and captivating. These routines bring out the spirit of bravery and display the physical skills of the athlete-fighter. Each routine is individually unique with many different styles - Chang Chuan, Nan Chuan, Shaolin Chuan, Eagle Claw, Mantis, Monkey, Dog, Drunken, etc. There are in recorded history three hundred styles of Wu Shu. The revamping of this art opened a whole new realm in traditional Kung Fu and in forms competition. Yet many form specialists have proven they can fight tournament style, in tournaments, and win. Those seasoned martial artists who have tested their sparring skills in tournaments or have had the opportunity to resort to their skills in a real fighting situation would more than likely agree that one must first understand - to be good in forms practice form, and to be good in fighting practice fighting; but to be a true well rounded martial artist and achieve a state of "gung fu" one must practice and master both of these aspects.

Wu Shu routines are just that - routines. These routines should be taken for what they are, routines are different arrangements of common complimentary techniques which are used to not only condition fighting responses, these routines are the matrix of each individual fighting system. Routines distinguish the different styles. Routines are a way of preserving and cataloging traditional techniques. The practice of these pre-arranged routines is supposed to build in the individual; confidence, stamina, strength, and spontaneous reaction. Routines are the result of decades of development and a need for an expressive way to catalog movements.

Evolution of men also included evolution of martial arts. Men has been fighting for centuries. As the centuries passed the techniques of combat became more refined and complex. Fighting was turned into a science, schools were set up to train warriors in many of the ancient civilizations. Training techniques became systemized. If this were not true people would still be fighting just as the prehistoric man did a million years ago. Styles of great diversity were established and with this establishment many routines were created to condition the fighter to train on certain techniques. These routines are in a way similar to a boxer's practice of shadow boxing.

Modern Wu Shu has developed a vast array of styles and techniques of immense physical magnitude with routines of great intensity, each style guided by certain logics and rules. Yet these are not rules that have to be strictly adhered to, these are more selections, ideas or combination set up in a way to condition the fighter for a certain response and also to strengthen the body. In the execution of a routine one must show correct movement and complete control of each technique by conditioning of the hand, eye, leg, waist and foot work to react in proper sequence with correct strategy and full intensity.

The essence of most Wu Shu routines deals with the aspects of fighting. If one dissects a Wu Shu routine, taking the runs, leaps, jumps, flips, falls and intense body dynamics along with physical expression-attitude; one would find many practical techniques and combinations stemming from advanced theories. These routines deal with both offensive and defensive fighting techniques. The most basic technique being - for offense a punch, and for defense a block or parry the most basic combination would be - block-punch followed by a kick; and as one wise pugilist stated- A punch is just a punch and a kick still a kick no matter what the style.

In today's modern fast-paced tournaments one would rarely see a fighter fighting with strictly his traditional routine, in proper sequence, but these techniques can be modified to work for particular fighting situations.