The world of martial arts is fantastic and intriguing. From the ages gone by the power and history of Kung Fu spins the yarn of myth and reality. Kung Fu has been around since before the time people were writing things down. The first real record of this particular practice goes back more than four thousand years.
The first ones to practice this style were not battling on a field but were fighting for their lives not to be the prey of the animal predators stalking them. These animals had defense and offensive moves that made them strong and able to overtake men so the men began to pay attention to what made them so stealth.
As is the way of man they adapted to use the animals own methods to beat them down and save themselves and their families.
Kung fu had many different styles and techniques that evolved from different ways. But since the basic of the art was the fight with beasts, the practice took on the defensive techniques of birds, insects, and animals. Like the tiger, panther and bear the practice became stealth and wise in attack. The birds like crane, eagle, and chicken used their strength and wit to outsmart their predators. All of these traits of the animals broadened and gave an easy example of how to practice this form of martial arts.
The Buddist monk Bodhidarma or Dot Mor was an intrinsic force in the definition of Kung Fu. With his arrival the practice of Kung Fu became both internal and external. The internal was related to using the energy of the body and spirit that not only brings force to your practice but peace to your life. The breath control aspect of the practice began here. The use of breath to add to the force of your strikes became the core of the practice.
The Yellow Emperor is also a vital link to the prevalence of this practice in China. As with all great things there is a legend behind it. The Yellow Emperor was a famous general who was also an intellectual studying medicine, astrology and martial arts. He began the practice of Jiao Di a type of fighting using a helmet with a horn on it. This horn was used to fight your opponent and was the first type of military arts.
As the practice moved through the country and the people began to develop new belief systems the practice of Kung fu changed as well. The emergence of Taoism brought a new belief to the heart of the arts creating change. The Taoist version of ying and yang meant there is a need to balance the opposites of hard and soft. The emergence of the chi or energy at the core of who we are as beings defined the practice even further. Those who practiced trying to harness or channel their chi into their strikes and kicks found a new power. All these philosophies the landscape and enhanced the kung fu practice.
The vast amount of time dedicated to the growth and history of kung fu brings much to light. However it changed and grew and whoever influenced the change, kung fu evolved and became more by the people who practiced and defined its being.