While it is true that some forms of Kung Fu have declined in popularity in recent times, there are still many schools and practitioners of Kung Fu throughout China and around the world. Preserving Chinese Kung Fu is becoming a life task. Additionally, efforts are being made to preserve and promote traditional Kung Fu styles through organizations and competitions.
In recent years, the Chinese government has also taken steps to support and promote traditional Kung Fu. For example, in 2007, the Chinese government designated Kung Fu as an official part of the country’s cultural heritage. In 2017, Kung Fu was officially recognized as an Olympic sport.
There are also many dedicated practitioners and organizations outside of China that are working to preserve and promote traditional Kung Fu. These efforts include training programs, competitions, cultural exchange programs, and research projects.
Overall, while the popularity of Kung Fu may ebb and flow over time, the art form is not in danger of being lost forever. There are many people and organizations committed to preserving and promoting Kung Fu. The art form continues to be an important part of China’s cultural heritage. Moreover, a source of inspiration to people around the world.
Having said this, especially in Hong Kong, sadly, some less famous forms of Kung Fu are on their last legs. They may be lost forever after this generation, according to the Masters of these arts.
In 2016, TVB (a public TV channel in Hong Kong), interviewed a few of these masters of the nearly lost arts, and looked into why the popularity of these arts declined in youth in Hong Kong. “Simply put, the youth are too lazy and aren’t willing to dedicate many hours per week practicing, and not many make it past the first year of practice,” said one of the masters.
Why Should Traditional Kung Fu Be Preserved?
As mentioned on the show, preserving traditional Kung Fu and Chinese martial arts is important for several reasons:
Kung Fu and Chinese martial arts have a rich history and cultural significance in China. They have been passed down from generation to generation and are an important part of China’s cultural heritage. Preserving these arts helps to keep this cultural heritage alive and allows future generations to learn about their history and significance.
Physical Fitness and Health
Kung Fu and Chinese martial arts are known for their physical benefits, including improved strength, flexibility, balance, and cardiovascular health. Preserving these arts allows people to continue to benefit from their physical training and improve their overall health and well-being.
Kung Fu and Chinese martial arts techniques were originally developed for self-defense purposes. Preserving these arts allows people to learn effective self-defense techniques and strategies that can help them protect themselves in dangerous situations.
Kung Fu and Chinese martial arts also emphasize mental discipline, focus, and concentration. Practicing these arts can help improve mental clarity, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall mental well-being.
Preserving traditional Kung Fu and Chinese martial arts also allows for cultural exchange and understanding. Through the practice and study of these arts, people from different cultures can come together, share their experiences, and learn from one another.
Now let’s discuss the How…
Preserving Chinese Kung Fu involves several important steps.
Documenting and Recording
The first step is to document and record the various styles, techniques, and forms of Kung Fu. This involves not only capturing the movements but also the history, philosophy, and culture behind each style. These records can be in the form of books, videos, or other digital media.
Passing on the Knowledge
Kung Fu masters need to pass on their knowledge to younger generations. This can be done through formal training in schools or through informal apprenticeships. The key is to ensure that the knowledge is passed down accurately and that the next generation is committed to preserving the art.
Standardizing the Training
To ensure that the art is taught consistently across different schools and regions, it is important to standardize the training. This can involve developing a standardized curriculum. Also, testing and certification programs, and the establishment of governing bodies to oversee the standards.
Promoting Kung Fu
To ensure that Kung Fu remains relevant and popular, it is important to promote the art. This can be done through demonstrations, competitions, and cultural exchanges. The more people are exposed to Kung Fu, the more likely they are to appreciate and support its preservation.
Protecting the Heritage
Kung Fu is an important part of Chinese heritage. It is essential to protect it from being misappropriated or misrepresented. This involves protecting the intellectual property of Kung Fu masters. Ensuring that Kung Fu is not used for unethical purposes, and promoting cultural awareness and sensitivity.
Preserving Chinese Kung Fu – What Are We Doing?
Here are Mindful Wing Chun, we are popularizing Wing Chun Kung Fu by teaching young and old. Therefore, the minimum age of our kids’ classes is as young as 3 years old. We have developed a very unique curriculums to cater to different age groups. Additionally, we made sure that they have fun, stay engaged, and actually grasp the principles of Wing Chun at the same time.
We are teaching our programs in after-school activities in many international and local schools across Hong Kong.
Our adult classes entail both group and private lessons. Furthermore, we venture out into using our programs for corporate and team building events to further popularize the art in the city.
In 2018, we launched an online school (Mindful Wing Chun Online). It holds over a thousand hours (yup, a thousand hours) of videos through which we systematically pass on the entire art of Wing Chun as passed down by Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin in Hong Kong. In other words, this has enabled us to reach many thousands of people around the world to access these ancient roots.
We Are Looking For You!
At Mindful Wing Chun, we are dedicated to not only making our method of Kung Fu survive but also to make it thrive!
Moreover, are you interested in joining our team and the cause of preserving traditional Kung Fu?
Do you want to improve the lives of our Wing Chun students (regardless of their age)?
Do you want to learn Wing Chun Kung Fu and pass it on to others?
Please get in touch as we are always looking to expand our team to reach more people!! Moreover, click here for more info.
About The Author
Nima has over 18 years of Wing Chun teaching experience and is a certified Sifu in Wing Chun by the Ving Tsun Athletic Association (Ip Man’s official association). Since he began his Wing Chun practice, Nima has been training and teaching for over 50 hours a week.