There is a lot of research cataloging the benefits of engaging in kung fu and other martial arts practices. From self-defense to self-esteem, joining a dojo or studio can have a positive lasting impact on your life. However, with so many options out there, it’s hard to know which style is the best. To help you with this decision, we’re going to answer the question: what is the difference between kung fu and other martial arts?
What Is Kung Fu?
There are several types of martial art forms that fall under the umbrella term “kung fu.” But, the term is only used to refer to Chinese martial arts. Kung comes from the Chinese word “gong,” which means “merit,” “achievement,” or “work.” And, fu has a variety of diverse meanings. The phrase kung fu is broadly used in Chinese to refer to any skills acquired through practice or learning.
Mostly adapted from animal actions and movements, kung fu is a fluid exercise form. They are skilled, dedicated, and developed forms of exercise. As an open martial art, only those who have perfected the actions can adapt the styles. Strikes are incredibly controlled and fast in kung fu since the goal is to maintain balance while delivering damage. Kung fu seeks to train the student to move in nonstop circular motions.
What Is Martial Arts?
Codified traditions and systems of combat practices are known broadly as martial arts. People practice martial arts to preserve the cultural heritage of a nation, for entertainment, spiritual and mental development, law enforcement and military applications, self-defense, and many other reasons. Though martial arts usually refer to the fighting arts of China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and other eastern Asia countries, the term was originally used to refer to combat systems in 16th century Europe.
There are five different types of martial arts: mixed martial arts (MMA), weapons based styles, low impact styles, grappling styles, and striking or stand-up styles. Martial arts consists of all types of movements. It all depends on the form of martial arts one is learning.
So, What’s the Difference?
At its most basic, the difference between kung fu and martial arts is that martial arts is a broader term that encompasses kung fu as well as the combat practices of other parts of the world. The Chinese martial arts do tend to have distinct characteristics, though. For instance, kung fu generally involves circular and fluid movements, focuses on danger and defensive forms, actions are based on animal movements, and weapons are almost never used.
Of course, martial arts has all of these characteristics and more. The all-encompassing term includes all of the different styles of martial arts. Included in “martial arts” are Hapkido, wrestling, kickboxing, taekwondo, aikido, jujitsu, and karate.
How Does Merpati Putih Compare?
Now that you have a good idea of what is the difference between kung fu and martial arts, which category do you think Merpati Putih falls into? Since Merpati Putih (MP) was developed by the Royal Family of Indonesia, it is considered a martial art, and it is not kung fu. However, it shares a lot in common with kung fu. For instance, kung fu uses meditation to build chi, while MP uses both meditation and power-building meditation to enhance chi.
MP also tends to go beyond many other martial arts and kung fu. Our classes seek to improve the mind-body-spirit connection through breathwork and intense training along with meditation.
MP USA is the only place to learn Merpati Putih in the Western Hemisphere. If you would like to get in the best shape of your life, contact us today to sign up for classes.