© 2010 WWW.FIGHTINGMASTER.COM All rights reserved.

 

Rodrigo Medeiros

Favorite Submissions DVDs

 

Jet Li explains wushu.

     
 

More topics:

Jet Li the martial artist

Jet Li the film star

Kiss of the dragon.

 

 Jet  Li' s  movies

The One

 

 
 

Note: this article is based on Jet Li's explanation of Wushu that can be found in www.jetli.com.

Wushu, translated literally, means martial (“wu”) arts (“shu”). When it was first developed, its primary purpose was (and will always be) for survival. Hunting animals, procuring food, fighting against aggressive wildlife, surviving harsh weather conditions, and so forth prompted the birth of this mode of behavior. Alone, wu is just fighting, military-based attack. Combined with “shu,” it transcends one level and becomes an intricate, purposeful skill.
Nowadays, one associates the word “kung-fu” with punches, kicks, martial arts champions, and fighting. But the original meaning of “kung-fu” was never intended to describe martial arts in any way. Kung-fu originally referred to the time and energy spent in learning something. A successful chef expends lots of “kung-fu” to cook the tastiest dishes. A doctor undergoes considerable “kung-fu” to be able to take care of sick people. A martial artist uses lots of “kung-fu” in practicing his physical forms so he may display them to audiences one day. The term “kung-fu” was first introduced to Western audiences by Bruce Lee when he stepped into the spotlight and used it to describe his martial arts. From there, a misconception arose and people began using “kung-fu” to refer to Bruce Lee, martial arts, punches, kicks, and the whole related system. So it’s really a misnomer, a word whose meaning expanded to encompass other objects.
The goal of becoming a world-class wushu athlete is perhaps the most difficult one to attain. Even becoming a stunt person in film or TV is much easier. One can begin stunt training after the age of 18 and still do quite well in that field after say, three years of training.
Jet was trained in old style wushu. In Jet’s day, they had to learn all of the Eighteen-Arms, internal styles, external styles, everything. The Eighteen-Arms consists of: sabre, spear, sword, halberd, axe, battle axe, hook, fork, whip, mace, hammer, talon, trident-halberd, cudgel, long-handled spear, short cudgel, stick, and meteor hammer. Everybody had to compete in broadsword, spear, straight sword, cudgel, and empty-hand forms
In the 1970's and early 1980's, competitive wushu really existed only in China, and so forms were judged by one set of rules -- one set of standards. When the authorities wanted to bring wushu to other countries so they formulated a set of international rules for international competitions. These rules are a little bit easier than the Chinese rules -- or should one say, simplified. Now people mainly compete in three categories: Changquan, Nanquan, and Taijiquan. The system today is not as complex as it used to be. Nowadays, if you want to go to the Olympics, you learn the compulsory forms, and that's it.
Jet has trained in wushu for 28 years. Along the way, he has met thousands of martial artists and witnessed scores of martial arts styles, and has picked up much from them. Jet Li does not claim that he is the most dangerous man in the world when it comes to self defense. He stresses that his knowledge and experience in this area of martial arts are limited, as his focus and training have been on other aspects of wushu practice. The training process again must be tailored to the body type of each individual. There is no all-encompassing technique that will enable everyone to fulfill his or her self-defense needs. Also one has to be very cautious when using martial arts in real life. Today, if you kill or maim someone with an astounding wushu move learned from some ten-year intensive training program, it may not do you any good. The police will arrest you for murder, society will frown upon you, and the whole deed would have been much more quickly performed through pulling a trigger on a pistol with a silencer. Situations always vary. It is hard to say under what circumstances it is right or wrong to use martial arts against someone else. Of course, generally speaking, avoiding conflict and reporting to lawful authorities are always the best means of dealing with a dangerous situation. Jet also believes that it is important to differentiate between movies and reality. The hero in movies may be able to knock the gun off his opponent and save the day, but in real life - probably that is not the case.
Jet Li says about wushu teaching, ”I think I can be called a very professional martial artist, and I believe that my martial arts are okay. However, I don't think I could become a very professional martial arts teacher. Maybe this is a better way of phrasing it: the time that I spend teaching a certain group of students might be better spent promoting wushu to a larger group of people. There are many good teachers out there who can teach the basics, but people must first become interested in seeking them out. Very few people are in a position to create interest in thousands of people to learn wushu. Right now, I am able to do that. I feel that my role in publicizing wushu is more important than teaching."
 
 

More topics:

Jet Li the martial artist

Jet Li the film star

Kiss of the dragon.

 

 Jet  Li' s  movies

The One

 

 
     

© 2009 WWW.FIGHTINGMASTER.COM All rights reserved.