Kung Fu 1000 years ago…

excerpted from Professor Kang Ge-Wu’s history

(With his rich knowledge and practice as well as many scientific achievements, Mr. Kang GeWu is well-known in present day Wushu circles. Some articles have praised him as “the one who has brought about a turning point in BaGua Zhang research work”, and “the first in China to have engaged in theoretical and historical research on Wushu”. Kang GeWu is indeed an important figure in the preservation of authentic Wushu culture. )

1101 to 1125

Towards the end of the Northern Sung Dynasty, Martial Arts had become the main content of various performances, and it had many stylized routines. Dong Jing Meng Hua Lu records that Emperor Hui Zong watched the performances on stage in Bao Jin Building, in the city of Kaifeng.

The repetoire included fights such as sparring of Qiang (Spear) and Shield, conjuring such as Qi Sheng Dao (Chi Kung); comical plays such as a quarreling couple fighting each other with cudgels, circus plays such as fighting with Qiang (Spear) on horseback, etc.

In that period people set up temporary performance grounds. In the years of Da Guan of Chong Ning (1102 to 1110) the most common displays in Kaifeng included: sparring with Qiang (Spear) and cudgel (Staff); sparring with Qiang (Spear) and Shield; Xiang Pu (open hand sparring) and other Wushu performances.

Notes: Kaifeng, once the capitol of China, is famous as the outpost of the Jewish population of China, resident there over 1000 years. Even 1000 years ago the kind of “cinema fighting”, sparring and other mixtures of entertainment and Wushu were already quite popular right along with circus stunts. The fact that “ancient” techniques date this far back doesn’t make them authentic.

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