Bei Shaolin Kung Fu Institute, Logo Bei Shaolin Kung Fu Institute Call Now For One Free Class

Martial Arts Classes in Memphis

 

Many people inquire about the differences between Kung Fu and other styles of Martial Arts.  There are many styles of Martial Arts so I’ll just mention a few and point out some of the difference between them.  

I want to first point out that no one Martial Arts is better than the other.  What makes the difference is that some Martial Arts have more to offer than others, and some have discipline where others may not.  Here are a few of the other popular Martial Arts: Karate, Taekwondo, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Jujitsu, Krav Maga, Aikido, and Judo.

Brief Summary of Styles
Kung Fu – This meaning does not necessarily mean Martial Arts.  The literal translation for the word “Martial Arts” is “Wu Shu” in Chinese which means “war art” or “the art of war”.  There are other terms to describe Chinese Martial Arts such as: “Quan Fa; sometimes spelled, Chuan Far” or “Kuo Shu; also pronounced as, Guo Shu”.  The name “Kung Fu; ??” is made up of two characters.  The first word, “kung” can mean “skillful work”, “hard work” or “hard training” while the word “fu” means “time spent or energy involved”. The Pinyin is pronounced, “Gongfu” and can refer to practice, learning, studying, time to complete or the amount of energy it takes to complete it.  Originating from China, Kung Fu has numerous systems and styles throughout the Chinese culture.  It is divided into hard and soft styles or combined between hard and soft.  It is a discipline form of Martial Arts which focuses on many strikes such as: hand, kicks, shins, elbows, forearm, knees, headbutts, and sweeps.  It also consists of: throws grappling, “Shih” (pattern movements called forms), weapons, conditioning exercises, and weapons disarming techniques.  When comparing Kung Fu to most other Martial Arts, it’s like comparing a whip to a stick.  Both are most effective and can do a great deal of damage.  Another comparison would be water compared to ice.  On a greater scale, both can destroy whatever is in its path.  One is soft while the other is hard!  Kung fu mostly moves with fluidity but can explode with a great amount of internal or external force breaking or destroying whatever is in its path.  It is a complete system which can be used to defend against one or more attackers, and it has no limits.

Karate – It is fully understood as “Empty Hand Way” and comes from the combination of “Kanji ??” Chinese characters; “kara”, meaning “empty” and “te” meaning “hand”.  This traditional style derives from China but made its home to Japan.  The physical aspects of this Japanese style are to seek the development of defense and counterattack movements.  There are many traditional systems of Karate.  It is a discipline form of Martial arts which focuses on hand strikes, kicks, blocks, elbows, knees, sweeps, throws, grappling, Kata (pattern movements called forms), weapons, weapons disarm, and conditioning exercises.  Most Karate movements are ridged but strikes with a great amount of external force breaking or destroying whatever is in its path.  It can be used to defend against one or more attackers.  It has no limits.

Taekwondo – Is understood as “The Way of the Hand and Foot”.  It is made up of Chinese and Korean words; “Tae” meaning to “kick” or “jump”, “kwon” meaning “fist” or “hand”, and “do” meaning “the way”.  It utilizes 70% kicks and 30% hand techniques.  It is a traditional art which focuses on hand strikes, kicks, blocks, elbows, knees, sweeps, Kata (pattern movements called forms), weapons, and conditioning exercises.  It can be used to defend against one or more attackers. Note: Most Taekwondo systems do not contain grappling as part of their training unless they combine it with another Martial Arts system.  A few may argue that there are some schools they may still teach this thousand year old system with Taekwondo grappling techniques.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) – Is a full contact sport.  It allows striking while standing, and grappling on the ground.  Depending on the trainers, the practitioner can fight using a mixture of styles such as: boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Judo, and Jujitsu.  It can be used to defend against one or more attackers.  It has limits, and it is not a traditional disciplined system.

Kickboxing – It is an art which combines boxing techniques with Karate or Kung Fu kicks using bare feet.  It can be used to defend against one or more attackers.  It has limits, and it is not a traditional disciplined system.

Muay Thai – It is commonly known as “The Art of the Eight Limbs”.  Rooted in Thailand, this traditional hard style of fighting utilizes the whole body when fighting on their feet.  It is more of a combat sport than a defensive one.  It is a discipline form of Martial arts which focus on striking with the hand, forearms, kicks, shins, elbows, knees, throws, grappling.  It also utilizes weapons, and conditioning exercises.  It can be used to defend against one or more attackers.  It has no limits.

Jujitsu – It is commonly known as “The Practice of Gentleness”.  Originating from Chinese Kung Fu, this traditional style of fighting made its way to Japan.  It is an unarmed method of fighting which was originally used during battle by Japanese warriors if they were to lose their weapon.  Normally used as a defense, Jujitsu employs a series of joint locks while conserving energy to neutralize an attack.  This is a limited system because of its focus on a one on one fight.

Krav Maga – It means “Contact Combat”.  It is a newly developed self-defense system around 1940 by the Israeli army.  It is a discipline form of Martial arts which focuses on hand strikes, kicks, blocks, elbows, knees, sweeps, throws, grappling, weapons, weapons disarm, and conditioning exercises.  It can be used to defend against one or more attackers but has no traditional forms.

Aikido – It Means “The Way of Harmony with the Forces and Principles of Nature”.  It is also recognized by many as “The Way of Unifying with Life Energy” or true “Budo” “Way to Spiritual Growth”.  Its Japanese name was made up from three Kanji Characters.  The first character is “Ai” which means “”to meet” or “come together” or “to harmonize” or “love”, second Kanji character is “ki” which means “the mind” or “the soul” but can literally mean “steam” or “vapor” and is commonly known as “Spirit of Force of the Universe”.  The third is “do” which means “the way”.   This system is also a newly developed self-defense system around the early to mid 1900’s.  It is a discipline form of Martial arts which focuses on hand strikes, low kicks, blocks, elbows, knees, throws, grappling, and weapons disarm.  It can be used to defend against one or more attackers but has no traditional forms.

Judo – similar to the word Jujitsu, Judo means “Gentle Way”.  It is a traditional disciplined combative form of fighting which utilizes the hands, sweeps, neutralizing techniques, throws, grappling, and weapons disarming techniques. It can be used to defend against one or more attackers but has no traditional forms, and is a limited system.