Kung Fu in America: A Cultural Influence

1. Introduction:

The objective of this research paper is to look at how the Chinese martial arts culture of Kung Fu has been adopted in Western countries, notably America. The research question that this paper seeks to answer is: How has the cultural influence of Kung Fu from China been adopted in America? In order to answer this question, this paper will first provide a background on what Kung Fu is and its history. Secondly, it will explore how Kung Fu has been incorporated into American popular culture through film and television. Finally, this paper will conclude with a discussion of the implications of this cultural influence.

2. What is Kung Fu?:

Kung Fu is a Chinese martial arts system that includes a wide variety of styles. It is known for its hard and soft techniques, as well as its use of grappling, striking, and weapons training. Kung Fu has a long history in China, with its origins dating back to the Shaolin Temple in the 7th century (Barrett, 2006).

Kung Fu is not just a martial art; it is also a way of life. Confucianism and Taoism are two philosophical systems that have greatly influenced Kung Fu (Barrett, 2006). Confucianism stresses the importance of rituals, etiquette, and honor. Taoism emphasizes the need to be one with nature and to live in harmony with the universe. These philosophies are reflected in the way Kung Fu is practiced.

3. History of Kung Fu:

The history of Kung Fu can be traced back to the Shaolin Temple in China. Legend has it that an Indian Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma traveled to China in the 5th or 6th century and taught Zen Buddhism and Martial Arts at the temple (Barrett, 2006). Over time, the monks at Shaolin developed their own style of Martial Arts, which they called Kung Fu.

During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Shaolin Kung Fu reached its peak. At this time, many of the great masters of Kung Fu lived and taught at the Shaolin Temple. One of these masters was Jiao Di, who was considered to be one of the greatest Martial Artists of all time (Barrett, 2006).

During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), Shaolin Kung Fu began to decline. This was due to several factors, including government suppression and political unrest. In 1734, Emperor Yongzheng ordered the destruction of the Shaolin Temple. This event marks the end of an era in Kung Fu history.

4. Kung Fu in America:

Kung Fu began to gain popularity in America in the 1960s with the advent of Bruce Lee and his films such as The Big Boss (1971) and Enter the Dragon (1973). Lee’s films showcased the power and grace of Chinese Martial Arts and introduced many Americans to Kung Fu for the first time.

In recent years, Kung Fu has become even more popular in America thanks to Jackie Chan and Jet Li films such as Rush Hour 1 (1998), Rush Hour 2 (2001), and Rush Hour 3 (2007). These films combine action and comedy to create an entertaining experience that appeals to a wide audience. They have also helped to increase interest in Martial Arts among Americans.

5. Conclusion:

The cultural


Kung Fu is a martial art that originated in China. It is characterized by its use of both striking and grappling techniques, as well as its use of traditional Chinese weapons.

Kung Fu has been influential in Chinese culture for centuries. It has been used as a means of self-defense, as well as a form of entertainment and exercise. In recent years, it has also become popularized in the West through movies and television shows.

Kung Fu has spread to other cultures around the world through the popularity of martial arts movies and television shows. It has also been adopted by some schools as part of their physical education curriculum.