Chinese martial arts, also referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term wushu (simplified Chinese; traditional Chinese: pinyin: wǔshù) and popularly as kung fu (Chinese: pinyin: gōngfu), are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as "families" (jiā), "sects" (pài) or "schools" (mén) of martial arts. Examples of such traits include physical exercises involving animal mimicry, or training methods inspired by Chinese philosophies, religions and legends. Styles which focus on qi manipulation are labeled as internal (nèijiāquán), while others concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness and are labeled external (wàijiāquán). Geographical association, as in northern (běiquán) and southern (nánquán), is another popular method of categorization.
Chinese martial arts training consists of the following components: basics, forms, applications and weapons; different styles place varying emphasis on each component. In addition, philosophy, ethics and even medical practice are highly regarded by most Chinese martial arts. A complete training system should also provide insight into Chinese attitudes and culture.
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