Kung Fu: In Chinese, the term kung fu (功夫) refers to any skill that is acquired through learning or practice. It is a compound word composed of the words 功 (gōng) meaning "work", "achievement", or "merit", and 夫 (fū), which is alternately treated as being a word for "man" or as a particle or nominal suffix with diverse meanings.
It is only in the late twentieth century, that this term was used in relation to Chinese Martial Arts by the Chinese community and by the world. Currently it is the symbol of achievement of Chinese nation in the field of martial arts.
The term “Kung Fu” was rarely used till the end of 1960ies. It became popular when the world saw the Hong Kong action movies with Bruce Lee.
Bruce Lee left his mark on evolution of Kung Fu as he called what he taught Jun Fan Gung Fu (literally Bruce Lee's Kung Fu). He took the view that traditional martial arts techniques were too rigid and formalistic to be practical in scenarios of chaotic street fighting. Lee felt the system he now called Jun Fan Gung Fu was even too restrictive, and eventually evolved into a philosophy and martial art he would come to call Jeet Kune Do or the Way of the Intercepting Fist. It is a term he would later regret, because Jeet Kune Do implied specific parameters that styles connote; whereas the idea of his martial art was to exist outside of parameters and limitations. Overall, Bruce Lee could be considered the father of mixed fight.
Special features of styles and stances in training Kung Fu brought immense popularity to this type of martial art. Many people believe that Kung Fu is a term, which describes a single martial art, much like Taekwondo, Judo, or Aikido. In reality, Kung Fu is a general term, which includes hundreds of styles of Chinese martial arts. Some examples of Kung Fu animal styles include: tiger, crane, monkey, snake, and dragon. We can observe them in the film adaptations of modern cartoons ("Kung Fu Panda", for example, produced by Walt Disney) and other products of the movie industry.
Special features of training Kung Fu
Remembering combinations: More often the techniques of Kung Fu are taught as specific chain-type combinations rather than particular movements on its own like we used to see it, for example, in judo. It is done mainly so the student could remember them better.
Implementing combinations during the fight: It solely depends on the fight situation which particular movement will be used. Obviously, it is more convenient to imply most of the combinations in one particular order as that order developed over the centuries in the history of Kung Fu.
Cross fit training: A lot of new students often wonder why a lot of Kung Fu combinations include a lot of series of techniques that have nothing to do with fighting itself. Well nothing is simple in Kung Fu. It is mainly done in order to build more muscle strength of the human, which raises the effectiveness of the combination itself.
Kung Fu originated in a place called the Shaolin Temple (China), where monks practiced Kung Fu for health and self-defense during their quest for enlightenment. Even nowadays you can take a trip to Shaolin Temple in order to understand Kung Fu more deeply.