Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Kung Fu Science

I´m a kung fu fighter. After eigth years and two knee surgeries, last year I finally got my black belt. My style is Ton Long, or Praying Mantis, one of the several kung fu styles that exist. Most of the styles are inspired in the movements of animals, like Tiger (Hung Garr), Crane, Eagle´s Claws and Monkey, but there are others that do not follow the pattern, like Tai Chi Chuan, Drunk Style, Wing Chun (the style of Bruce Lee) or Suai Shiao. In fact, most of the styles are completely different martial arts and kung fu is a common name for all chinese martial arts. Kung fu is not even the correct name, its meaning is "hard work" and in China is used to every kind of art that needs a great effort to learn and master. The chinese name for their martial arts is wushu or kuoshu.

My passion for kung fu is well known among my friends and yesterday one of them send me a link about the physics of kung fu, a site entitled Kung Fu Science. The link is indeed about a study of the physics involved in breaking blocks with bare hands led by a young PhD student of atmosferic physics. The site has beautiful presentation and design and the text is very accessible for those who are not scientists too. There are links to related studies about the physics of other martial arts in the end of the webpage. It is worth to visit.

Picture taken from: International Chinese Kung Fu Association Website.

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