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Chinese Kung Fu: myth or deceitful trick? (2)

(People's Daily Online)

15:15, September 18, 2012

The "Iron Man 2" (L) and "Ip Man 2" (R) (file photo)

There are three inevitable reasons for the fascination with Chinese Kung Fu. Firstly, it is the worship of superpower. China was born out of a society with long feudal history, which had weak legal system and contractual relationship, so people fancied more humanized superpowers that can clean up social order and maintain basic ethics. Secondly, it has the influence of culture. Chinese Kung Fu was often attached to the historical figures and legends and became a spiritual ballast of reacting against imperial authority. Thirdly, it is a blend of skills and arts. Martial arts belong to skills while martial art novels are fantasy art. As the blend of skills and arts became a tradition, coupled with the practical or theoretical promotion of "militarized martial arts," the worship of Kung Fu became a realistic totem.

In 2010, when "Ip Man 2" was released in China, "Iron Man 2" was also released in the United States at the same time. Both films were themed around power and salvation, with the Chinese movie resorting to a false legend while the U.S. movie resorted to technology and machinery. Some netizens joked at the time that Ye Wen, the main character in "Ip Man 2" should duel with Iron Man to see whether Chinese Kung Fu is invincible. Zhuangzi, an influential philosopher from ancient China, had dreamed of him turning into a butterfly but after waking up, he realized he had to continue his original life. The story of Zhuangzi tells us that the invincibility of Chinese Kung Fu is only a fantasy of the Chinese people in the 21st century.

The more deified Chinese Kung Fu is, the clearer it is. If it is arbitrarily exaggerated, the reputation of Chinese Kung Fu will eventually be destroyed. It sounds a little cruel but we have to admit, "Chinese Kung Fu is not really a technology, but a way of life. It is not offensive and the so-called myth of Chinese Kung Fu is more like a deceitful trick."

Read the Chinese version: 就让中国功夫早点“软着陆”吧

Source:China Youth Daily, author: Deng Haijian.

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