Apr 2, 2010

Monkey vs Capoeira

Many untrained observers are understandably surprised when they are told wushu is not a combat art although it looks like kung fu done well. Can wushu, with its repertoire of sharp moves, really be combat neutral? It depends on the context of the question and answer. If wushu is practiced in its modern, standalone form, then it is likely not a combat art but is instead a sport with a focus on points scoring. Points are assessed on aesthetic considerations such as whether the performer's leg is straight during a particular flip, much like modern gymnastics. 

But since wushu is derived from traditional kung fu forms, if a practitioner is given proper combat instruction and training, many of its moves can indeed be used for self defence, including the dazzling jumps and somersaults. In particular, the Monkey Kung Fu is known for its lethal application of both innocuous and break-dancing like moves. In this short clip from the movie The Quest, a Monkey Kung Fu practitioner takes on a Capoeira opponent and demonstrates trademark Monkey combat manoeuvres such as somersaults, flips, groin and eye attacks.

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