Martial Arts and their Headline Action Stars

Wushu (Chinese Martial Arts)

It is always difficult to explain what ‘Wushu’, ‘Kung Fu’ or Chinese Martial Arts means. ‘Wushu’ in Mandarin literally means the ‘Art of combat’, or essentially ‘Martial Arts’. ‘Kung Fu’ does not mean martial arts, but it really means one excelling in a particular skill, which may or may not be Martial Arts. To say ‘Chinese Martial Arts’ belong to one style is akin to trying to explain ‘European Art’ is as one-dimensional as a single movement.

The Karate Kid Movie Still - Jackie Chan stars as Mr. Han and ...


While Jackie Chan (Rush Hour) and Donnie Yen (Ip Man) are very accomplished martial artists in their own right and have very successful movie careers in both their native Hong Kong and Hollywood, their Wushu competitive career pales in contrast to Jet Li. Born as ‘Li Lian Jie’ in Beijing, China in 1963, Li had the Wushu Career every Chinese Martial Artist would salivate over. He won his first National Championship when he was 11, one of the youngest ever winner at that time. When he was standing on the podium as the champion, the first and second runner up were still taller than Li in spite of his top position.

The Expendables Spotlight: Jet Li | GotchaMovies

Jet Li was the ‘All-Around National Wushu Champion’ in 1974, a title he held for 5 consecutive year. ‘All-Around’ means the athlete needs to win the gold medal in 3 divisions – ‘Quanshu’ (loosely translated as ‘bare fist’, or Chinese Boxing), Short Weaponry (e.g. sword) and Long Weaponry (e.g. cudgel or stick). While it was not officially a ‘World Title’, being number one in Wushu in China is really as good as being number one in the world. He retired from Wushu competition with 15 gold and 1 silver medal at the age of 17, where most other martial artists would barely have started competing.

Chingyin Ng, originally from Singapore had lived in London, UK and is now based in Melbourne Australia. She had trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Muay Thai and Boxing. As MMA gains popularity in Australia and Asia, Chingyin follows all news and progress with enthusiasm and with her unique and bilingual background she is able to provide a different perspective.