Kung-fu is a Chinese term referring to any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete, often mistakenly used in the West to refer solely to Chinese martial arts.
In its original meaning, kung-fu can refer to any skill achieved through hard work and practice, not necessarily martial.
Originally, to practice kung-fu did not just mean to practice Chinese martial arts. Instead, it referred to the process of one’s training – the strengthening of the body and the mind, the learning and the perfection of one’s skills – rather than to what was being trained. It refers to excellence achieved through long practice in any endeavour.
In the colloquial, one can say that a person’s kung-fu is good in cooking, or that someone has kung-fu in calligraphy; saying that a person possesses kung-fu in an area implies skill in that area, which they have worked hard to develop. Someone with “bad kung-fu” simply has not put enough time and effort into training, or seems to lack the motivation to do so.
To study kung-fu is ultimately to study and learn about oneself, and through that study the student will learn to develop and improve themselves, discovering their potential and harnessing their true nature. Training to discover and master the self allows the individual to cultivate a positive attitude in an increasingly negative world.