This is a specially designed Chinese martial arts learning module to complement the Ontario curriculum.

Kung Fu

Chinese martial arts are usually referred to as ‘Kung Fu’. However, this term is not limited to the practice of martial arts.

Kung Fu is ‘personal excellence from unceasing effort’.
Kung Fu is the philosophy and attitude which, introduced and learned through martial training, can be applied to any pursuit of excellence. This is but one element that separates Chinese martial arts from all others. As one progresses through the training and exercises, one makes improvements and insights into their heart and mind.

Occasionally throughout this book, the term, ‘Kung Fu’ will be used in to denote this aspect of the martial training and the mentality that it embraces.


Kuo Shu, Wu Shu

These are also terms used to refer to Chinese martial arts. In the following pages, you will learn how these terms came into popularity.

CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS: A Way to a Stronger Future

Encompassing both traditional and modern arts, such as Kung Fu, Kuo Shu, and Wu Shu, as they are known in the West, ‘Chinese martial arts’ is a collective term that will be used to refer to all the martial disciplines originating in China.

These traditions span thousands of years of history, providing an unsurpassed benefit to the practitioner, and have had a tremendous impact on sports, physical activity, and culture in all East Asian countries.

In recent decades, Chinese martial arts have spread to virtually every corner of the globe and have found worldwide acceptance in a relatively short period of time. There are many reasons for this phenomenon. Cross-Cultural Connection

Chinese martial arts represent a collection of exercises and physical activity derived from combat training. Similarly, many western sports also trace their roots to the same source. Combat sports such as boxing, wrestling, and fencing are obvious examples, however, others such as archery, javelin, and polo can also be traced back to combatbased military drills. Deeply ingrained in almost all cultures, this universal cross-cultural connection is an element of familiarity, therefore lending to natural cross-cultural acceptance.

Universal Suitability

Secondly, Chinese martial arts provide holistic and comprehensive training that can be suited to every age group, physical type and individual temperament. There is something in it for everyone, and everyone can derive benefit from its practice!

Timeless Ethical Values

Chinese martial arts have a tradition and code of ethics that is derived from Eastern philosophies. The emphasis on self-discipline, self-development and instilling a sense of personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions can be extremely relevant in the post-industrial, fast-paced information age we live in. The skills and values learned from this training relate to and benefit other areas of life.


Total Self-Development

Chinese martial arts provide a comprehensive approach to nurturing the body and mind, refining the character and achieving personal balance. It promotes respect and consideration for others, positive communication skills, and healthy lifestyle choices. Most people benefit in improved flexibility, strength, balance, coordination and cardiovascular fitness from the holistic nature of its training. This training may also be transferred to other sports and physical activities. Additionally, many find that Chinese martial art training often results in improved self-confidence, mental focus and clarity, stress reduction and an inner sense of aesthetic appreciation.

It for these reasons that we believe Chinese martial arts has a place in contemporary Canadian society and can play a significant role in the development of our youth.



Purpose of the Curriculum

Through martial arts learning students:

  • Develop fundamental movement skills that are the basis of all physical activities and sports.
  • Develop a greater understanding of how physical activity affects their physical and mental health.
  • Learn how a personal commitment to daily activity and improvement can benefit all areas of their life.

Role of Parents, Teachers and Students

A student’s achievement reaches higher levels where there is strong communication, cooperation and participation between students, parents and teachers. Chinese martial arts promote unity and cooperation and respect for elders and teachers.

There is a direct relationship between achievement and hard work. The mentality learned through martial arts can be applied to all of life’s endeavours.

Strand-Conducive Learning

Healthy Living: Chinese martial arts teach greater awareness and appreciation of healthy eating, growth and development, personal safety and injury prevention, avoiding substance abuse and the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices. These modules may be integrated with other areas covered including Asian culture (importance of family and respect for elders), nutrition, safety issues, wellness concepts and so on.

Fundamental Movement Skills: Chinese martial arts systematically cover all skills, including locomotion, manipulation and stability. Chinese martial arts are a holistic learning process; movement and concepts are perceived by the entire mind and body. Students develop skills related to the four principles of movement, as defined by the Ontario curriculum:

  • Body awareness (what part moves)
  • Spatial awareness (where)
  • Effort (how)
  • Relationship (with whom or what)


Active Participation: Chinese martial arts focus on physical activity, fitness, living skills, safety, and developing a concept of personal wellness.

Safety Issues: Chinese martial arts require no special safety equipment or apparatus beyond a comfortable and safe learning environment.

Activities vary from large to small groups with common focus. Risk of injury is below that of most curriculum items.

In line with safety education, students follow established routines for school physical activities.

In training, students wear appropriate clothing for exercise. This includes plain T-shirt, sweatshirt, shorts or sweats along with clean indoor footwear.

Students follow instructions as outlined for each activity and take age-appropriate responsibility.

Cost Effective: Chinese martial arts can be done in any safe exercise environment and requires no special equipment.