Kungfu Panda series has been so popular in the world since it was shown in 2008, which is an excellent work to demonstrate Chinese Kungfu and Chinese culture. Today I would like to talk about the Chinese Kungfu elements in Kungfu Panda to all of you who are eager to know more about it in my place.
1. Chinese kungfu elements showed by Cartoon Characters
1.) the most obvious one is Kungfu panda. Panda is our national symbol. Chinese Kungfu is the representative of Chinese excellent traditional culture. Therefore, panda is the most appropriate symbol to represent and spread Chinese Kungfu.
2.) Wu Gui (torturse). As we all know, Tortoise has very long life. In Chinese Taoism Culture, Tortoise is the totem of longevity. In movie, tortures was respected as grandmaster, knowledgeable and wise, which is consistent with the image of Shifu in China.
3.) The five animals tiger, snake, mantis, monkey and crane. These five animals originated from animal-imitation fist in Chinese Shaolin Kungfu. Chinese people is observant, Most of the Kungfu moves came from animal fighting and animal prey. The most important and original function of Chinese Kungfu is for combat, however, Chinese Kungfu is a multifunction unity. It has practicability and aesthetics at same time. Different animal has different way to behave and different Kungfu style has different way to reach the target, which show the creativity and artistry of Chinese people apart from the practicality.
4.) Panda and “dragon warrior”. In the movie, panda was chosen to be Dragon warrior by grandmaster Wugui. Why did Chinese people mention “warrior” with ”dragon” in the same breath? In western culture, Dragon is monster, ugly and fiendish, is the symbol of evil, war or disaster. But in Chinese culture, Dragon is a lucky animal, is the symbol of justice, happiness and power, and was worshiped as God. There is no doubt that “dragon warrior” is the best reputation for the Kungfu practitioner, Kungfu should be used for fight for social justice.
5.) Tailong, the negative character in Kungfu Panda. On one side, The personality and behaviors of Tailong is in striking contract to PO, which is very common -used technique of expression in TV production and also it completely response to Chinese Yin-Yang Culture. On the other side, from Tailong, we can see how Chinese traditional master-disciple relationship formed in kungfu. In Kungfu master-disciple relationship, Master choose someone as disciple rather than someone looked for good master and persuaded him to be his master. Good Morality is the first elements that you should have rather than talents if you are eager to get real kungfu. As long as you focus on self-cultivation and behave as Chinese morality standard, there will be someone find you and would like to teach you, this is the “destiny” that we believe. It’s destiny that panda Po was chosen as Kungfu warrior, not accident. For sure, the people who has excessive desire and moral degeneration, as Tailong, will bring damage to peoples and won’t get what he want at end.
2. Kungfu Elements shown by movie scene and background.
The place is given a meaningful name “Peace Valley”, which is the place that was imagined according to Chinese Taoism conception and wisdom, is also the birthplace of Kungfu. The temple hided in the mountain, close to nature, far away from the world, with mist around and water running. All these elements with Chinese features intimated the environment where the Chinese Kungfu should be trained and accomplished. Same as martial arts, Compared with western boxing, why Chinese Kungfu ask for mountain environment to train in? That’s because Taoism and buddhism are the culture foundation of Chinese Kungfu. Animal activities and people’s common life are the main resource of Chinese Kungfu. Close to nature, clean and fresh air help the blood circulation better by breathe system. Meanwhile, the peaceful environment make peoples’ mind calm down, animal activities and other nature phenomenons gave people more inspiration and enlightenment, which are all important for Kungfu training. In old time, a great Kungfu master in China said, the first level of Kungfu training is self-defense, the second level of Kungfu training is upholding society justice, The third level of training Kungfu is improving inner cultivation. In Kungfu Training, getting inspiration is as important as physical training. Inspiration results from peace. Therefore, only back to nature and focus on yourself can you tell the real power of Kungfu.
3. How to get Chinese Kungfu?
In Kungfu Panda, Tailong thought the real Kungfu was recorded in “Dragon scroll”, so he made every endeavor to fight for it. Unfortunately, it was found that the “dragon scroll” in legend was blank, which make everyone take a shock. There is no cut –way or secret method for Kungfu training, like the old saying in Dao De Jing, The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao. The only way to get the real Kungfu is to train it ten thousand times in person and think about what you learned, get the new understanding from the old staff you learned, make progress day by day then the Kungfu will come to you in nature.
This is my understandings about Chinese Kungfu combining with Kungfu Panda and Chinese culture background. Appreciated if you can share your opinions in comment area.