One: Supporting Strike
Series TitleChinese Gongfu Training Manual: Chapter One
Yuan Shan (Chinese, active 18th century)
MediumInk and pigments on paper
DimensionsSheet : 10 3/16 x 11 13/16 in. (25.88 x 30 cm)
Work : 13 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. (33.66 x 41.91 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelThe Chinese term gongfu, sometimes also spelled kung fu, literally means mastery of a skill through long hours of practice. A person can technically have gongfu in a wide variety of activities, but in recent times the term has been used mainly to describe skill in the martial arts. There are many different traditions of Chinese martial arts, so while gongfu can be used as a blanket term, it is more accurate to identify the specific schools and styles. This artwork is a page from an 18th-century illustrated manuscript that teaches a variety of martial arts techniques for both open-hand and weapons combat. The manuscript was created in 1761 by a man named Yuan Shan who may have been a soldier in the Qing Dynasty army.