In general, Kung fu / Kungfu or Gung fu / Gongfu (/ˌkʌŋˈfuː/ (About this sound listen) or /ˌkʊŋˈfuː/; 功夫, Pinyin: gōngfu) refers to the Chinese martial arts, also called Wushu and Quanfa. In China, it refers to any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete. In its original meaning, kung fu can refer to any discipline or skill achieved through hard work and practice, not necessarily martial arts. The Chinese literal equivalent of “Chinese martial art” would be 中国武术 zhōngguó wǔshù.
There are many forms of Kung Fu, namely Shaolin Kung Fu, Wing Chun, Tai chi, etc and are practiced all over the world. Each form of Kung Fu has its own principles and techniques. It is only in the late twentieth century, that this term was used in relation to Chinese martial arts by the Chinese community. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term “kung-fu” as “a primarily unarmed Chinese martial art resembling karate.” This illustrates how the meaning of this term has been changed in English. The origin of this change can be attributed to the misunderstanding or mistranslation of the term through movie subtitles or dubbing.