Sam: Hai Tao, I watched a Bruce Lee [Li Xiao Long] movie today —— Way of the Dragon [lit. Ferocious Dragon Crosses the River.] Chinese gongfu is just awesome! Is the martial art I saw in the movie for real?
Hai Tao: I feel most of it is real. But since it is a movie, no doubt there will be stunts and special effects. Bruce Lee is a martial arts movie star; he has more than 200 million fans worldwide. His [brand of] Chinese martial arts is most fantastic and he is a very famous martial artist. He's an expert in nunchaku, and he invented the Jeet Kune Do. He is widely accepted as the King of Martial Arts. Besides him, Jacky Chan [Cheng Long], Jet Li [Li Lianjie], Donnie Yen [Zhen Zidan] and company are also China's famous martial art movie stars. Jet Li was formerly crowned champion in China's wushu championships for five consecutive years.
Sam: So it turns out that they are [real] martial artists. Can you tell me more about China's martial arts, wushu?
HT: Wushu is a valuable cultural heritage of the people of China. It can be said that it goes back a long way in China's history. The Chinese people hail wushu as their martial art. Wushu is a combative skill that can be used in a tournament, and also as a means of defense. Besides this, wushu is also a form of physical exercise. It can keep your body strong and healthy while at the same time, nurture your mind and develop your nature. In China, many people are very passionate about wushu. In the Beijing  Olympic games, wushu was a special event.
Sam: Wow! I never knew that [the scope of] China's martial arts is so vast and deep!
HT: Absolutely. Wushu can be divided into the bare-handed (unarmed) and weapon (armed) combats. In the weapons variety, apart from traditional weapons such as the dāo [single-edge Chinese sword, aka sabre], jiàn [double-edge straight sword, usually translated as just "sword"], and gùn [staff], the whip, hammer, and hatchet can also function as weapons. In wuxia novels, those martial art experts can even use a leaf as their weapon.
Sam: Haha, even a leaf can be used as a weapon, that's just too mysterious. I heard that there are many [different] schools in China's wushu. Can you briefly introduce them?
HT: Sure. Shaolin, Wudang, Emei, etc. are among the more famous schools of China's wushu. In the case of the Shaolin temple, there is the Eighteen Arhat [Boxing] which boasts of a martial arts skill most supreme. Then there is the Yijin Jing [Muscle-Tendon Change Classic] and the Shaolin staff technique which are also extremely supreme and awesome feats. Apart from those, there is yet another interesting phenomenon in wushu: many boxing techniques are named after animals and everyday objects. Take for instance, Monkey Boxing, Crane Boxing, White Tiger Boxing, Praying Mantis Boxing. Further, there are the Fan Boxing, Wooden Bench Boxing, and so on. Sam, do you know how these styles came about?
Sam: Let me guess, Monkey Boxing and the like would be an imitation of an animal's movements while Fan Boxing, Wooden Bench Boxing might refer to weapons [used.] If they can use a leaf as a weapon, then surely the fan and wooden bench can be weapons too.
HT: Haha, you got it. You're really smart.
Sam: Since I guessed it right, you should reward me by teaching me wushu.
HT: I know nothing about wushu, but I've learnt Taiji during sports class in school. I can teach that to you instead.
Sam: That will be just great! Let's start right away, I wanna be a wushu expert, haha.
--Translated by atchooo@CSLPOD