About The Central Guoshu Institute

Central Guoshu Institute and Kung Fu

The Central Guoshu Institute (中央國術館 – Zhōng Yāng Guó Shù Guǎn; literally: “Central Martial Arts Academy”) was established in Nanjing by the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China in 1928.

It was an educational facility with the mission to preserve traditional Chinese martial arts, to train up masters if you will, to spread the practice of Wushu and Kung Fu in China.

Guoshu” (國術 Also spelled Kuoshu – literally: National Art) was the term for Chinese Martial Arts (Kung Fu) adopted by the Republic of China.

In April 1928, the institute held its first national martial arts competition in Beijing. This Kung Fu event attracted 400 of the best martial artists from all over the country.

Then, in 1929, the governor of Guangdong made a progressive move. He invited some of the institutes’ masters, including some that had competed in the previous year’s Lei Tai to help establish a “Southern Kuoshu Institute.”

General Li Jinglin chose five masters to represent northern China: Baguazhang master Fu Chen Sung; Shaolin Iron Palm master Gu Ruzhang; Six Harmony master Wan Laisheng; Tan Tui master Li Shanwu; and Cha Quan” master, Wang Shaozhao.

These men were known as the Wu Hu Xia Jiangnan (五虎下江南 – “Five tigers heading south of Jiangnan“).

For their preservation and dissemination of our much-loved traditional Chinese Martial Arts, we gratefully salute the Central Guoshu Institute.

The association relocated several times during World War II, but in 1946, it returned to Nanjing.

It closed in 1948 due to a lack of funding, but in 1950, it found itself on the island of Taiwan, starting a new life.

Central Guoshu Institute: The Legacy

The legacy of the Central Guoshu Institute goes beyond its high level of traditional Chinese martial arts content.

Their motto was 树的兵种文武兼修, which refers to the branches of both the civil and the military. Morality and Martial Arts are Equally Important; One Must Train equally Martial and Academic Endeavors. The idea is that the purpose of Wushu and Kung Fu is to defend oneself and strengthen the nation!

A martial artist should not use his skills to show off, nor should he bully others. If one must defend oneself, the response must be with proper intent. Never attempt to hurt the opponent severely. At the same time as learning wushu, a student had to learn the health side of the arts, investigate academic knowledge and science, and ‘digest’ martial art theories and materials.

This ‘Central Guoshu Institute spirit’ meant the majority of its graduates were both skilled martial artists and men of letters.

The legacy of the Central Guoshu Institute lives on at Kung Fu Connection!

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