by Xinhua writer Ye Zaiqi
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Learning Chinese Kung Fu (martial arts) can help kids develop more meaningful habits by diminishing their addiction to modern electronics devices, a Chinese Kung Fu super star said Saturday.
"Practicing Chinese Kung Fu not only gives you the ability to learn the combat skills and techniques that make you feel safer, but also keeps you healthier physically and mentally," Bruce Leung Siu-lung, a famous Kung Fu super star who appeared in many Hong Kong martial arts movies throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Leung, who was in the Bay Area to attend the Eagle Claw Cup International Wushu (Kung Fu) Invitational Tournament held in Union City, expressed concern about mobile phone addiction by young people. He says they spend too much time in the cyber world, leaving them lost in real life.
"There are a lot of children who are spoiled by their parents and lack independence in real life, and some of them can hardly face setbacks and even commit suicide," he said.
Leung said he was happy to see many foreign people practicing Kung Fu in China, some of whom speak Chinese fluently. "This indicates they are devoting their enthusiasm and energy to Chinese traditional culture."
"Chinese Kung Fu is more than a matter of skills and techniques. It is full of profound Chinese philosophy and core values, which focus on the spirit of love, kindness, tolerance, perseverance and strong will," said the 71-year-old star, who retired from acting in the late 1980s, but returned to the screen in Kung Fu Hustle.
Leung said he was encouraged to see that Kung Fu heritage becoming more popular in the United States, reflected by the large number of Kung Fu fans at the Union City tournament.
More than 400 athletes competed on Saturday.
Jennifer Dvorak, an employee with a tech company in San Francisco, told Xinhua that she had practiced Kung Fu for about two years at the Lily Lau Eagle Claw Kung Fu School in Millbrae, about 25 km south of San Francisco.
"I got to sweat out all of the negative stuff and just train really hard. That's a good feeling," she said.
Dvorak, who moved from North Dakota to San Francisco, said she found it interesting to learn more about traditional Kung Fu.
"It's interesting to learn about the values in the culture and the philosophy behind it and the history that is passed down from my master's father and seven more generations before that," she added, referring to the family of Grandmaster Lily Lau, the eighth generation Grandmaster of Eagle Claw Chinese martial arts.
"Practicing Kung Fu is good for your health, keeping you in shape and healthy both physically and mentally," she said, noting that it is a good way to learn to "clear your mind."
"To learn Kung Fu is also very empowering, especially as a woman to feel like I could hopefully defend myself if I were under attack," Dvorak explained.
Michael Hammond, a visual art worker and part-time instructor at a Kung Fu school in Washington D.C., said he had practiced martial arts for more than 16 years and was inspired by Bruce Lee movies.
"Chinese Kung Fu is something you can practice for your whole life. It's very rewarding. You know, I'm never bored and I'm always learning new things," he said.
He also expressed worries that people nowadays have become less active and energetic as a result of modern life, something that Kung Fu can change.
"The modern conveniences make people a little bit more lazy," he said.