What Martial Art Does The Chinese Army Use


Martial arts are an essential part of Chinese culture and have been practiced for thousands of years. As their influence has grown, and their presence spread through the country, martial arts have become increasingly associated with Chinese military and army forces. To this day, the military and the army remain one of the core use cases of martial arts in China, with a variety of fighting styles being used. In this article, we will discuss the various martial arts that the Chinese army uses and the reasons why they are so important.

History of Martial Arts in China

The history of martial arts in China dates back centuries, with it being an important part of Chinese culture by the time of the Han Dynasty (220 BC-200 AD). During this period, many different martial arts styles were developed, including an early form of kung fu. Martial arts continued to be popular throughout the dynasties of China, including during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912). The General Military Training Regulations of the Qing Dynasty (1759) explicitly stated that all soldiers were obligated to have a basic understanding of martial arts.

Benefits of Martial Arts for Chinese Military

Today, martial arts are still considered an essential part of military training for Chinese forces. The various styles of martial arts offer various benefits to the soldier, such as improved physical strength, accuracy, focus and discipline. Through rigorous training, the soldier can become an expert in the art and be able to use the techniques in combat situations if necessary. In addition to these physical benefits, martial arts provide a valuable mental discipline and focus which is invaluable in the military lifestyle.

Types of Martial Arts Used By The Chinese Army

There are many different types of martial arts used by the Chinese army, but three of the most popular are kung fu, tai chi and qigong. Kung fu is a form of Chinese martial art that has been practiced for centuries and consists of “hard” and “soft” elements. Many of the Chinese army’s top fighters have trained in kung fu, which includes hand-to-hand combat, joint-locking, throwing and striking techniques. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that is believed to have been used for physical and mental health benefits for centuries. It consists of a series of slow, gentle movements that focus on building strength and balance, and can also be used for self-defence. Qigong is another form of Chinese martial art that focuses on strengthening breath control and energy. It has been used for spiritual, mental and physical health for centuries, and is often practiced alongside tai chi.

Training and Repertoire

The Chinese army has its own set of training routines and drills designed to hone the skills and technique of the soldiers. The training regimen consists of basic physical and martial arts training, as well as specific moves and techniques that are specific to the style of martial arts being used. Soldiers are also taught various weapons and tactics for use in combat situations, including swords, spears, staffs and maces. Many of the weapons and moves taught by the army have been adapted from ancient martial arts styles, giving the soldier an advantage when facing enemies in battle.

Effects on Global Military

The Chinese army’s use of martial arts has had a lasting effect on the global military. Today, many militaries around the world incorporate martial arts training into their own regimens in order to give their soldiers an edge against their enemies. Martial arts styles such as kung fu and tai chi have also become more popular in civilian life, with many people incorporating them into their own self-defence and fitness routines.

Technological Advances

The use of martial arts by the Chinese army has also been greatly impacted by technological advances. As technology has become more advanced, these martial arts have been adapted to include the use of drones, virtual reality, and other new technologies. This has enabled the soldiers to be better prepared for any situation, as well as become more proficient in their chosen martial arts style.

Legacy of Chinese Martial Arts

The legacy of Chinese martial arts cannot be understated, as it has not only had a major influence on the military, but also in civilian life. Through its various styles, Chinese martial arts have provided a source of physical and mental health benefits to people around the world, and also served to provide an effective form of self-defence and combat. To this day, the Chinese military continues to leverage and emphasize the power of martial arts within its training regiments, and they will continue to be an important part of Chinese culture and history.


The use of martial arts by the Chinese army has been a part of their culture for centuries, and is still used to this day in order to give the soldiers the best possible training and combat advantage. The various styles offer a wide range of physical and mental benefits, as well as serving as an important source of self-defence and combat. As technology continues to advance, the Chinese will continue to adapt their martial arts styles to meet the needs of their army and the world around them.

Letha Wimmer is a military expert with more than a decade of direct experience in the U.S. Army and National Guard. She specializes in researching and writing about the world's armies and their capabilities, equipment, capabilities, strategies, organizations, and operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation from Middle Tennessee State University as well as an Aerial Firefighting Certificate and numerous other advanced aviation certifications. She also enjoys traveling to distant lands to gain firsthand knowledge about their military forces and has written extensively for various websites on the subject.

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