Gong Fu Cha - or what does the Chinese tea ceremony have to do with martial arts?

Gong Fu Cha - or what does the Chinese tea ceremony have to do with martial arts?


When one hears the term gong fu, one wonders at first how making tea relates to martial arts.

However, the word kung fu means more than just martial arts. The most basic meaning of the term is related to the words "art", "skill" and "exertion".

In connection with tea preparation Gong Fu Cha This means that the tea is brewed with a lot of effort and dedication in order to make a perfect cup of tea in an artistic way. This also applies to tea tasting, which also requires “skill”.      

You have surely come across a wide variety of Gong Fu scripts. Here are the most common examples:

  • Kung fu
  • Gung Fu
  • Gong Fu
  • Gōng Gū

All variations are based on the same Chinese characters:

功 夫

  • Gong = stands for work - effort - diligence - craftsmanship
  • Fu = means quality - skill acquired in long practice


In summary, one could say Gong Fu means something like "The art of doing something very well and further improving your skills"

  • Cha = means tea


To learn Chinese martial arts skills, students go through a demanding training program. Kung-Fu students are required to have a strong will, perseverance, patience and discipline in learning the exercises. 

zwei Kung Fu Kämpfer in der Luft

In general, the term Gong-Fu or Kung-Fu describes how a skill is acquired with hard effort and perseverance.

Another good example is the practice of the Chinese calligraphy script which requires a lot of gong-fu to be able to do it to perfection.

chinesiche Kalligraphie Übung mit Pinsel


Jackie Chan put it in a nutshell with one sentence, which I definitely don't want to withhold from you: 

“Kung fu lives in everything we do. It lives in how we put on a jacket and how we take off a jacket. It lives in how we treat people. Everything is kung fu ”

Jackie Chan



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