The Kung Fu Floret

The Kung Fu Floret represents the spirit or mindset of one who lives the Kung Fu Life: resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. The graceful shape symbolizes the Chinese plum blossom, known as meihua (梅花). 

The plum flower blooms vibrantly amidst the winter snow and symbolizes perseverance, courage, and strength. In Confucianism, the plum blossom represents the principles and values of virtue, and the five petals represent the classical Five Blessons: long life and vitality into old age, wealth and financial security, radiant health and fitness, an appreciation of virtue, and a peaceful natural death.

In Zen, the plum blossom symbolizes the transitory nature of life. Because the flower only blooms fully for a short time, it is a reminder to appreciate the present and to live your best possible life.

Since ancient times, plum blossoms have served as an effective ward against evil spirits. You will find them standing guard in the northeast corner of many gardens and temples. At the legendary southern Shaolin Temple (少林寺, Shàolínsì), plum trees lined one particular training area called the “Hall of Eternal Springtime,” or the Wing Chun Kwoon (詠春館).

The Southern Shaolin Temple

The monks of Shaolin used this space to synthesize a new style of Kung Fu. This immerging fighting system drew from the Shaolin Animal styles, especially from Snake and Crane Kung Fu. But the new style was also innovative, creating concepts and techniques around the geometry of the human being rather than imitating the movements of animals. That concept-based fighting system became known as Wing Chun Kuen (詠春拳Yǒngchūnquán) or simply Wing Chun (詠春).

Over time, the five-petal shape of the Chinese plum blossom came to symbolize the arts of the Southern Shaolin Temple and the Fist of the Eternal Spring — Wing Chun — in particular. Grand Master Moy Yat, an accomplished painter and calligrapher, used the Plum Blossom shape as the symbol for Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu. Today, the Kung Fu Floret shape forms the base for logos of Wing Chun and Ving Tsun schools worldwide.

In the variation used by Kung Fu Life, the classical outline of the five petals of the plum blossom contrasts with the spiked thorns within the floret. These thorns are intentionally reminiscent of the universal biohazard symbol and represent danger, adversity, or even assault. The potential and capacity for human violence is the universal risk which Kung Fu is uniquely designed to respond to.  

This blending of the classical virtues of resilience and courage with dangerous martial skills perfectly encapsulates the concepts and principles of Shaolin Wing Chun Kung Fu. Kung Fu Life proudly honors these virtues and values by incorporating the Kung Fu Floret into our apparel and accessories. We hope that  seeing it reminds you of the Kung Fu Mindset, the transitory nature of human life, and the importance of virtue, and we hope that it brings you all of the Five Blessings.