From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Traditional Chinese輕功
Simplified Chinese轻功
Literal meaninglightness skill

Qinggong (ching-kung) is a training technique for jumping off vertical surfaces from the Chinese martial arts.[1] One way of training is to run up a slightly inclined ramp, gradually increasing the steepness of the incline until it is vertical.[2]


The characters used for this skill are 輕功, where the meaning of the first character is 'light [in weight]; easy; soft; gentle' and the second means 'achievement; effort; skill; results'. It is sometimes translated as 'lightness skill'.[3]

Popular culture[edit]

The use of qinggong has been exaggerated in wuxia fiction, in which martial artists have the ability to move swiftly and lightly at superhuman speed, and perform gravity-defying moves such as running on water surfaces, traversing across rooftops, and even balancing on a stalk of grass.[4] In some wuxia and martial arts films, qinggong stunts are simulated by actors and stunt performers suspending themselves from wires, earning the name of "wire fu".[5]

Qinggong was taught at the Peking Opera School in the 20th century. The school's most notable students are the Seven Little Fortunes, including Sammo Hung and most famously Jackie Chan, providing a basis for their acrobatic stunt work in Hong Kong action cinema. In turn, this influenced the development of parkour in France.[6][7]


  1. ^ Timofeevich, Andrew; Yiming Jin; Cuiya Guo (2007). Lian Gong Mi Jue: Secret Methods of Acquiring External and Internal Mastery. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-84753-371-5.
  2. ^ Sun, Lutang; Tim Cartmell (2003). A Study of Taijiquan. North Atlantic Books. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-55643-462-4.
  3. ^ McNeil, Simon. "What is Wuxia Literature?". www.kungfumagazine.com. Retrieved 2023-02-22.
  4. ^ White, Luke (2017-12-18), lok, susan pui san (ed.), Toward an aesthetic of weightlessness: Qinggong and Wire-fu, Derby / Manchester: QUAD / Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, ISBN 978-0-9954611-0-9, retrieved 2023-02-22
  5. ^ Rahner, Mark (2004-12-24). "Wire-fu flicks: Pouncing public, hidden treasures". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  6. ^ Hunt, Leon; Wing-Fai, Leung (2010). East Asian Cinemas: Exploring Transnational Connections on Film. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-0857712271.
  7. ^ Angel, Julie (16 June 2016). Breaking the Jump: The Secret Story of Parkour's High Flying Rebellion. Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-78131-554-5.