As You Know, "Kung fu" or actually "Gongfu" in pinyin (Chinese: 功夫, literally "achievement through sustained effort") is a collective term for a number of fighting styles which have roots as ancient as the 18th century BCE and have continued to evolve to this day. The greatest spike in popularity and variety of Kung Fu came in the 20th century; not only did the now-iconic "drunken boxing", "five animals" and "tai chi chuan" styles develop during that period, but upon exposure to contemporary western pop culture, Kung Fu experienced a veritable explosion of applications to a variety of professions, aspirations and walks of life other than the canonical kung.
Evidently, there was something exotic and evocative about the phrase Kung Fu and the excellence it symbolized that western culture found irresistible. Soon those privy to the great secrets of juggling liabilities and equity professed to be practicing the art of account fu, green-thumb enthusiasts the world over discovered the inner focus allowing them to transform their mere gardening skills into snip fu and high-brow enthusiasts began polishing their assorted gambits and defenses into bona fide chess fu.
Skills that were previously thought to be mundane were revealed to be awesome beyond imagination, with those graceful enough in their application often finding time speeding up and slowing down in the appropriate dramatic fashion as they snip a particularly difficult bonsai tree, perform en passant or locate the source of the $0.03 imbalance.
The term "Foo Fu" for this general phenomenon was coined Just for Pun, and basically means the same as "X Fu" or "Whatever Fu". It comes from "Foo", a placeholder often used by programmers as a stand-in for whatever should be there instead (the technical term for this kind of placeholder is "Metasyntactic Variable"). Has nothing to do with fighting foo, despite Mr. T's confusion.
Trope Fu was originally considered as a name for this trope, but it was ultimately decided that Trope Fu is the sublime art of tending to examples and descriptions which we all practice in This Very Wiki.
Behold! A Flawless Demonstration of Index Fu
- Cane Fu
- Car Fu
- Cloth Fu
- Confusion Fu
- Door Fu
- Dung Fu
- Foo Fu, duh.
- Forklift Fu
- Gun Fu
- Improv Fu
- I Know Kung-Faux
- Juggle Fu
- My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours
- Shamu Fu
- What the Fu Are You Doing?
- Wire Fu
- Wok Fu
This is no mere section. This is Example Fu of the highest calibre
- From Ranma ½: although the correct translation for the "Neko-ken" Dangerous Forbidden Technique is "Cat Fist", it is also often called "Cat Fu", especially in fanfiction. This prevalence might be because Genma refers to the technique as "Cat Fu" when he first mentions it in the English-dubbed anime, going on to explain that "Cat Fu" is actually the shorthand reference for "Freestyle Cat Fist Fighting".
- In Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, a series about Animal Superheroes, Alley-Kat-Abra was a master and teacher of the martial Kat-Fu before gaining superpowers. It was intimated that Abra's tendency towards the more mystical aspects of the art was what caused her to develop full-blown magical powers, as most of the original Zoo Crew members (who were all exposed to the same Applied Phlebotinum) gained powers that were either directly or ironically connected to some aspect of their lives.
- Howard the Duck is a practitioner of Quack-Fu.
- Howard the Duck: "No-one laughs at a master of Quack Fu!"
- There is a film called Of Cooks And Kung Fu whose premise is that a "cooking" style of kung fu exists.
- Joe Bob Briggs' "Drive-In Reviews" would often use the "fu" suffix when listing the various weapons used in the target movie, which would lead to line items like "hubcap-fu", "tree branch-fu" and "brick-fu".
- The Discworld novel Thief of Time introduces "Déjà Fu", the martial art practiced by the History Monks, in which the practitioner travels in time as well as in space. The book give us as a "translation": "The feeling that you have been kicked in the head this way before."
- In her book about her life with Jim Morrison, the writer Patricia Kennealy refers a lot to "evil fu"...
- When Dox uses the Chairman of the Brawl trope twice in Redemption Games, John Rain quips that he should market a Chair-fung-do style.
- Willow's "Witch Fu" is admired in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, an in a DVD Commentary Joss Whedon refers to Buffy's "bag fu" after she uses a couple of bricks inside a bag as an Improvised Weapon.
- In an Earboy skit of All That, Ross Perrot knows Kung Pow Weenie, the "ancient art of weenie combat".
- In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Ragtag", May and Skye discuss their emotions over Ward betraying the team for HYDRA:
May: I'm furious. But I'm sure as hell not gonna waste it on a tantrum. I'm gonna mine it, save it... and when we find Ward, I'm gonna use every bit of it to take him down.
Skye: Wish I knew how to use that hate-fu.
May: I'm usually up around 5:30.
- The Brazilian band Pato Fu, whose name means — really! — Duck Fu.
- The Cheerleaders, a trio of supervillains from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, regularly use their "Jiggle Fu" distraction powers against male opponents.
- Cyberpunk has "Gun-Fu", the fine art of running up to people and shooting them.
- The Exalted fandom coined the term "Social-Fu" to describe the Mind Control and More Than Mind Control effects Exalted can have on mortals, and possibly other incautious Exalted.
- In Bunnies & Burrows, Fighter rabbits use Bun Fu.
- Shaq Fu, a martial arts Fighting Game starring Shaquille O'Neal.
- In Quest for Glory IV, the Adventurers' Guild bookshelf had a book on Talk Fu, the art of delivering witty One Liners during combat.
- Dealt in Lead: The title earned by maxing your level in the hand-to-hand skill? Pencil-Fu. Yes, pencils can be used as weapons. Yes, it's awesome.
- I-Mockery's Santa Fu.
- Spy Fox In Dry Cereal allows players to "master" the sacred art of "Cock-A-Doodle-Fu."
- Schlock Mercenary:
- A variation when Schlock refers to the company lawyer as having "owned you with his legal-jitsu." Jitsu means art, so it actually is kind of appropriate.
- Played straight with the same character here: "Shodan told me you passed his unarmed combat course".
- Inverted in one chapter of Footloose: the Combat Stilettos style is called... Kung-Shoe.
- The webcomic What the Fu.
- Strip #297 of Applegeeks is titled "FlashFu". With good reason — it must be on the level of a martial art if you have it working on a woman.
- This trope was inspired by a mention of "poor search-fu" in another entry, and hacker culture applies it to coding.
- Google-fu is skill at finding the right keywords to use in a search engine. It's fairly widely used. It can be either good or bad, as in
"How did you find that so fast? I've been looking for it for days!"
"My Google-fu is strong!"
"Can someone with better Google-fu than me find a site for this?"
"Improve your Google-fu!"
- The GNU Image Manipulation Program has a Script-Fu console for making your own custom effects.
- Images-Googling for "Cat Fu" can get you some hilarious results.
- The Flash cartoon Skunk Fu!
- Darkwing Duck and his master Goose Lee are "Quack Fu" martial artists.
- Although it may looks like it at first glance, Wakfu isn't an example of this trope. Its MMORPG spinoff The Guardians, however, features the "Wakfung" Supernatural Martial Art.
- Yin Yang Yo! has the art of Woo Foo.
- A martial-arts-themed segment of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show has a scene in which Mario and Luigi try to learn karate and fail miserably... so the martial arts master trying to train them makes up a plumbing-themed martial art called "Plumb Fu", which they master immediately.
- In The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol , Grouchy tells his chimney-crawling visitor (who turns out to be the Smurf of Christmas Past) that he has a blue belt in Smurf Fu.
- The animated version of The Boondocks upgrades Robert "Granddad" Freeman's preference for corporal punishment using a belt to an actual fighting style that fans have referred to as "Belt Fu", with a talent for ensnaring objects and opponents with an ordinary men's belt that would make Indiana Jones proud.
- Arthur has an episode where Binky tries to teach ballet to D.W. When Binky's Tough Customer friends see him practicing ballet with a preschooler, he tries to defend it by saying that she was actually teaching her a martial art called "Kung Fu Young".
- The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program or MCMAP, also affectionately referred to as "Semper Fu". A play on the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps Semper Fidelis, which is shortened to Semper Fi.