I have had a desire to learn kung fu for a long time now and I am ready to begin. However, I've read that there is a lot of inner spirituality that is tied in with kung fu and so I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with this. I want to make sure that the beliefs don't contradict or interfere with Catholicism.
There is much imagery and traditional explanations in some forms of martial arts. It need not be used literally (if at all).
For example, a very straight foward martial artist (he was special forces in the USSR) used eastern martial artist methods with different explanations for various things. He didn't really care why it worked (although, he did, but the important thing was that certain imagery, breathing patterns, etc did actually have a real biological effect (and origin)), only that it did. The human mind is very complex and how it interacts with the body is not fully known. Some things are very simple as well.
The actual beliefs would contradict and be forbidden to accept, however, most martial artist communities don't have actual beliefs in that.
Wǔshù has its origins in actual combat, so training with this primary tradition would exclude any spiritualism that would be a problem.
But remember, if you are uncomfortable or unsure about something, reject it until you are sure it is ok.