Wushu is the accurate term for martial arts (武（wu）= martial & 术（ shu） = arts). It should be noted that “wu” by itself means fighting as in a military-based attack. But together, wushu represents the Chinese family of fighting styles whose movements are meaningful and purposeful.
The primary purpose of wushu was for survival whether it was for self-defense against human or animal aggressors, hunting and food gathering, or even to help protect oneself in extreme weather conditions. It was developed and honed by many notable Chinese Masters over many centuries who typically only chose one highly skilled and proficient individual to pass down the style and its ultimate secrets of success.
Modern wushu is taught for health, self-defense, competitions, and for film/TV stunts.
Here is an excellent video that not only discusses what Chinese Martial Arts consist of, but also compares it to the other two most popular martial arts taught in our area: Taekwondo and Karate: