Wushu

Wushu Gold medal winner China’s Fan Lin performs during the women’s Nanquan Nandao All-Round of the Wushu event at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

Summary

Wushu is the offspring of ancient Chinese martial arts and its techniques comprise of different traditional combative fighting styles. It is the outcome of continuous efforts taken by different institutes to bring various martial arts under one roof. The efforts had begun since as early as 1928, when Central Guoshu Institute was established in 1928 at Nanking. It is often considered as a twin of Kung Fu, only that it is a more spectacular event, and a full contact combat sport.

History / Origins

ETYMOLOGY

The art which is a blend of various martial arts was deemed fit to be called simply a ‘martial art’. This is what ‘Wushu’ in Chinese translates to:

  • wu’ – means military or martial
  • shu’ – means art

BEGINNINGS

Unification of different fight forms had long been thought worthy of a try and by the 1958, with government efforts, All China Wushu Association was formed to regulate the training of the martial arts. During this period scripts were written defining the training curriculums, the standard forms and other instructions. The dynamic art of Wushu was given further boost when it was introduced at high school and university levels. Various forms and styles were incorporated and they implemented soft, hard, external, and internal concepts. Ideologies and techniques from schools like Shaolin, Wudang, Taiji, and others were also brought together under one umbrella. In 1979 the martial art got further patronage when a special task force was created by the ‘State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports’ to spread the teachings and practice of Wushu. Later the Chinese National Research Institute of Wushu was formed in 1986 to carry out the administrative and research work of this combat art.

PRESENT DAY

The changing times and indifferent government policies lead to the closure of State Sports Commission, the central sports authority, in 1998. To keep up with the new sociological aspects of China and to keep the spirit of the martial art alive, both in its traditional and modern styles, the task was entrusted to ‘International Wushu Federation’ (IWUF). And it accomplishes it by organizing World Wushu Championships every 2 years. The event was held for the first time in Beijing in 1991.

There are two different distinctive forms of Wushu competitions which are organized, one being ‘taolu’ (forms) and other being ‘sanda’ (sparring). Taolu are coordinated imaginary predesigned movements which exhibit how to fend off any imaginary attack. The competitions have either preset routines which practitioners have to execute, or they can be self created maneuvers of the practitioners. Points are awarded according to the eligible difficulty level.

Wushu competitions also feature dual events called duilian, which can be performed by sparring with weapons or without them, but they can be fought bare handed as well. The dual events offer some spectacular acrobatics to watch as their maneuvers are well choreographed. There are also group events called jiti, where groups of people perform in a synchronized manner with music playing in the background.

FOLKLORE

During the second half of the 20th century lived a classical contemporary Wushu fighter named Zhao Changjun. But with Jet Li also being in the arena during those times, it was the situation of two swords and one scabbard. At the 1978 Men’s Long-fist competition, Jet Li was better than Zaho Changjun and secured the first place. It was a close affair, and Zhao’s slightly-off pinkies were blamed for him losing the gold medal.

After Jet Li chose the movie world as his second career, the field was wide open for Zaho Changjun to rule to roost, which he did in national Wushu competitions during the 1980s. He was proficient in contemporary and traditional Wushu, as well as in Daoshu, Ditang Quan, and Gunshu. These techniques were termed as ‘Zhao’s Three Unique’. Apart from them, Zaho Changjun had another fighting art in his arsenal, Cha quan, which is a traditional Muslim Wushu art. Carrying on his romance with Wushu even after his retiring in 1987, he opened up a Wushu school.

[nggallery id="48823" nggid="3"]
Discipline
flag
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: China
TIME OF ORIGIN: c.1958
PRACTISED:
FOUNDERS:

FOCUS: 

Striking, Weaponry, Performance

ALSO KNOWN AS: -
PARENTHOOD:

Ancient Chinese Martial Arts

DESCENDANTS:

OLYMPIC SPORT: No

NOTABLE FEMALE PRATITIONERS

NOTABLE MALE PRATITIONERS

Discipline
flag
NATIONALITY:
DATE OF BIRTH:
AGE:
BORN:

RESIDENCE: -
ALSO KNOWN AS: -
OCCUPATION:

Striking, Weaponry, Performance

JOB TITLE:

Ancient Chinese Martial Arts

RELATED FEMALE INDIVIDUALS

RELATED MALE INDIVIDUALS

Discipline
flag
COUNTRY: China
LOCATION: -
FOUNDED: c.1958
OPERATIONAL:
FOUNDERS:

ALSO KNOWN AS: -
SECTOR:

Striking, Weaponry, Performance

DESCRIPTION:

Ancient Chinese Martial Arts

WEBSITE: -

ACOSSIATED INDIVIDUALS

ACOSSIATED ATHLETES

Practices

PHILOSOPHY

Wushu beholds in-depth philosophical values and is based on deep human psychological and emotional factors. The techniques of Wushu are a treasure house of physical defense mechanisms. They are meant to keep practitioners physically fit, prevent illnesses and enable them to live a longer life. Wushu principles implore human morality and behavior and emphasize the need to make practitioners honorable and ethical. This set of values is a cultural treasure for the Chinese.

TECHNIQUES

This section needs collaborators. If you want to contribute, please email info@awakeningfighters.com

TRAINING

This section needs collaborators. If you want to contribute, please email info@awakeningfighters.com

RANKS & GRADING

This section needs collaborators. If you want to contribute, please email info@awakeningfighters.com

WEIGHT CLASSES

This section needs collaborators. If you want to contribute, please email info@awakeningfighters.com

Rules / Rulesets

RULES / RULESETS

Ideally a Wushu competition is conducted by a chief referee, and 3 assistant chief referees. Also, there is a group of judges which comprises of 1 head judge and 5-7 judges, which include scorer and time-keeper. Upon calling of their names for the competition, the participants begin the proceeding by greeting the head judge with ‘palm and fist salute’, and after the judge’s nod the event begins. After the end of a bout the head judge announces the winner based upon the point system, the highest score being 10 points. The quality of the maneuvers can fetch 6 points, while 1/10th of a point can be deducted for slight incorrect coordination of movements and stances.

Organisations & Historical Places

ORGANISATIONS

(If you are interested in having your organisation listed, please contact us at info@awakeningfighters.com)

HISTORICAL PLACES

This section needs collaborators. If you want to contribute, please email info@awakeningfighters.com

Popular Culture

POPULAR CULTURE

The movie world was often attracted by the fascinating Wushu world and Jet Li is one such example of this tendency. He was a skilled Wushu practitioner and held the title of National Wushu Champion of China. That was enough for him to be handed over the screen space in the movie Shaolin Temple, where he exhibited his martial art skills. Hence began his successful career in the movies.

Jade Xu is another name from the Wushu world which crept over to the glamour of the movie world. She became a celebrity in the martial arts when she swept the World Championships thrice in a row. She also secured first and second place in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the gun/staff and dao/broadsword respectively. Then the offers for roles in movies like Tai Chi O and Tai Chi Hero began pouring in and a successful Wushu practitioner was transformed into a successful actress.

Useful Links

USEFUL LINKS

Links coming soon

References

REFERENCES

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wushu_(sport)
  2. http://en.olympic.cn/china_oly/culture_art/2003-11-27/19230.html

COLLABORATORS

No Collaborators found

Contact

CONTACT

Leave a Reply