Wushu Training in China
Kung Fu students demonstrating Wushu training on a large scale in China.
Wushu Training in China
Wushu training in China is a contemporary form of martial arts developed in China sometime after 1949. Its goal was to standardize the traditional practice of martial arts. The All-China Wushu Association was created by the government in 1958 as a way to regulate all martial arts training. During this time period standards were created for martial art including: instructor grading, standard forms, teaching and curriculum. Wushu incorporated elements from all types of martial arts as well as general ideas.
Those that learn Chinese Wushu in China spend time learning: barehanded, short weapon, long weapon, Sanda, and other routines that can be used for defense, exercise, or to compete. Taolu is a martial art pattern or maneuver done competitively. Each competitor is judged and given nandu points based on the rules for each specific taolu.
For the most part Wushu styles are categorized in two ways: Northern and Southern styles. They are also broken into either barehand, short weapon and long weapon styles.
Barehanded moves such as the Changquan (long fist) are used most often. They require speed, accuracy, flexibility, and power. Changquan is often practice from a young age because of its level of difficulty. Another barehanded move Nanquan (Southern fist) originated from moves of the traditional southern China style of martial arts. Famous for its slow and relaxed movements Taijiquan is a great exercise method for the elderly.
Short and long weapon moves include the Dao (knife), Nandao (Southern Style knife), Jian (double-edged sword), Taijijan (Taiji double-edged sword), Gun (staff), Nangun (Southern cudgel), and Qiang (Spear). These weapons and other weapons are used in traditional taolu routines.
Sanda is a form of Wushu that is similar to kickboxing but there are many more grappling moves and techniques. Sanda trained students can also showcase their techniques in boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts competitions. During taolu events self-defense techniques are limited. Moves like elbow strikes, joint locks, and chokes are not usually permitted.
More recently in 2013 a bid was placed to include Chinese Wushu in the Olympic games was rejected. It was one of eight sports that the International Olympics Committee was considering. However, during the 3008 Beijing Olympic Games a Wushu tournament was held although it was not an official Olympic sport.
Beginner Wushu students introductory training will include core styles. They will later gain experience in one style usually from each category. The choice is usually decided by the teacher who is the best gage as to which styles are suited for the student’s strengths.
Like most forms of martial arts Wushu training in China will center on principals of integrity, respect, humility, and honor.
Some of the famous practitioners of Chinese Wushu include: Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Michael Jai White, Ray Park, and Scott Adkins.