In Chinese, wushu stands for martial methods and it is omnipresent in the culture of the People’s Republic of China. What was engineered by government-appointed committees as the archetypical Chinese martial art based on the full range of traditional self-defense techniques has developed into a highly competitive and international sport over a period of merely 50 years. Wushu athletes compete in two different events – “Taolu”, the forms, and “Sanshou”, the sparring. Taolu involves martial arts patterns and maneuvers for which the athletes are judged and awarded points. The forms include stances, kicks, punches, balances, jumps, sweeps and throws. In modern wushu, athletes are demonstrating aerial techniques such as 540 and 720-degree jumps and kicks to add more difficulty to their forms.
Sanshou is influenced by traditional Chinese boxing as well as Chinese wrestling. Its competitive history goes back to barehanded fights in which no rules existed. Developed above all by the military, Sanshou bouts were held between soldiers to test and practice barehanded techniques for combat. Rules were eventually developed and the use of protective gloves and helmets was adopted.
In 2013, wushu will be on the Invitational Sports Programme of The World Games for the second time; check the event calendar for details about when it is scheduled.
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The history of wushu by Wikipedia ...
In 1958, the government established the All-China Wushu Association as an umbrella organization to regulate martial arts training. The Chinese State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports took the lead in creating standardized forms for most of the major arts. During this period, a national Wushu system that included standard forms, teaching curriculum, and instructor grading was established. Wushu was introduced at both the high school and university level. In 1979, the State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports created a special task force to the teaching and practice of Wushu. In 1986, the Chinese National Research Institute of Wushu was established as the central authority for the research and administration of wushu activities in the People's Republic of China.
As one of the pioneers sees it ...
Born in 1944, before the founding of the People's Republic of China, Grandmaster Quan Yuanze received his first wushu training from traditional masters, then he rose to become one of the architects of modern wushu. In fact, he contributed so much to development of wushu as it is known today that the China Physical Culture and Sports Commission awarded him the title of "New Chinese Sports Pioneer" in 1985.
"Wushu is traditional stuff," says Quan Yuanze, the Grandmaster and Sports Pioneer. "It has a long history. And it has constantly changed to fit the current state of society. Some try to use 'competition' wushu to differentiate it from 'traditional' wushu. I don't agree with this. Competition wushu is a sport trying to get into the Olympics. We added some difficult movements because a new scoring system was needed. But how are you defining traditional wushu? If wushu forms are modified somewhat, can you still call it traditional? In reality, all martial arts are constantly evolving to meet modern demands."
More views held by the Grandmaster ...
"It is said, 'before you learn martial arts, you have to learn how to become a good person. No matter what you do, you have to learn morality.' This is not an empty saying. When I started learning at a very young age, my teachers taught me all they knew. They were not doing it for the money. In fact, their tuition was minimal. Why did they teach me more? Maybe it was because I was sincere and diligent. Another important thing is to learn how to respect others and how to get along with others. You need to develop a good personality." Statement by Grandmaster Quan Yuanze, courtesy of KUNGFU MAGAZINE.