- Martial Arts
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.