Wushu dominates East Asian Games

Sensei Post in Events & Holidays

Olympic event boxing isn’t here, but you won’t miss bloody fights and gravity-defying action in the East Asian Games. Out of 17 medal sports in the Macao Games, three are about fighting: wushu, or Chinese kungfu, karate and taekwondo. Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li have made Chinese martial arts better known to the world and these movie stars have helped wushu become a serious sport. Asian martial arts account for nearly one-fifth of the 234 goldmedals up for grabs in Macao. Wushu has 19 as the third gold-richest sport in the East Asian Games, after swimming/diving (52) and athletics (45). Macao had its first pay day for its costly nine-year preparation for the games as wushu master Huang Yanhui won the games’ first gold medal from the women’s Nanquan, or southern boxing.
More golds are set to come from wushu and dragon boat races although it had won only one gold from the previous three editions. The 24-year-old Huang dazzled the audience and the judges with a fast and furious display of southern Chinese fist fighting to hold off her five rivals. Wushu derives from a wide variety of ancient Chinese martial arts with a distinctive oriental culture and can be traced back to 3000B.C.. As a sport, wushu is composed of two disciplines: Taolu (routines) and Sanshou (combat). Wushu combined a unique competitiveness with healthy values and as such, the sport has developed internationally. In 1990, the International Wushu Federation was established and four years later it was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). IOC President Jacques Rogge has told Beijing Olympic organizers that wushu would not be part of the 2008 program. But to comfort the Chinese, who have been trying for the past decade to persuade the IOC to accept wushu as an official Olympic event, Rogge said there will be an international wushu competitionorganized by the Beijing Olympic organizers.

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