Arts, Culture & Media

The push to make wushu an Olympic sport

Wushu is actually not one martial art, but many and its umbrella includes swordplay and tai chi. What they have in common says this wushu master is they require strength from the chi within. That master is teaching wushu to novices in this Beijing park. They drill kicks and chops and they dream of a day when they can win glory for China. this 13 year old has been doing wushu for over a year and hopes to one day compete in the Olympics. Chinese have been pushing for wushu to become an Olympic sport for a while now, and some even consider its exclusion to be a cultural affront because they consider judo and taekwondo to be derivative forms of wushu. The head of this wushu club says the karate of Japan was passed on from China and it's just that karate from other parts of the world have been marketed better and are therefore more well known globally. Wushu certainly has had its share of successful marketing from Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, and others. But this wushu master says the challenge is not just boosting wushu's familiarity but getting enough athletes from around the world up to a world class level and coming up with standardized forms of the discipline so it can be an Olympic competition. This wushu master also believes that as China opens to the world, so will the world open to wuhsu.

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