Blog by- Plaban Pratim Saikia

Wushu is one of the oldest contact sport and is one of the two forms that represents Chinese Martial arts, the other being Kung Fu. Wushu comprises of two categories- Taolu and Sanda. Taolu involves martial art patterns and maneuvers for which competitors are judged and given points according to specific rules. The forms comprise basic movements (stances, kicks, punches, balances, jumps, sweeps, and throws) based on aggregate categories of traditional Chinese martial art styles, and can be changed for competitions to highlight one’s strengths. Competitive forms have time limits that can range from 1 minute, 20 seconds for some external styles, to over five minutes for internal styles. Modern wushu competitors are increasingly training in aerial techniques such as 540-, 720-, and even 900-degree jumps and kicks, to add more difficulty and style to their forms.Sanda, on the other hand, is a form of boxing. It is a modern fighting method and sport influenced by traditional Chinese boxing, Chinese wrestling methods called Shuai Jiao, and other Chinese grappling techniques such as Chin Na. It contains boxing, kicks, and wrestling. It has all the combat aspects of wushu. Sanda appears much like Kickboxing or Muay Thai, or MMA but includes many more grappling techniques. Sanda fighting competitions are often held alongside taolu, or form competitions.This primitive Martial art has an unbroken chain of evolution from the beginning of China’s five thousand years old history, till today. Between, the 3rd and 6th century A.D., Wushu came under the influence of Buddhism and Taoism, which elevated it from the position of a warrior art into a deeply meditative art form.

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Wushu came to India due to the dedicated efforts of Late Shri Anand Kacker. Mr. Kacker was also the founder General Secretary of the Wushu Association of India which was established in the year 1989. Many prestigious institutions like Army Sports Control Board, Assam Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force, SSB are affiliated units of Wushu. The game, its governing body, has been given approval from the Govt of India, the Olympic Committee, and military, Paramilitary forces.

Wushu is not considered as one of the popular sports in India and hence news related toRelated image it is generally passed off. But recently great news came from the Wushu World Championship which was held in Russia. Pooja Kadian, an Indian Wushu player scripted history when she became the first Indian to win a gold medal in World Championship. She defeated Evgeniya Stepanova, of Russia in the 75kg women’s Sanda category. She was not the lone medal winner from the Indian contingent. Four other Indians namely Rameshchandra Singh Moirangthem, Bhanu Pratap Singh, Rajinder Singh and Arunpama Devi Keisham bagged bronze medals. Overall India came 12th in the competition. Coming from a land where people do not have much knowledge about the sport, such a performance is worthy of huge applaud.

Players like Pooja Kadian have shown that with true grit and determination one can achieve anything in life. Although India lacks some of the necessary facilities required for the sport, these players have proved that all we need is hard work and dedication. As Martin Luther King Jr. said “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do”. Indeed. It is the love for this sport that these players kept on going during hard times and that love has now reaped benefits.

But the progress of the sport should not stop here. This performance should be considered as stepping stone and work must be done to promote this sport on a larger scale. India aims to be capture more medals at the Olympics and for that to happen, it needs to develop other sports. Wushu, though, till now has not been included in the Olympics. Steps are taken to include it in Paris Olympics of 2024. Hence this time should be taken as an opportunity to develop and promote this sport in this country. Sportspersons like Pooja Kadian are the true pride of the nation and their achievement should be cherished and not let go in vain.

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