Wushu are popular terms that have become synonymous with Chinese martial arts. However the Chinese terms kung fu and wushu have very different meanings. Wushu can describe greatly varying martial arts traditions. Kung fu can be used in a context without any martial arts whatsoever. Colloquially, kung fu (or gung fu) alludes to any individual accomplishment or cultivated skill obtained by long and hard work. In contrast, wushu is a more precise term that refers to general martial activities. The term wushu has also become the name for a modern sport similar to gymnastics involving the performance of adapted Chinese bare-handed and weapons forms judged to a set of contemporary aesthetic criteria for points.
Wushu, also known as modern wushu or contemporary wushu, is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. It was created in the People's Republic of China after 1949, in an attempt to nationalize the practice of traditional Chinese martial arts. Most of the modern competition forms were formed from their parent arts (see list below) by government-appointed committee. In contemporary times, wushu has become a truly international sport through the International Wushu Federation (IWUF), which holds the World Wushu Championships every two years; the first World Championships were held in 1991 in Beijing and won by Clark Zhang.
Modern wushu is composed of two disciplines: taolu and sanda. Taolu forms are similar to gymnastics and involve 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 traditional Chinese martial art style 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 the some external styles to over five minutes for internal styles. Modern wushu competitors are increasingly training in aerial techniques such as 540 and 720 degree jumps and kicks to add more difficulty and style to their forms.
Sanda (sometimes called sanshou or Lei Tai) is a modern fighting method and sport influenced by traditional Chinese boxing, Chinese wrestling methods called Shuai Chiao and other Chinese grappling techniques such as Qin Na. It has all the combat aspects of wushu. Sanda appears much like kickboxing or Muay Thai, but includes many more grappling techniques. Sanda fighting competitions are often held alongside taolu or form competitions. (Credit: Wikipedia)
Chinese Wushu Association
Founded: November 1958
IWUF Member since: 1990
President: LI Zhijian
Secretary-General: YAN Jianchang
Add: 3 Anding Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
Tel: (+86 10) 64912233
Fax: (+86 10) 64912151
Scientif Research Commission
Business Development Commission
Traditional Martial Arts Commission
For the purpose of building up the people's health and carrying forward China's cultural heritage, the Chinese Wushu Association is making effort to promote the traditional martial arts of wushu, both at home and abroad. Seminars and competitions are held on a regular basis. Wushu masters and experts have unearthed and revived numerous ancient forms and routines and worked out a number of new ones - such as simplified taijiquan and changquan ABC - for wider participation. Wushu associations have been set up to govern this all-important sport for all and put it on a more solid and wholesome foundation for rapaid development.
International Wushu Federation (IWUF)