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weightlifting and Dancing

2003-11-16 09:59:00 COC Website

    A great variety of contests of strength have been recorded in Chinese history books. As early as the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States periods (770 -221 BC), two forms of contest called "qiao guan" and "kang ding" had taken shape. "Qiao guan" was a kind of weightlifting in which "guan, "a heavy door bar, was lifted by a man grasping it by one end with a single hand. In "kang ding," a meat -cooking vessel, or "ding," was lifted by holding its two loop handles. "Kang ding" was most widely practised in the State of Qin, where a famous muscle man named Wuhuo reportedly lifted a vessel weighing 500 kilograms. Professional" kang ding" activities began to appear in the Han Dynasty (206 BC -AD 220), along with other forms of weightlifting such as pulling up a tree and lifting a deer. "Qiao guan" remained in vogue up till the Tang Dynasty (618 -907), but it was then no longer a contest of strength among imperial court warriors. Instead, it became a subject of cadet examinations, and door bars were replaced by weights that were made according to pre- scribed specifications. Stone objects weighing 100, 125 and 150 kilograms came into use in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644 -1911) dynasties. As stone objects were easy to make and popularize, weightlifting using stone locks and stone bars became a traditional sport among the populace.

    In ancient times dancing was inseparably linked with sports. Even today there are certain similarities between the two.

    Ancient Chinese dances were meant for both recreational and physical training purposes. according to historical records, the humid climate at the time of the Tribe of Yin Kang between 5000 and 4000 BC caused many people to suffer from atrophy and so dances were created to exercise joints and ward off disease.

    Dances were performed as a rite in slave society. They prospered both in variety and style during the Western and Eastern Jin and the Southern and Northern dynasties (AC 265 -580), when highly difficult stunts such as the wrestler's bridge, split of the legs. and lifting of a partner were developed. These played an important part in the evolution of certain movements in some sports events which appeared in later periods, such as gymnastics and martial arts, The Sui and Tang Dynasties (581- 907) were the golden age of ancient dances. Some Tang dances were closely integrated with sports.

    In the Tang Dynasty, there was a kind of group dancing that was designed to perform various patterns on the floor. To the accompaniment of music, dancers moved around to form different Chinese character with auspicious meanings, in a way similar to group callisthenics of modern times.

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