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How to develop wushu into a global art form

By Xu Xiaodong | China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-13 07:27

Scandals involving wushu, or traditional Chinese martial arts, have hit the headlines recently. Some so-called wushu masters have even claimed that they have the ability to keep people in good health. They include "tai chi master" Yan Fang, "traditional Chinese medicine master" Zhang Wuben and "qigong master" Wang Lin, who were later exposed as frauds. The scandals and false claims of these "masters" have made many Chinese wary of wushu and its practice.

There is little doubt that practicing wushu helps a person keep physically fit. As an old saying goes, written characters are highly valued in peacetime while wushu skills are important during turbulent days. Even in these days of deadly weapons, martial arts are essential for military personnel, because they not only help them maintain physical fitness, but also teach them survival techniques on the battlefront.

Wushu developed with the changes in dynasties in ancient and medieval China. The late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), in particular, saw the emergence of many wushu masters - such as Dong Haichuan, founder of Eight Diagrams Palm, and Yang Luchan, a leading tai chi master - who glorified the spirit of "building up the nation and its people".

How to develop wushu into a global art form

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