Wu Shu

By Clementine G.

During my trip to China, I have constantly been learning new things about Chinese Culture and Language. I am interested in many aspects of Chinese culture but I have learned a lot about one specific aspect: Wu Shu. The Chinese movies we have seen have broadened my knowledge about the subject. Before this trip, I only knew about Kong Fu, which is the Cantonese term Westerners use for Wu Shu. I didn’t know that in the 1960’s, the Chinese government gathered some masters of various styles of martial arts to modernized and synthesized one style so that Wu Shu could be considered a national sport.

Throughout Fearless, I have learned that Wu Shu is more than just a sport. The core of the art is the gracefulness and perfection, not the glory of the winner.  I have been amazed about how Westerners misunderstand Chinese Martial Arts. Most of the Americans believe that Wu Shu would be used for fights and competitions, but it has another significance to Chinese people. Wu Shu is based on the art and mindset. We can see this through the character of Huo Yuanjia in Fearless. After having a troublesome childhood, this character learns Wu Shu by himself so he could avenge his father. When his luck changes and he is forced to move to the countryside, Huo Yuanjia slowly realizes the true purpose of Wu Shu. He finally understands that Wu Shu is a peaceful sport and is meant to show skill.

Recently, there has been a big controversy on whether Wu Shu should become an official sport at the Olympics. I believe that if Wu Shu became the official 27th sport, American’s would have a better understanding of Martial Arts. People would not base their knowledge about Wu Shu on Kong Fu movies and unrealistic martial arts. By talking of personal experience, I believe that it would help clear the misunderstanding that affects most of the American people.


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