The sport of 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 by government-appointed committees. In contemporary times, wushu has become an international sport through the International Wushu Federation (IWUF), which holds the World Wushu Championships every two years.
Competitive wushu is composed of two disciplines: taolu (forms) and sanda (sparring). Taolu 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 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 and 720 degree jumps and kicks to add more difficulty and style to their forms.
Wushu can be seen in almost all action movies today, promoted by the likes of Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and Chow Yun Fat, amongst others.
How Did the Club Begin?
The University of Oregon Wushu Club was formed in 1994 by Coach Daniel Wu to promote Wushu in the United States, and specifically at the collegiate level. The UO Wushu Club operates under the University of Oregon Club Sports organization and is run by students and volunteers.
Club members work together to provide a positive atmosphere for training. Club meetings are characterized by intense workouts with a focus on the fundamentals of Wushu including cardio, basics and forms.
The club makes frequent trips up and down the West Coast to participate in both Collegiate Wushu competitions and other Wushu related competitions. The team also participates in campus and community cultural events such as demos at the EMU Amphitheatre, Eugene’s annual Asian Celebration, and the campus held Chinese New Year’s event. In addition to performance and competition, club members form close friendships and participate in social events outside of the club.
The club is free and open to all students and staff of the university. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about wushu and come by practice!