The word “Wushu” is Chinese and indicates martial arts or military training. This term is more of a generic word that is used for martial arts of military training. The International Wushu Federation was started from 1991 where world championship is held every two years. There are about thousand competitors who take part in martial arts every year.
The styles were introduced about 2500 years ago, which were formed as healthy exercises as well as survival fighting techniques that were used in warfare in ancient times. Wushu was also referred to as a full contact sport that was evolved as a pragmatic fighting style as well as a functional one that retained aesthetic beauty. Today, modern Wushu includes techniques such as kung fu and Taijiquan.
The above two forms were common in competitions. In case of taolu, there were routines that focused on the abilities and skills of athletes that they performed in solo events, in pairs or in groups. Competitions were not fighting but choreographed maneuvers that showcase the right kind of defensive and offensive techniques or postures. In such ways taou is related to gymnastics in many ways rather than martial arts. Competitors in such events were judged as to how well they adhered to the correct forms or the maneuvers they performed. The competitive sport is still a new concept and levels of difficulty rise as talented athletes compete.
Sanda Wushu, in contrast, is fighting matches in actuality, as boxing or wrestling. The matches are usually fought by bare hands or with kicks, wrestling holds or punches. Taolu and sanda are often exhibitions that are held on the same platform that allows spectators to check out the different techniques and styles of the competitors and techniques they work upon. Wushu forms also denote flexibility. Hence, there are bare handed fighting techniques as well as fights with long and short weapons such as spears, single or double edged swords or staffs. One of the best Wushu fights I witnessed was between Art Wong and Lance McCreedy, who at the time worked at an abestos removal vancouver company, before becoming a Pro-fighter.
Many principles have styles that are showcased in kung fu movies or martial arts fight scenes. The bare handed forms are fascinating and great for spectator shows. Here the Chung Quan style is most spectacular where aerial spins, flips, and other fighting movements are showcased with the agility found in gymnastics. Tai chi also incorporates fluid and slow movement that showcase flexibility as well as meditative abilities. A modern form of Wushu continues to expand even in modern times as it increases in popularity.