Wushu Insights by Mark Sangiao


After having the POC-PSC National Wushu Championship 2013 held last May 28-31, 2013 at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila; the Wushu Federation Philippines is going to be busy again these coming months in preparation for the next big event in Asian Wushu.

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The Philippines is going to host the 7th Asian Junior Wushu Championship to be held at the Makati Coliseum, Makati, Philippines on August 8-11, 2013. This event is going to be attended by Wushu participants from 21 different countries all over Asia.  The Asian Junior Wushu Championship is a competition held every two years and there will be two events in the competition: Taolu and Sanda.

Wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. It was developed in China. The term wushu is Chinese for “martial arts”. “Wu” means military or martial and “Shu” means art. Taolu and Sanda are the two disciplines of competitive wushu.

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Taolu are the forms and involve martial arts pattern and manoeuvres for which competitors are judged and given points according to specific rules. The forms comprise basic movements such as stances, kicks, punches, balances, jumps, sweeps and throws based on aggregate categories of traditional Chinese martial arts styles and can be changed for competitions to highlight one’s strengths.

One famous celebrity that most people know who practiced Taolu is Jet Li. At the age of 8, he began learning wushu. At the age of 11, Jet Li won his first national championship and as a result, he travelled to more than 45 countries as part of Beijing Wushu Team. In 1974, he became the All-Around National Wushu Champion, a title he held for the five consecutive years.

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He retired from wushu at the age of 19 and went through acting martial arts films which include some of the greatest martial arts films of all times such as the Shaolin Temple, Kiss of a Dragon, Romeo and Juliet, ONE, Hero, Fearless and others. But one can never forget him playing Wong Fei-hung in the two sequels of Once Upon a time in China, where he played the legendary hero who fights against foreigners in this 19th century tale.

Sanda on the other hand, which is also called Sanshou, is a modern fighting method and sport influenced by traditional Chinese boxing,  Chinese wrestling methods and other Chinese grappling techniques. It has all the combat aspects of wushu. Sanda appears much like kickboxing or muay thai, but includes some wrestling techniques.

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This is what we practice. This is what we master. Not everyone knows that Sanda is an all-around combative sport, because it involves striking and wrestling techniques. So all we have to do is add more knowledge from other disciplines to enhance the combinations. We have to add up western wrestling techniques, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Japanese judo and other specialties from different martial arts which originated from other countries. But basically, wushu almost has it all except the grappling aspect.

In connection with Sanda or Sanshou competitions, I am again proud to announce the success of Benjie Rivera, one of a members of the Philippine National Team who is from Baguio and Benguet. He won the Chinese Fighting Championship against his Turkish opponent which was held in Shaanxi, Xian, China last June 14 to 16, 2013. Two out of our five members from the Wushu Philippine National Team won over their opponents. Another win was by Francis Solis from Ilo-ilo defeating his Chinese foe. Jessie Aligaga, Dembert Arcita and Jean Claude Saclag unfortunately all lost to their Chinese opponents.

Photos of Filipino Wushu Fighters who won in the recent

Photos of Filipino Wushu Fighters who won in the recent Chinese Fighting Championship

This win adds to the Wushu-Sanshou record of wins given by our fellow Cordillerans such Mark Eddiva, Eduard Folayang, Rexel Nganhayna, Rolly Chulhang, Jerome Calica, Jerome Lumabas, Roger Chulhang, Jason Domingo, Ronald Bingwaoel, Benito Amado, Michael Humiding, Joel Nganhayna, Joseph Pasiwat, Dare Malecdan, George Lusadan, Erik Kelly,  Mario Bey-agan, Ricky Luken, Mariane Mariano, Rhea May Rifani, Jennifer Lagilag, Dolly Andres and yours truly, among others, who are World, Asian and SEA games medalists.

With all these information, I hope to have shared some of the important insights for our readers to understand more about wushu. We wish to continue letting everybody know about this sport and one of our commitments as Wushu International Judge and Coach and as members of the Wushu Federation Philippines, is to produce quality athletes who can compete among all the best in the sport not only in the country but in Asia and the world. This is what we are training for, aside of course for MMA. This is why we have scholars. To put wushu on the map of competitive sports. This is one reason why we have our Team Lakay Wushu-Xanda and MMA Eliminations and Championships. We hope to produce competitive and quality athletes before we let them step-up to higher competitions.

Our next Team Lakay Wushu Xanda and MMA Championship is going to be on November. So we prepare our athletes for this. Athletes from other gyms from all around the Philippines are welcome to submit their participants if they want to take part in this event. We welcome them to come have a healthy competition with us. As I always say, this is for the benefit of the athletes and for the promotion of the sport and we join everyone who has the same advocacy and dream as ours.