2018 Tanzania International Wushu Competition Concludes

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania [Time]    2018-09-17 14:18:11 

On September 1 and 2, local time, the 2018 Tanzania International Wushu Competition was held at the National Stadium of Tanzania. The competition was sponsored by the Ministry of Information, Culture Arts, and Sports of Tanzania, and the Chinese Embassy in the country, and organized by the Tanzanian Wushu Association and the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam.

Theevent attracted 214 athletes from 24 martial arts clubs spanning Zambia, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, etc. It consisted of collective events, routine events and Sanda. The routine events involved Changquan (long boxing), Taijiquan (Taiji Boxing), Nanquan, Shaolinquan (Shaolin Boxing), Taiji sword, sword, knife, spear, cudgel, traditional boxing, traditional equipment, training etc. The competition had adult and teenage groups.

Contestants all contributed to a spectacular display of performances. The teenage group was the spotlight with its youngest member being only eight years old. In the competition, the small players showed great momentum with standard moves, winning rounds of applause.

The scene of free fighting competition

The debut of the teenage group

Contestant performing long boxing

During the competition, Salum, a representative of the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam, won the gold medal in the three events of training, long boxing and spear, and was the highest scorer in the competition. He said, “I like martial arts very much. I was young when I started practicing martial arts and so far I have been practicing for ten years. I will work even harder in the future.”

Salum (second from right) and Brighton (first from left)

Brighton of the Dodoma Martial Arts Club came to the competition on his own and performed Shaolin Boxing in a cassock-style martial arts costume. His superb techniques drove the audience to cheers, consequently winning him gold. In addition, he also won the silver medal in the sabreplay competition.

Brighton showing knife sabreplay

Mary was the only female player of the Zambian team. In the long boxing competition, she made powerful punches, and was able to couple hardness with softness, winning herself a bronze medal.

Mary performing long boxing

Anastazia came from the Tanzanian Shaolin Peace Kungfu Team and brought her 8-year-old daughter and a one-and-a-half-year-old son to watch the game. She said that martial arts has made her healthier and her daughter has been studying martial arts for more than a year. Next year, she will let her son learn martial arts as well and also hopes that in the future, she will have the opportunity to send her children to Shaolin Temple in China to study martial arts.

A representative team from the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam won the first place in team competition with 6 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals. The Zambian Martial Arts Team and the Tanzanian Shaolin Peace Kungfu Team won the second and third prize in the group.

Team of the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam

At the closing ceremony, Mark, President of Rwanda Martial Arts Association, Mwarami, President of the Tanzanian Wushu Association, Mutembei, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam, Li Rusong, President of Zambian Chinese Martial Arts Association, and Zhang Bing, Representative of the Cultural Office of the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania, delivered speeches one after another and jointly presented awards to the individual winners and groups.

The awarding ceremony

In his speech, Zhang Bing congratulated the players upon their outstanding achievements and hoped their Kungfu would be better and better, and try to strive for better results in next year’s competition. He said that martial art is a valuable cultural heritage of the Chinese nation and the process of learning Chinese martial arts is a process of comprehending Chinese culture. He hoped that more and more African people will learn martial arts in the future.

Mutembei said that martial arts has no borders and compared it to Chinese language, uniting the African people and Chinese people.

In their speech, Marc, Mwarami and Li Rusong said that martial arts is beneficial for physical and mental health and is also conducive to uniting people of all countries. Martial arts competition is a good opportunity for martial arts enthusiasts to learn, interchange and communicate. “Making friends with Wushu” is the actual significance of holding martial arts competitions.

Besides, Mwarami also pointed out that there is currently no national martial arts team in Tanzania and he hoped to select some outstanding players from this competition and form the Tanzania National Wushu Team, thus better inheriting the martial arts spirit and carrying out martial arts activities.

Some staff of the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam

As the organizer of the competition, the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam has exquisitely organized and carefully prepared to promote its smooth progress. At the closing ceremony, the Dragon and Lion Dance Team of the Confucius Institute presented a wonderful dragon and lion dance performance, delighting the audience. Guo Shoujing, a martial arts teacher at the Confucius Institute, believes that martial arts competition is also about exchanges. “Martial art is the embodiment of the Chinese spirit and in the process of promoting it, we must not only impart martial arts skills, but also let African people feel the martial arts spirit with the essence of Chinese national culture”.

Lion dance show by the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam

Dragon Dance Show being performed by the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam

Talking with each other amid airborne knives, the martial arts masters made friends. As a crucial way for China to communicate with the world, Chinese martial arts are increasingly welcomed by people from all over the world and will make greater contributions to building a harmonious world.

Story and photos by: Zhang Liping