As a competitive sport, wushu consists of two categories: sanda and taolu. For more information regarding the rules and regulations, refer to the International Wushu Federation website: {add link}.

Sanda literally translates into ‘boxing’, and is a full body contact sport. Competitors are grouped according to weight classes, and protective equipment is worn to minimize injuries. Competitors aim to score points by using a variety of wushu attacks to land hits. Certain attacks are prohibited (e.g. elbows), as are attacks on certain body areas (e.g. neck).

Due to the vast variety of wushu schools and taolu, competitive wushu has standardized taolu in terms of accepted styles, duration and moves, etc. Competitors practice their taolu in front of judges, who award points on the basis of the quality and difficulty of the taolu.

Competitive taolu consists of the following major categories:

Bare Hand

  • Changquan (long fist) – a style that incorporates elements from the ‘northern’ styles, Changquan has characteristic sharp and lengthy movements, and consists of a lot of kicks and leaps. [insert demo video]
  • Nanquan (southern fist) – a style that incorporates elements from the ‘southern’ styles, Nanquan features short and compact movements, and consists of rapid punches, firm stances, and employ shouting to demoralise opponents. [insert demo video]
  • Taijiquan – a highly characteristic style that is based on the principles of Yin and Yang, Taijiquan movements are slow and soft and constantly flowing in flux. [link to Taiji page]

Short Weapons

  • Broadsword (dao) – also known as the ‘general of all weapons’, the broadsword is one of the earliest military weapons. The blade is designed for cutting, and is thick and heavy. Broadsword taolu feature powerful cuts and quick movements. [insert pic + demo video]
  • Sword (jian) – also known as the ‘scholar of all weapons’, the sword is known for its elegance, and is considered an advanced weapon that requires much agility and precision. It is thinner and lighter than the broadsword, allowing it to stab and target chinks in the armour. Sword taolu feature much light but stable footwork and wrist twirls to confuse the opponent. [insert pic + demo video]

Long Weapons

  • Staff (gun) – also known as the ‘father of all weapons’, the staff is generally the first practiced weapon due to its practicality and commonness in everyday life. A core technique is the smooth changing in holding the staff to suit different situations. Staff taolu feature wide-sweeping and fierce movements. [insert pic + demo video]
  • Spear (qiang) – also known as the ‘king of all weapons’, the spear is always seen in the military for its deadly use. The spear was evolved from the staff, and retains many of its principles, along with some unique uses of its own. Spear taolu feature wide-sweeping twirls and powerful stabs. [insert pic + demo video]

Traditional wushu is the foundation of modern wushu. They have retained most of the individual styles and moves from the different schools. [insert demo video]

  • Mimicry styles – Eagle Claw Style, Monkey Style, Mantis Style, Drunken Style, etc.
  • Internal styles – Baziquan, Xingyi, Bagua, etc.