Many Singapore Wushu coaches have combined sports science with the Chinese Martial Arts, incorporating the understanding of human body dynamics into Singapore Wushu. The way Wushu is taught in Singapore today is parallel to the way many young Singaporeans are brought up, compulsory education with strong emphasis in Science. The teaching method is also possibly influenced by Singapore’s ambition to be the Top Science Hub, with Science being a widely accepted form for explanations in many areas of interest, including Wushu.
Sports Science in Singapore Wushu often teaches human body dynamics, sports safety and training efficiency, promoting maximum performance. It is used to explain general body structure and alignment, reducing impacts of jump landings and in turn, reducing injury sustained during sports. It also teaches the importance of hydration and over working your muscle groups, ensuring health safety and preventing long term injuries. Training and understand on body metabolism and momentum ensures that each training session is as efficient as possible with the aim to achieve maximum performance in the shortest amount of time. Sports Science also talks about mind over body, mental perseverance that is very important to competitive practitioners.
The increased scientific understanding of the human body and modern implementation of the knowledge have blurred the lines between Sports Wushu and Traditional Wushu in Singapore. While there is greater emphasis of Sports Science in Sports Wushu, some Traditional Singapore Wushu teachers have lso accepted and adapted the idea and implemented it in their trainings, modernizing teaching and training methods.
However, other teachers of Traditional Wushu rail against Sport Science implementation in their teachings and maintained the traditional method of training – doing simple repetitive movements until it becomes part of the body memory and the practitioners’ Wushu essence. Traditional Wushu comes in many different styles, all usually passed down from teacher to disciple like an heirloom, with the best technique reserved only for family members and close disciple. In terms of ideals, Traditional Wushu emphasize on the technique, style and essence of the particular form itself and advocates long term training and hard work as an admirable value. Time is needed to train and understand the unique power generation and fighting technique of the style. Achieving one’s best in the shortest time possible is often seen as rash and mulish.
Although Sports Wushu originated from the Traditional Wushu, it places greater emphasis on speed, beauty, flexibility and the standard completion of a routine within a standard timeframe. Essence and style is no longer of importance as speed and beauty takes over. This is where the two forms of Wushu in Singapore often clash. In terms of teaching style, often times when a Traditional Singapore Wushu teacher implements sport science, the debate is that he or she has turned the traditional form to the modern sports form.
With all due respect to the verdict, what we think is that as long as a Tradition Singapore Wushu teacher retains the emphasis of the style’s essence, implementing Sports Science would aid the practitioner to better portray the style’s essence and maintain optimum physical form. A strict balance and understanding is then needed to retain traditional virtues of Wushu.
What is your opinion? Does implementing Sports Science turns a Traditional Wushu form into Sports Wushu? Share with us your thoughts!
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