wushu success story
Chinese martial arts were introduced to the Filpino audience in 1936, when China sent her first Wushu group and basketball team to Manila. This was two years after the Philippines hosted the 1934 edition of Far Eastern Games– the swan song of the games.
The milestone visit saw the visitors perform exhibitions together with local Chinese martial arts groups composed mostly of southern stylists from Fujian. This event spurred interest in the legacy from the homeland among the local Chinese community, paving the way to the formation of some of the older Wushu schools in the country.
After World War II, there was a Chinese martial arts boom in the 1960s whereby the second-generation Wushu clubs were established. Sometime in 1976, the People’s Republic of China sent its first contemporary Wushu troupe to give an exhibition at the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The predominantly Filipino-Chinese capacity crowd was awed by the breath-taking movements of the performers. One little boy stood out, enthralling the spectators with his remarkable athleticism. The boy was destined to be a martial arts icon in real and reel life. He is known today as Jet Li, the actor.
In 1980, Guangdong-based Wushu group visited the country and dished out thrilling showings at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Not long after, the highly-entertaining contemporary Wushu caught the attention of the of the local Chinese martial arts enthusiasts.