Students learn wushu at a martial arts center in Gangu county, Gansu province. The national wushu governing body has called for traditional Chinese martial arts to be incorporated into the school curriculum. Chen Bin / Xinhua
BEIJING, Sept. 16 — In a bid to attract more students to traditional Chinese martial arts, the sport’s national governing body is lobbying for it to be included in the school curriculum, allowing students to earn points towards the national college entrance examination.
Wushu covers a vast array of Chinese martial arts, including those forms of kung fu made famous by movie stars such as Bruce Lee and Jet Li. It has won over many foreign fans thanks to its dynamic moves and distinctive culture.
Yet the sport struggles to hold the attention of Chinese students, who show more interest in NBA stars.
To improve grassroots involvement, the General Administration of Wushu has drafted a proposal to introduce the martial art into the physical education curricula of China’s primary and secondary schools, while calling for favorable scoring policies in the entrance exam.
“How can we promote an age-old tradition globally without a solid fan base at home?” Gao Xiaojun, director of the wushu administration, asked during the 12th National Games in Shenyang, Liaoning province.
“Wushu won’t be able to survive if our next generation has no interest in it,” he warned. “We have to shift our focus from making it popular abroad to making it widely accepted and practiced by our youngsters.”
To make the martial art accessible for all, last month the governing body established the Chinese Wushu Duanwei System, a hierarchical system that evaluates practitioners’ qualifications, combat skills, theoretical knowledge and morality.
Popular styles such as changquan, taijiquan [db:内容2]