On the afternoon of November 19, 2021, sponsored by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and organized by the School of International Education, Shanghai University of Sport (SUS), the "SUS Online Wushu Training Program for High-level Wushu Coaches along the One Belt, One Road Regions" (hereinafter referred to as SUS Online Wushu Training Program), was successfully concluded at the Sports Exchange Center of SUS. The program was held by SUS from October 28 to November 19, lasting 23 days.
This year is the second year for SUS to undertake this program, and it is also the first time for us to initiate the "online classroom". In response to the "One Belt, One Road", a strategic initiative proposed by our leadership for expanding China's opening up and a top-level design for economic diplomacy, the Study in China Plan and the Educational Campaign for Promoting the Joint Construction of "One Belt, One Road" issued by the Ministry of Education, with the guidance of the open and inclusive spirit of the "Silk Road", the program will take the form of online classroom to highlight the theme "Inherit Wushu with a Long History, Publicize It on the Belt and Road". The program has attracted the participation of more than 80 Wushu coaches from over 20 countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Ukraine, Romania, Chile, Mexico, the United States, France, Italy, Greece, and Portugal, so as to spread Chinese traditional Wushu culture through sports and cultural exchanges.
The closing ceremony was attended by the leaders from the School of International Education, program leaders and volunteers, and more than 40 students from over 20 countries participated in the ceremony online through ZOOM platform. At the beginning, Professor Wu Yigang, Dean of School of International Education, delivered a closing speech. "This program is an inspiring and fruitful Wushu training event, gathering Wushu talents overseas, Wushu masters in China and many Wushu lovers from all over the world. With the sports spirit of solidarity and perseverance, everyone has shown unremitting efforts to make this training program a complete success," he said. "SUS has provided an excellent communication platform for overseas students, and also invited world-famous Wushu masters to coach those students. We have witnessed all students learning from and caring for each other during the training. The participation of overseas students has boosted our confidence in the development and growth of Chinese Wushu, and we hope that you will continue to spread the Wushu culture in your own countries," he added. After expressing his gratitude to all the participants, Professor Wu Yigang announced the successful conclusion of the online Wushu training program.
The Wushu masters coaching the students also delivered a closing speech. According to Professor Qiu Pixiang, a Wushu 9-Duan Master, international referee and doctoral supervisor, "Thanks to the platform provided by SUS, I have the opportunity to interact with many overseas students, and I have always been fighting for the goal of Wushu 'originating in China and blooming in the world', and devoting myself to the spread of Chinese Wushu. Chinese Wushu is broad and profound. Have been practicing Wushu for many years, I still feel that there is much for me to improve in many ways. I hope all students can stick to their original aspiration and see Wushu learning as a lifelong passion." He hoped that the new-generation Wushu practitioners will combine standardized and competitive Wushu with traditional Wushu focusing on the styles for attack and defense, so they will carry forward the intangible cultural heritage with the unification of mind and body. He also hoped that the students could uphold the spirit of "never too old to learn" and keep their passion for Wushu in mind, so Wushu would become a lifelong treasure for everyone.
According to Professor Wang Peikun, a Wushu 9-Duan Master, international referee and doctoral supervisor, "I'm glad that so many people overseas love Chinese Wushu. Throughout the training program, all students overcame the time difference, finished the online training course in the midnight and early morning, and submitted the assignments with high quality." He stressed that Feiyun Thirteen Sword-play includes 13 plays and 52 moves. He encouraged all students to master it by referring to videos and books and taking enough practice.
Professor Zhu Dong, Vice Dean of School of International Education, made a comprehensive summary of the preparation and teaching of the whole program and looked forward to the future. He highly recognized and thanked the staff and volunteers for their work and hoped that the students could continue to train hard, strengthen their will and carry forward the Wushu culture.
After finishing the 23-day training program, some students also shared their experience and what they had learned. Two students from Bolivia expressed their sincere gratitude to the Wushu masters who had guided them wholeheartedly for many days. They added that they are deeply impressed by the hospitality of SUS for overseas students and hoped to participate in such training in the future as Wushu has become an important part of their life. In addition, students from countries including Myanmar, Romania, Mexico, Chile, France, the United States, and Italy also shared what they had learned through video – Bagua Taijiquan, Feiyun Thirteen Broadsword routine and jump difficulty training, which won the applause and praise from other participants.
Li Jing, a postgraduate student from class of 2020 majoring in traditional ethnic sports, gave a speech on behalf of the volunteers. "This program gives me not only the most fulfilling time during graduate study, but also friendship, experience and knowledge. Overseas students overcame the time difference and took the courses at one or two o'clock in the morning. All teachers and the program leaders worked overtime on weekends for on-site teaching. The leaders and volunteers often worked late at night. The success of the program is attributed to the strong support of SUS and the close cooperation of all sides, which has moved and impressed me deeply," according to her. "A bosom friend afar brings a distant land near. Wushu brings us together and also helps us go further. May our friendship and spirit live forever," she added.
To conclude, Prof. Wu Yigang and Prof. Zhu Dong, School of International Education, presented certificates to the program coordinator Ms. Zhang Sen and all other volunteers.
Based on the reform and innovation experience of the program in 2019, this program showcases the image of China as a sports power and the initiative for building a healthy China. This program offers advanced study activities to Wushu talents along the "One Belt, One Road" regions, and also provides high-quality Wushu courses for overseas Wushu coaches. Besides inviting many famous Wushu masters, international (national) referees, and national champions for on-site teaching and theoretical guidance, including Mr. Qiu Pixiang, Mr. Wang Peikun, Ms. Wang Aizhen, Mr. Liu Zhigang and Mr. Li Qiang, this program also provides online training and one-on-one coaching, and assigns teaching assistants and management assistants. Various teaching resources are shared through the Classin platform. For the youth Wushu training and special Wushu training which overseas students are interested in, the program leaders visited Hongkou District Youth Sports School, Xuhui District Youth Sports School and Shanghai Jiading Martial Arts School, and invited their coaches to give online lectures and share experience. A series of Wushu culture and Chinese traditional culture courses are also offered to help overseas students better appreciate the profound essence of self-cultivation in the Chinese culture, such as visiting Jiading Military Imperial Examination Museum to study about the military imperial examination system, visiting the Bin Xin School to exchange educational experience, and offering lectures on traditional Chinese medicine, qigong massage, Chinese geography and history, and Chinese opera.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic across the world, the pace of communication has not ceased. With the great support of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and SUS, the leaders and program leaders of the School of International Education have ensured high-quality teaching while taking strict measures for pandemic prevention and control, so as to present a sports stage for all coaches, volunteers and service staff for sharing and win-win success.