Chinese martial arts enchants overseas students
A group of overseas students studying at Yangzhou University practices the Five-Animal Exercises on April 6. The traditional Chinese exercises are believed to help cure illness and prolong life. [Photo/yzu.edu.cn]
The campus of Yangzhou University was filled with a rich atmosphere of traditional Chinese martial arts on April 6 as a group of overseas students immersed themselves in the Five-Animal Exercises.
Though coming from neighboring countries like Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, the students were for the first time experiencing the animal mimic boxing, or “Wuqinxi” in Chinese, a kind of internal energy training that originated from qigong breathing exercises and is believed to help cure illness and prolong life.
They marveled at Master Xu Juncai, who in her movements fully brought out the strength of tiger, the coziness of deer, the prudence of bear, the agility of ape, and the grace of crane.
The students went on following the instruction of Master Xu and patiently imitated the behaviors of animals, trying their best to grasp the essence of the traditional Chinese exercises.
As a jewel shining in China’s profound culture, the martial arts boast an integration of graceful movements and practical body-shaping. The Five-Animal Exercises in particular can be dated back more than 1,800 years and were said to have been created by Hua Tuo (c. 140-208), a noted physician who lived during China’s Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).
A group photo of overseas students from Yangzhou University taking traditional Chinese martial hand positions. [Photo/yzu.edu.cn]