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A Mergence of Martial Arts with Cultural Learning —— Martial Arts Classes at Riga Wushu Sports School restarts

A Mergence of Martial Arts with Cultural Learning —— Martial Arts Classes at Riga Wushu Sports School restarts

“Zhengtitui, Cetitui, Waibaitui, Lihetui; Yubei, Zou, etc. ” Wushu, as a beautiful card of traditional Chinese culture, is very popular among overseas people. On 14 November 2022 from 15:00-20:30 Latvian time, martial arts classes at Riga Wushu Sports School, a teaching site affiliated to Confucius Institute at University of Latvia, were officially launched, taught by Zhong Mengting, a volunteer martial arts teacher.

The martial arts course was divided into children’s classes, adult Tai Chi interest classes and martial arts team training courses, with a total of about 50 students. At the beginning of the class, Ms Zhong introduced herself in Chinese, English, Russian and Latvian, saying that the language and culture of different countries have own unique charm and that she was happy to experience the charm of Chinese martial arts, Chinese language and traditional Chinese culture together with everyone. Then the students enthusiastically introduced themselves to the martial arts teacher.

In the children’s class and the martial arts team’s training class, Ms Zhong designed a fun game using the students’ names or characteristics as a medium and using ball as a means to get to know each other and to warm up before the class. Afterwards, Ms Zhong led the students in flexibility training, such as Zhengyatui, Ceyatui, Hengcha, Shucha, etc. Then the basic martial arts training was carried out, including Zhibaixing tuifa, Shenquxing tuifa, jumping movements, etc. During the exercises, the students shouted out the Chinese command “Ready, Go” loudly and forcefully, showing their courage in every move. Afterwards, Ms Zhong led the students in a review of the 20 forms chang quan. In the adult Tai Chi interest class, teacher and students warmed up with rhythmic and dynamic music and then practised “Zhanzhuang” with traditional Chinese music, releasing stress and relaxation through breathing in and out and regulating the breath. Then, Ms Zhong explained the steps and techniques of Tai Chi and practised the ‘Ye Ma Fen Zong” movement of Tai Chi. Finally, Ms Zhong led the students in a relaxation exercise to relax their muscles. During the relaxation exercises, the students exchanged martial arts training tips and traditional Chinese culture with Ms Zhong. At the same time, Ms Zhong presented the students with bookmarks and keychains with traditional Chinese characteristics, hoping that this gift would become a window for the students to learn about traditional Chinese culture.

In the martial arts programme, martial arts teacher Zhong Mengting incorporates Chinese language teaching into the martial arts curriculum. Through easy-to-understand lesson explanations and standard movement demonstrations,  Latvian children, youths and adults can not only learn the punches and kicks of the martial arts, but also learn Chinese while practising the martial arts.


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