The sport of wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. It was created in the People’s Republic of China after 1949, in an attempt to nationalize the practice of traditional Chinese martial arts. Most of the modern competition forms were formed from their parent arts by government-appointed committees. In contemporary times, wushu has become an international sport through the International Wushu Federation (IWUF), which holds the World Wushu Championships every two years.
Competitive wushu is composed of two disciplines: taolu (forms) and san shao (sparring). Taolu involve martial art patterns and maneuvers for which competitors are judged and given points according to specific rules. The forms comprise basic movements (stances, kicks, punches, balances, jumps, sweeps and throws) based on aggregate categories traditional Chinese martial art style and can be changed for competitions to highlight one’s strengths.
San shao is a modern fighting method and sport influenced by traditional Chinese boxing, Chinese wrestling methods and other Chinese grappling techniques. It has all the combat aspects of wushu. San shao appears much like kickboxing or Muay Thai, but includes many more grappling techniques.