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The New Zealand Wushu and Kung Fu Federation recently held their “Xiang Shang” National Championship competition in Auckland. This colourful event attracted over 200 participants from 17 different clubs and highlighted the skill, rich culture and time-honoured traditions of this challenging martial art.
As first-time national competitors, ACG Sunderland Year 9 students, Vasundhara and Vasudeva Chitti were thrilled to perform at the event. Representing the CNSST Kung Fu World team, their squad collectively won 10 gold, 13 silver and eight bronze medals.
The twins have been competing within CNSST’s annual in-club tournaments for the past two years and have been learning the various disciplines of Wushu (Chinese martial arts) for almost five years.
Competitive Wushu is composed of two disciplines: forms (taolu) and sparring (sanda). Both Vasundhara and Vasudeva concentrate the forms side of the sport where competitors are judged on specific martial art patterns, acrobatic movements and techniques including stances, kicks, punches, balances, jumps, sweeps and throws.
“Wushu has many parts to it and one of the main events that takes place is Kung Fu. Kung Fu is a self-defence. It is a non-contact sport in which we learn routines (known as forms) which consist of many different moves and stances,” explains Vasundhara. “Each form has a different name for it depending on where it is from, when it was created and what moves it consists of.”
“The forms have their own characteristics; each one has different moves and you have to show different emotions in each action. We also learn weapons such as the broad sword and spear.”
These talented athletes performed extremely well in their inaugural competition with Vasundhara winning three bronze medals in Taolu Short Weapons Daoshu Female, Taolu Long Weapon Female and Modern Bare Hand Nanquan Female, all in the 7 to 15-years age category.
Vasudeva took fourth place in the fiercely contested Modern Bare Hand Nanquan Male 7 to 15-years and gained valuable experience in the Taolu Short Weapons Daoshu Male 13 to 15-years event.
According to Vasundhara, the most nerve-wracking part of the competition was the pressure of performing in front of the judges. Whereas for Vasudeva, mastering the sword was a little more problematic.
“The most challenging aspect of the Kung Fu Nationals was probably learning to use a sword as it was held in a strange way and I can’t lie about the amount of times I brushed my back with the blade,” he admits.
While both siblings enjoy the physicality of the sport, Vasundhara particularly welcomes the constant learning and opportunities to challenge herself. Vasudeva, on the other hand, appreciates his growing abilities to control different types of weapons and his increasing strength within the many Wushu disciplines.
The ambitious duo is looking forward to conquering new weapons and forms for next year’s upcoming events. Vasudeva has his sights firmly set on “Winning a few golds and silvers for the CNSST team in the Kung Fu Wushu Nationals 2020 and participating in many more competitions.”