Wushu dreams: Young US athletes combine Chinese tradition with competitive sport

Digital Originals

Featured Video Play IconYoung Wushu students in Virginia watch on as a coach demonstrates forms in Taolu. (PHOTO: Eric Courtney)

The Chinese term “Wushu” simply translates to “martial art.” Over the centuries, physical and artistic techniques of Wushu have evolved into thousands of traditions – usually being passed down from master to student. In the 1950s, China created an official Wushu curriculum that encompassed a wide range of these traditions for both demonstration and competition.

At Professional Martial Arts Academy in Sterling, VA, young athletes are learning Wushu folded into the world of modern sports competition. In this profile, we catch the students at PMAA as they prepare for international championships. As CGTN’s Joshua Barlow reports, in setting goals both for themselves and the team, they are finding rewards well beyond the trophies they bring home.