Feature: Chinese martial arts, lion dance well-preserved in Macao – Xinhua

by Hu Yao

MACAO, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — The 2017 Macao Wushu Master Challenge kicked off here on Thursday, attracting hundreds of Wushu masters from across the world to join in various Wushu competitions, and display Chinese martial arts and traditional lion dance.

Indeed, behind all of those hustle and bustle of shopping malls, casinos, hotels, and must-go tourists spots, the martial arts and lion dance are well-protected in China’s Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), with many Macao residents keeping on with their tradition of playing martial arts, for physical exercises, and learning about self-challenge and team work.

Each night, on the rooftop of a 14-floor building on the Rua Dos Pescadores Street, dozens of young players were practicing martial arts. They are apprentices of Loleong Sports Federation, which was established in 1938.

“Those young men have work to do during the daytime. They can only practice martial arts after work,” said the director-general of Loleong Sports Federation, Pan Jingwen, whose father is a master of Choy Lay Fut, a form of traditional Chinese southern style boxing, popular in Macao and Hong Kong SARs, Guangdong and Fujian provinces.

“It contains a wide variety of techniques, including long and short range punches, kicks, sweeps, joint locks and grappling,” Pan said, adding that Choy Lay Fut is an effective self-defense system, particularly for defense against multiple attackers.

Under the guidance of a master, a dozen of primary school students were doing “waist horse,” the basis of learning any Wushu styles.

To the powerful drumbeat, another group of players in their 20s were practicing lion dances on piles as high as three meters, and others were practicing dragon dances on the ground floor.

“Sometimes it can be quite tiresome for young people to only practice the basic techniques of martial arts, therefore, we combined the lion dance and dragon dance to make the practices more interesting,” Pan said.

The martial arts circle in Macao cherishes the principle of helping the vulnerable people and fighting against the evil force, he said.

They staged performances for free and promoted donations each time when the Chinese mainland was hit by flood or earthquakes. They also helped the poor and vulnerable groups in Macao, Pan added.

Loleong Sports Federation is one of 96 members under Wushu General Association of Macao (WGAM), which has more than 7,200 registered players, plus 20 certified world-class referees recognized by International Wushu Federation and 20 local referees.

With Macao’s fast urbanization process, there is less room left for martial arts players to make practices without disturbing neighbors.

About 10 minutes’ walk away from the renowned Ruins of St. Paul, there stands Shishan Brotherhood Palace, the oldest Wushu house in Macao. Founded in 1921, the white bungalow, covering an area of about 100 square meters, was surrounded by high residential buildings.

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