Traditional martial arts including tai chi gain popularity in Romania
BUCHAREST — A park became paradise for Chinese martial arts lovers on Saturday, with the eye-catching “World Wushu-Kung Fu Day” banner fluttering in the light breeze.
On the wide green lawn in King Mihai I Park, there were practitioners of both Yang-style and Chen-style tai chi, as well as those of Changquan, Nanquan, Shaolin and Wudang.
Young and middle-aged people made up the bulk of those taking part, but there were also many retired and elderly.
Groups of children with Chinese-style kung fu T-shirts ran in the sunshine and posed in various martial arts moves. The scene attracted the attention of passing pedestrians, many people stopping to watch and take pictures.
Petru Grindeanu, secretarygeneral of the Romanian Martial Arts Federation, said that the Chinese martial arts are becoming increasingly popular in Romania. People have a new understanding of kung fu and an increasing number of locals are taking up martial arts, especially after the sport was included in the Olympic Games.
Saturday was the first World Wushu-Kung Fu Day and the purpose of the event in Bucharest was to let more people know about the Chinese martial arts, he added.
Ion Benea, president of the federation, said people are beginning to realize the benefits of practicing tai chi, or Taijiquan, an ancient Chinese martial art, especially the vast majority of retirees.
“To this end, the federation decided to teach tai chi free of charge at major parks in Bucharest on a regular basis,” Benea said.
He said that many elderly people think that slow-moving tai chi is a sport that is very suitable for them and is very healthy.
Founded in 1990, the Romanian Martial Arts Federation currently has 40 clubs across the country, with some 2,500 members. According to the association, more than 5,000 people in the country practice Chinese martial arts regularly.
Some of the coaches of the clubs have learned martial arts with their masters in Romania, while many others returned from China after completing various tutorials there.
Roxana Vladut, who has practiced martial arts for 20 years, said: “Many of the coaches present today are all apprentices of Master Zhu.”
According to her, Zhu Rongfu, a martial arts practitioner from Shanghai, set up the Shanghai Martial Arts Club in Bucharest many years ago, training a large number of martial arts disciples.
She was one of them. Under the training of Master Zhu, Vladut won the second place in martial arts and third place in tai chi in the World Traditional Wushu Championships held last year in Emei Mountain, China, and won the third place in tai chi in the European Championships held in Moscow this year.
People take part in the first World Wushu-Kung Fu Day in King Mihai I Park in Bucharest, Romania, on Saturday.