Germany, Taiwan Host Preliminary Rounds of NTD’s Traditional Chinese Martial Arts Competition

NTD Television Network is hosting the eighth International Martial Arts Competition, and preliminary rounds in Europe and Taiwan finished this month.
Germany, Taiwan Host Preliminary Rounds of NTD’s Traditional Chinese Martial Arts Competition
A participant of the 8th NTD International Martial Arts Competition preliminary round in Taiwan on June 19, 2024. (Song Bilong/The Epoch Times)
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NTD Television Network is hosting the eighth International Martial Arts Competition, and preliminary rounds in Europe and Taiwan finished this month.

“Today’s preliminary round was a success, and everybody was very enthusiastic,” said Li Youfu, martial arts master and chairman of the competition jury.

“Those who came prepared real, traditional martial arts and are following a righteous path,” he said. “They pay attention to martial ethics and insist on preserving tradition—traditional styles, traditional routines. I see how the young people are beginning to accept traditional martial arts.”

The competition distinguishes itself with its mission to promote traditional Chinese martial arts and martial virtue. It is also part of a series of events hosted by NTD to promote traditional culture.

NTD, sister media to The Epoch Times, stands for New Tang Dynasty, as the Tang Dynasty is known as the cultural golden age of imperial China.

Cultural Exchange in Germany

The preliminaries in Dresden, Germany, took place on June 8.

The competition has both a youth section and adult section, and Dominik Spies, founder of a traditional martial arts school in Germany, brought his students to participate. He said that “peace” is forefront of his philosophy.

“If you learn real martial arts, the real traditional martial arts, then I think it will be helpful in bringing peace to the world because of the sense of responsibility it creates,” he said.

Another school founder, Richard Kleinert, said martial arts had a broad purpose.

“Martial arts is an art of self expression,” he said. “Martial arts can be used for self defense, both to protect oneself and to protect others. It’s also an artistic expression of life.”

Luca Wohlers, a participant, said he didn’t join to obtain accolades, but to test his character.

“This mentality, the sincerity in persistence, the persistence required to practice martial arts, I think I will use this mentality to practice martial arts every day,” he said.

Large Turnout in Taiwan

In Taiwan, the preliminaries took place on June 19, with participants ranging in age from 9 to 72 years old.

Lin Chi-Hsien, a former silver medalist of the competition, brought his students to participate this year.

“I hope it will broaden my students’ horizons—especially with the intense international competition, it will allow them to learn more,” he said.

Mr. Lin studies the “Southern Fist,” or “Soft Fist,” style characterized by its rapid movement and quick changing of positions. The style requires the relaxation of the whole body, flexibility of steps, and the use of force to take advantage of a situation.

The heads of several martial arts organizations in Taiwan came to support the event.

Shih Cheng-chung, chairman of the Taiwan Praying Mantis Boxing and Fighting Association, began learning traditional martial arts at age 11 and has continued to do so for 66 years.

New martial arts may be flashy, but traditional martial arts require rigorous training and learning, and are the real martial arts, said Mr. Shih, who brought his children to participate.

Cheng Shibao, founder of the Taiwan Wushu Gung Fu Cultural Association, said he originally studied martial arts in the United States, where he eventually opened a school. Later he returned to Taiwan with a mission to promote traditional martial arts, which he realized promotes cultivation of character and benefits people both physically and mentally.

Liang Wenhan, chairman of the Taiwan Wushu Gung Fu Cultural Association and a participant in the competition, said traditional martial arts not only strengthens the body, but cultivates the mind and spirit.

Cai Peilin, deputy director of the Taipei City Government’s Sports Bureau, said he was happy to see the competition promote martial ethics.

Martial artist Shi Zhenzhong said there is a famous saying that “wisdom is better than courage,” and martial ethics embodies such wisdom. In learning traditional martial arts, you also learn to be patient and tolerant of others, learn to live a peaceful life, and take material things lightly. It’s a spiritual practice that improves your character, he said.

He advised teachers to take care in selecting students, to prevent martial arts from becoming a tool for those whose motive is solely fame and fortune.

Shi Yizhen, a female boxing competitor and relative of Mr. Shi’s, said that her family background in traditional martial arts laid a foundation for her understanding of martial ethics. She said hard work and perseverance are part of the art, and martial arts thus help people overcome difficulties in life. Also a pianist, Ms. Shi said both art forms require of her unremitting effort.

Zeng Chenglang, a former silver medalist of the competition, said the event was beneficial to the martial arts community, bringing people from around the world together to gain new perspectives and make progress.

Preliminaries will continue in the United States on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31, followed by the semi-final round on Sept. 1 and final round on Sept. 2 in New Jersey.

Fifty-five martial artists have qualified from the Taiwan round to participate in the semi-final round in September.

With reporting by NTD.