Teaching Chinese martial arts to youngsters: Approaches and experiences of wushu coaches in Europe: English

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Background and Study Aim: Wushu is the collective noun for Chinese martial arts. Extant research has demonstrated that the analytical and repetitive method commonly used in wushu is less appealing to modern youth than other Asian martial arts (such as judo, karate, and taekwondo). This study aims to gain a better understanding of wushu coaches’ experience teaching youngsters in Europe.
Material and Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 wushu coaches teaching in Europe to investigate their purpose, teaching content, and approach. Eight of these coaches were Chinese immigrants to Europe, while the rest were Europeans.
Results: This study demonstrates the teaching experience of wushu coaches in Europe in terms of their teaching content, guidance (teaching approaches), and structure (main parts of a session such as warming up, core, and cooling down). The majority of coaches interviewed in this study use official content and mimic what they learnt from their coaches. Only a notable, small number of professional coaches broke down the conventions and adapted their guidance and contents. Professional coaches rely on student demands, drawing more students away from the stresses of their lives. Amateur coaches, however, have not changed much.
Conclusions: Future research requires a more convincing intervention study to determine whether different teaching approaches are effective in engaging youngsters. Furthermore, understanding the general principles of youth training is required to effectively design programme content for different levels and ages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Budo
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2022


  • martial arts
  • wushu
  • coaching approach
  • European coaches

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