Three cities are competing candidates for the 2020 Olympic Games. And while Istanbul, Tokyo, and Madrid vie for the privilege of hosting the games, 8 sports will be bidding for status as Olympic events.
There are currently 35 sports included in the summer and winter Olympics. For a sport to be included it must be well organised, widely practised and be administered in a manner which conforms to established Olympic standards.
The short list of applicants for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro includes the International Baseball Federation, International Golf Federation, World Karate Federation, Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports, International Rugby Board, International Softball Federation, and the World Squash Federation. Of these, only Golf and Rugby made the grade for Brazil.
This time around, the International Baseball Federation and the International Softball Federation are merging to form the International Baseball and Softball Federation with the hope that a joint venture will improve the chance of being re-admitted to the games. (Baseball was an Olympic sport up until 2008.)
Other sports seem less likely to cooperate in such a fashion.
Squash has tried for the last two times and will try again for 2020. A merger with Karate would be interesting but seems unlikely. Likewise, wushu and wake boarding are an improbable combination. Television audiences might tune in to see roller derby combined with sports climbing but there are too many bureaucratic hurdles for that to happen anytime soon.
However, if tai chi leaves the wushu federation and joins the Wakeboard Federation we might be on to something. Tai chi forms, Tai chi tuishou and tai chi sanshou could prove very entertaining on water.
Seriously, though, wushu is not considered a favourite for inclusion in the Olympic Games, for a number of reasons, one of which might be official government meddling in the sport, which has created perverse incentives to produce a sport which has very little legitimacy amongst the majority of traditional wushu teachers.
There is an increasing hope that tai chi may find its way to the Olympic Games someday. One public proponent of such a goal is none other than Li Lianjie (world wushu champion and action movie star known in the west as Jet Li). Li is quoted as saying that he will spare no effort to get tai chi tuishou (push-hands) to the olympics within 20 years.
To those who are unfamiliar with tai chi as a sport, it has many permutation in competition. Tuishou is a subtle and profound skill which trains the practitioner to throw or push an opponent with very little force. The classic tai chi proverb advices us to “use 4 ounces to defeat 1000 pounds.”
Tuishou can be very exciting to watch, and great fun to practice. Most training takes place in a very safe and gentle manner, with athletes learning to coordinate thought, emotion, posture, leverage, and momentum in such a way that one’s opponents essentially unbalance themselves.
When tuishou is placed in a sporting context, it is very vigorous.
Following are five videos:
- The first is a demonstration of basic tuishou exercises.
- The second is competitive tuishou with renowned master, Chen Bing
- The third is a tuishou competition in the People’s Republic of China.
- The fourth is another type of tuishou competition held in Taiwan.
- Fifth is a very recent competition in Beijing
Ian Sinclair and Calvin Keele demonstrate tuishou (push-hands) basics
– posted to youtube by taijiman7777
Chen Bing demonstrate competitive tuishou (push-hands)
– Posted to youtube by BoscoBaek
Wang ZhanJun in a competition in Chen Village, China
– posted to youtube by Jinjiduliorg
Fixed Step Push Hands 3rd World Cup Taichung, Taiwan
– Posted to youtube by WorldPushHands
Canadian Tai Chi Instructor, Steve Chan competing in the First annual Beijing Chen Style Taijiquan Competition in memory of Grandmaster Tian Xiuchen (Chen Fake disciple). This competition was sanctioned by the Beijing Martial Arts Association.
Posted you youtube by PracticalMethod
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