Translated by Soong Phui Jee
Sin Chew Daily
Wushu, or Chinese martial arts is an exercise promoting health and expressing love. Young students have learned how to protect themselves, as well as their beloved ones through learning self-defense tactics.
Following the previous reports on non-Chinese students learning Chinese martial arts, the prejudice of only bad students with poor academic results would learn martial arts has been removed.
You will even find that all the young Chinese martial arts students, regardless of race and skin colour, are righteous.
They might not have an in-depth understanding about the background and significance of Chinese martial arts, but they have found self-confidence through learning it.
To serve self-protection purposes
Secondary school student Ahmad Bokali, 14, said that he likes watching kungfu movies since he was young and he only started to join Chinese martial arts classes when he started studying in secondary school.
At that time, there was a confrontation between some Malay and Chinese students and therefore, some Malay students laughed at him for joining Chinese martial arts classes.
"They asked me why I wanted to learn Chinese martial arts and they laughed at us when they saw us practising. In fact, I was not enraged as I know they did not represent the whole community. My parents and friends understood it and were very supportive of me," he said.
He said that they did not bully him but just made some provocative acts. He kept his father's words in mind that learning martial arts was meant for self-protection and it should not be turned into violence to make troubles, and thus he just ignored them.
He was not affected by the childish behaviours but was concerned about female students' impression of him. He shyly admitted that he was worried that some female students might think he joined the classes to serve bad purposes.
Better understanding of Chinese culture
"I like Chinese martial arts not only because it is a good exercise, but also because it allows me to make more Chinese friends and understand Chinese culture better. In fact, many people nowadays agree that it is an exercise good for health and a kind of disciplinary training. More importantly, I can protect myself, as well as people around me," Ahmad said.
Under the guidance of his coach, Ahmad has reached the intermediate level in two years time. He even won two gold medals in a national inter-school competition.
Master self-defense tactics
Also 14 years old, Naomi, who was of Chinese-English ancestry, started to learn Chinese martial arts since she was in Year 3 of primary school. She has reached the red belt level in five years time.
Naomi, who looked gentle and delicate, was actually an active athlete since she was very young. In addition to Chinese martial arts, she was also good at skating, athletics, table tennis and badminton.
"Basic skills are very important and thus, it is crucial to master them," she said.
She said that compared to her schoolmates, she did not get mentally tired as easily as them and her immune system was good.
"Most importantly, I know how to take care and protect myself after learning many self-defense tactics. I believe that I can handle it if I meet a robber. It is also why I like to share with others. I hope that other girls are able to protect themselves," she said.
Huang Yao Ming, a Chinese martial arts association founder, said that the association was founded in 2006 and is currently having about 1000 of students of which 30% are non-Chinese.
Huang said that their coaches also teach Chinese martial arts in over 60 schools nationwide. Since they teach in English, many non-Chinese students have joined them.
"We teach according to the teaching principles of the Malaysian Wushu Federation. However, we focus more on free combat. There are nine levels in Chinese martial arts. Beginners start from the bottom white belt, followed by yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, pink, red and the top, black," he added.