China’s National Wushu Team Performs Exhibition in U.S.

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Two days after grabbing 15 gold medals at the 16th World Wushu Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, China’s national team laid on a martial arts exhibition in Houston on Wednesday.

Al Green, a U.S. congressman representing the 9th Congressional District of Texas, came on stage at the end of the performance.

“I really enjoyed tonight’s performance,” he said, asking the audience, “Do you want to see them (Chinese athletes) again? Do you want them to come back?”, to which the crowd responded enthusiastically.

Prior to the show, the Chinese team also practiced Wushu with local fans, described by one of them, Mohammad Ullah, as “a brief training seminar”.

Ullah, a Houston lawyer who started learning Wushu nine years ago, told Xinhua that the athletes “showed us what specific things each individual person can work on, not just what we as general practice can learn.”

“They will tell you exactly what you need to do to make it better. They can communicate that very clearly,” said Ullah.

“We hope that this visit will showcase traditional Chinese culture to the American people,” said Li Yongqiang, leader of China’s national Wushu team.

Wushu studios have become a growth industry in the United States, mainly comprising small operators serving local residents.

Various research indicates that the popularity of Wushu has steadily increased in the United States in recent years. According to Statista, between 2010 and 2021, the total number of people practicing the sport went up by nearly 23 percent to reach around 6.2 million.

The latest IBISWorld data estimated that the revenue of Wushu studios in the United States will reach 16.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2023. 

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