2022, Volume 18
Teaching Chinese martial arts to youngsters: Approaches and experiences of wushu coaches in Europe
Yueyi Jia1, Marc Theeboom1, Dong Zhu2, Hebe Schaillée1
1Physical Education, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
2School of Wushu (Chinese Martial Arts), Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China
Author for correspondence: Dong Zhu; School of Wushu (Chinese Martial Arts), Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 male 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 European.
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 conventions and adapted their guidance and content. Professional coaches rely on student demands, drawing more students away from the stresses of their lives. Amateur coaches, however, have not changed much.
Conclusions: The findings of this study emphasise the need for wushu coaches to adapt their traditional teaching approaches to youngsters practising wushu for recreational purposes. Future research could help to determine whether these adapted teaching approaches are effective in better engaging youngsters.
Key words: motivation, coaching structure, coaching approach, competition, routine