New sport takes shape in Samoa
The three-day Kung Fu Wushu clinic concluded on Tuesday at the Plantation Boxing Gym in Sinamoga.
The training was spearheaded by Australian National Kung Fu Wushu Coach, Rob Williams.
Kung Fu Wushu Samoa President, Travis Lamb, told the Samoa Observer that Kung Fu Wushu is an international sport that is being introduced in the Pacific including Samoa.
“Kung Fu Wushu is similar in style to kickboxing and Muay Thai, which a lot of the boys have already learned,” Mr. Lamb said.
“The skills they have can be transferred to Kung Fu, but the only difference is on the international stage. So that is why it is important to get it started.
“Oceania is the last one that is getting set up and that is the reason we are setting it up here and American Samoa. It has just been set up in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, but it is quite established in New Zealand and Australia,” he said.
Mr. Lamb explained: “It is in 170 countries in the world. It is the number one sport in China and it is their national sport. There are also other competitions where you can win up to a million US dollars.
“There are pathways for people that want to become professional Kung Fu Wushu. Also not to mention Jackie Chan and Jet Li were also Kung Fu Wushu people and that is the popularity of the sport.”
He said the three-day clinic not only raises awareness among the participants, but also helps them understand more about the sport.
“That is the reason we are running a clinic to spread the profile, to give more opportunity to the people and also to learn more about the sport and for self-defense.
“You don’t have to go competitively fighting, but also self-defense itself. It is good for both men and women. There are a number of females who are in this sport particularly in the European countries.
“Any self-defense class is good. We have boxing here, kung fu, judo. Any time you learn how to defend yourself is a good idea, just having the confidence that you can look after yourself is good.
“Some of these guys who are here can become coaches, but we better start somewhere. They have already taken the skills that they already have and are working on that,” said Mr. Lamb.
He noted the risk of the sport.
“Any sport is good for people with time on their hands, especially our young people. But they are not easy sports; you have to put in hard work. There is a lot of falling and getting up again.
“Just like all contact sport there is a risk of broken bones, pulled ligaments. Whether it is rugby or netball you run the risk. There is always a risk.”
Mr. Lamb adds they have plans to develop the sport in Samoa.
“What we are aiming for is getting Chinese coaches here for a couple of years to teach locals so that we can build our own.
“The coach here is in his 50s. The beauty of Kung Fu Wushu the other side of it is Tai Chi. As you may have heard, Tai Chi you can do it up to your 80s and 90s. It is very good for flexibility and that is a branch of Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
“That is why we are hopeful for the future to have some Tai Chi instructors come and that would be good for our elderly people. It is like a form of yoga,” Mr. Lamb said.