Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Poetry in motion

Fadhil Yunus

The age-long sport of wushu comes from a martial arts background, originating in China. It is a Chinese term for martial arts, with ‘Wu’ loosely translated as military or martial in English while ‘Shi’ means art.

In China, wushu also known as ‘guoshu’, is defined as national art. Nevertheless, wushu today is considered more of a sport and exhibition.

Several variations are found in wushu including nanquan, changquan, sanda, taijiquan and the use of weapons such as dao (broadsword), jian (straight metal sword), gun (staff) and qiang (spear).

Wushu is usually performed and contested in the form of taolu, a cluster of wushu movements combined to form a routine, identical to the artistic event in pencak silat. Taolu includes basic movements such as punches, stances and footwork and kicks as well as acrobatic movements such as jumps. Lately, wushu has gained recognition through several competitions whether at the regional, national or international level.

In a competition, wushu in general is divided into two disciplines – taolu (form) and sanda (sparring). Taolu is a movement instructed to protect oneself from an imaginary attacker.

Although wushu is still considered relatively new in Brunei Darussalam, the sport has contributed success to the country at both regional and international level.

Since the establishment of the Wushu Federation of Brunei Darussalam (WFBD) 19 years ago, it has continued to grow rapidly by achieving excellence.

The Brunei Darussalam wushu team during the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

All of this does not only come from the efforts of the leadership of the association and athletes but also the support of the athletes’ parents, together with the solid support of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC) and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports through the Youth and Sports Department.

Among the athletes who have stood out in recent times is Mohammad Adi Salihin bin Roslan.

He is the younger brother of Mohammad Sufi Shayiran and Mohammad Adi Sya’rani, bronze medallists in the men’s duilian event at the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) in Singapore.

Mohammad Adi Salihin contributed to the sport with vast successes besides being a recipient of the Excellent Youth Award in 2020.

A national wushu athlete, Mohammad Adi Salihin became the first gold medal contributor from the Brunei Darussalam national contingent in the 30th SEA Games after posting the highest score in the men’s nandao event at the World Trade Centre in Manila, the Philippines.

During that competition, Mohammad Adi Salihin amassed a total of 9.64 points, edging his Indonesian rival Harris Horatius who settled for silver with 9.63 points.

It was the nation’s first gold medal in six years since the pair of Faustina Woo Wai Sii and Lee Ying Shi achieved the feat in the women’s duilian event at the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar.

Mohammad Adi Salihin also recently won Brunei’s first gold medal at the 31st SEA Games after amassing a score of 9.71 points in the men’s nanquan event at the Cau Giay Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam. The athlete has said that the sacrifices and the hard work during training with his long-term coach Li Hui have paid off and yielded great rewards.

His journey began at the age of six after being regularly brought by his parents in competitions involving his brothers and subsequently played a key role in being active in the sport.

He first represented the country after being selected to participate in the Sukma Games (Malaysian Games) in Kuching, Sarawak in 2016 where he won silver. From that moment, his passion to become a wushu athlete continued to blossom. Two years later, in the same competition in Perak, Malaysia, he repeated the same feat and won silver.

After the competition, Mohammad Adi Salihin continued to join various competitions both at home and overseas as the country’s representative. Among the successes that the athlete enjoyed were collecting two gold medals and one bronze medal at the 6th International Pars Wushu Cup in Semnan, Iran and one silver medal in the Huangshan Wushu International Competition in China which saw the participation of 14 nations.

Coaches play an important role in assisting the development and progress of the sport
and athlete. National Head Coach Li Hui is also a backbone of Mohammad Adi Salihin’s success, having guided the athlete into becoming one of the country’s sporting stars.

Brunei Darussalam has appointed the experienced wushu coach from China to guide athletes to achieve high levels of excellence both in the regional and international level.

The influence, management and expertise of his coaching has brought several athletes to realise success, including winning gold medals in prestigious competitions.

The coach has also constantly implemented training programmes to assist and prepare athletes both mentally and physically in a challenging environment as well as polishing their skills.

The wushu team benefits from good guidance under Li Hui and Assistant Head Coach Zhao Chunjie.

Li Hui has helped to produce several gold and silver medallists at the SEA Games such as Faustina Woo Sii Wai, Lee Ying Shi, Basma Lachkar, Mohammad Adi Salihin and Hosea Wong Zheng Yu.