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Wushu in India – Haruka Ito’s visionary goal
Translation of Newspaper Article published in VIJAYA KARNATAKA – Kannada daily on Tuesday, 22nd October 2013
Published by the Times of India Group, India.
“There is no lack of Wushu talent in India. But they need competent coaches. If they get quality coaching there is ample scope for development of Wushu here”
This is the opinion expressed by Haruka Ito, a Gold Medallist in Wushu championship competitions. She was participating as a judge in the 13th National Sub-Junior Wushu Championship held at Bagalkot, Karnataka, India. She has won a Gold Medal in 2009 at the Hong Kong International Wushu Championship. She has won 7 Gold Medals, 3 Silver Medals and a Bronze Medal in various championship competitions. She spoke about the status of Wushu to VIJAYA KARNATAKA.
HOW TO DEVELOP WUSHU AS A SPORT IN INDIA?
Compared to Japan and China, bright Wushu competitors are in India. But what they lack is quality coaching. In China, there are many academies and schools dedicated to teach Wushu and Wushu is worshipped as a tradition there. Wushu is being popularised in India. Wushu Institutions are developing in many States. If the Indian Wushu learners are coached by inviting expert Chinese coaches to train them, they can attain notable achievements at International Level.
HOW IS THE POPULARITY OF WUSHU IN INDIA COMPARED TO JAPAN?
About 2 million children and young people practice Wushu as a lifestyle sports in Japan. There they are trained in Wushu from a very young age. In India, now children are being encouraged to learn Wushu. Indian children are stronger physically. They can win many laurels with focussed training.
ARE NOT THE NORTH-EASTERN STATES ARE MORE INVOLVED IN THIS SPORT?
Yes, it is true that people from North-eastern States are more inclined towards this sport. Contestants from Manipur win in most competitions. They are trained by expert Chinese
coaches. This is the reason that Manipurians are so successful.
HOW TO POPULARISE WUSHU
Children should be encouraged to learn this sport. Since this is an art of self-defence it is very useful in defending oneself in difficult situations. As this sport imbibes and increases mental and physical abilities, concentration and dedication is required. Wushu is not only a martial art but should well compare to as equal to cricket and football.
Haruka Ito from Japan is now into Tourism Business in Mangalore, India. She is a Wushu practitioner of International repute, imparting Wushu training. She is establishing a Wushu training centre in the immediate future with help from the Karnataka Wushu Association. Indians call her affectionately as “Japanese-Mangalorean”.