by Xinhua writer Chen Wenxian
JERUSALEM, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The second "Ambassador's Cup" tournament of Wushu, also known as Chinese martial arts, was held in Israel's central city of Rehovot.
Fourteen Israeli sanda athletes attended the competition and 15 Israelis staged an excellent Wushu show.
The history of Wushu dates back to Xia Dynasty which was over 4,000 years ago, said Chinese Ambassador to Israel Zhan Yongxin, adding that Wushu covers a broad range of activities, including fighting techniques, physical exercises and methods of mental discipline.
It is embraced around the world for self-defense, exercise, health, spiritual growth, and athletic competition, said Zhan.
Zhan continued that Wushu has been influenced by many religious and philosophical thoughts over the thousands of years.
He hoped that Israeli Wushu fans and practitioners can identify and connect with these values, exercising self-discipline, respecting each other, and striving for physical strength as well as inner peace and they could take the tournament as a unique opportunity to improve skills, share knowledge and establish friendship.
The 14 sanda athletes were divided into three groups according to age, while the outstanding Wushu performances were warmly applauded by audience.
"It is great the Wushu competition took place in Rehovot for the second time," said Yaniv Markovich, deputy mayor of Rehovot, in an interview with Xinhua.
This kind of sport is very popular in Rehovot and many people, including students and children, want to come and learn Wushu. "It is fighting with a lot of thoughts and feelings and learning about the other side," noted Markovich.
Markovich said Wushu practice in Israel is part of the good ties between China and Israel. If people learn this kind of sport, they can learn something about Chinese people.
Markovich believed that in another two years, the competition will be held in a bigger venue.
Wushu is a very important sport not only for children, but also for the adults. It is a unique and beautifully performed sport that can improve an individual in many aspects, said Frenkel Alexander, chairman of Wushu Federation of Israel.
He told Xinhua that Wushu has so many styles that no other sport in the world has, adding that they have invited Chinese coaches to help them and improve the training of their team.
Michal Beriy, a 11-year-old Israeli girl, told Xinhua that she has practiced Wushu for seven years and she loves Wushu very much.
Beriy said Wushu practice could not only help her keep healthy but also make her stronger in character. She hoped she could have the chance to visit China and watch Wushu performance there.
The "Ambassador's Cup" tournament of Chinese martial arts was jointly held by the Chinese Embassy in Israel and the Wushu Federation of Israel. The first tournament took place in July 2018 in Rehovot.