The Inheritance and Dissemination of Wushu Culture in the Global Era

June 2021 | International Journal of the History of Sport

by Wenbo Li, Guobin Dai


Wushu as a Chinese cultural inheritance has for centuries encountered the question of ‘what is to be inherited and how’? The question should always be answered in the light of fresh discoveries and current research on Wushu history. This article addresses the question and suggests how researchers in this field should focus on the approaches through which the various disciplines of Wushu have been developed. The aim is to return to a past milieu where martial arts creators, instructors and students were making joint efforts to innovate and develop over time. In addition, the article suggests that researchers should pay more attention to the history of martial arts schools and to the practitioners who belong to ‘the silent majority’. In the field of dissemination research, lessons can be drawn from the sinicization of Western culture in China and research on local dissemination of other cultural products.

About the Authors:

Wenbo Li is a PhD candidate at the School of Martial Arts, Shanghai University of Sport. His main research interests include history and culture of Chinese martial arts .

Guobin Dai is a Professor at the Wushu Research Center, Shanghai University of Sport. His main research interests include the social history of Chinese martial arts.

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