Combativeness – Self-defense
Many might wonder about the martial character and self-defense aspects of Parawushu. This is a legitimate question since Wushu itself stands for “Wu” (martial/combat) and “Shu” (art). Moreover, athletes with disabilities may also contemplate this as a criterion for starting a Kung Fu style. Such a question should not be considered taboo, and certainly, neither should its answer be.
An inherent characteristic of Kung Fu is the cultivation of what is known as martial skill or “Wu Gong.” This is achieved through various means, and one of the most significant methods is training in the air. Shadowboxing (chained techniques or “lian huan quan”), predefined movement patterns using punching and kicking for both offense and defense, with specific steps and alternating stances (known as Taolu), enriches the body with qualities (motor control) and suitable mechanics (motor adaptations).
You initially prepare for predefined contact and gradually for free combat (Sanshou), whether someone has a disability or not. The challenge is evident for people with disabilities, the difficulties are visible, and the adaptations come with increasing demands.
So, if someone asks (not that unfortunately, this aspect is not part of everyday life in a society like ours), what does a person with a disability do when they face an attack and how can they react if they need to protect themselves and others? The answer will clearly be the same as for someone without a disability. A person reacts by trying to apply what they have learned if they cannot avoid it.
The practitioners of Wushu can react, manage to cope, protect themselves, fight, whether they have a disability or not.
The essence is continuous practice for self-improvement and genuine martial knowledge. Kung Fu aids in this kind of self-confidence; it’s clever, always utilizing the opponent’s strength and momentum. It is associated with phrases like “the weak overcomes the strong.” It is “cunning,” targeting vulnerable points, teaching you to react and relax in the next moment, all without filling yourself with “poison.”
Some examples include: If someone uses a wheelchair, they should find the best geometry and angle to utilize their core strength without rushing to close the distance. If someone is blind, they should transform their cane into a weapon and, when necessary, close the distance in order to not lose contact. The same may apply, if someone uses a crutch etc.
The individualization of cases and the chaos of free combat self-defense play a significant role.