Parawushu Greece (希腊残疾人武术运动员)- Χila Canjiren Wushu Yundongyuan – Wushu for Athletes with disabilities in Greece
What is Parawushu?
Parawushu is the daily practice of people with disabilities in Wu-Shu (Martial Art) or, as commonly known in the West, Kung Fu (Time – Energy).
Wushu is a large family of Chinese martial arts with a plethora of styles. The recorded styles in China and throughout the world are more than 100. Some of the styles cultivated and developed in Greece include the following:
- Shaolin Quan
- Choy Lee Fut
- Wing Chun
- Ying Shou Quan
- Hung Gar
- Fu Jow Pai
- Tang Lang Quan
- Shuai Jiao (Chinese wrestling)
- Taiji Quan (Chen, Wu, Yang, Wu hao, Sun, Wu tang)
- Xinyi Quan
- Baji Quan
- Tongbiquan (Ape style)
So, exercising in any of these Kung Fu styles by individuals with disabilities is called Parawushu. Either at an individual or team level (inclusive). Either as personal training and rehabilitation of injuries or illnesses, for health and physical condition improvement, or even within the framework of the inclusion and participation of children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders within a group. Even in the form of competition in Interclub and Panhellenic Championships of the Greek Wushu Kung Fu Federation. Finally, for self-defense purposes, Wushu cultivated and developed human martial ability for thousands of years.
A few words about the name Parawushu
It has become prevalent in all sports practiced by athletes with disabilities to include the prefix “para,” with the most well-known example being the Paralympic Games. The same applies to us. We chose this name not necessarily as an attempt to integrate Parawushu into a future Paralympics that would encompass it, but rather by drawing upon the initial ideals of the disability movement and the way it placed sports within the realm of disability. This is a way of inclusion and rehabilitation. The “founders” of this effort at Stoke Mandeville Rehabilitation Hospital introduced this prefix in the 1948 athletic events while working with disabled individuals from World War II. The spirit behind this was essentially the same as the ideals of Kung Fu, respecting human beings and nature (Taoism, Buddhism), especially after such a devastating and hostile war towards humanity.
So, “para” originates from “paraplegic” on one hand and simultaneously from the Greek “parallel” (Olympiad – parallel Olympiad – Paralympics – para-sports – parallel sports/arts in general).
This way, early on, we avoid names and designations that are negative and divisive, such as “special sports,” “special sports/skills/abilities.” Furthermore, the Greek legal system has officially ceased using such terms for many years.