Chinese martial arts are big hit in Palestine

2021-02-05 12:04:36

RAMALLAH-Chinese martial arts are gaining popularity among Palestinian girls in the West Bank. Sport Plus Academy is among those specialized sports clubs that teach girls the basic rules of wushu, or Chinese martial arts, and its techniques. "Up until now, there have been more than 100 girls who have joined our team," says Bissan Jarrar, the first female coach of wushu from Ramallah city, adding that the number of trainees has been doubled in the past few months. "It is a new phenomenon that the Palestinian girls would like to be part of this unique sport," the 24-year-old coach says. The young woman explained that for many decades, the practice of wushu was limited to males in the Palestinian territories, but now the situation is different. "Contrary to what some people may think, wushu does not encourage violence. It helps the players link their minds with muscles in order to take their defying decision in a fast manner," the coach says. Four years ago, Jarrar became interested in mastering such sport. The young woman managed to gain local and international awards and became a coach for wushu. "I felt so happy, when I won the silver medal in the regional competition that was held in Lebanon," the coach says, adding that she believes she helped to raise the reputation of Palestine by participating in such tournaments. Batoul Abdul Wahhab, one of Jarrar's trainees, says she has joined the wushu team because it is a new sport for the Palestinian girls. "It has helped me change my character and become stronger in my life," the 14-year-old girl says, as she finished showing her ability to perform wushu in front of her peers and coach. She says that wushu has succeeded in putting women and men on the same level, as it depends on minds rather than muscles only. "The community is not for men only, but for women too," the girl says, adding that she aspires to participate in global competitions. "There are more than 300 girls from various ages who are practicing wushu in the Palestinian West Bank," says Tarik Khalifa, chief of the Palestinian Federation of Wushu Kung Fu Sports. Any girl can join this sport, regardless of her age and physical skills, as we can train and qualify her to become a professional player and eligible to participate in Arab and international tournaments, he says. In the past two years, a number of girls have won gold, silver and bronze medals in different competitions, thanks to the development of training programs adopted by the federation. Xinhua