Martial art sports at Asiad explained
Chennai, Sept 4: A look at the 69 medals that India secured at the Asian Games at Jakarta will throw up many questions like 1) How did we miss out on Kabaddi gold? 2) Why did we secure just two medals in boxing? 3) Which Indians won the two medals in Kurash?
No, wait. What the hell is this Kurash?
Is it a real sport? Looks more like the name that Tamil parents are wont to give their new-born son.
Kurash is a martial arts based sport. Not just Kurash, this Asiad saw a few others like Jujitsu, Pencak Silat and Wushu, and they were hugely popular among the spectators consisting mostly of other competitors and team officials.
The problem with sports like Kurash, Jujutsu is that the rules are not known to many, which often includes the actual participants and medal winners. We believe that in Pencak Silat the competition was decided on first-come-first-serve basis. Pencak Silat winner turned out to be the cleaning lady who arrived to mop the floor.
To make things clear, Crank’s News comes up with small briefs on these exciting sports events that can surely capture the imagination of today’s youth provided these sports do the commonsense thing of being available in downloadable formats for mobile phones.
Kurash: Kurash is an old Turkish wrestling that was founded in — why not? — Uzbekistan. This makes it clear this is not a normal sport.
As a sport, Kurash has plenty of things in common with Judo in that you will not have a clue as to who is winning the bout. The principal aim in Kurash, like in Judo, is to grab the opponent’s attire. Otherwise precious little happens. No fighting ever occurs. So to define, Kurash is ancient Turkish wrestling of dress grabbing invented in Uzbekistan.
In Kurash, participants wear different coloured clothing. So you can differentiate between them, something not possible at all in Judo, where no one can tell whether it is men’s or women’s competition.
There are three kinds of scoring system in Kurash: Halal, Yambosh and Chala. To win the contest, you have to score a Halal. As per the Wiki page of Kurash, the throw that is close to Halal is given Yambosh. Two Yambosh makes a Halal. The throw that is close to Yambosh is given Chala. No number of Chala can equal a Yambosh.
So basically Chala is like the Vice President. Just around without serving any great purpose.
Jujutsu: Jujutsu is also called Jiu Jitsu or Jujitsu or Juijuitsu. Jujutsu is basically Japanese martial arts of confusing spelling.
“Ju” in Japanese means “gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, yielding”. If a small, one syllable word can have so many meanings, I think we can possibly accommodate all the words in Japanese in one A4 sheet. (Japanese Teacher: “Students, in your 9th std last year you learned 3 words. Things in your 10th std will be a lot difficult as your portions will cover 5 full words.” *Students sigh agonisingly at the enormity of the task before them*)
Coming back to Jujutsu, this was the first time it was introduced in the Asiad, and the event that was featured here was Brazilian style one. The difference between Japanese and Brazilian Jujutsu is that the latter is played in beaches, and in figure-revealing bikinis. Okay, unfortunately that was not the case. The Brazilian Jujutsu turns out to be just as devoid of action as the Japanese one.
Wushu: Martial arts are designed to safeguard and defend yourself in situations where you are faced against persons who also practice the same martial art. Otherwise they are just posturings.
Wushu, we are told, is Chinese Kungfu, where Kungfu is Chinese martial art. That would mean Wushu to be: Chinese Chinese martial art.
These East Asian martial arts surely need better nomenclature.
Wushu involves two events. One is called Taolu, and the other Sanda.
Taolu is basically that Chinese martial art that comes handy —- please write this down — when you have to fight no opponent. Seriously, Talou is just a set of routines that you perform in front of judges who give you marks based on the skill you exhibit. Taolu, in other words, is gymnastic floor exercise in traditional Chinese attire.
The other Wushu variant, Sanda, mercifully involves fighting. It incorporates aspects of wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, and sniper shooting. Just kidding about that last one. But you know it.
India won 4 bronzes in Wushu at this Asiad, which is a huge achievement considering the fact that the sport is hardly known here, and India did not send any Wushu team to the Asian Games. The usual fight among the officials was good enough to fetch the team bronze medals.