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NZ Martial Arts team scores at World Wushu Championships

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NZ Martial Arts team scores at World Wushu Championships - Christchurch Tai Chi teacher scores in top 5%

New Zealand’s Martial Arts team won two Golds, a Silver and two Bronze medals in the 5th World Traditional Wushu Championships held recently in China.

2,865 competitors from 53 countries and regions took part in the championships, held over seven days in in the south-eastern Chinese city of Huangshan in November. The event, held every two years in a different Chinese city, is among the world’s largest and most influential event in Martial Arts.

Dave Thew, a Christchurch Martial Arts teacher, won a Gold in his age group category for the Tai Chi event. His score of 9.10 out of 10 put him in the top 5% of all competitors competing in different Martial Arts forms.

In his age category, Auckland Martial Arts teacher, David Wong won a Gold medal in the Tai Chi Chuan and a Bronze medal in the Tai Chi Sword events. David’s scores of 8.78 and 8.82 respectively were his personal best scores.

Shaolin Martial Arts practitioners Kevin (14) and Patrick (10) Zhang of Christchurch made up the balance of the four person New Zealand team. Kevin won a Bronze in the Shaolin event, performing traditional Chinese Martial Arts routines that originate from China’s famous Shaolin Temple.

All competitors competed in gender and age group categories and each person was limited to entering two events.

Wushu is the Chinese term for Martial Arts, and many different styles come under this term. Competitors are judged on points out of 10 on balance, flow, poise, energy and accuracy – and there is a set timeframe for competing in each form.

Dave Thew, taking part in the championship for the second time (he gained a Gold and a Silver in 2010), achieved a personal goal of scoring 9 or over in each event. Besides achieving 9.10 in the bare hands Tai Chi, he was awarded 9.03 in the Tai Chi Sword, the latter just 02 behind the winner of the event.

About the competitors

David Wong is a practitioner of Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan, in both contemporary and traditional bare hand forms and weapons. He has been teaching since 1994 and runs private and community classes in Auckland City. Further information at website:

Dave Thew practises Tai Chi and Qigong for two hours a day and teaches three classes a week as part of the Papanui High School Adult Education programme. He also offers medical Qigong treatments.

Kevin and Patrick receive training from Alex Zhao at the Christchurch based Chinese Martial Arts school, Fanghua Wuguan, where both adults and children as young as four can learn traditional Shaolin Martial Arts for self defence or competition.


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