(Sports Focus) Chinese Kung Fu wins hearts in Ningxia
YINCHUAN, April 19 (Xinhua) -- 11-year-old Jia Gu always looks forward to his Kung Fu lessons after school in a training center in downtown Yinchuan, the capital city of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
Five years ago, Jia Gu started learning Chinese martial arts mainly to strengthen his body.
Jia's mother Teng Yanhua says they started taking him to martial arts training because he was constantly sick. Some friends suggested that the training might help him.
Every week, Jia Gu has two lessons and during summer vacations he trains even more than that.
"Jia Gu loves Kung Fu so much that he never feels tired even when he has to practice those moves three hours per day during the vacation," she said.
According to Teng Yanhua, almost all of Jia's classmates in the Kung Fu class have been learning for five years and no one ever thinks of quitting.
"The martial arts give us more than good health. My son is willing to take part in the school parties and he knows skill comes only with practice, patience and persistence," she said.
Chinese Kung Fu is becoming increasingly popular among foreigners, but contrast to that, many Chinese kids aren't as willing to engage with it.
"It is an obvious trend that more and more Chinese parents are sending their children to learn martial arts in recent years, and in Yinchuan, there are at least six Kung Fu training centers and the total number of students reaches 500," according to Wang Liang, Executive Vice Chairman of the Ningxia Wushu Association.
According to Wang, all levels of government took measures to promote martial arts among students. In 2010, the Minister of Education and the General Administration of Sports jointly promoted Kung Fu to be taken as a course in schools.
"Many students and parents getting to know the martial arts through these courses, and when they want to take a course to build up a strong body, Kung Fu becomes a new choice," Wang says.
Zhang Jiadaizi, the mother of a 6-year-old boy, sent her son to learn Chinese Kung Fu a year ago.
"Taekwondo is from South Korea, but Kung Fu is Chinese. I do want my son to learn some Chinese traditional things. He likes it and I hope Kung Fu can bring him good health and help him develop a strong character," she said.
Jia Gu says he will continue learning Kung Fu and hopes one day he will win championships just like his master.
"After watching my son's Kung Fu exhibition at the school, several parents consulted me about where and when to learn. I believe sooner or later Jia Gu will not be the only child in his class learning Kung Fu," Teng Yanhua said.