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I have been copying the 2004 China National Qualifier Tapes all day. I am not sure what I think about all the changes. They all do the same difficulty movements, the easiest ones for the most points. The new rules have allowed a few liberties in the costumes they are wearing. First off, I don’t feel like I can refer to them as uniforms anymore, they are clearly costumes. The worst of all is on one of my favorite competitors, Cai yang. That little kid, that poor kid. I swear he is wearing a girl’s clubbing shirt and silk Capri pants. It is one of those backless shirts that is simply a square turn on its corner, with a string holding the top around you neck and another tied from the two side coroners around his back. The silk Capri pants need no explanation. I expect the German team to wear lederhosen and perform to polka music now. I call dibbs on the stars and stripes karate gi, oh—with the mortal kombat music.

It is also popular to throw your broadsword. Throwing swords doesn’t make since to me. The spear and staff don’t seem so bad. But why the swords? Isn’t that the stupidest thing you could do if you were in a fight and you had a sword. It’s almost as stupid as jumping and spinning while twirling your weapon. Wait. N’mind.

This all makes me very sad for the wushu.

I am not one of those people that bitch and moan about how wushu is turning into gymnastics, I think most of the difficulty movements are just the natural progression of the sport. I understand some of these new changes are the wushu-powers-that-be’s attempt to make this more of a spectator sport. I fear too much of this is just going to make wushu look like a big joke.

One thing to think about is how much this is going back to their roots. Ever watched some of the Old-old school? They wore some weird crap. And did some odd tricks. But, we need to stop and think if that makes it any better.