Wushu teaches students self-defense, ethics


MANGALURU, Nov 29: The students of St Aloysius Gongaza School are not only dealing with the study of martial arts not just as a means of self-defense or mental training, but as a system of ethics.

The school has been the first to introduce Wushu, a Chinese martial art that features graceful movements and some acrobatic aerial manoeuvres. Teaching them Wushu is Haruka Ito, founder and technical director (coach) at Haruka Wushu Culture Institute, who has trained in Tai Chi and Wushu for two decades in Japan.

Haruka 44, has participated more than 50 Wushu competitions and is a holder of gold, silver and bronze Medal in Wushu Competitions in Japan. She says, "There are more than 300 variations in Wushu. I’m teaching the students here that features graceful movements and manoeuvres".

Apart from martial arts, Haruka lays stress on ethics. "Wushu teaches the student to be humble, have the right attitude and respect others," points out Haruka taking her own case to say that Wushu filled her with self-confidence.

One demonstration by Haruka and the Gonzaga principal Grace Noronha was floored. We teach students karate too. When we first started karate as an extra-curricular activity to students of Std II to VII, we noticed, they had shown some aggressive traits. Now we have it from Std III to Std VII. Wushu, I found, was a milder form having graceful movements. Even the parents liked it.

Haruka arrived in Mangaluru in January 2012. "It was specifically Mangaluru as an NRI introduced us to this place and we liked it," says Haruka who acts as a business coordinator for Japanese business in Mangaluru.

As of now, 96 students, including 53 from Kindergarten have enrolled to learn Wushu once a week. Students are happy that they are learning an art form than a purely martial art.

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