World Shuai Jiao Tournament/Rome 2014

The Greek Team at the “2014 Europe-Rome World Shuai Jiao Tournament”

The European Shuai Jiao Union organized the “2014 Europe-Rome World Shuai Jiao Tournament” that took place between 17-18 May, with the participation of 21 national teams. The Hellenic Shuai Jiao Union was represented by the athletes Ioanna Toumpakari (-56kg) (A.C. Kerameikos), Andreas Tzimopoulos (-75kg) (A.C. Ilision), and Vangelis Kavouras (-82kg) (A.C Kerameikos) The team included Dimitris Doukas as team leader and Panagiotis Derventis and George Divanis as coaches.

Our mission, although initially aimed simply at gaining experience for the athletes and coaches, ended up winning one second and one fourth place, competing against high level athletes with long experience and excellent technique. Specifically, Ioanna Toumpakari won silver medal managing two overwhelming victories (10-0) against the Americans, while Andreas Tzimopoulos won four matches out of the six he played, winning fourth place and offering to the rest of the team lots of memories full of excitement. Although Vangelis Kavouras played four matches without managing a victory, he gained priceless experiences and a direct understanding of the effort that one must commit to in order to reach a high level in the art.

The Shuai Jiao competition turned out to be especially arduous for the athletes as they had to compete in three or four matches each day. Thus they had to exhibit not only technical abilities and physical stamina but will and mental power as well. Their effort was rewarded though by the high level of judging and the generally flawless organization of the event.

In the official meeting of team leaders and coaches that preceded the tournament, issues relating to the development of Shuai Jiao were discussed in detail, and especially the intention from the part of China to systematically work towards the future prevalence of this martial art.

Three more points need to be mentioned. First the very high technical level of many athletes, with the Chinese (Inner Mongolia), the French, the Italian and the Russian teams standing out. Second the fact that most of the coaches and athletes had also a strong background in other traditional styles of Chinese Wushu. Lastly, the vibe of the whole event was great, with coaches and athletes showing real mutual respect for each other, confirming thus by their composture the value of the Chinese proverb that “through the games we build new friendships”.

Concluding this short review of the “2014 Europe-Rome World Shuai Jiao Tournament” the Hellenic Shuai Jiao Union would like once again to congratulate the three athletes that participated for their distinguished performance as well as for the whole disposition they showed during the whole event. On the wake of this very significant event and contributing to the efforts for the promotion and development of Shuai Jiao we will organize between 31st May – 1st June and 7th June – 8th June the 2nd seminar on Chinese wrestling with coach Liu Zu Guang.  

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