Fight for a top grade in Wu Shu

22nd July 2005 at 01:00
It has been a hit in top martial arts movies such as Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Now Wu Shu, a dance style based on ancient Chinese martial arts movements, is about to be a regular sight in inner-city secondaries as part of a new GCSE course.

Wu Shu, which involves fluid and choreographed interaction between performers, rather than actual fighting, will be the basis of a new performing arts applied GCSE being piloted in a series of secondary schools in Leeds.

The College of Chinese Physical Culture, which has its international headquarters in Leeds, has developed the course in partnership with Leeds College of Technology.

Ben Green, the CCPC's project manager, said: "We have actually had more demand than we can cope with.

"All of our tutors have been practising Chinese Wu Shu for at least ten years and they have experience of working in schools. They have all followed a performing and a coaching programme."

Pupils will be expected to choreograph and design their own performance, based on Wu Shu, which will then be evaluated. The course, which also incorporates Chinese yoga, will cover all aspects of the performing arts industry.

Pupils will gain extra qualifications in areas such as electronic music, health and safety and web design.

"We will be combining ancient wisdom with lots of modern skills," Mr Green said.

The CCPC, which runs courses throughout the world, including France, Germany and the United States, specialises in a form of Wu Shu that is more than 3,000 years old. Tutors from the college will work with students at three Leeds secondary schools: Wortley high, John Smeaton high and Intake high from September.

Max Dowling, head of alternative curriculum at Intake high, said the Wu Shu GCSE would benefit pupils who needed an alternative to the mainstream curriculum.

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