2016 was an awesome year for Wushu competition and Wushu championships around the world. The International Wushu Federation (IWUF) oversaw more than a dozen continental and international tournaments — three in particular give a real sense of how far the sport of Wushu has come in the 21st century.
The 6th Junior World Wushu Championships in Bulgaria brought on a slew of new breakout teenage stars. The 8th Sanda World Cup in Xian, China, put sanda’s elite hard-hitting champions on the full-combat stage. And to finish out the year, the “best of the best” taolu world stars met in Fuzhou, China, for the first ever Taolu World Cup – battling not only for gold but also for prize money.
Through the lens of award-winning sports photographer W. S. Chen here’s a look at the blood, sweat and tears of victory and defeat in these action-packed wushu events: