Generally, the martial arts in China go back thousands of years and were formulated for the same reasons they were nearly everywhere, to aid in hunting and protect against enemies. Wushu is the Chinese term for martial arts in contemporary times. In 1923 the Chinese National Wushu Games were held in Shanghai, and in 1936 a Chinese wushu delegation performed a demonstration at the Olympic Games held in Berlin. Wushu continued to develop through the Republican Era and after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Wushu competition formats and rules were implemented, and teaching methods and materials were standardized.
In 1958, the government established the All-China Wushu Association as an umbrella organization to regulate martial arts training. Along with this, the sport became known as wushu. In 1979, the State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports created a special task force to teach and practice Wushu. In 1985 the first International Invitational Wushu Tournament was held in Xi’an, and In 1986, the Chinese National Research Institute of Wushu was established as the central authority for the research and administration of Wushu activities in China. Wushu has become an international sport through the International Wushu Federation (IWUF), formed in 1990. The first World Wushu Championships were held in Beijing, in 1991.