Home Asian Games 2018 Wushu India: Journey of Indian warriors to glory in Asian Games 2018

Wushu India: Journey of Indian warriors to glory in Asian Games 2018

Highlights – Wushu India

  • Wushu, a style of martial arts, brought glory to the nation. India gave its best performance in wushu at the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games. Wushu India
  • India came back with four bronze medals in sanda category. Naorem Roshibina Devi, Santosh Kumar, Surya Bhanu Partap Singh and Narender Grewal each won a medal. After a spirited fight, all of them defeated their opponents in the quarterfinals. However, they had were knocked out in the semis and had to be content with the bronze.
  • The achievement has been the best so far in the game. The Asiad glory has opened up new avenues for the sport in India.

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India’s Santosh Kumar (blue) in a bout against Vietnam’s Bui Truong Giang during the Wushu – Men’s Sanda – 56kg Semifinals at the Asian Games 2018, in Jakarta (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan)

The multi-sport extravaganza of Asian Games began on 18 August. India is performing extremely well in the games. Our athletes are making us proud by winning top laurels in various sports. One such sport that is making headlines is wushu. Wushu India

Every year a wushu festival is organized in Jammu and Kashmir. This year the celebrations will be four times special! This year the festival will have not just athletes, but medal-winning stars! And mind you, not just any medal the Asiad medal. The Asian Games are second only to the Olympics in grandeur and recognition. Our wushu players have made a stunning mark at the Asiads with four bronze medals.


Did You Know?

Regularly practicing Wushu benefits the nervous, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. Hence, it is an excellent way of keeping fit.


What is Wushu?

Wushu is an extensive and full-contact style of Chinese martial arts. It originally developed in China around the year 1949. The literal meaning of the word is also martial arts. The word ‘wu’ means official or martial, and the word ‘shu’ means arts. The sport was initially played to build up health, prolong life, and cure diseases. With time, it turned into a competitive sport.

It is classified into two major categories: Sanshou and Taolou. Taolou involves basic movements like kicks, punches, jumps, sweeps, and throws. Sanda has more modern fighting styles like boxing, kickboxing, and wrestling. The traditional sport lays emphasize on both internal and external exercises with fighting movements. Wushu was first demonstrated for the entire world in the Berlin Olympics in 1936.


Wushu India – The begining

After the demonstration, the whole world took interest in the dynamic martial arts. Late Sri Anand Kacker brought the game in India in 1989. It instantly became popular all over the country. Wushu Association of India was officially established in the same year. Through its various units across the country, the Association is providing opportunities for budding players.

India debuted in wushu at the Asian Games 2006. However, the medals came in 2014 Incheon Asiads. With an overhaul of two bronze medals, we finally arrived. Narender Grewal was one of the medal winners then. This year has turned out to be even better with four bronze medals.

India’s Wushu Glory in Jakarta Asiads

The wushu team made the country proud as it came back with not one, but four medals! It is truly a historic feat. This achievement will open new doors for the game in India. The team included Naorem Roshibina Devi, Santosh Kumar, Surya Bhanu Partap Singh, Narender Grewal, and Pardeep Kumar. Except Pardeep, all other players won a bronze each. Let us take a look at the Asiad journey as well as past achievements of our wushu fighters.


Naorem Roshibina Devi

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Roshinibai (second from the right) with other winners

Quick Facts

  • Date of Birth: 20 December 2000
  • Place of Birth: Manipur, India
  • Height: N/A
  • Weight: 171 kg / 377 lbs


Road to Fame

  • Naorem Devi participated in the women’s sanda 60 kg category at the Asiads. In the quarterfinals she defeated Mubashra of Pakistan 2-0.
  • However, she lost out to Cai Yingying of China in the semis just because of a single point and had to settle with a bronze.

Interesting Facts

  • Naorem comes from a humble farming family in Manipur.
  • She was selected in the Asiad team after her spectacular gold at the Asian meet.
  • When I first won a bronze in Junior Worlds in 2016, my parents would tell other villagers about my achievement. The gold medal in world junior wushu championships in Russia in February too was a huge thing for my parents. But Asiad is the biggest gift for my family. They have never seen me compete on television but I am sure they were able to see me fight today,” she told the Indian Express.


Santosh Kumar

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Santosh Kumar (extreme right) with the other winners

Quick Facts

  • Date of Birth: 21 November 1991
  • Place of Birth: Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Height: 174 cm / 5’9’’
  • Weight: 57kg / 125 lbs
  • Alma Mater: University of Delhi, India

Road to Fame

  •  The youngster participated in the men’s sanda 56kg category in the Asian Games 2018. His first challenge was Zaid Ali Wazea of Yemen. He defeated him 2-0 win.
  • Then it was the turn of Thailand’s Phithak Paokrathok to be knocked out of the tournament.
  • Santosh managed to reach the semifinals, but Truong Giang Bui of Vietnam got the better of him and he lost 0-2 in the semifinal bout.


Asian Games

Year Place Event Rank
2014 Incheon Sanda – 56 kg 9
2010 Guangzhog Sanda – 56 kg 9

World Championships

Year Place Event Rank
2011 Ankara, Turkey Sanda – 56 kg 5
2013 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Sanda – 52 kg 3
2017 Kazan, Russia Sanda – 56 kg 9

Asian Championships

Year Place Event Rank
2016 Taoyuan, Taiwan Sanda – 60 kg 9


Surya Bhanu Partap Singh

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Surya Bhanu Pratap Singh (blue) in a bout against Iran’s Erfan Ahangarian during the Wushu – Men’s Sanda – 60kg Semifinals at the Asian Games 2018 (PTI)

Quick Facts

  • Date of Birth: 20 February 1994
  • Place of Birth: Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • Height: N/A
  • Weight: 154 / 340 lbs
  • Coach: Kuldeep Handoo

Road to Fame

  • He first defeated Indonesia’s Abdul Haris Sofyan 2-1. Then he qualified for the semifinals by beating Jean Claude Saclag from Philippines.
  • Unfortunately. He was defeated by Erfan Ahanagarian 0-2 in the men’s sanda 60kg category.

He won hearts once again by dedicating his medal to slain policemen and their families in Jammu & Kashmir.

Interesting Facts

  • Hi father, Balkar Singh is a former Bharat Kesari wrestler.
  • Surya was a very mischievous kid. Hence, his parents decided to send him for wushu training. “I would often end up fighting with elder children and my mother would scold me. National coach Kuldeep Handoo’s village is near mine and I started wushu in my school,” he recalls in an interview with the Indian Express.
  • He wants to become an UFC star one day.


World Championships

Year Place Event Rank
2015 Jakarta, Indonesia Sanda – 60 kg 3
2017 Kazan, Russia Sanda – 60 kg 3

South Asian Games

Year Place Event Rank
2016 Guwahati-Shillong, India Sanda – 60 kg 1


Rangil Singh Award for Sports Excellence (Jammu and Kashmir Olympic Association)


Narender Grewal

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Narender Grewal (right) at the felicitation ceremony

Quick Facts

  • Date of Birth: 11 July 1994
  • Place of Birth: Haryana, India
  • Height: 174 cm / 5’9’’
  • Weight: 175kg / 386 lbs
  • Coach: Kuldeep Handoo
  • Alma Mater: Maharshri Dayanand University, Rohtak, India

Road to Fame

  • Grewar had already made his mark at the Incheon Asian Games. He proved his consistency with a bronze yet again in the men’s sanda 65kg event.
  • He beat Phillipines’ Clemente Jr Tabugara 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
  • After a spirited performance in the quarterfinals, he was defeated by AkmalRakhimov of Uzbekistan 0-2.

Interesting Facts

  • He is fondly called as dynamite by his loved ones.
  • Grewal started training at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi.
  • The reason he took up wushu is his aspiration to be a fighter.



Asian Games

Year Place Event Rank
2014 Incheon Sanda – 60 kg 3

World Championships

Year Place Event Rank
2013 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Sanda – 60 kg 9

Pardeep Kumar

Quick Facts

  • Date of Birth: 15 February 1992
  • Place of Birth: Punjab, India
  • Height: N/A
  • Weight: 175 kg / 386 lbs
  • Coach: Kuldeep Handoo
  • Alma Mater: Jammu University, India

He is well-versed in Hindi, English, and Punjabi languages.

Pardeep Kumar is the only Indian team member who couldn’t qualify for the semis at the Asian Games.


All the players were in China for a training session before the games. This period was instrumental in the team’s resounding success. “We came here straight from China. We trained there for one month. They have Grade 1 coaches, who helped our players. The government and SAI helped us by funding these training trips and including our athletes in TOPS,” Ravi Prakash Tripathi, head coach of the Indian team said.

The team will be welcomed with a parade by wushu enthusiast in Jammu and Kashmir.  Though other types of martial arts are played in the state, wushu is the most popular one. The main reason could be the medals it is bringing home. More than 20,000 wushu players train in Jammu and Kashmir. Areas like Bandipora and Kupwara have a lot of female enthusiasts. These players train hard in spite of curfews, violence, and riots that wreak havoc in the state.

The Wushu Association of India has been extremely proactive. This has tremendously helped the players as well as the sport. Wushu training takes place at NIS Patiala under the Sports Authority of India. However, if more facilities are provided on a local level, we will have better chances. Perhaps, the Asiad feat will change things for the better. At the next Asiads the medal tally will go much higher. That is not an unrealistic expectation considering more than 20,000 athletes play wushu, isn’t it?

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Mamta Thatte
A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.


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