Top 5 Facts about Sports in India and China
April 27, 2023

Inspired by the ongoing cricket IPL and the summer full of sports activities, Inchin Closer brings to you Top 5 Facts about India-China Sports. Its little known but many of the sports that we play internationally today, such as football had their origins in either of our two nations.

While India might be fighting diabetes and China obesity amongst its youth, sports have been an integral part of our DNA since millennia. Playing a sport increases healthy competition amongst players, boosts team building and camaraderie between participants. It’s great to get outdoors in the summer and play a new sport or an old favourite.

Below, Inchin Closer outlines 5 fascinating facts about Sports Origins in India and China. Look at the images below and follow us on Instagram to uncover what these sports are called in Mandarin and how to pronounce them correctly.

  1. Shaolin Kung Fu originated with an Indian Buddhist Monk

Shaolin Kung Fu which is the most famous form of the martial art today was originally brought to China by an Indian monk named Buddhabhadra (佛陀跋陀羅; Fótuóbátuóluó) or Batuo to the Chinese in 495CE. He taught Chinese military disciples the basics of we know today as Shaolin Kung Fu in the mountains of Sichuan Province. In 527 CE. Buddhabadra, another Indian monk, Bodhidharma (菩提達摩; Pútídámó), also known as Damo (達摩) by the Chinese, came to Shaolin to teach Martial Arts. Shaolin Kung Fu as developed as a direct result of the Indian monks training Chinese men to fight. Many of Kung Fu’s moves are inspired and derived from nature – such as the tiger, bird and snake. Wushu is also believed to have originated as a branch of this Kung Fu. Wushu is formed from the two Chinese Characters 武術: 武 (), meaning martial or miliatary and 術 or 术 (shù), which translates into “art”, “discipline”, “skill” or “method”. 

2. Chess Originated in India

One of the oldest and most intellectual games of our times, Chess originated in 6th Century India. Before it was called chess, the game was known as chaturanga (or catur) and was played on an 8×8 grid and featured pieces generally similar to those of modern chess. While the original Indian game was played with counselors and emephants, its evolved into its modern day form when it spread to Persia and then the Middle East. Chess also spread to China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, where it evolved into the related games xiangqi and shogi, which are sometimes called Chinese and Japanese chess, respectively.

3. Football originated in China

Originated during the Han dynasty (206 BC – AD 220), Cuju or the earliest form of football as we know it today, was a military game invented by the soliders to keep fit. Much like its played today, it involved putting a ball through the net without the use of hands. As popularity of the sport grew, it moved from an game played by soliders to the royal court and upper classes. At the same time rules and regulations for Cuju were established. The game was further refined during the Tang Dynasty (618–907), when two goal posts were created and the air filled ball, replaced the feather stuffed ball. Later, building on its popularity Cuju spread to Japan and Persia and from there on to Britain from where the game received international success.

4. Badminton originated in British India

Played by British Army Officers in the 1860’s with goose feathers, Badminton was originally called Poona – modern day Pune where the army officers were stationed. Today an olympic sport, Badminton was taken to England by a bunch of returning army officers who decided to entertain guests during a party held in the back lawn of the Duke of Beaufort. The Duke’s home was called Badminton House. Like modern day viral video’s the game spread via word of mouth of the guests and came to be known as the Badminton Game. The rest they say is history.

5. Cricket is not the National Sport of India; nor is Table Tennis the national sport of China

    While more than a million people in India watch the Cricket IPL and Table Tennis is ferociously followed in China, neither of the sports are the national games of either country. Due to the sheer volume, fan following and craze around both Cricket in India and Table Tennis in China they are defacto considered the national sports of each nation, they have factually never been officially recognised as the national sports.

    Inspired by the ongoing cricket IPL and the summer full of sports activities, Inchin Closer brings to you Top 5 Facts about India-China Sports.

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