Chinese Sports and the Values of Taoism and Confucianism

4 April 2015
This paper reviews the book “Training the Body for China” by Brownell, which presents the practices, objects and activities of Chinese sports and material arts.

This paper discusses that, unlike Western sports, Chinese sports and martial art are developed based on religious beliefs; in China, sports are based on two native religions, Taoism and Confucianism. The author reviews Susan Brownell’s Training the Body for China in which she shares her studies of Chinese Olympic sports and martial arts. For example, the author point out that, in sport, Chinese culture employs self-disciplinary actions to deal with misbehavior to sustain order, a value of Confucianism.
One of the beliefs Confucianism values is the importance of family; this notion is also the linkage between Confucianism and the practices Chinese sports. One of ethical lessons Confucianism teaches is Hsiao, which signifies love within family; this notion is also apparent in Chinese sports. According to Brownell, there has been a phenomenon of developing family-funded sports clubs and village-based associations among Chinese. Having family-funded sport clubs consisting family members as players clearly indicates how Confucianism value has become a part of Chinese life and sports.
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