Kung fu exercises a fascination for the people of Penang – young and old – that is seldom talked about. However, the long tradition of the schools that exist in the state, and the exacting nature of their arts put it beyond doubt that Penang remains a guardian for skills that are being lost elsewhere, even in China. The Penang Sao Lim Athletic Association (PSLAA) is one of them.
MANY PENANGITES GREW UP WITH some connection to some martial art. But few realise that there are more than 50 Chinese martial arts schools to be found in the state. Most of them still teach martial arts that are truly traditional, which are quite different from the modern style wushu (Mandarin for “martial arts”) which comprises more acrobatic and explosive movements that we often see in movies. With wushu’s growing popularity, however, Penang has become a destination for martial arts enthusiasts from various countries wanting to learn the fast disappearing traditional forms.
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