Wushu is a form of martial art with roots and a long history in China. In modern times, it has developed into an international sport under the aegis of the International Wushu Federation (IWUF). Today Wushu is an important event in multi-sport events including Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games.
Also, IWUF hosts World Wushu Championships every two years. The last championship was held in Shanghai, China in 2023. Also, China has the highest number of 226 medals including 212 Gold, 12 Silver, and 2 Bronze medals in Wushu. Iran stands second with 96 medals including 51 Gold, 22 Silver, and 23 Bronze medals. Hong Kong holds the third position with 150 medals including 48 Gold, 63 Silver, and 39 Bronze medals.
Here’re the top Wushu players in the world
1. Aniyan Midhun (India)
Born: 18 June 1992, Thrissur, Kerala, India
Aniyan Midhun started playing Wushu in 2002 and achieved many feats including a gold medal at the World Pro Wushu Sanda Fight 2022 in Thailand. Aniyan Midhun made was the first from South India to represent the country at the world Wushu event and made the country proud by bringing a gold medal to the country. He is fondly called “Son of the Arabian Sea” for his love for the sea where he spent many days practicing Wushu sport.
2. Jet Li (China)
Born: 26 April 1963, Beijing, China
Jet Li is an action hero in Chinese media. But few people know that he was a renowned Wushu player in his youth. He was Men’s All-Around National Wushu Champion five times from 1974 to 1979. He took an early retirement from the Wushu competition at the age of 18 and went on to make a striking career in the film industry where he attained stardom due to his fighting skills. He has acted in many Chinese, American, and Western movies.
3. Zhao Changjun (China)
Born: 1960, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
Zhao Changjun had a tough time setting foot in Wushu as he was rejected multiple times for strange reasons. Also, he was overshadowed by the leading Wushu star of that time Jet Li. But nothing discouraged Zhao Changjun from practicing Wushu and finally, the world recognized his talent during the 1985 International Invitational Wushu Championships in Xi’an. Zhao Changjun became the star of the event with three gold medals and the all-around title. He repeated the success in the 1986 International Invitational Wushu Championships in Tianjin.
4. Yuan Wenqing (China)
Born: 1966, Shanxi, China
Yuan Wenqing is a retired Wushu player but he is still regarded as one of the finest Wushu players of all time. He even earned the nickname “the prince of Wushu” due to his remarkable speed and power. He started practicing Wushu at the age of 8 and within four years, he became a national champion by winning a gold medal at the 1982 national championship in Shuangdao. Yuan debuted in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing and won a gold medal.
5. Eduard Folayang (Phillipines)
Born: 22 November 1983, Baguio, Philippines
A decorated mixed martial arts and Wushu player, Eduard Folayang is a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion. He was also the last welterweight champion at Universal Reality Combat Championship. Eduard Folayang also won many international championships including the 2011 Southeast Asian Games where he won a gold medal. He also won medals in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, the 2005 World Wushu Championship, and the 2002 Busan Asian Games. Today Eduard Folayang raises funds for the education of underprivileged Filipino children.
6. Mohsen Mohammadseifi (Iran)
Born: 8 September 1989, Zanjan, Zanjan Province, Iran
Mohsen Mohammadseifi is a leading Wushu player who shot into fame by winning gold medals five times from 2011 to 2019. He amazed his fans and critics alike with his skills. He is fast and his moves are powerful. He leaves no space for the opponent to strike. He was a gold medalist in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Also, he ranked as the No. 1 Wushu player at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
7. Bozigit Ataev (USSR)
Born: 3 December 1979, Niznie Kazanishe, USSR
Bozigit Ataev deserves a place in the list of leading or greatest Wushu players of all time. A professional since 2000, Bozigit Ataev has been a world champion for a record five times in 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2013. Also, he was second in 2009 with a silver medal. He also competed in RINGS and PRIDE Fighting Championships.
8. Jowen Lim (Singapore)
Born: 6 January 1999
Little information is available about the personal life of Jowen Lim but much info is available about his professional career. He participated in World Junior Wushu Championships three times from 2010 to 2014 and became a world champion two times. Similarly, he appeared two times in the Asian Junior Wushu Championships and won the championship one time. He won a silver medal at the 2016 Asian Wushu Championship in Taoyuan. But he won two gold medals at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. He has an illustrious career in Wushu sports.
9. Lee Ha-sung (South Korea)
Born: 6 June 1994
Lee Ha-sung is one of the few Wushu players who achieved big feats for their countries. He is credited for bringing the first gold medal for South Korea at the 2014 Asian Games. He again won a gold medal at the 2015 World Wushu Championship and made his country proud again.
10. Hossein Ojaghi (Iran)
Born: 30 August 1975, Tehran
Hossein Ojaghi is a well-decorated professional Wushu player from Iran. He was active from the late 1900s to the 2000s when he won many medals. He participated in Asian Games and the 2008 Beijing Wushu Tournament.
Wushu is fast becoming a popular sport due to the leading players who inspire youngsters to practice this sport. It is a combat sport that builds stamina and encourages quick decision-making. Today there is hardly any country where Wushu isn’t practiced.