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Juedixi -Ancient Chinese Gymnastics


Juedixi, an ancient form of gymnastics, became very popular in the middle of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24). A combination of ancient Chinese culture, art and sports, it corporated dances, music, acrobatics, conjuring and wrestling.

In 108 BC, the third year of the Yuanfeng Reign of Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty, a juedixi performance was held in the capital of Chang'an, drawing spectators, men and women, young and old, from as far as 150 kilometers away. Such shows were often staged by the emperor in honor of foreign guests, contributing to cultural and sports exchanges between China and other countries as well as among various ethnic groups at home.

Han Dynasty pictures inscribed on stones and bricks depict graceful and difficult gymnastic stunts such as standing on a single hand, hanging inverted on a horse cart or a high pole, and handstands on a tight rope.

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