Yao Chinese sportsman have had crowds of people hooked with interest in their traditional sports, the majority of which include fire or other sharp objects. The group of athletes who took part are a folk troupe of ethnic Yao Chinese and they organised this performance of traditional games in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Risk of danger
These athletes are not happy playing sporting games unless there is an inherent risk of danger associated with the event. They handled a ball of fire, ran across burning wood logs to throw fruit at gongs which were no more than five metres away while running as quickly as possible which was easy since stopping on burning wood would not be recommended.
They also completed a demonstration of a discipline called ‘climbing the mountain of knives’, this particular event saw a barefoot performer climb up a seven metre tall pole which had 36 sharp blades in the place of steps.
In total there are 2.6 million ethnic Yaos residing in mountain communities scattered over the five south provinces in China.
It is clear that the skills on show would take many years of practice and dedication, otherwise the event that took place would have been a bloodbath. There are elements of the games that are intriguing, one of which was a ball game where the two teams would play a game reminiscent to the popular European game of handball, except in this case the ball was on fire.
Although not a sport that would have mass appeal, there is an element of it that would draw crowds and create an interest that would allow it to have some appeal. These kinds of dangerous sports are getting more air time than they had in the past, you only have to look at the north American timber sports series.
The timber sports event are definitely another example of events which an individual would have to spend hours trying to perfect. The level of danger with some of the events make it quite possibly the most dangerous sport, chopping a log in two in the fastest time which sees the participants use very sharp axes. Even cutting cross-section slices being cut using a powerful chainsaw which can very quickly cause someone to lose a limb.
However, it the danger that makes the sports interesting. They are short of being blood sports but there is the threat of injury is amplified.