Learning Chinese | Shuttlecock Kicking (踢毽子)


Shuttlecock Kicking, 踢毽子 tī jiàn zi

The shuttlecock kicking is a traditional popular folk game. Some records date its origin as far back as the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). This game prevailed during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), when shops specializing in shuttlecocks business appeared. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), formal competition of shuttlecock kicking was held. In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), shuttlecock kicking reached its climax in terms of both making technics and the kicking skills.

To make a shuttlecock, a piece of cloth wrapped around a coin is needed, and then a punch of feather is inserted through the coin hole, which retards the rising and descending of the shuttlecock.

There are endless variations in terms of styles and methods of kicking - just as long as the shuttlecock remains in the air. With one leg fixed on the ground, the shuttlecock is kicked by the inner ankle of the other. Some other styles include kicking the shuttlecock back and forth between two people. Those who advance to a high level of mastery can perform some truly impressive feats. The challenge of the increasingly difficult levels of shuttlecock kicking has made it a popular and timeless game among the Chinese children. This game helps people strengthen their legs and enhance their concentration.