Discover Jianzi the ancient Chinese game also inspired by another
Learning the rules of a new game is exciting, but it can also be confusing. One missed rule and a fun physical activity may turn into a frustrating afternoon. We get it - we were intimidated at first when we learned the rules of Jianzi before releasing Kickit. This article is about one of the sports that inspired Kickit; Jianzi - read on to learn more about this ancient Chinese game!
Did you know David Beckham has played Jianzi?!
What is Jianzi?
Jianzi is a traditional sport in China that uses a weighted shuttlecock which must be kept in the air by the player’s bodies except for the hands. Jianzi is a favorite pastime in China and has been enjoyed by children and adults for centuries as well as evolving into a competitive sport. The rules of Jianzi vary based on the level of play, from competitive to recreational.
Jianzi itself was derived from another Chinese sport called Cuju, in which a ball must be kicked through an opening into a net, and the use of hands is not allowed. Jianzi doesn’t use a ball and, in fact, is named after the weighted, feathered shuttlecock that is used to play the game. In addition to China, Jianzi is also played in Vietnam, the Philippines, and in recent years, the game has even gained a formal following in the USA, Europe, and other countries. It is estimated that the history of Jianzi goes back two thousand years.
Basic Game Play
The jianzi or shuttlecock is kept from touching the ground using various parts of the body except for the hands. Primarily, the jianzi is balanced and propelled through the air using the feet or parts of the leg. Skilled players may employ the use of impressively acrobatic and powerful overhead kicks. In China, there are two ways to play an informal or recreational game:
- Circle - 5-10 people play against each other standing in a circle
- Duel - 2 people or 2 sides play against each other
Competitive Game Play
Government-run competitive games are called “hacky-sack” and are played on a rectangular court that is 6 by 12 meters and divided by a net, very similar to badminton. In 2009, a brand new game called Chinese JJJ was invented and has become the most popular competitive form of the game. The most interesting fact about Chinese JJJ is that it applies soccer’s goal shooting techniques for each side to attack each other over a low middle net.
Recreational games involving two players or two sides often have the objective of keeping the Jianzi in the air until an agreed target of 100 kicks is reached. In circle play between multiple people, the objective of the game is usually to keep play going. In all forms, a skillful display is the key component of the game!
Just look at how amazing this is!
Whether you play the ancient Cuju, the ancient but evolved Jianzi, or the new, modern Kickit, you will enjoy several physical benefits including better coordination, aerobic exercise, and improved balance. Kickit, inspired by four similar sports including Jianzi, was designed for the modern soccer player and fan to enjoy as a fun, skill-building game.
Available in a take-anywhere Kickit Sport Pack, it’s easy to play Kickit indoors or outdoors and fun for all ages and levels of fitness.