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August 13, 2020 3 min read

The Shuttlecock goes way back!

Dating as far back as 5th century B.C in China, a game called Jianzi was born. The Chinese military claimed that Jianzi was created for the sole purpose of relaxing and exercising their troops. Surprisingly, historians have discovered that it was primarily used by generals to maintain zen and stay stress free during training and war time. 

It is believed that Jianzi’s fame and reputation sharply increased around the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). While the game Jianzi has taken the form of many different names throughout the years, it has remained constant in its ways of being played and enjoyed by its participants. 

What makes Jianzi so amazing is that not only has it stood the test of time, but it has no societal limitations. Jianzi has been enjoyed for centuries by adults and children, both rich and poor. It has no boundaries and can be played just about anywhere, at any time! It has survived through scarce times and economic booms. But unless you have travelled to east Asia, you probably haven't even heard of the game! Even so, the game has managed to make its way across the globe and establish itself as a source of entertainment and competition.

Let’s see where else the shuttlecock has made a name for itself!

Shuttlecock's Across the Globe

Malaysia (15th Century)

Sepak Takraw originated around the 15th Century in  Malaysia. At the time, this game was considered only for royalty. The origin of the name comes from two languages. Sepak, which means “kick” in Malay, and Takraw, which means “ball” in Thai. This type of game is quite similar to Jianzi with the exception that it is played with a hand woven rattan ball. The game differs from Jianzi in the obvious observation that there are no feathers attached. However, the rules of the game are quite similar.

 Greece (1986)

The shuttlecock concept was introduced by Mr. Jordan Stavridis, Instructor of Chinese Martial Arts in China in 1986. Similar to the Chinese military in the 5th century, Mr. Jordan Stavridis used a feather ball as a means to keep his students physically and mentally sharp. 

16 years later, the Greek Federation of Shuttlecock was formed. Just two years later the first Greek competition was held in 2004 and the rest is history!

Germany (1990~)

In Germany the shuttlecock was first discovered by the one and only Peter von Rüden. He was a German engineer who when traveling to China, came across this game being played in the park. Peter was amazed at not just the game itself but actually the players!

Peter was taken back when he learned that some of them were as old as 70 years old (talk about having no age limits). Peter’s love and joy for the game was so immense that once he brought it back to Germany and gained the support of friends and family, he set out to popularize the sport. He founded the first ever German and European shuttlecock club in 1991. His club name was FFC Hagen. 

The joy for the sport grew rapidly and he hosted the first German Open in 1994. Word quickly spread and the game reached neighboring countries at a rapid pace which would kickstart the shuttlecock experience throughout Europe. 

Kickit (2016)

Kickit is the modern and soccer-inspired take on Jianzi. Simply put, Kickit is where Soccer Meets Badminton! It was founded by Former Division 1 College of Charleston Soccer Player, Eli Dent. His vision of Kickit was to bring his family and friends closer together while sharing in a fun new experience that we call Kickit! From here, that thing with feathers that you will be kicking around is called a Kickit and the sport itself is called Kickit!

Kickit is slowly but surely becoming a phenomenon within the US and we are working to create a community of Kickitiers who enjoy the game as much as we do!

Coming soon are competitive matches, leagues, and tournaments!

Let's Kickit.