In the Thai hexagrams in the Book of Changes, there is such a message: "Bao Yi, use Feng He, not a distant legacy." "Bao" means gourd, and "Feng River" means crossing the river. It means that the shaved gourd is tied to the body to cross the river so as not to sink to the bottom. This method of crossing the river by hitting water with certain tools reflects that human beings in primitive times have gradually mastered swimming skills. China’s earliest collection of poems and songs, The Book of Songs, also contains a poem describing swimming: "As long as it is deep, the boat will sail. It’s shallow, and it’s a swim. " Take a raft or ferry to the place with deep water, and dive or float to the place with shallow water. It can be seen that people’s swimming skills reached a certain level more than 2500 years ago. As time goes by. People’s skills in water are getting stronger and stronger, and the relationship between swimming and human society is getting closer and closer, and it has been playing an important role in war, production and entertainment.

    Navy Boat Wars and Folk Popularization in the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period

    During the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, the southern vassal states established naval divisions one after another, and carried out boat warfare, so swimming became an essential part of sailor training. The art of war "Six Rice Raiders" says, "Those who are skilled, therefore, cross the river in deep water; A strong crossbow leads a long army, so it is also a battle over water. The skill of crossing rivers over deep water is called "strange skill". The book Guanzi also records such a historical material: In order to deal with wuyue’s powerful water army, Qi Huangong built a dam on the river to build a large-scale swimming pool, with a depth of 10 meters, and ordered that "those who can swim will be given a thousand dollars". Trained 50,000 foot soldiers who are good at swimming, and defeated the navy of Yue State. Now hidden in the Palace Museum during the Warring States Period, there is a picture of people and fish swimming together at that time, and their swimming posture is harmonious and natural, similar to the current freestyle posture.

    While being carried out as a military training project, swimming activities have also gained a certain degree of popularity among the people. In Zhuangzi Dasheng, there is a story that reflects the folk swimmers: the water of Luliang falls from the cliff of Baizhang, and the waves in the river are rolling and foaming, and the fish and turtles can’t swim. Confucius once stood on the waterfront of Luliang and saw a man writhing in the water, thinking that he was going to drown, so he made his disciples go with the waves to save him. Unexpectedly, the man suddenly surfaced a hundred paces away, singing loudly and enjoying himself, and inviting him to swim down the shore was better than taking a stroll. Such superb swimming skills show that swimmers have mastered the tricks of swimming and the characteristics of water.

    Swimming Technology in Qin and Han Dynasties

    The swimming technique in swimming also appeared very early in ancient China. After Qin Shihuang wiped out the princes, he began a four-way cruise to show off his literary and political skills and consolidate the unified feudal dynasty. According to Historical Records, when he arrived in southern Shandong today, he was told that a bronze tripod of the Zhou Dynasty was sunk in the Swish River here, so he "prayed for fasting and wanted to leave Surabaya, Zhou Ding". He can’t wait to "make thousands of people have no water to ask for, Fu De". This swimming technique was further developed in the future. Hepu County, a coastal county in the Han Dynasty, was rich in pearls. At that time, swimming technology was adopted to collect pearls in the sea. This kind of water production activity has created conditions for the popularization of water sports.

    After the Qin and Han Dynasties, water sports became increasingly prosperous, and there were many experts in swimming. "Biography of Zhou Chu in the Book of Jin" describes that the warrior was good at swimming around and dared to fight. Once, he "fought the dumpling in the water, and the dumpling sank or floated, and the number of lines was ten miles, and the place (Zhou Chu) was with it. After three days and three nights, he killed the dumpling and returned." Being able to fight with the dragon in the water for three days and three nights shows that its swimming skills have reached a very high level. Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, located in the northwest of China, have vivid images reflecting social life in various periods. On the top of the flat base at the back of Cave 257, there is a swimming image of the Northern Wei Dynasty. Four athletes swimming in the water, some of them raised their arms high, as if they were paddling at the same time, like the butterfly stroke now; Some hands are pulled back and forth, which is a bit like freestyle today.

    Tide-makers in Song Dynasty

    Tide, water sports. It is a large-scale water activity including swimming. In the Song Dynasty, frolicking activities reached a climax. Wu Zimu recorded the spectacular scene of Wu’s frolic in the waves in Old Wulin: "The tide in Zhejiang is a magnificent view in the world." In this tide of "coming from the next day" and "swallowing the day and the day", "Wu Er is good at swimming, all wearing tattoos and holding ten big colorful flags, rushing forward and catching up, haunting the whale wave Wan Ren, changing himself, but the tail of the flag is slightly wet. "The skill and courage of these frolicters are really admirable. Some literati in the Song Dynasty were shocked to see these performances. When recalling this spectacular scene, Xin Qiji, a poet in the Southern Song Dynasty, left such words: "Wu Er is not afraid of the dragon’s anger, and the storm is flat, watching the red flag fly, jumping straight on the fish, jumping on the waves and dancing." The superb skills of swimmers are on the page.

    Swimming competition started in Han and Wei Dynasties.

    The swimming competition in China began in the Han and Wei Dynasties, when there was already a folk custom of holding a swimming competition on the Dragon Boat Festival. Every time this kind of competition is held, it is very grand and has a large number of participants. During the Tang and Song Dynasties, a large-scale swimming competition was held on the Qiantang River during the Dragon Boat Festival every year, and in line with the folk swimming activities, the royal family also held swimming competitions every year. "History of Song Dynasty. Rites" contains: In March of the third year of Chunhua (992), it was the early spring, and the river was very cold. Song Taizong Zhao Ling inspected the water army in Jinmingchi. He ordered people to throw the silver ou between the blue waves and let the soldiers swim for it. Of course, it won’t be a person to get the silver ou. This kind of swimming with the nature of competition is obviously to encourage the soldiers to practice their water skills.

    Tide-making skills in Ming and Qing Dynasties

    The folk swimming activities in Ming and Qing Dynasties are still represented by "frolicking in the waves" in Qiantang River every August. Whenever the tide is high, local people will carry out various swimming activities, and there are more and more patterns. Huang Zunsu’s "Ode to Watching Tides in Zhejiang" in the Ming Dynasty describes the thrilling scene of hundreds of frolic athletes performing various strange skills in the wild waves in red light clothes. Records of the west lake said that during the frolic activities, more than 100 swimmers held colorful flags, swam to Haimen to meet the huge tide, and then churned in the rolling tide. There are also people who perform "rolling on the wood", "water puppet" and "water acrobatics" on the water, which is a comprehensive skill of swimming and acrobatics. In addition to the watery areas in the south of the Yangtze River, it is the north, and swimming activities are also carried out to a certain extent at this time. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, Guan Kanglin, a native of Nanhai, wrote a poem about Beijingers’ spring swimming in Du Men Zhuzhi Ci, which read: "Swimming has become a new stone pool, and Cao Cao competes to build a red flag. After undressing, the spring waves are cold, and people are still playing with water. " This is about a folk swimming competition, but for this wanderer from the south, he felt itchy when he saw a northerner swimming, and he wanted to have a try. Finally, he gave up because he was afraid of the cold, so he had to watch others swim in the water. In Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet, a swimming mural dating back more than 500 years ago is preserved, and its swimmer’s posture of paddling and backstroke is vivid. It seems that even on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which is known as the "roof of the world", people have mastered quite superb swimming skills.

    Swimming as a military training program

    With the development of folk swimming activities, swimming as a military training project has also been paid attention to. For example, Qi Jiguang, a famous anti-Japanese fighter in Ming Dynasty, attached great importance to water warfare, and trained the navy in water sports such as swimming to meet the invading Japanese pirates. Mao Yuanyi’s "Wu Bei Zhi" recorded that the water army of Ming Dynasty was selected from the "Shamin" who was good at swimming, because this "Shamin" grew up on the seashore, was familiar with water, and walked on the ground in the waves. In the battle of coastal soldiers and civilians against pirates in the late Qing Dynasty, the importance of swimming was even more obvious. Gu Han’s poem "Song of Yujiazhuang" tells that the fishermen in Yujiazhuang, Shengxian County, Zhejiang Province, with superb water skills, carried grass and other things to the bottom of the enemy’s ship and wound the equipment, thus defeating the enemy.

    The ancient swimming activities in China were like this. In the combination of folk and military training, they promoted each other and developed together. With its long history and rich contents, it has become a traditional sport with national characteristics.

Editor: Chen Chang ‘e


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