Wushu originated from China with a long history, rich content, and unique health-building value. To this day, they have been spread to every corner of the globe and become a popular sport among people in the world. The International Wushu Federation (IWUF) entered IOC in 1999 and became its formal member.

The history of wushu can be traced back to thousands of years ago. The arts were designed by the Chinese ancestors for defense and attack in their struggle for survival. Chinese wushu gradually progressed with the social development and came a long way to its present shape with distinct regional characteristics. Wushu used to be the major military skill in the era of cold weapons and were referred to as the “oriental military art”. Civilian also practiced wushu to defend themselves, strengthen their bodies and cultivate their mind. As firearms replaced wushu as the main military equipment, the latter gradually retired from the military realm and became gradually transformed into a sport.

The IWUF was provisionally recognized by the IOC at its 109th Session in 1999 and was officially recognized by the IOC at its 113th Session in February 2002. Currently, IWUF has had 106 member associations and 5 continental federations including Wushu Federation of Asia, European Wushu Federation, Pan-America Wushu Federation, Oceanian Wushu Federation and African Wushu Federation.

The preparation and founding of IWUF have lent a powerful push to the popularization and development of wushu skills. The continental federations organized wushu championships and promoted the development of wushu in the host countries and areas. In Asia, wushu has been an official competition event at the 11th Beijing Asian Games in 1990. This practice was followed at the 12th Hiroshima Asian Games, 13th Bangkok Asian Games, 14th Busan Asian Games, and 15th Doha Asian Games. Besides, such regional comprehensive games as the East Asian Games, South Asian Games, Southeast Asian Games, etc also listed wushu as a competition event.

The biannual World Wushu Championships of the IWUF has been successfully held in Beijing (China), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Baltimore (U.S.), Rome (Italy), Hong Kong, China, Yerevan (Armenia), Macau, China, and Hanoi (Vietnam). The 9th World Wushu Championships will be held in Beijing in 2007  The competitions organized by the IWUF together with its continental federations and member associations include wushu routine competitions and sanshou competitions. The routines used to be composed of only 7 events including Changquan, Nanquan, Taijiquan, Jianshu, Daoshu, Qiangshu, and Gunshu at the first four Championships. Since the 5th World Wushu Championships, more events including Taijijian, Nandao, and Nangun, etc have been added to the Championships.