Those two days off from training and the relatively light schedule last week really helped my recovery and today I got to class and was raring to go.
We did the group warm up and then they started with wushu tag for the “sweat inducer”. As I mentioned before, playing wushu tag with professional athletes half my age is no walk in the proverbial park, but this time I tried it out. There was one time where I was chasing after a whole sequence of athletes, but eventually I was able to tag someone and sub someone else in. We have about 20 athletes in our group and there are usually 3 pairs of tag runners going at the same time. And boy are they fast.
The running and conditioning training is definitely helping. In fact, at the beginning of class Yuan Ming asked me if I wanted to ask about changing to 9:00 classes and I told him that I wasn’t sure and decided that for now I will stay with the 3pm classes so that I can focus on building up my strength and physical condition.
After looking at the schedule on the wall I saw that today would be the only afternoon wushu workout for the week (they do it mostly in the morning) and it was a repeat of the previous two weeks. Tomorrow is strength conditioning and Wednesday is running. On Thursday they have a break, but I’m going to Hong Kong on that day, so no loss for me. I will miss out on Friday’s class, which is also strength training, but that is okay. I’m considering asking to come on Saturday afternoons and reschedule my tutors for earlier in the day, but its still just an idea at this point.
Wu Ya Nan was back today too. He was in Gansu Province last week at a performance which was, as he put it, “very fun”. Coach Zhang was back too, which was nice.
For today’s workout it was the standard routine of basics for about 40 minutes (including nandu). Today’s nandu was a focus on nailing their landings, which was very interesting to watch. Some have it pretty good and some are still working on it.
Then we did about 10 – 15 lines of weapon combinations (I borrowed a spare nangun) and that was followed by 8 full sections. He split our group up in to two carpets, most of the kids and younger athletes went to the other carpet and I got to train on the carpet with the “big boys and girls”.
I realized that my nangun wasn’t quite developed yet, so for sections I switched back to nanquan. I did 2 of each section and managed to get a really good workout, but I think the best part was that this was really the first time the coach had seen me do any wushu. Aside from 2 weeks ago when we just did small combinations practice, he’s never seen me go all out before.
Now, it isn’t that I’m super good or anything. My wushu has a nice long list of deficiencies that need work. But I think what happens is that, when people see me they don’t think that my particular physique is very well suited to wushu. I’m overweight and I look kind of slow. So, based on their expectations, I usually do much better than they would assume, and it usually ends up impressing them.
I got some good comments from the coach and each time I went he clapped, which he didn’t do for any of the other athletes. It might be the “you’re a foreigner trying to do wushu so I will clap to make you feel better” or it might be a “for someone your size you sure are putting in a good effort, so I will clap for you”. But either way it was a nice guesture. He was even trying to figure out some of my choreo, which was flattering too.
Some of the athletes shouted out some “jiayou!”s for me which was nice. But by the end I was pretty wiped. Class was over at 5:00 and the coach made a point of saying goodbye to me. Up until now he just leaves the room and doesn’t even look in my direction, so I suppose that is an improvement.
I stayed behind to do a lot of stretching since I knew that I would really feel it later on. I also managed to get some names of a few athletes, so i thought I would introduce you to them:
First up is the 2nd best nanquan guy in our class. I put up a video of him the other day practicing his nanquan in the mirror, but I’ll post it here again just for your reference. His name is
Tian Jing Fan
Next is the guy who was doing the chang quan walk-through last week. Again, this is a re-post of the video for your reference. i would say this guy has the best body for wushu and moves really naturally, but his power and jumps are not quite there yet. Fortunately, the power and jumps can be trained much easier than natural ability. His name is
Yen Ming Song
And then there is an athlete who was practicing dao shu today. He was in the line right before me, but I don’t have any specific footage of him. You can see him at 0:14 – 0:22 on this video though. He is sitting on the ground talking to Yue Xiao Yu. His name is
Zhao Shao Dong
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