Well, you can tell by the title that today was intense, but I’ll start at the beginning just to be thorough.
When class started I checked out the schedule for the week on the board. According to what was originally written there today was supposed to be:
*Jibbengong x 1
*Nandu x 2
*1/4 x 8
*2/4 x 6
I saw that we were doing 6 half forms, and I thought that would be a good challenge, but looking later in the week I noticed that there were a couple days where the athletes were set to do 3/4 forms. Ugh .. 3 sections. At least we would have a few days before that happened.
But then at the beginning of class, before warm ups, Coach Zhang lined us up and told us that there would be a change in the schedule. He was swapping today’s morning and afternoon workout schedules and also told us that he wanted us to do our running around 2 carpets instead of 1. From what I understood, it was time for us to start increasing forms work. The post-competition, off-season-training reprieve had ended!
We did our running, which pretty much winded me. Couldn’t quite do all of it, but did as much as I could, catching my breath whenever I needed to. During basics, instead of 1 line of each we did 2. I was getting winded and breathing pretty heavy (as I usually do — its wushu, afterall) and Xiao Yu would pretend to call a doctor with her hand serving as an imaginary phone. ”Hello? Doctor? We need you here!” and she would laugh. (But in a nice way so it was hard to be offended.)
After basics and before we started sections I looked at the schedule again. Before this point I hadn’t looked to see what the afternoon training was supposed to be. I assumed it was similar to the morning but with more running and basics. It turns out that instead of 8 single sections and 6 half sets we were going to be doing 8 single sections, 2 half sets and a 3/4 set! Holy Lung Capacity, I was going to be tired by the end of class!
For the single sets I pumped out the following sections: 4, 3, 2, 2, 4, 3, 2, 2. Then for half sets I did: 3-4, 2-3 and then I did 2 – 4 for the 3 section set. It was pretty brutal, I must say. The best part was watching Yuan Ming really go for it. I think he’s finally turning up the juice on his practice and his stuff was looking pretty intense and impressive. He has some pretty nice technique.
During class I also had a chance to thank Wu Ya Nan in person for his super nice birthday gift. He wrote a very nice letter to me that he had Yuan Ming and Yue Xiao Yu deliver with the shoes. I will admit that the color of the shoes (burgundy with pink highlights) is not necessarily the most flattering, but dude — these are brand new Nike Shaolinquan shoes given to me by the Taiji Champion (2008) of China! Who cares about wearing them? I might just get them bronzed and put on a plaque. It is going in my collection with the 2005 All China Games competition straightsword that Wu Di gave me. (I need to start a wushu collectibles museum …)
After class I did some stretching and then headed home. Aside from a slight tweaking of my right inner thigh today (just a bit sore, and should be okay in a day or two) I actually felt pretty good after class. My body is starting to adjust and having a day off between classes is helping it build up its strength and endurance.
I’m pretty sure there would have been no way I could have pushed out 3 sections (even sloppy ones like today) at a time a couple weeks ago. So at least that is improvement.
It actually reminds me of the training back at Wushu Star in 2003 when we were preparing for the 2003 CMAT. Nothing increases your lung capacity for forms like just doing a whole lot of back to back sections. I’m guessing that on Wednesday I will have noticed a new increase in my endurance. At least — I sure hope so!
Tomorrow stay tuned for ‘Ask the ‘Zilla’, where I attempt to answer some questions and pretend I know what I’m talking about. It should be entertaining (and possibly painfully embarassing).
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