Today’s class was waaaay better than Monday’s class. Mainly because I wasn’t feeling quite so gassy (I really need to stop using that word). I was able to warm up with the group and when they played their palindrome tag game I ran sprints down 2 lengths of carpet until I started sweating. Then stretching and basics.
I took another look at the schedule during class and noticed that I had remembered a few things incorrectly. So this time I took some pictures so that I don’t forget what we are supposed to be doing. This way you guys can follow along as well, in case you feel the urge to train the exact same routine as the Shaanxi Wushu Team.
First, as you can see here, I had the numbers way off on Monday’s class. Jibbengong was correct at 2 times (lines) per exercise, and they did 4 of each nandu. But the sections were only total, and the half sets were 2. Still not too bad of a workout.
Man the coach has some crazy handwriting …
Anyway, for today’s class we were supposed to do the following:
That is actually the schedule for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. For today (Wednesday) we were supposed to do 1 line of each Jibbengong, which we did. What was interesting is that he added in a few basics that they haven’t done with me before (which isn’t to say they don’t do them at all, since I am not there for every class and they could be doing them when I’m not around). Like horse-stance bow-stance punch (which the nanquan group does pretty regularly, but not the rest of them so much), high-stance to drop stance with the spear palm (I gotta learn the Chinese names for some of these things …. ) and a couple others.
Then, they did nandu, while I worked on my horse stance.
I should say a few things about my horse stance. The truth is, it is pretty bad. I have an extreme amount of tightness in my inner thighs and so it is rather painful to open up and go as low as I’m supposed to. I’ve been making a very concerted effort over the past year to stretch my legs out and I have made quite a bit of progress overall. Not so much when I’m doing my forms, but when practicing horse stance, whereas before I couldn’t sink down to the proper height, I’m now able to hold an almost respectible horse stance with almost the correct positions on my legs and knees.
Granted it is painful as heck to come out of it, but it is definitely improving, and for those of you who train with me back at Wushu West or elsewhere, you would definitely notice a difference if you saw it. It is encouraging to see improvement in that area, since it motivates me to work on it and try to get it better. I really want to have good, proper stances when doing nanquan, since that is one of the main characteristics of the style — strong stances. And with any luck, over the course of the next several months, it will continue to improve.
We now continue with our regularly scheduled blog-cast.
So, as you can see from the schedule, we were supposed to do 60 combinations. A combination is just a small selection of movements from your form. I don’t know if we did 60, but we certainly did around 30. Perhaps 60 is implied if you are doing 2 down the carpet. Most of us would do one at full speed and then follow it up with one at “thinking” speed (or possibly thinking and then full), so I suppose it could have worked out to 60.
But Yue Xiao Yu and Yuan Ming really got the business end of the wushu class because they were required to do even more. Since neither of them were training on Monday and Tuesday (YXY had a knee issue, but not sure what was up with Yuan Ming) the coach told them at the beginning of class that they each had to do 4 half-sets, in addition to the rest of the workout. They pulled it off though, and there is nothing neater than seeing world-class nanquan athletes doing a whole lot of nanquan. They seemed pretty worn out by the end of class though.
One nice thing is that today marks the first time that the coach has actually taught me anything. He’s actually a super nice guy, but, understandably, most of his focus is on his athletes. I’m sort of getting a deal on training, so I’m trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. Besides, I’m enjoying my time there and I’m getting a great workout and learning a lot. But today, after I did a combination from my 2nd section (and today I only did 2 different combinations, 15 lines each) he suggested some different choreography and showed me a bit of it on the side. That was pretty neat.
I suppose it means that they are accepting me more as someone who is supposed to be there. Or at least I’m someone they won’t be getting rid of anytime soon. Either way, it is pretty neat. I’m also starting to bond with some of the athletes too, which is nice.
Speaking of which, Yue Xiao Yu came over to our home today! Wu Ya Nan wasn’t able to make it due to a meeting with a coach, but YXY came over for about an hour or so in the evening to hang out. We talked for a while, trying to use as much English as possible, and I also showed her the video I made of us buying the bicycle. She seemed to enjoy it.
I found out the athletes have a 9PM curfue, and they have to line up at 9 for a head count. They definitely have a stricter environment here than the ones I’ve been exposed to in Shanghai and Beijing. (Possibly Shandong too, although I didn’t train there long enough to get a feel for their living situation.)
Anyway, enough about that. What is on the schedule for Friday’s class? Let’s see …
According to the schedule, Friday morning (upper left box) is Jibbengong x 2, Nandu x 4, and then 16 sections. it should be a good class. It looks like their Saturday is going to be pretty brutal. They have to do 3 sections in a row in the morning and run a 10km in the afternoon.
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