So I’m gonna be competing at the Golden State International Wushu Championships this Saturday (and ringleading, apparently). Better practice a bunch this week. Yesterday’s practice was good (despite the heat). We have estimated our warm-up run to be 1.5 miles. It’s becoming more manageable, over time. I’ve gotten more flexible - those negative splits training days must be paying off. My kicks are still not at the level I would like, but they are improving. Broadsword has gotten a little rusty, but I’m happy with my longfist and staff forms. We had a couple of students joining us who were preparing for Team Trials. (I’m not competing; it’s too far away, too expensive, and too unlikely that I’ll place.) They were crazy good! Dedicated too - coach had them running full sets one after another, and they still joined us for conditioning afterward. It was both humbling and inspiring.
I’ve decided to keep a record of advice the coach gives me during practice. Feel free to take from it what you will, but it’s mostly for my own benefit. Here are the notes from this session:
- Stretch kicks: too slow; keep my legs straight. For outside kick, remember to straighten my body as the leg comes down.
- Front slap: kick higher (hold the slapping hand diagonal). Keep my arms relaxed and open up my body as I do the windup.
- Side kick: open up my body as I kick, and hold my arms up higher.
- Back sweep: keep my back straight.
- Jump front: keep my body upright and my left knee chambered as I kick. Also, kick faster and higher.
- Broadsword: work on overhead coils (touch my back every time). Flowers should be higher. The chamber-step at the beginning is wider than I think. Before the front sweep, finish the coil and turn to the right while opening up my left arm. When I jump and spear before the butterfly, face my body to the side, not back. When I stab and kick after the butterfly, kick higher.
- Staff: the opening overhead swings are separate - the first with my right leg and the second with my left. After the jump inside, the strike is aimed forward, not to the side. Don’t stay so low to the ground; keep in mind when my body should be upright. When I slam, keep my back straight. After the butterfly and sit, face the end of the staff.
First real wushu practice in weeks!
Condition: tired but satisfied. I feel like I regained my flexibility (or most of it, at least), and we ran through enough basics that I hopefully won’t embarrass myself when I go back to Master Li’s (today’s practice was with Cal Wushu). I only ran half sets today, no full sets - I got caught up in teaching one of the other students 2nd gen. compulsory longfist. We’ve also been learning some lion dance basics, so we had a bit of review and put it all together. It was a good welcome back.
Hell yeah, Cal Wushu!
Congratulations B Team (Cal of Duty: Bear Ops) and A Team (Bear Elements) for winning first and second place at this year’s collegiates! Proud to be a Berkeley Bear :D
CMAT is over!
It was a long and tiring day, but I met some cool people and saw some awesome wushu. Thanks to our directors and our volunteers for making the tournament run smoothly! I competed in longfist (AMA103), broadsword (AMA122), staff (AMA142), and contemporary other fist - baji (AMA161). Came home with two bronze medals, from longfist and broadsword. Looking forward to next year!