For me, wushu hasn’t always been kick ass and fun. I’ve gone through periods where I hated going to class, and I either wouldn’t have gone at all had it not been for my strong habitual nature ( I run on auto-pilot on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I just show up to class no matter what) or lately I would have found any work excuse to not go. Somewhere along the line, I stopped being excited about wushu, I stopped dreaming about learning cool styles like bagua, fanzi, longfist, etc…
The first slump was after the 1st or 2nd year. It was at the point where I realized I wouldn’t be as good as I wanted to be. Naive I know, I’m a grown adult and I still wanted to do all the things the Beijing Wushu Team could do. I still have a hard time with a good tornado kick, and I can’t even do an aerial. Then I had my famous accident, and it’s why my friend Jenny at work calls me “Celery Leg”, which pointed me in the direction of Southern Fist.
I’ve never been a fan of Nanquan. I’m still not really into it to be honest. When I was watching wushu clips like mad, I never enjoyed the nanquan clips, I much preferred to look at changquan, bagua, staff, broadsword, straight sword, fanzi, you name it I would watch it. Except nanquan. So after I hurt my leg, Patti had me work on a lot of upper body stuff (cause my leg was messed up), then eventually I worked with Peter and Pierre learning the compulsory nanquan. I felt a little shunned for a while because I wanted to continue to do wushu, but I wasn’t learning the style that I really liked.
That slump lasted until Mark came back to wushu west. He’s not only one of the most exciting people to coach you, but he always has new and interesting ways to make you work harder and laugh at the same time. He also had his own nice take on nanquan, and he taught me a few forms, and we did a few demo’s together
So Mark, Pierre and I had this nice southern group amongst the longfist people. We learned southern broadsword, lots of little techniques, and Mark’s pretty good at showing the application of a move, which I got a lot from. I was motivated again, no more splump.
Then that trecherous bastard moved to China and wont come back :)
I was able to do okay on my own for a while, Li Neung Miao came by with the current BWT in October of 2005 where I picked up a nice southern staff section that I later expanded into a 1:00 form to compete at CMAT with. I was feeling pretty good at that point, and traveling to China was pretty kick ass. But I was getting frustrated after that because I no longer had the coaching from Mark, or a nanquan person that I require (believe me, I NEED someone to show me what to do). I would try out a few moves I picked up from a clip and Patti would almost be disgusted at it, either it was my interpretation of the move or not it didn’t matter to me. If I wasn’t receiving any coaching support for the style, but instead relying on video’s, why show up? why pay? So I was trying to learn other things from Patti, something she had an interest in.
That is were the current slump has come in, and for the past year I’ve been so unfocused it has made me worse off than when I started wushu. There are a lot of factors involved, work, the depression I got when I came back from China and realizing I’m just a joke at wushu compared to real athletes, the website thing… it all wore away at my excitement for the sport, for coming into class, for really focusing on what I was working on even after class.
I left working on a broadsword set, which I was really starting to enjoy because it had that old school flavor to it. I’ve been out of it for over a month now and I almost feel like I should join the beginners when I get back.