wushu west 2008 06 24 marks class


It’s been a looong time since Mark has been in charge of a class, maybe 2005 or so, right before he moved to Shanghai. I had forgotten how relentless he is, even though over the past few years Pierre and I have threatened younger students,

“Oh you think this is tough? Wait till Mark gets back!”


“If you don’t stop talking, we’re calling Mark and flying him back here to make you do burpee’s!”

Most people saw him as a mythological boogie-man, like bloody-mary, and if you said his name in front of the bathroom mirror at night and then turn out the lights he’d appear and make you do frog-leaps and V-ups till you died.

What makes his classes so brutal is he’s constantly mixing it up, once you feel you’ve gotten used to the routine he changes it. He’s also a stickler for solid basics and he’ll have us work on something simple for an obscene amount of time.

The class was very challenging, especially for me as it’s been about 2 months since my last class. Even the more athletic folks were getting tired, which didn’t make me feel so bad since I crapped out during sections. We did a lot of front stretch kicks, and I’m pretty disappointed how much flexibility and overall cleanliness I’ve lost. I know once I start back up again it will come back quickly, it was just a reminder for me. I’d like to start working on the simple stuff more often, maybe find a way to work it in at work since the home front is a little busy.

When I had enough I sat down and watched everyone do their sections. Pierre has a cool form from mark that I’d like to pick up when I get back, and everyone else looked their usual kick-ass self. After class we went to Diamo and I got home at a reasonable hour of 12:30 or 1, I cant remember now.

Oh, I highly exaggerated the stuff above about Mark. Pierre and I did joke a lot about threatening the kids with Mark, and I know James knew of Mark’s reputation well before he actually met the guy. He is a very nice guy, not at all scary, but thats because he’s laughing and smiling as you’re on the verge of collapsing.