published on in Wushu conditioning mark staff Wushu

wushu west 2009 01 22

Mark was back, and when I walked in it was obvious that this is where he belongs :)

Its always one of my favorite scenes to walk in on, and its because I enjoy the immense pain of simple leg conditioning. Mark is casually leaning on a staff, behind a line of the beginner students, calmly calling out

“horse stance…” (pause 30 seconds)

“bow stance…” (pause again for 30 seconds)

“and again…”

over and over,  I can see the look on the kid’s faces and its comical. Their legs are all super wobbly, they are sweating, crying, gasping in pain. I also know that he’ll do the same thing to us. This is just what Mark is known for, he’s brutally consistent with conditioning.

Anyway, class began shortly after I arrive, I got in a few minutes to greet Mark with a big hug and catch up before he taught the advanced class. Durning warm-ups, he asked me how long its been since my last class, and that he’d push me but also told me not to throw up.

For the record, I’ve never thrown up. I’ve had the sensation I think twice, back in 2006, March I think, and it was after a LOT of sprint relays with frog leaps mixed in.

We jogged around for a few minutes, very ligh warm up, and then we stretched. In some of the recent classes, I’ve felt I was not stretching enough, they’ve been pretty quick. I probably notice it now more than others because I only come once a week, and I don’t stretch nearly as much as I did or should. This time it was pretty lengthy, and we worked all different angles of the legs.

Next was basics, Mark made sure we were all in sync with each others kicks. It makes us look like professionals, but it ups the difficulty. It’s hard to keep up with everyone, I’m not as fast as I have been so I was really struggling. Its a reminder that I should continue to push my basics, and not slack off and go at a slower pace. Besides kicks, he had us work on short little long-fist combo’s. I actually felt okay with all of them, and they were a good refresher.

Once it got close to 8pm, we split off into groups to work on sections. I haven’t worked on a form in MONTHS, so I decided to work on southern staff. With maybe two sections out of an entire form, I don’t have much to work with, but I worked on it over and over again. I had felt pretty good towards the end of it, so not to shabby after not doing nangun for an entire year.

Finally, the class ended with the same leg conditioning I walked in on. Very nice, I haven’t had my legs that sore in a LOONG time (saturday I was still very sore and stiff). We even did some burpee’s (BOO! HISS!), 20, and some ab work with the medicine ball.

Yup, as soon as Mark gets back from his HK trip, it’s going to be great to have this become the class standard. Plus, with him staying for 2 months, I’m sure James, Pierre and I can steal his Visa, kidnap his family, and find all sorts of things to keep him around.