[Photo taken by Kevin Lai]
How did you find out about UO Wushu?
I found out about UO Wushu by checking out the ASUO list of groups. I was looking to try martial arts and saw Wushu and figured I could try it out. Finding the actual practice room was harder though.
How long were you involved with the club?
I was a part of UO Wushu for 4 years – and hope to help out this year as well. My first year I participated as a general member. My second year I was fortunate to help out the team as the President and my last years I was able to coach the team.
What were the most difficult and most rewarding factors of being captain?
The most difficult part for me was to balance coaching while also trying to improve my own Wushu. While teaching does help improve your own Wushu there is no substitute for practice. The most rewarding part will always be watching your teammates improve.
How did you balance all your activities during college?
I didn’t! A lot of lost sleep…but what I think would help others is to plan your schedule and devote time for everything you do. Sleeping, eating, studying, practicing, going to class, and relaxing. I found that having a plan helped me devote my energy to what I was currently doing.
Did you specialize in something?
No. I dabbled in a few things but now am trying to learn something special for the team.
Can you describe the mental and physical progression you experienced from your first competition to your last competition?
Everyone, in my opinion, goes on autopilot their first competition. They are too nervous to think about intent and the flavor. What I learned and still work on is something that Sifu Peter Dang told us. When we are doing our competition form we need to think for each movement, “Now I will put X amount of force into this outside jump” or “I will breathe through this stance before I transition”. While relying on muscle memory is a good way to learn a form it will pale in comparison to a form that has intention.
How did the Wushu community impact your life?
I have a great appreciation of our alumni and the teammates I had during my time. Some of them have become some of the greatest friends I have. Meeting people at different schools and teams it is clear to me that people within the community are similar regardless where you go.
How has Wushu impacted your life?
Wushu has given me a community that I can rely on for the rest of my life – again some of my greatest friends are from UO Wushu. The personal influence of Wushu has been that it has made me increasingly aware of my own physicality and given me a greater desire to improve myself.
Where are you now in life?
Currently working for the University of Oregon Admissions Office. After my travel season I hope to practice more, work out more, and hopefully start doing some tai chi. As for the future – unsure but most likely away from the state.
Do you still practice?
For a little in my hotel rooms…I plan to practice occasionally but I really want to start understanding internal martial arts and hope that will also help my taolu.
Do you have any advice for current team members?
It’s all in the hips. Also if you are injured you can’t practice as well so know your limits and communicate with your coaches as to what you are feeling. While Wushu is amazing you are students first so make sure you are studying your forms and your course materials.
Do you have any advice for the general public?
Try out Wushu! You can start at any time and our team is supportive of all learners. Hmm other than that eat well, take care of yourself, and stay positive? Thank you!