[Picture submitted by Ray Tsunoda]
How did you find out about UO Wushu?
I stumbled onto a class on my first visit to campus before I decided to enroll. I had no idea that Universities had Wushu clubs.
How long were you involved with the club?
I was a member between 2008-10 and coached with Nathan Andrus-Hughes in 2010-12. Four years of training and partying really hard.
What were the most difficult and most rewarding factors of being on team?
Everything is difficult. The conditioning, flexibility, choreography, and competition scoring. Wushu is the most technically complicated thing I’ve done in my life. I’ve seen many physically gifted individuals hit walls without good coaches.
Why do it? Nothing ninjas you like Wushu. It feels very cool when you nail a move, and without the team doing Wushu wouldn’t have felt as awesome. It’s like Soul Cycle only you’re actually doing something cool.
What were the most difficult and most rewarding factors of being captain?
Difficult: Planning training progression. Picking the right basics, forms, and intensity is mostly trial and error because you can’t control everyone’s learning and physical capacity. Future captains, don’t worry about catering to everyone! Just make a format that you are confident with and enjoy teaching, or you’ll drive yourself nuts.
Rewarding: You see what people want and what they’re willing to put in. When someone you taught personally competes and does well you never forget it.
How did you balance all your activities during college?
I didn’t. Life pro-tip, don’t go in without perspective. Be specific with how much time you will put into Wushu and talk to someone who knows more about how you should be training with the time you’ve been given.
Did you specialize in something?
Not really, I’ve done a little bit of everything other than Taichi.
Can you describe the mental and physical progression you experienced from your first competition to your last competition?
I got more aggressive and stronger, but not necessarily better. Get a mentor! Self-coaching is a myth!
How did the Wushu community impact your life?
I was introverted prior to Wushu at UO. You won’t find a sport where people make friends so quickly; it’s a small world and we’re in it together.
How has Wushu impacted your life?
It made me more outgoing, attentive to the needs of others, and super-ripped.
Where are you now in life?
I’m a designer living in San Jose, at a house full of close friends that all love Wushu. We work, train, and party.
Do you still practice?
See you at CMAT, young-bl****.
Do you have any advice for current team members?
Socialize with other clubs! That’s the best way for the club to keep growing.
Seek mentorship. Don’t worry about bugging people, worry about sucking and getting injured. Set expectations with yourself and your team coach. Be clear with what you want for the semester, don’t let the practice schedule be your only guide.
Do you have any advice for the general public?
Nothing ninjas you like Wushu. It’s unlike any sport you’ve ever done and is the key to unlocking your inner-Power Ranger. Check out my team’s Instagram @rogue1wushu, watch some world wushu competitions on YouTube, then go train with UO Wushu for one month. Also, don’t skip leg day, every day is leg day 😉