A Journey Through Wushu: Learning Sanshou

By Mea Jyn

I was looking through my black book the other day, looking back and recording my Wushu Sanshou training sessions.I always try to be at every class but sometimes there are circumstances beyond my control, like being sick, or having no transportation to Vancouver for one reason or another, or having to work on Saturdays because that responsibility comes with the position I hold in my job. Since January 9, 2004 I have missed 3 classes on Thursday, 2 classes on Friday, and sadly, 7 classes overall on Saturdays. Now like I said, I can't currently control my Saturdays because if I had things my way...well you know, I wouldn't miss anything and I would make classes everyday! At least I would want to train for hours everyday! But I try to make the best of what I have available to me and that is what is important.

I feel so inadequate at Sanshou, because I haven't been at every class and haven't yet grasped a "feel" for what I am learning so that I can practice more on my own, so that when I go back to class I feel that I am improving, I just don't feel like that right now. Especially what we learn on Saturdays, when I miss two weeks in a row, when I go back and still have not improved this frustrates me because to me, it seems like I'm not training hard enough. There are so many bad habits I have to correct and it is hard sometimes to feel optimistic.

In the beginning when I first started Sanshou, I have to admit I was a little nervous because I knew it was goingto be physically challenging, I am almost the only female student in the class and it's tough when we partner up and I may have to demonstrate a takedown technique. I was also nervous about taking punches, kicks, and throws, I realized that I was subconsciously telling myself that this was more for guys and questioning whether I should do it or not.

But I was wrong! I don't believe that! I want to be as good in Sanshou as Wushu and eventually the internal arts,I might be a girl but I can still have power and be strong, it may take more time and conditioning but that doesn't mean it's impossible. I grew up being taught to work hard and try to achieve all my goals "never give up!" my father told me, persevere and be strong, even if others don't support you if it is your desire then go for it, because you'll never know if you do not try. So I try to do that, I try to follow my dad's teachings, he has lots of wisdom for me to absorb. It was my subconscious mental thinking that was hindering me in Sanshou, as well as the lack of time to practice, but I believe that if I really want to do this then I must make the best of the circumstances and when I miss classes, practice harder! If I don't know a form, I practice what I know! And every time I practice, practice each and every time with the same power and determination as the very first time! And when I practice do not rush! Learn quality and speed will follow. And practice everything at least 10 times!

I love Sanshou class, it is challenging, demanding, and requires dedication, and few students stay init because of these reasons. I've realized that for everything that I pursue in my life, there are always challenges and obstacles to overcome, people ask why I do this to myself, sometimes I don't know if I can yet answer that question. But I know that everything happens for a reason, there are no coincident in life.

Regardless of my age, I still think I can achieve something in Wushu Sanshou Dao! In fact, it is my goal to reach9th Level Honorary Black Belt one day! When I achieve that, maybe I can allow myself to rest. If everyone went though life never trying to achieve whatever it was they desired, then everyone would die feeling that they didn't accomplish something in their lives. You only live once and I certainly don't want to regret not doing something when I get older! I look at Sifu and all the things he has accomplished, wow! More practice and concentration!