This is the second part of my journal on the weekend trip to L.A.

Saturday, April 3: Morning

So Matt, Peter, Tony (all from the U.C. Irvine Wushu Club) and I hopped in Matt’s car and jetted over to the National Wushu Training Center in Huntington Beach. We were some of the first people there, along with Lilly (also from the UCI club). After making our donations to the Beijing Team (instead of paying for the practice, they asked for donations) we waited around until more people showed up. Then the team showed up. Then they started.

First we all lined up, three or four rows of us victims .. er .. I mean .. students, facing the Beijing Team and Wu Bin gave a speech on the Beijing Team’s visit thus far to the United States (with Eric Chen’s translation). Then we all followed the Beijing Team as they ran outside in the parking lot to warm up. This was similar to the training I did with them at NWTC the year before.

After warming up we all stretched out on our own and then they divided us up into several groups: internal, nan quan, chang quan and kids. I went to the nan quan group with about 8 other people and we went through our sections as He Jing De, Shang Yu, Eric Chen and Chang Shain Ming (men’s coach) made corrections.

I recall looking over at the chang quan area and seeing Pat practicing his form .. and John Wang too … you have pretty good hops John! … Lots of people were there .. maybe 50 – 60 total people working out. It was fun.

The hard part didn’t happen until the end though. Chang Shain Ming had us do conditioning. First we did three laps around the room of high-knees. I’ve never done high-knees to the point of muscle failure before so I can tell you that it was a weird sensation. After a while it’s all you can do just to lift your leg off the ground. That was followed by leap frogs several times across the room and then 200 jumps. Actually we first did 100 jumps and then did 100 more. It was nice and brutal.

Of course, the taiji people like Brandon, Matt, Lilly and Peter just worked outside with Kong Xiang Dong while we all killed ourselves … may they die an early death! Well, you guys just wait! When I’m able to jump over your head you’ll wish you had done it too! (grrrrrr…)

I’d also like to say how nice it was being able to workout with so many people from so many different schools. I was constantly marvelling on how nice it was to see everyone together working towards the common wushu workout goal. I hope to see many more cooperative activites like this between different schools in the future. It can only lead to good things.

Oh .. before ending this section though I’d like to thank Dr. Ron (what the heck is your last name anyway?) for doing those adjustments on my back. It felt great! Especially the neck.

Also, I’d like to say it was good to see lots of old friends again. Tom O., Erick L., to name a few. Plus it was nice to establish new friendships as well. And it was also nice being able to finally put faces with names that I only know through the internet or through common acquaintences. I’d name you all if I could, but my memory is blocked out by the searing pain in my legs.

And last but not least I’d like to express my appreciation to Debbie and Eric Chen and the National Wushu Training center for bringing us in to their facility to train with the team. It was a great event and totally worth it. We all appreciate it.

Next was the demo .. which you can read about in the third installment. ^_^