During the 1999 U.S. Tour of the Beijing Wushu Team I was fortunate to have another opportunity to train with the Beijing Wushu Team. This time it would be at my wushu school, Wushu West, in Berkeley, California.

Class was on Sunday morning. Many of us arrived early just to be sure we didn’t miss the opportunity. When I arrived my roommate Brandon and our visiting Oregonian, Peter, were there waiting at the door. After a few other people showed up my teacher’s van pulled up chock full of Beijing Team members and a smiling Wu Bin.

We all filed in to the Finnish Hall and started doing some warm-up stretches. Then we all lined up, Patti said a few words of welcome to the Beijing Team and then handed the warm-ups over to Jiang Bang Jun who ran us through some stretching, running and basics. It seems that during my normal workouts I get tired pretty easily, but lo-and-behold, when the team is there, suddenly I can jump higher, kick faster, and punch quicker. Must be that mystical chi aura they have floating around them. I guess it rubbed off.

After basics we split in to two groups … weapons and open hand. Jiang Bang Jun and David’s Coach from China (who’s name escapes me at the moment) worked with Peter, David and Karen on weapons while Shang Yu and Jian Zeng Jiao helped us empty hand folks. Kong Xiang Dong was up on the stage helping Patti and Brandon with their internals.

The workout was really good. I don’t know about the other people, but I got a wealth of information to assimilate. After going home and taking notes I ended up with 2 pages of helpful hints from Shang Yu’s Nan Quan session. He really helped me a lot so many thanks to him for that. I heard he’s getting a lap top computer so maybe he’ll read this some day (anything is possible).

Wu Bin was there too. I saw him giving Peter some help with his Long Fist, which would totally unnerve me, but Peter didn’t seem to mind too much. After the practice session we all took lots of pictures and then everyone took off for Coriya Hot Pot City in the Pacific East Mall for lunch with the rest of the team. I wasn’t able to go since I had to pick my mom up at the airport but there are some great pictures of that at Cheri’s Web Page so you can check them out.

I also would like to thank Judy for taking lots of pictures with my digital camera. You can see all those wonderful shots in my gallery.

Also, a quick note about the show that evening. It was really entertaining. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but more than that, my mom really enjoyed it too. And it was nice giving wushu a little more exposure here in Berkeley. I’m guessing that enrollment at Cal Wushu will be a little bit bigger next semester.