Today was my first wushu class back since Nationals. We really took it easy. Each of the people who competed worked with a couple of the beginners in the class, watching them and working with them on their basics and forms. I helped one guy with his slap kick and worked with Kai on the beginning of nan quan. After class a few of us went to dinner to talk about the tournament and a few other issues.

For the most part we did pretty well at Nationals. Jerry got 1st in all his divisions, Jennifer got the girls all-around championship, Cheri placed well against Felicia and Mae, David did very well medalling in (I think) all of his events, and the rest of us didn’t do too bad either.

All in all our school had a good showing, but I think it’s made us all much more aware of what we each need to work on in order to get to the next level or two. For myself I definitely know what I need to do. The trick is actually doing it. Some things are easier said than done.

One thing this competition has really taught me is that winning is the absolutely least important thing about wushu competition.

I realize that probably sounds funny, but in all honesty I think whether a person wins or loses is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. The most important thing for me is that I’m working to improve myself, as both a wushu practitioner and as a person.

If I win, so what? If I lose? Big deal.

In fact, I think I would prefer losing to winning. (Okay .. maybe not by all that much …) In my mind losing provides you more opportunities for improvement. It lets you know that there’s more to do .. that you have potential to improve .. which is actually encouraging.

I’d hate to just be the absolute best with no one even close to my level. What’s the point then? What are you aiming for? I like having Philip, Joe and the rest of them close to or above my level. Keeps me working hard, right?

Loss is about understanding the importance of how uninportant loss is.

You never really lose unless you decide that you don’t want to try anymore.

Not winning gives you the unique opportunity to really search your heart and understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Is wushu all about winning for you? Or is it about developing yourself and you abilities? Is it about getting a trophy or becoming a better person?

Ultimately each of us have to decide that for ourselves, but I think that winning is really only part of the equasion. Losing is far more valuable in the long run, and the wins that come once you’ve lost a few times are that much sweeter in the end.

Not sure if that makes any sense or not when I have it written down, but it makes sense in my head, which is good enough, I suppose.