Kung Fu Cross Training
There’s a girl who trains Sanshou with us, but comes from a school that focuses heavily on Taolu/Wushu (acrobatic, forms based competition). We’ve sparred many times, and I’ve been fortunate enough to watch her skills develop over the few months she’s been with us. The other day she invited me to train for a session over at her school. Of course I said yes!
During that class I discovered that these guys have incredible leg strength! In their stretching regimen, splits are not an ability for the advanced, but a skill every student is expected to achieve (both front and side). Then came the kicks. Lots of them! All with perfect posture and full extension. And did I mention there were lots of them? High, straight, crescent, sweeping, spinning… Lots of them! After that there were a bunch of very low stance movements. This is where I just grit my teeth, sank as low as possible, and did the moves simply to avoid shame, ‘cause what my legs really wanted to do was run my body out of there!
Somehow I made it through only to discover that this was merely a warm up for their actual forms training! Yikes! Thankfully they took pity on me and I got to practice some Tai Chi self-defense drills, and Sansou padwork instead. There was no way I could possibly keep up with their forms.
I came out of it all with some useful exercises to add to my collection, and a new respect for all those who practice Taolu. Which is really what cross school training is all about.