The competition, that became a show performance, which made motivation to demotivation, but we won got gold medals. Confused? ”Oh yeah”, so were we.
Two weeks ago I had a weird week here, but the ending was amazing. It came to our attention that we had to go to a competition, so our training schedule was put to side and the only aim for the week was training forms for the competition. It also meant that Alex and I had four days to learn the group-form to perfection. This meant a lot of hard work and repetitions. Everybody was so focused; it was amazing to see how much the competition meant, for the school and for all of us.
Given my last few amazing weeks, where going with the flow and taking chances gave me a lot of amazing opportunities, I thought to myself, that I wanted to compete in my continues fist form, even though I just finished it. I am that sort of athlete who competes to win; even though I knew I didn´t stood a chance. I want to win every time I compete in something, but in this case it was okay for me just to compete.
The hardest part of the week was we didn´t get any info about when and where we had to go. Wednesday we were told that we maybe had to go the same day, but also we were told it wasn´t a competition for us, only a performance, which had the aim of drawing more attention to the competition, given it wasn´t a big one but they wanted it to be bigger next year.
So we were the main attraction suddenly and the motivation we all had, was suddenly just gone completely. When we went on with our training, you could just see how people weren´t focused anymore, and how perfecting forms didn´t seem to matter. Don´t get me wrong here, the group form still had to be in perfect synchronization. When we are asked to represent the school we do it win honor and pride, but the individual forms weren´t practiced that much after the info.
It became Thursday and we still didn´t know when we had to go, but later in the morning we got the info, that we had to go at 2 pm, and we had to spent the night at a hotel. It all went by so fast so none of us thought about our passports, which in most cases you have to bring if you want to check into a hotel. This meant that master Bao had to drive back in the evening to collect our passports.
The morning after we had to meet at 7 am and go, to another hotel where the competition was being held. We found ourselves in a big conference room with a thick carpet on the floor. I admit the carpet was ideal for making jumps and landings, but if you had to change from horse stance to bow stance your foot could easily be stuck and you would twist your knee. The reason why this was not good for me was I had some knee problems, which started the day before, so I was very scared to get an injury.
The group form was amazing, and it felt really good and people where cheering us on. My continues fist was okay, I felt a had a lot of speed, but lacked some power in my punches, so all in all very good.
We stayed to watch the kids compete and there was some awesome kids in between, but most of them didn´t have any power in their moves, only speed, but when you are between 10-15 years old and already know a lot of forms, then the power will come later on. There was also sanda tournament and we actually saw a kid getting knocked out with a kick to his face. It was awesome; “well maybe not for him, but for the spectators.
We were as earlier mentioned the main attraction, so people took pictures like we were celebrities, at some point I think we were standing with a big smile on our faces for half an hour just for picture taking. They just kept on coming. I love it but some if the others think that it is a bit tiring.
Something that I found really irritating was the referees at this tournament. They said
there was always one watching the kids perform but a lot of times they just sat there with their cellphones or just spoke to each other. How can you decide a winner if you don´t see half of the competitors?
A cool thing about the referees was that when they were bored they just went to the floor an started performing a form or some tai chi. We saw a 75 old man performing the tiger. It was amazing to see that his age wasn´t a problem.
After a pretty long day without much sleep we went home, so we thought. We were driven to a Chinese kung fu school who also wanted us to do some PR for them, so they took some pictures of us around their school. The school had the best outdoor training environment and we kind of wanted to stay and train there. It was a really cool school.
The day after we took the bus to Xinyi. We started with the taylor because some of the guys had some clothes to pick up and I had to place an order. I ordered a black suit, tai chi suit and a blazer. It will cost me 900 kuai, which is nothing compared to what a suit cost in Denmark. This means that I properly will ruin my budget completely. The taylor asked Kayvon and I if we were free to model the day after and that was of course a big yes.
Sunday we met the tailor at 9 and went for a photo-shoot. It was an amazing day and yet again I lived out a dream of mine. We went for lunch with the tailor, his family and all his coworkers. It was an amazing day which ended up with him inviting us to see a town which has a great history. Yet again going with the flow seemed to lead me to amazing things here on my adventure.
Tuesday in this week that just passed by, master Bao came with medals and diplomas for us. We got gold medal for our group form, for best performance and those of us who did an individual form, got a gold medal for outstanding contribution. It was a bit weird given we weren´t in the competition. The only way I could get it to make sense was that there was some sort of competition going on, on the side with performances. Because when I think about all the referees and other Chinese people that busted out a form once in a while, then it would make sense that they did it to maybe win something. Otherwise I don’t know.
It was also the week where Martijn was going home after a year here. So last Friday we went to the barbeque place, played pool and sang karaoke. The masters joined us. It was a good way to say goodbye to Martijn even though the karaoke room didn´t have a lot of songs that were good. They had, all the right artist but usually it was either only one song or songs you never heard about. Even though it was a long night it was a good night. We got up this morning at 4.45 to say goodbye. This one was a bit harder than the other ones because he really helped me a lot with my forms etc. but as I told him; I will come to Holland and we will get drunk and go to a rave.
Yet again these goodbyes are something you need to take into consideration when you live
one year in a school like ours. But it is worth it
More to come