Posts Tagged ‘usa wushu’

WushuKicks Exclusive Interview with Alfred Hsing World Wushu Championships Gold Medalist

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
alfred hsing gold medalist at world wushu championships

alfred hsing gold medalist at world wushu championships

These are the full responses to interview questions for Alfred Hsing (First US Wushu Taolu Gold Medalist at the 10th World Wushu Championships in Toronto, Canada) posed by Kung Fu Magazine in Q & A form exclusive at WushuKicks.com

Let’s start the Q&A –

How did you train for competition?

It was actually very tough to train for this competition. I think a
lot of other US wushu team members would agree that after the US Team
Trial competition you feel a little burnt out from training. I trained
as intense as I possibly could to ensure I could make the US team
because making the US wushu team has been a lifelong dream of mine.
After 3-4 months of rigorous training when you make the team, you
realize you have to keep it up for another 4-5 months. Imagine running
a 26.2 mile marathon but right when you approach the finish line, you
are told you have to run another 26.2 miles non stop. That’s how I
felt.

Training for this competition became more of a mental challenge than a
physical struggle. I was already at the peak of my physical skill
level in terms of being able to perform the difficulty moves like 540
outsides, butterfly twist to tornado kick, and so on. Also, at the
time I was training for worlds I had a full time job, my own side
business, and classes to teach so it was very tiring getting myself to
practice.

I usually train by myself and it gets very boring sometimes. Something
that helped me the most was training with people who are excited about
wushu as well. When others are excited it helps to keep you motivated.
Also training with people who are at an elite level is also motivating
and it pushes you to want to do better.

In training for the World Championships I knew that there would be no
room for mistakes so I practiced focusing on perfection. Perfect
speed, perfect difficulty moves, perfect stances, everything. I did
not hit everything all the time, but whenever I would mess up on a
jump or spin or kick I wouldn’t let myself go until I re-did it and
did a clean successful one. Every time I practiced a full form, I
would pretend it was the real thing – that this was the ONE that
counted. We train so many hours and years just for that 1 minute and
20 seconds on the carpet which is why it is so important to over train
your abilities to the point where you could do all the moves 10 times
perfectly in your sleep.

What was it like to win the medal? What do you think of your performance at
the medal-winning event? What feelings did you have before, during, and
after the event?

Winning the medal was everything I dreamed it would be. It was also a
little unreal that such a big dream became a reality so fast. It’s a
little bittersweet that I don’t get to wake up chasing that big dream
anymore, but it just means I have to set bigger goals.

I am absolutely proud of my performance in my medal winning event. In
fact I am happy with all of my events. The day of my events I did not
think about medals or places. I just wanted to give my best possible
performance and enjoy the moment and I did that so I have no regrets.

A lot of people said it would be impossible to win a gold medal at the
World Wushu Championships, but the few people who didn’t know much
about wushu that said “go for the gold” made me think that it was
possible. I adjusted my mindset a few weeks before the competition and
felt that it was achievable. When you don’t believe you can do it of
course you won’t be able to.

Before my actual event I was relatively calm. I put in my time
training and I was prepared. I came to do my best and wasn’t competing
with anyone else there except myself so there was nothing else to do
but wait for my turn. After I finished my form I felt really good. I
knew I nailed everything. My score came out on the monitor and it said
9.72 and tentatively I was in first place after only four other
competitors. There were still many competitors behind me. It was
actually more nerve racking after my performance because each score
after mine could have potentially bumped me down. After all the
competitors had gone, “Alfred Hsing” was still 1st on the monitor. I
was relieved and excited that I had accomplished it. After
accomplishing such a goal, I realize what the saying “It’s not the
destination, it’s the journey” means.

You were selected to the C team in 2007. Do you feel that anything changed
(your training, your attitude, etc.) between then and now to enable you to
progress to the point where you could win a gold medal at the worlds?

Not too much really changed with how I train. It was more about
preparedness. I tried out in 2003 and did not make the team and after
that I almost gave up. Also I became really busy with college and
work. I basically stopped training and competing until 2006 when I
noticed a lot of people I knew continued to advance in wushu. My
hunger to make the US team and compete at worlds never died. I trained
really hard from 2006-2007 which allowed me to catch back up to a top
level US standard, but still it wasn’t enough. I was at a crossroads-
get back to reality and focus on my career or risk my corporate job
and focus on wushu for another 2 years. I chose wushu. Instead of
giving up, my hunger to make the team only grew. Failing to make the
“A” team in 2007 infuriated me to the point that I vowed I would be so
much better that there would be no doubt I would make the A team at
the next team trials. I went to a lot more competitions, got more
experience, and made sure to fix all my mistakes from 2007. By the
time 2009 rolled around I was a lot more confident because I prepared
off the competition carpet. I think since I wasn’t willing to settle
and I made a point in my practices to not make a single mistake that
the training carried over to my results at worlds games as well.

What memories do you have of the championships? The city? The rest of the
team (other athletes, officials)? The organizers? The venue?

I am going to have great memories of my trip to Toronto, Canada for
the 10th World Wushu Championships, not just because of the victory in
my competition but because of all the interlaced positive memories I
have had in the city. It just so happened that along with bringing
home a good score, I also had great teammates that all got along, a
good roommate on the trip, a venue in Toronto that was close enough
for my parents and friends to come watch, and so on. I was very
honored that I had the fortune of having my parents there witnessing
such an important moment in my life. I also met great people from
around the world and ran into international friends that I had trained
with from abroad. I have not been to past World Championships so I can
not compare, but the organizing committee aimed to be as professional
and organized as possible. I want to thank everyone who was involved
in the event, my US wushu teammates for being awesome, my parents for
all their help and support, and all coaches far and near who have
given me advice and help whether it was for a day or for many years.

Thanks again everyone for your support!

-Alfred Hsing

*you can see more clips of alfred at his personal website www.alfredrocks.com

American Wushu at its Best – USA Wushu on the Rise?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Below is an article posted by Kung Fu Magazine. Interviewer Anthony Roberts asks a lot of stimulating questions that prompted US team members and World Wushu Championships medalists Alfred and Colvin to think about their wushu training, career, and development. A lot of those responses are in the article below, but we will be following up with an exclusive and personal Q&A on WushuKicks.com.

—————————————————————————

Has American Wushu Finally Arrived?

A Report on the 10th World Wushu Championships
by Anthony Roberts

Gold Medalist Alfred HsingWushu in America has had its ups and downs. Even with a large immigrant Chinese population on the West Coast and in the Northeast, the sport has not seen as much growth here as in many other parts of the world. In Southeast Asia, wushu is thriving, in Europe it is well-established, and even in the Middle East, governments subsidize it.

None of this is to say that wushu has done poorly or been neglected here. Past teams, in whom we take great pride, almost always posted good results at the biennial World Wushu Championships. At the 7th World Games in 2003, for example, Elaina Maxwell won the gold in women’s 65 kg sanshou. More recently (in 2007), six athletes finished in the top eight in one or more events at the 9th World’s.

Still, perhaps we can be forgiven for an American pride that leaves us unsatisfied with anything less than number one. When would the time come for a U.S. team to crush the competition – or, failing that, at least bruise them up a little?

It appears the time is now.

Kung Fu Fighting with Canucks
On October 24, 2009, over seven hundred competitors from seventy-four nations converged on Toronto, Canada for the 10th World Wushu Championships. The U.S. team had a rocky start even prior to the first day of competition, losing athletes and officials in the weeks leading up to the championships. Instead of twenty competitors, the U.S. fielded only nine for taolu and five for sanshou.

Compounding the uncertainty about America’s prospects was a new selection process adopted for the taolu team trials. For the past several years, the sole deciding factor for selection to the team was score; now, spots were reserved for specific events, such as taijiquan and nanquan (though there was still a minimum score requirement).

On the very first day of competition, however, it became clear that the U.S. had chosen a great team. Alfred Hsing, representing his country for the first time in a world championship, came out of the gate in style, scoring a 9.72 in men’s straight sword. Flawlessly executing degree-of-difficulty movements, he captured first place early on. When Etsuro Shitaokoshi of Japan also scored 9.72, there followed some tense moments for the U.S. team as the judges applied the tie-breaking rules. But Alfred came out on top, winning America’s first-ever gold in taolu competition at the world championships.

More great news followed on this banner day for American wushu as U.S. team veteran Colvin Wang captured the silver medal in men’s spear. This came not long after he had scored eighth in men’s straight sword (just 0.5 points behind Alfred).

The results for the U.S. team did not end with Alfred and Colvin’s medals. By the end of the tournament, seven other U.S. athletes (five taolu and two sanshou) would finish in the top eight in at least one event, for a total of ten top-eight finishes.

Portrait of a Life in Wushu
Looking back on the experience, Alfred Hsing says, “In training for the world championships, I knew that there would be no room for mistakes, so I practiced focusing on perfection. Perfect speed, perfect difficulty moves, perfect stances, everything. After I finished my form I felt really good. I knew I nailed everything. Winning the medal was everything I dreamed it would be.”

It had been a long road for Alfred. After failing to make the U.S. team in 2003, he almost gave up on wushu; but in 2006 he noticed that his friends had continued training and were making progress in the sport. This inspired him to begin chasing his dream again.

Gold Medalist Alfred Hsing “I trained really hard in 2006 and 2007, which allowed me to catch back up to a top-level U.S. standard, but still it wasn’t enough.” Indeed, he only qualified for the C team at the trials that year (the second alternates, way down on the totem pole). “I was at a crossroads,” he says. “Get back to reality and focus on my career or risk my corporate job and focus on wushu for another 2 years. I chose wushu.”

Even after making the team, it was not easy for Alfred. “I think a lot of other U.S. wushu team members would agree that after the U.S. team trial competition you feel a little burnt out from training. I trained as intense as I possibly could to ensure I could make the US team… After three or four months of rigorous training, when you make the team, you realize you have to keep it up for another four or five months.” He compared this feeling to finishing a marathon only to see you have another 26.2 miles to run.

But Alfred stuck with it, showing the true power of positive thinking. “A lot of people said it would be impossible to win a gold medal at the World Wushu Championships, but the few people who didn’t know much about wushu that said ‘go for the gold’ made me think that it was possible. I adjusted my mindset a few weeks before the competition and felt that it was achievable. When you don’t believe you can do it, of course you won’t be able to.”

Colvin Wang had posted impressive results at the last world championships and competed at World Wushu Tournament Beijing 2008 (the unofficial “Olympics” tournament). At the 2nd World Junior Wushu Championships in 2008, he had also won a silver medal in spear. The medal he earned in Toronto thus represents the evolution of a talented athlete, still in high school, whose wushu star is on the rise.

“Training wasn’t easy,” he says, “because I’m trying to balance a very crucial period in school and train at the same time. I never had enough time to do enough of both. I still tried to manage an hour or two each day. By competition time, I felt pretty ready.”

Colvin’s high expectations mean he could never be completely happy with his medal-winning performance. Still, he says: “It’s always good to let go of any expectations you have before a competition, so I made sure I had no expectations before doing my form. It was definitely nice to have my accomplishment awarded with a world championship medal – not something that is given to many people. I will keep the medal as a token of all the hard work I put in to earn it.”

USA Team

Memories and Reflections
In addition to athletes, coaches, and other officials, family and friends were also part of the U.S. team. Keeping everything organized and all team members in-the-know was Malee Khow of Connecticut, team manager and chairperson of the USAWKF Competition Management Committee. “It was a great honor to lead this team,” she says, “and to watch as Alfred, Colvin, and all the athletes did such an outstanding job. It makes all the organizing work in the months beforehand feel worth it.”

The team took away many great memories from the championships, meeting friends old and new from all over the world. “I think we worked well as a team,” says Colvin Wang, “had a lot of fun, supported each other, and all have valuable memories to take away from this experience.” Alfred Hsing concurs: “I am going to have great memories of my trip to Toronto… It just so happened that along with bringing home a good score, I also had great teammates that all got along, a good roommate on the trip, a venue in Toronto that was close enough for my parents and friends to come watch.”

Many team members remarked that the Chinese were not as dominant as in previous championships, where the taolu team in particular always takes first place. This year, while still leading all countries in medals won with six in taolu and eight in sanshou, China posted more modest results than in previous years. Whether this signals a true leveling of the playing field in worldwide wushu or, more likely, a decision by China not to send its best athletes, is a question others can concern themselves with. Let us Americans not speculate on what we cannot know – rather, we should be filled with pride and joy for the accomplishments of our athletes.

Indeed, Americans were not the only ones to notice that our athletes made a breakthrough this year. “Many people from other teams mentioned to me how much our team has improved,” says Malee Khow, “even though our athletes are all students or have regular jobs. Many other countries are able to send career athletes, whose job is wushu, or hire coaches to train their athletes full-time. Here in America, wushu is still very much an amateur sport – but that makes our accomplishments at the world championships this year even more special.”

Does this mean, then, that American wushu has finally arrived? Will future teams continue the successes of Toronto? If we look at the results of recent U.S. teams, the indications are that this event was no fluke. At the 9th World Wushu Championships, held at the end of 2007 in Beijing, China, six athletes finished in the top eight of one or more events. In 2008, at the 2nd World Junior Wushu Championships, the young U.S. athletes won four medals, including one gold. The same year, the U.S. brought home eleven medals from the 7th Pan American Wushu Championships held in Brazil.

10th World Wushu Games

In wushu as in life, fortunes can change quickly. However, Americans now have good reason for optimism about the future of wushu in our country. Only time will tell.

The U.S. Team Officials

  • Delegation Leader: Anthony Goh
  • Deputy Delegation Leader and Taolu Team Leader: Malee Khow
  • Championships Vice Referee of Taolu: Xiaolin Lu
  • Taolu Coach: Zhang Guifeng
  • Assistant Taolu Coach: Bangjun Jiang
  • Assistant Taolu Coach: Stephon Morton
  • Sanshou Team Leader and Coach: Ian Lee
  • Sanshou Coach: Jeff Chow
  • Assistant Sanshou Coach: Carmine Downey
  • Sanshou Judge: Anthony Sims

Taolu Team

Male

  • Alfred Hsing
  • Peter Dang
  • Colvin Wang
  • Max Ehrlich

Female

  • Sarah Chang
  • Joana Pei
  • Ashley Chung
  • Stephanie Lim
  • Elaine Ho

Sanshou Team
Male

  • Michael Lee (65 kg)
  • Maximillion Chen (70 kg)
  • Alex Cisne (80 kg)
  • Kasey Corless (90 kg)

Female

  • Sonia Mejia (52 kg)

Medal-Winners

  • Alfred Hsing (gold medal, men’s straight sword)
  • Colvin Wang (silver men, men’s spear)

Other Top Eight Finishes
Taolu

  • Sarah Chang (8th place, women’s chang quan)
  • Peter Dang (8th place, men’s broadsword)
  • Max Ehrlich (7th place, men’s southern broadsword)
  • Elaine Ho (8th place, women’s taiji sword)
  • Joana Pei (5th place, women’s broadsword)
  • Colvin Wang (8th place, men’s straight sword)

Sanshou

  • Maximillion Chen (8th place (quarterfinals), men’s 70 kg sanshou)
  • Alex Cisne (8th place (quarterfinals), men’s 80 kg sanshou)

Original source: http://www.kungfumagazine.com/ezine/article.php?article=859

First USA GOLD at the 10th World Wushu Championships! Alfred Hsing brings home the first US gold for wushu taolu team.

Monday, November 2nd, 2009
10th WWC Gold Medal - Alfred Hsing

10th WWC Gold Medal - Alfred Hsing

Alfred Hsing, member of the US Wushu Team brings home the first US GOLD MEDAL at a World Wushu Championships. From the 1st world wushu championships over 20 years ago the US has never taken a gold in wushu taolu at this tournament until this year.

Alfred Hsing placed first in the jianshu or straight sword event with a 9.72 edging above competing Asian countries – Japan and Indonesia who took second and third respectively.

Hong Kong national wushu team coach remarked to Alfred Hsing “It’s an amazing day. You have been etched into history, the wushu history books, as the first USA wushu athlete to win a gold at the World Wushu Championships and become a World Champion. Congratulations.”

The straight sword (1st) and spear (12th) events were on day 1 of the competition. Hsing also competed in Chang Quan or longfist (9th) and placed 9th out of 83 enrolled competitors. He is also the first US team member to beat China in the World Championships. China chang quan team member made some very slight mistakes which bumped his score down. Hsing completed perfect nandu and technical requirements for a final long fist score of 9.65.

Here are both his longfist and straight sword videos:

This year was a great year for the US wushu team. Other notable achievements were Colvin Wang who took 2nd in spear only losing to China’s Wu Di. Peter Dang placed top 8 in broadsword. Sarah Chang placed 8th in women’s longfist… and Stephanie Lim, Joanna Pei, and Max Ehrlich all took top 8 in one of their respective events! Congratulations to all!

10th WWC Alfred Hsing Takes First First Place for USA

10th WWC Alfred Hsing Takes First First Place for USA

US Wushu Team Taolu and Sanshou Wikipedia Page

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

In an attempt to organize and easily be able to look back at the accomplishments of the past and present US National Wushu Team members (Taolu and Sanshou) WushuKicks.com has created a wikipedia page here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Wushu_Team so that we can combine our knowledge and information to havea comprehensive list of US Wushu Team members and other relevant information. Jiayou all!

2009-2011 US National Taolu Teams
Men’s Team
Alfred Hsing, Peter Dang, Colvin Wang, Max Ehrlich, Alan Zhao
Phillip Dang, Michael Tsai, Donovan, Hui, William Chen, Jian Wei Bench
Chase White, Eugene Moy, Stephon Morton, Jason Liu, Matthew Tay

Women’s Team
Sarah Chang, Joana Pei, Ashley Chung, Stephanie Lim, Elaine Ho
Brenda Hatley, Claudine Tran, Tiffany Reyes, Melissa Yu, Tiffany Wang
Kelly Kim, Jessica Shyy, Samantha Tsen, Karlee Yong, Isabelle Ju

2009 Wushu Sanshou Team Members
Men’s Team
56 kg: J.R. Ridge
60 kg: Josh Simpson
65 kg: Michael Lee
70 kg: Maximillion Chen
80 kg: Alex Cisne
85 kg: Gary Chandler
90 kg: Kasey Corless

Women’s Team
52 kg: Sonia Menjia

2007 US Wushu Team
Men’s Team
Colvin Wang, Collin Lee, Adam Margalit, Peter Dang Dennis Ta
Dennis Shyu, Phillip Dang, Max Ehrlich, Lucas Geller, Michael Tsai
Alex Whitlow, Alfred Hsing, Zach Caruso, Rolando Lee, Charles Hwong

Women’s Team
Sarah Chang, Tenyia Lee, Ngan-Ha Ta, Rachel Margalit, Tiffany Reyes
Joana Pei, Ashley Chung, Claudine Tran, Fifi Zhang, Diana Pei
Teresa Wong, Stephanie Lim, Brenda Hatley, Jennifer Sun, Samantha Tsen

2005 US Wushu Team
Men’s Team
Chris Sexton, Stephan Morton, Jason Lui, Zach Caruso, Philip Dang,
Peter Dang, Colvin Wang, Peter Wolf, Ching-Yin Lee, Collin Lee,
Nick Spencer, Jonathan Chung, Brandon Sugiyama, Dennis Shyu, Jason Liu.

Women’s Team
Jessica Zhang, Sarah Chang, Ngau-Hu Ta, Tiffany Reyes, Joana Pei,
Tenyia Lee, Catherine Archer, Felicia Zhang, Diana Pei, Ashley Chung,
Tencia Lee, Victoria Huang, Mei Chiu, Stephanie Lim, Teresa Wong.

2003 US Wushu Team
Men’s Team
Jason Lui, Stephan Morton, Justin Ma, D.Y. Sao, Arthur Chen, Ching-Yin Lee,
Alex Huyng, Joe Scarcella, Brandon Sugiyama, Rizgi Rachmat, Nadir Yahya, Phillip Dang.

Women’s Team
Cheri Haight, Jessica Zhang, Deborah Yang, Felicia Zhang, Sarah Chang, Jennifer Haight,
Dary Sao, Catherine Archer, Lui Guojing, Diana Pei, Tiffany Reyes, Janice Yeung.

1988 US Wushu Team
Team Leader Steve Rhodes
Team Coach: Zhang, Guifeng
Team Members: Kathy L Andrew Foster Pat Rice
Nick Gracenin Patrick Kelly Kenny Perez
Phillip Wong Duck Luu

1986 US Wushu Team
Team Leaders Christopher Pei Bryant Fong
Team Coach: Zhang, Guifeng
Team Members: Caesar Britten Nick Gracenin Kenny Perez
Greg Walraven Phillip Wong Steve Rhodes
John “Randy” Hegstad

1985 US Wushu Team
Team Leader Tai Yan
Team Coach: Zhang, Guifeng
Team Members: Jeff Falcon Calvin Jones Nick Gracenin
Christopher Pei Hung Stewart Richard Vechiolla
Phillip Wong Christine Chi-ching Yen
Jennifer Hewitt