Where art and combat collide



The Wushu membership was based in 1999 and is a type of Chinese language martial arts that developed within the Forties in an try and systematize martial arts as a sport and bridge the hole between fight and artwork. Credit score: Wesley Collins

Natalie Lucas had been doing kung fu since she was 12 years outdated, however she had by no means encountered a problem like this one. 

After an almost 12-month hiatus, the Dragon Phoenix Wushu membership at Ohio State returned to observe in March, coaching exterior on the basketball courts adjoining to the RPAC.

Lucas, a fourth-year in neuroscience, mentioned that the return excites her and marks a giant second for the membership as they transfer towards future competitions, a brand new observe area and the following semester. 

“I used to be so blissful,” Lucas mentioned. “Martial arts has been part of my life for a very very long time and I had been sedentary for too lengthy within the quarantine so I used to be actually excited to come back again and observe my expertise, you understand, stretch out, work on my cardiovascular skills.”

The membership, based in 1999, offers the chance for college kids to interact with wushu, a type of Chinese language martial arts that developed within the Forties in an try and systematize martial arts as a sport and bridge the hole between fight and artwork. 

In late March 2020, in-person conferences had been suspended as members of the membership and different college students had been pressured house to shelter in place through the early elements of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The membership needed to get progressive to maintain their expertise as sharp as a straight sword, one of many many weapons that members can observe with.

Lucas mentioned that transferring conferences to Zoom wasn’t simple, nevertheless it was higher than the choice: no observe.

”Zoomshu” allowed members to observe inside their very own houses previous to returning to campus.

“We tried zoomshu, which is the place our coach arrange a digicam in his front room and we adopted alongside that to one of the best of our skills in our little flats and in our dorm rooms,” Lucas mentioned. “With a restricted area and restricted high quality expertise that we had, we simply tried to maintain practising.”

Members of the membership can choose from a bevy of weapons to observe with and hone their expertise. All of this stuff are meant to be flashy, making for a greater present in efficiency and competitors. 

Wesley Collins, a third-year in atmospheric sciences, mentioned he selected the straight sword when he joined the membership, seeking to observe a brand new type of martial arts. The problem of one thing starkly completely different than his earlier expertise in martial arts was engaging.

“I’ve accomplished numerous sorts of martial arts for, I wish to say, 12 years now. I began with Taekwondo. I did karate. I’ve accomplished jujitsu, Filipino stick and knife preventing. I’ve accomplished Muay Thai and kickboxing,” Collins mentioned. “So after I got here to OSU, I needed to do a brand new martial artwork, one thing that I’ve by no means accomplished earlier than that’s actually completely different from what I’ve accomplished beforehand. And so after I noticed that we did Chinese language kung fu with the wushu group, I used to be like, ‘Oh, I’ve by no means heard of wushu.’ So I walked as much as them on the Scholar Involvement Honest. And I began coming to practices that very same day.”

Mitch Seiple, vp of the Dragon Phoenix Wushu Membership, mentioned that getting weapons distributed to members is comparatively inexpensive, with followers beginning at about $10 and spears costing about $30. 

Brian Kao, the membership’s coach and a member of the USA Wushu group, has assisted the scholars in coaching with the show-items and helps them put together for competitors when in-person tournaments resume, hopefully later within the spring semester. 

Earlier than scholar organizations had been in a position to meet on campus attributable to COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the college, the membership was in a position to meet within the health club that Kao trains at, the Ohio Wushu Academy, in small, socially distanced masked teams. 

Seiple mentioned that regardless of the struggles and challenges of the previous 12 months, he’s excited to satisfy once more, even in restricted vogue.

“We type of simply needed to roll with the punches for that and do one of the best we may and I feel we did in addition to we may,”  Seiple mentioned. “We’re simply glad to have the ability to be again out right here collectively now.”

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