It took some time to contact everyone, but hey! It’s finally out!!!! SingaporeWushu.com will like to thank everyone who participated in this interview series, especially since many were preparing for their upcoming exams. It’s not an easy task, to juggle academic and sports, but when one puts his/her heart into doing something, everything else fades into oblivion. The Singapore IVP Wushu Comp medalists have earned their place through blood and sweat; and every competitor in IVP has taken back experiences to remember. So no matter whether the results are bitter or sweet, always remember that our experiences are worth celebrating and sharing.
SingaporeWushu.com is proud to present the Singapore IVP Wushu Comp Interview Series!
Next in the interview series, we have the wushu team from Republic Polytechnic!!
Anne Neo Tong Hua – Traditional Nanquan Female, Gold
Goh Han Wei – Traditional Soft Weapon Male, Silver
Soong Jen Chi – Traditional Ditang Quan, Silver
SingaporeWushu.com: Congratulations on your results for the IVP Wushu 2011 Competition!! I’m sure it must have been an exciting experience. How do you feel, being able to achieve what you have done?
Anne: Xiao Fu Hu (Nan Quan) routine has changed my style compared to the other routines which I had practised in the past. I started Wushu by practicing international routines of spear (qiang) and straight sword (jian). However after 4 years of practising international routines for competitions (I had started Wushu since sec 1, and every year there was Inter-school Wushu Championship), my coach preferred that I practised traditional styles that were passed down to him by his Master. From then on, I have been focusing on the traditional routines that were more practical and beautiful. However, please do not get me wrong, I am not saying that only traditional forms of Wushu are practical and beautiful ; international routines have their own beauty too (:
Hence I feel that knowing what suits you would aid in your learning of the routines and unleash the potential in you.
Han Wei: This is my 3rd time getting a silver in a competition for the same routine, so I am not sure if I am happy or sad. But nonetheless, I feel gaining glory for Republic Polytechnic is more important in this IVP then my personal glory.
Jen Chi: Having a sense of achievement and also not disappointing everyone who placed their hopes on me. Would like to thank everyone from Republic Polytechnic’s Wushu team, without them I would not have been able to achieve the results for IVP Wushu 2011.
SW: What was the most memorable moment during the competition?
JC: Most memorable moment would be the moment when I stood on the carpet to perform my routine. It feels like I was isolated, all alone and no one to rely on and every action I did would determine the grades given.
HW: My single most memorable moment was when I met my fellow competitors at the holding area, and making acquaintance with them. We were able to chat and joke before we went on the carpet, which definitely eases some nerves since I was the first one up, and of course the moment when all of my competitors gave me encouragement when I was about to step onto the carpet.
Anne: I would say it is the cheering and giving encouragement to our team mates and friends when we know it is their turn to compete. Surprisingly, after each competition you will get to do more cheering because you know more friends through the previous competitions! The competition ground is a good platform to know more friends who has the same passion as you!
SW: Any celebrations for your achievements?
Anne: Just a simple meal with the team that has been training with me since Day 1. I went through thick and thin with them, sowhen I win this medal for Republic Polytechnic (RP), these are the people I want to share my happiness with!
HW: Well, just a simple celebration with my friends and those who have helped me.
JC: Hahas , not really a celebration but more like a retreat for everyone who worked hard during the competition period. We had Korean BBQ at somewhere at Tanjong Pagar.
SW: You must have gone through intense training in order to get to where you are. How were your training sessions like? What/who motivated you to go through the tough training?
HW: Well, due to a slow start until one and a half month before the IVP, I had it hard for the whole duration of the training. Imagine doing full routine after full routine without rest, just to recover my stamina and my skills back to competition standards, that’s torturous! :/ For the motivation, my friend definitely played a part, since I do not want to lose to them -.-. But ultimately, my family and girlfriend are the ones who gave me the motivation to show the people out there what I can do and what Republic Polytechnic’s Wushu is capable of.
JC: Not really an intense training, but what we believe is that practice makes perfect. What we did was to take turns to perform our own routine over and over again. Occasionally, we would have test and “mock competition” to prepare us for the real competition. My friends, coaches and advisors are the ones who motivated me. They would show concern whether I’m alright or not, which made me feel that I should win something for them.
Anne: Personally I have intensive training sessions in RP and external training too . My maximum training schedule is 5 times a week and at least 2 hours per training session. I usually start on the intensive training 1 month before the competition! But for this competition, what we had was just 3-hour training sessions twice a week because our examinations started after the IVP competition ended. Therefore we had to juggle between training and studies during that period of time.
Motivation? The coach and of course the team mates who have been training with me all put in many long hours of practice and that was a definite motivator. Especially when you are in a jiti(group) routine team, these feeling gets stronger as you know that, no matter what happens, they are there for you.
SW: Were there any single incidents that stood out during the training?
JC: Injuries… injuries are inevitable during training, but luckily it does not really affect me and my training schedules.
HW: Well, imagine me doing the Di shao, and the whip hit hard on groin and other sensitive areas! That’s what always happens to me. Not once, but multiple times! The pain and agony is unbearable: /
Anne: Regardless who is practicing their routine on the carpet, everyone cheered to motivate each other. This would allow the person who is doing the routine to have greater determination to complete the whole routine, no matter how tired they are.
SW: Aside from preparing yourself physically, it is important to prepare yourself mentally. How did you prepare yourself mentally?
JC: Yep, preparing ourselves mentally is also important. At first I was afraid of disappointing everyone if I did not take home any medal. But what I did was to tell myself that I am not alone, because I have my friends who show their utmost support for me.
Anne: Before the competition, I allow my mind to go through the routines I am going to do. Next, knowing that this is just a friendly competition, winning medals isn’t important because it is the experience that counts. Also during our intensive training, our coach would simulate a mock competition. This tests us physically and mentally for the excitement of competitions. The simulation enables us to learn from the mistakes we made before entering the competition arena.
: I just psyche myself into a mindset of being patriotic to RP’s Wushu and I definitely want to bring glory to the team and poly. I guess in a weird way, I want RP’s Wushu to shine, and that’s what I am going to continue to do.
SW: Did you get nervous before the competition? If so, how did you deal with it?
HW: Well, normally I do not get nervous for the competitions, since I am the kind that either I get very nervous or I totally don’t. Therefore, I usually spend most of my time before entering the competition arena running around the competition venue or doing some unimportant stuff to calm my nerves. Yeah, I can be rather lame: x
JC: hahas, it should be super nervous!! What I did was just talking with people around me to calm down, and then switch my brain off. I believe that the more you think about the competition, the more nervous you get, so I let my brain rest and do not let my imagination run wild! This works well for me but am not sure whether it works for others =P
Anne: Think of my own routine and not look at others from the same competition category. This is a very effective way for me! I will immerse myself into my own world so as to set myself in the mood and emotions that I want to express during the routine. By not looking at others, I am able to minimize distractions and not worry if I would make mistakes similar to my competitors.
SW: It is important to enjoy what you do in order to achieve great success. What do you enjoy the most about wushu?
HW: Wushu allowed me to get close to what I have always wanted to learn, and because of Wushu, I got to know some of my most valued friends, so I guess it’s all about making friends and having fun! Well, injecting seriousness during training and competition are definitely needed: x
Anne: This is a special sport which incorporates sport, culture and the arts.
JC: What I like Wushu the most is that it helps me physically and mentally. But what I enjoy most is through Wushu, I get to know and meet more people with the same interest.
SW: Do you have a philosophy in wushu or in life?
JC: There is no shortcut in life; the only way to succeed is through constant practice and hard work. This is what I believe, both in Wushu and in life.
HW: I can only say for me, Wushu is more of self-discipline and self-mastery of our own bodies, requiring us to “break through” what our bodies normally do not allow us to do. Perseverance sums up everything for me.
Anne: You may not have the skills to compete against other competitors; however your morale must not be low because of this. Just because you have limited techniques and skills compared to others who can flip and jump, it doesn’t mean that you are inferior compared to them. Without empowering your routine with the soul and emotion, it will not be a good routine.
SW: Any final thoughts you will like to share or advice to give?
Anne: Do your best and never look back with regrets, you have only one chance on the carpet. As you are not able to foresee any problems or difficulties you are going to face on the actual day of competition, you need to be mentally prepared. Your mental strength and attitude count. This is the same for life as well, be prepared for the unforeseen circumstances you are going to face, be brave and do not be afraid.
HW: If you are nervous, doing some shuffling on the carpet when people are testing it might help! Do what you like! Everyday I’m shuffling~ (music)
JC: Since I am an “anime person”, I would end off with an advice I came across from an anime, which I truly believe in.
“Don’t ask for it, go out and win it. Do that and you will be rewarded” – Eureka 7