KUCHING: Local wushu coaches should make it a point to attend coaching seminars to upgrade their training methods and knowledge of the sport.
Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS) coach for the Wushu Elite Centre in Sarawak, Huang Shao Xiong, said this was necessary for them to keep abreast of changes, especially new rulings, often introduced to make the sport more competitive.
“Previously, wushu was based on standardised routines whereby exponents could execute and deliver choreographed movements but now, we are talking about optional events with higher and more difficult requirements,” he said yesterday.
“For example, in the taolu an exponent has to make an aerial turn with a difficulty of 360 degrees. In this move, balance is vital for landing.
“It is to be noted that the difficulty for this routine has been increased to 540 degrees in Sukma XIII next year. In international competitions, it has reached 720 degrees.” Huang said world wushu powerhouse China had been constantly upgrading their techniques in line with the new rulings introduced from time to time.
“They have been doing this for many years and are, not surprisingly, far ahead of other countries,” he noted.
The 39-year-old native of Guang Xi, China, said the local coaches should try to adopt and apply the new rulings instead of just sticking to the old ones.
He also said it was important for them to work closely with him in scouting for and grooming new talents.
“It’s vital to know the right criteria for picking championship materials, and use updated coaching methods for producing world beaters,” Huang explained.
As for training, he felt it was very important to get the basics right at the development stage in order to keep bad habits at bay at the advanced stage.
“If a beginner learns the wrong things, it will be very hard for him or her to unlearn them. That’s why it’s important for them to start off on the right footing,” he stressed.
In this respect, he said, the coaches must be well-versed in current coaching methods.
Huang strongly believed that picking the right trainees for development was important to save time and money, saying the exponents must be prepared to work hard as there were no such things as short cuts to success in sports.
He pointed out that champions of the recent Sarawak Wushu Championship were not necessarily automatic choices for future competitions.
Some of the exponents may be technically good in other movements but could not jump or turn in mid-air while others could jump but may lack the technical prowess in other areas to produce a winning routine, he noted.
According to him, other factors to be considered are physique, discipline and the attitude.
These three attributes are important because the performance of an exponent is holistically measured in competition.
It takes many years to learn the techniques but only seconds to determine the outcome of a competition.
Just as one right move – when it counts most – can turn defeat into victory, so can one wrong move at the crucial moment turn victory into defeat.
Huang said as wushu championships were becoming more competitive, winning the gold medal could not be guaranteed even if one were a national champion.
“It all boils down to technical ability that borders on perfection. For instance, in the aerial turn, you cannot afford to make even a small mistake. If you make a bad landing or even a little flaw, points will be deducted,” he added.
Presently, Kuching has one Elite Centre with 21 trainees, including nine women.
There are 62 trainees at the Centres of Excellence – 30 in Kuching, 20 in Sibu (20) and 12 in Miri – and more than 1,000 trainees in Centres of Development throughout the state.
In Kuching alone, there are 17 primary and secondary schools involved in the wushu development programme.