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Training in Wushu offers practitioners many health and fitness benefits.
The many stances of Wushu build leg and core muscle (abdominal & lower back) strength and the necessity of holding poses while training builds strong stabilizing muscles. Weapons practice works like weight-bearing exercises, to build good arm and back strength as well. A Wushu practitioner who practices t art on a regular basis, with no other supplemental exercise programme can develop a lean toned muscular look similar to that of a dancer.he
Wushu Practice builds all around flexibility including the hamstrings, calf muscles, hips, chest, back, arms and shoulders are just a few of the body part that are stretched regularly, even wrist and ankles get a good stretch! While genetics and age affect how flexible you can become, all of our students who have come on a regular basis for at most a couple of years (easier than it sounds – time flies when your having fun) can do a full front split.
A very important aspect of Wushu, balance is developed both by standing exercises on one leg as well as learning how to find your centre so that even when performing quick travelling movements you never lose your balance. After learning Wushu, you might still trip now and then but you'll seldom fall.
Hand / Eye coordination is an important skill, which most of us learn to varying degrees of success in childhood. For children, in particular, this is one of the greatest benefits of taking a wushu class, but even adults can benefit from improvements in this area, especially if you still find yourself occasionally knocking things over at the dinner table or hiding at the company softball game because you're more certain of being hit with the ball then catching it.
Stamina is more than being strong enough to exercise for a long time; it also suggests a strong mind able to withstand extreme stress without buckling under. In Wushu, you slowly and steadily demand more from yourself as your body and mind becomes adjusted to the exercises. Your staying power will begin to increase as you learn to use your mind and body as one to accomplish something you likely do not realize is happening until you see those around give up long before you even think they have become difficult.
Reflexes develop as a natural result of strength and coordination, however in Wushu as these traits develop you will work on increasing your reflex reaction time so that not only can you be strong and flexible, but you can move quickly if the need arises. Important if you ever had to run to protect yourself, certainly, but also useful in catching flying silverware before it lands in your lap or on the rug.
Body awareness is the culmination of developing all the above traits.It means what it sounds like, that your mind is aware of what your body is doing and can direct it. This may seem like something that everyone already does, but it is just not so. People who say they have two left feet when they dance are complaining about lack of body awareness. When we marvel at someone's ability to learn any physical activity quickly we might say "they are so athletic " when what we mean is that they have a great sense of body awareness. Body awareness, once learned, will not be forgotten. So even if you quite exercising and put on 50 pounds, you may be out of shape, but your body awareness will remain and if you decide to suddenly take a tango class people will still marvel at how quickly you are able to learn and perform the moves.
Gajanand Rajput is the first Indian 35th Generation Shaolin Temple Warior Secular Disciple, trained in Shaolin Temple under the great Shaolin master SHI YAN LU (Shi Heng Chang) www.wushuindia.com
© Gajanand Rajput