Fundamentals of High Performance Wushu

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High Performance Wushu

Issue No. 3 | August 14th, 2007


Spinning (More, Better, and Faster) in the Air
Training with the Chinese Coaches
Training Forums - Embeddable YouTube Videos *** IMPORTANT ***
FHPW 3-Pack Now Available *** New Discount! ***
Upcoming Issues/Improvements
    • HPWushu Gear Store Open!
    • Personalized Online Coaching Service *** Coming Soon ***
    • Links Page
    • Works In Progress

Spinning (More, Better, and Faster) in the Air

"How do I spin more?" I get this question from people a lot. The next question I get after that is "Do I need to jump higher?" In this issue, we'll take a break from discussing techniques and talk about general concepts, since they apply to nearly all techniques. Achieving multiple rotations in the air requires two things - air time and high rotation speed. While you may be able to jump high, and be able to spin well on the ground, doing both at the same time is a bit trickier. When people focus on one aspect (e.g. spinning), they tend to forget about the other aspect. In addition, movements which improve the performance of one aspect may affect the performance of the other. For example, throwing your arms up as hard as you can while you push off the ground will help with your jump height. However, it is likely to affect your spinning ability, especially if they don't reach a position close to the axis of your rotation. Therefore, you need to find adjustments which will benefit both jumping and spinning at the same time.

Each jumping technique in Wushu involves a different takeoff and therefore different methods are employed to maximize jump height and spin rotation simultaneously. However, if you keep the following three concepts clearly in mind when executing any of the techniques, you'll make progress much more quickly.

1. Use the Ground - The ground is the source of your power. You generate all of your rotational momentum while on the ground. Once you leave the ground, what you got is all you'll get. So, when you are adjusting your technique to get more rotation, focus on generating more rotational momentum before you leave the ground. However, be sure that the adjustments you make do not affect your spin axis when you take off.

2. Stay Tight - Once you are airborne, you'll have to maximize what you generated earlier while keeping your body as tight and close to your spin axis as possible. That means minimizing the time that your limbs are in an extended position away from the body. Whatever movements you attempt in the air, they must not affect your spin axis much (unless it is intentional).

3. Jump High - Height is king. You can spin as fast as you want but without any air time to work with, you won't get very far. In general, you should focus on height before rotation. If an adjustment that you make improves rotation but decreases jump height, it probably isn't doing you much good.

Training with the Chinese Coaches

A few months ago, our school had the good fortune of having a few professionals from China come to help coach. I had the opportunity to discuss the intricacies of the various nandu techniques with them and it was great to see how we agreed on so many things. The most common thing that they mentioned was to focus on jumping up as high as you can. Like mentioned many times before, air time makes everything easier. One thing also became apparent during our discussion. Movements should not be forced. Doing so makes it easier to commit errors. In addition, it is harder to sense your body when you are overly tense. The technique should be executed with clarity and power - just like stretch kicks. The leg should be loose but fast on the upwards portion of the kick in order to maximize the speed. Being overly tense will make the kick slower. Most of your effort should be spent during the takeoff. Once you are in the air, you just ride the rest of the way.

Stay tuned for more insights from these discussions in future issues of this newsletter!

Training Forums - Embeddable YouTube Videos

In keeping with the practice of recording videos of your practice sessions, the High Performance Wushu Training Forums now allow YouTube videos to be embedded in your posts! Several people have already posted videos and there are replies with comments and suggestions for improvement.Take a look and see what problems other people are having with their techniques. You just might find the answer you've been looking for there.

If you have any questions or difficulties with any aspect of your training, feel free to post on the forums to get some help! To go to the High Performance Wushu Training Forums, just click on and create a free account.

FHPW 3-Pack is Now Available

It's always better to train with a friend or a group. The more eyes that watch you, the more feedback you can get. Different people focus on different things and catch different things when they watch you practice. And, it's even better when they are all knowledgeable. To help facilitate that, the Fundamentals of High Performance Wushu Book 3-Pack is now available! Get a copy for yourself and your training buddies and save even more off the list price!

Upcoming Issues/Improvements

Stay tuned for the next issue of the High Performance Wushu Newsletter which will have more news and updates, as well as valuable training tips! If you know a friend or a fellow athlete who hasn’t signed up, tell them about so they can get this valuable FREE resource! Make sure to check the website for new features such as:

  • HPWushu Gear Store Open!
    The High Performance Wushu Gear Store is now open! You can get casual and training apparel as well as gifts for yourself or your Wushu friends. Show the world that you don't do just Wushu, you do High Performance Wushu!
  • Personalized Online Coaching Service
    In the next few months, a new "Online Coaching" service will be available. This subscription service is for anybody who is serious about making progress and wants detailed customized personal feedback on their techniques and problems. You will be able to send in your training video clips and receive personal commentary and suggestions from the author of the book Fundamentals of High Performance Wushu: Taolu Jumps and Spins. Check the website periodically and keep an eye out for this valuable new service coming soon!
  • Links Page
    A “Links” page has been added so sites related to Wushu and training can be posted as another resource for you. If there are any sites that you would like seen on the “Links” page, please e-mail them, with the subject line "Links" to for review.
  • Works In Progress: Training Videos
    Training videos which illustrate the concepts described in the FHPW book, and demonstrate the training exercises are under production.

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