Banana milkshake isn’t the secret to winning

I’ve always enjoyed competing and it really focuses my training.

One particular competition in London, I’d spent a few months training. We’d regularly practice pushing hands few times a week, neigong (internal training) and conditioning exercises every day. I’d say I was pretty well prepared.

As with large competition events there is a lot of waiting around till you get your time to perform, you get time to watch other participants and have a catch up with friends you haven’t seen for a while.

At this venue they do excellent milkshakes and thought I’d have plenty of time to try one and have some lunch. Sitting in the cafe relaxing I can see my fellow competitors getting ready for the next round. At this point it suddenly dawns on me that they are calling my name to the floor.

Oh man. I rushed down and made myself known. I thought I’ve got this. Took my position. Pushing hands at these competitions are short 30 second rounds, each hand. Start left hand then right hand or is it the other way round. Anyway as one takes points from a stumble or touching the floor with a hand or pushed out the ring they stop the clock. A round in reality lasts 5 minutes or an eternity.

After a couple of minutes I can feel the milkshake mixing around in my dantian, na it was in my tummy and I thought I’m going to be sick. I managed to keep my it together and finish the rounds.

Got a couple of medals that day, but my biggest lesson was don’t lose focus, drink banana milkshake and don’t drink banana milkshake.

Three amigos go training

Three of us were able to meet up in a suitable location while adhering to social distancing rules. It was nice to meet up for a couple of hours. Having a catch up and remembering to keep our distance. We had plenty to do practicing our forms and having a brief discussion to see what we’ve forgotten, what we have discovered while training alone and sharing these ideas and giving feedback on how each of us can improve. We went through our short and long form a few times while a storm was brewing in the distance. With a rumble of thunder we thought we leave the running thunder hands till next week.

Big stone hands in Lake District