Poster and news conference

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Yesterday was the press conference for the upcoming fight in China.   We also recieved our team track suits which were alot better then I pictured them to be.  The day started off with the filming of our members doing pad work with team coach Stan Peterec.  We all conspired to do a sloppy job on the pads to throw off our Team China opponents as it is more then likely they will be watching the video and studying us.  Hahaha!  During the conference the coaches, team, and some special guests were introduced and given thanks for attending.  The introductions were then followed by a question period from the crowd and finally team photo opportunities were given to the media.          

Now for the interesting part... We went to eat at a chinese restaurant with some of the special guests, a coach, a few representatives from china who are involved, and also a real tough, mean looking, Shaolin temple resident and martial arts expert. (He had a completely shaved head, numerous scars on his head and face, and an intimidating stare)  During our meal we had some laughs and I decided to pick the brains of our honoured guests. lol.  I first asked about our opponents training regiment, cardio excercises, and the amount of time they spend training a day.   Then we followed up with more questions about how the chinese teams were picked and how many students they taught over there.   (in english which had to be translated to cantonese) 

The answers we heard were what some of us expected and some answers that seemed to shock a few of us...

I will start with explaining the team selection for the chinese.  Because it is a communist country the government controls the top teams.  There are many places to practice the arts of kung fu, sanda, sanshou, and wushu, but only the very top male and females are picked to be trained by the government who controls these "top teams"  I guess you could call them.  The very best athletes are picked from a number of tournaments held all over the country. Considering the population of china they must have a very complicated elimination process to come up with the 50 to 70 people that make up their "top team".  These athletes have no other job but to train full time as a unit to represent their country with pride.  They are taken care of in all aspects of life and generously rewarded if they win there bouts.  Unlike us in Canada, we all have full time jobs to support ourselves and we fight for the extra money.. we mainly fight because of the passion for martial arts that most of, if not all of us have.  But I can tell you first hand fighting in canada doesn't pay all the bills.

The daily training for the Chinese athletes consists of outdoor training in the mountains rain or shine. Whereas, we as Canadians prefer our treadmills to braving the elements.   (The Chinese coach mentioned they don't do any running... so it must mean climbing hills and stairs when he says they train in the mountains). Many hours a day are spent on training technique and sparring.   6 hours a day of training was the exact number quoted by the Chinese representative and 8 hours a day training for the members training at the Shaolin temple.   The Shaolin guy was kind enough to warn us about the strengths of the chinese team.  " Be careful of the legs."  This turned into an open discussion about how we would be better off avoiding their powerful kicks and instead utilizing our strengths which was our punches.       

All in all this is a great experience so far for all of us and whatever happens it will be a memory to cherish forever.  We are not being brought over to win and to do so it will have to be in a decisive fashion but I have confidence in our team and believe we will do very well against these trained machines. 

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