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My life revolves around my Wushu dream: Spanish Wushu practitioner

Although ranked eighth among 10 participants in the Men's Nanquan of the Wushu tournament at the Chengdu Universiade, Spanish Wushu practitioner Aldan Pose Martinez cherished the experience and set a goal to return in two years.

“I hope to finish in the top five in the European Wushu Championships next year, and in two years, I want to apply for the exchange program to return to China,” said Pose, a sophomore at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and the event’s sole European contender.

For Pose, the recently-concluded World University Games in Chengdu were not merely a contest but a unique opportunity to observe elite players. After finishing his Nangun routine, he hastened to the audience section to scrutinize other athletes’ performances without even switching out of his competition attire.

“When I was warming up, I should have been focusing on myself, but I couldn’t help looking at the Chinese contestants.” Swamped with admiration and anxiety, Pose recognized this as another facet of Wushu’s challenge.

“The Wushu masters are not only strong in physique, but also in mind. We have to learn to control our emotions, banish distractions and only focus on the current moves,” he commented.

Similar to Jason Tripitikas in the movie “The Forbidden Kingdom,” who stumbled upon the Monkey King’s golden staff and acquired kung fu skills, Pose’s passion for martial arts also began unexpectedly.

Contrary to his current athletic build, Pose was a chubby child. At seven, unaware of martial arts, his mother signed him up for a Wushu class to shed some weight. Neither anticipated this would set him on a new path.

For years, Wushu was merely a pastime for Pose, devoid of a professional coach. He mimicked moves from online videos. His perspective shifted during an international training session.

“That was the first time I saw the real Chinese Wushu master, and I was so shocked,” he remembered, realizing his newfound passion.

In 2017, Pose visited the martial arts hub, China. He joined a fortnight training in Shijiazhuang City with fellow Spanish Wushu enthusiasts.

Despite being 9,000 kilometers from home, the 14-year-old didn’t miss home. Instead, he was eager to learn.

“I had thought that my movements were good enough, but in Shijiazhuang, I realized that many of the details were wrong,” Pose reflected, refining his techniques under expert guidance.

This trip solidified Pose’s determination to pursue martial arts professionally.

Upon turning 18, Pose moved to Madrid for university, intensifying his martial arts training. He practiced six times a week, four hours each session, even more when preparing for tournaments. “My life revolves around my Wushu dream,” Pose professed.

His dedication bore fruit in 2021 when he clinched two golds at the Spanish Wushu Championship. Rather than resting on his laurels, he viewed it as a springboard for international competitions.

“Wushu is a niche sport in Spain. Though there are many martial arts amateurs, few people can reach the top level,” remarked Pose. He mentioned that the Spanish national Wushu team has under ten members, and the national championship sees about 100 contestants.

Being on the national team covers some training costs, but other expenses, such as equipment, attire, and courses, add up. To fund his dream of training in China again, Pose juggles part-time work with school and practice.

“It’s the pure love for Wushu that supports me to get trained for so long,” Pose shared.

Although lacking the abundant resources and extensive training time that Chinese and other Asian athletes have, he remains undeterred. “I just give all I have and do my best to enjoy this experience.”

“And for the next time, I want to stay in China as long as possible. I will take Wushu as a lifelong hobby until I can’t perform it anymore,” the Wushu enthusiast concluded.

Plataforma with Xinhua

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