Young martial artists gears up for World Wushu Championships

  • Samir Furqan (red trunks) is the first Bermudian to appear at the Junior World Wushu Championships

( Photo by Glenn Tucker )

    Samir Furqan (red trunks) is the first Bermudian to appear at the Junior World Wushu Championships ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )

Sanshou fighter Samir Furqan has stepped up his training ahead of this month’s Junior World Wushu Championships in Macau, China.

The 18-year-old CedarBridge Academy student is currently being put through his paces by Chinese national Sanshou coach Master Genxue Zhang in Xian, China in the final lead up to the championships to be held September 17-25.

“Samir has been given special attention and extra sparring training in preparation for his matches next week,” said Bermuda Sanshou Association president Garon Wilkinson who is accompanying the teenaged fighter in China. “He will likely be a battered and bruised when we leave here to head to Macau. But after some good rest, massages and time in the whirlpool and sauna he’ll be ready to go. The extra training will definitely come in handy.”

Furqan is the first Bermudian to appear at the Junior World Wushu Championships.

During the upcoming tournament the Pan American Junior Wushu Championship bronze medallist will come up against the best 56kg (123lb) junior fighters in the world ranging in ages between 15 and 18.

Furqan has been fighting in full contact for the past three years. During this period he has fought five fights against physically superior and older opponents.

So far this year the teenager has endured mixed fortunes in the ring. He recorded a first round TKO against Canada’s Shayne Dejardais in March on local soil but suffered a technical knockout against the physically superior Jo Monk at July’s International Chinese Martial Arts Championships in Orlando, Florida.

Sanshou or san da is a martial art developed by the Chinese military based upon the study and practices of traditional Kung Fu and modern combat fighting techniques.

Also training under Master Genxue are Wilkinson and fellow Sanshou fighters Sentwali Woolridge and Talia Iris who are not scheduled to fight competively in China.

Training consists of a four -mile run, numerous boxing drills, conditioning and specialising mitt drills.

“The daily schedule typically consists of training at 9-11 in the morning followed by lunch at 12pm, a rest period, training at 3-5 in the afternoon followed by dinner at 6pm,” Wilkinson added. “After such a gruelling day there is not much desire to do anything else but sleep.”

Master Genxue extended an invitation for local Sanshou fighters to train with him in China after being impressed by Bermuda’s solid showing at last year’s Senior World Wushu Championships in Ankara, Turkey where Jermal Woolridge won the Island’s first medal at the world championships. Woolridge won the bronze in the men’s Sanshou +90kg division.

Wilkinson is awestruck by the level of commitment the Chinese government put into sport.

“The time and money the Chinese government invest into their athletes is unbelievable,” he said. “The complex in which we are housed contains athletes of all ages in every sporting discipline imaginable.

“We are soaking in this experience an even if we can share an inkling of this with our team mates at home then our mission will be accomplished.”

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Published Sep 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm (Updated Sep 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm)

Young martial artists gears up for World Wushu Championships

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