Garon prepares for Worlds Games with gymnastics work-out
Garon Wilkinson is making his final preparations for the World Games Wushu tournament in Colombia next month by competing in Brazil later this week.
Wilkinson will take part in his biggest competition to date in Cali, Colombia from August 2 to 4.
But first the veteran martial artist will take part in the first ever Brazil Wushu Invitational in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso from tomorrow to July 28 before flying north to Colombia.
Since gaining the wild card for the Games back in January, Wilkinson has been taking adult gymnastics classes with the Bermuda Gymnastics Association (BGA) and working closely with Duke Nelligan, coach of the national gymnastics team.
Modern wushu contains lots of ballistic gymnastics-type movements so I have been working out at the gymnastics training centre once a week to improve my flexibility and acrobatics, Wilkinson said.
One move in particular I have been working on is called a butterfly twist, a horizontal twisting kick. Duke has been extremely helpful and I am now landing this element cleanly.
I have also improved my aerials and overall ballistic movement ability. The training there has definitely paid off. Duke has worked with martial artists before so I find it very easy working with him since he understands the technical differences of the two disciplines.
Wilkinson will be competing in the daoshu (broadsword) and gunshu (staff) all-around event after securing one of the wild cards issued to the Pan American region.
Since the competition is being held in the Pan American region, the wushu world governing body of wushu, the International Wushu Federation (IWuF), issued 20 wild cards to athletes in the region.
In addition to Bermudas one wild card, Pan American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, USA and Venezuela were issued two wild cards.
Colombia as the host nation has been issued three wild cards.
Besides the gymnastics work-out, Wilkinsons training regime also consisted of running to assist with his stamina and weight loss, as well as weights, stretching and routine repetition.
Wilkinson will be accompanied in Brazil by reigning world championship san shou bronze medallist Jermal Woolridge who will be competing in the 90 plus kilogramme san shou division at the invitational.
It has always been our challenge to get Jermal quality opposition for san shou prior to the major competitions, he said.
He is gunning for the gold at this years World Championships being held in November in Malaysia so this is a prime opportunity to get him in a quality tournament prior to the championships later this year.
I typically take on the role of head coach for san shou but with me focusing on my own performances, Leroy Maxwell, one of our coaches and veteran san shou fighters will be taking on the head coach and cornering role.
The World Games (in Colombia) are by far the biggest competition I have ever competed in and Im honoured to have been issued a wild card in the sport of wushu.
I know that by far I will be the oldest competitor in my division and Im glad that I have the health and ability to still compete at this level. This event is extra special since it will be the first multi-sport event that I will have competed in.
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