The following is a guest post from our new World Champion, Anna Liu!
“I love this picture because even underneath the headgear, I can see my huge smile – a smile of confidence in my teachers, a smile because at that moment, I could see the apprehension in my opponent in the opposite corner, and a smile because even though the fight hadn’t started, I understood what was about to happen. Throughout the months of lei tai training, Master Buckley taught us how to use our fear, frustration, and anger – inevitable emotions in a lei tai match – in a productive and mindful way. In the moment when this picture was taken, I was feeling nervous. Rather than letting that fear control me, I leaned on the lessons my teachers and classmates taught me as we sweat and struggled together week after week in class. I knew I had the best coaches in the world in my corner, and I knew I had trained for months with several of the best fighters in the world. Even though I felt the expected rush of nervousness, how could I not also smile and be confident?”