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?”