The Easier and Safer Way to learn Wushu Jumps
There are hundreds of training accessories for gymnastics and acrobatics: Mini trams, tumbling mats, landing mats, handspring rolls, training pods, etc. But unfortunately, for wushu there isn't much equipment. However, there are some nice training methods to learn wushu acrobatics safer and easier. Some of these methods have been used by Chinese martial artists for decades, some are my own creations. Find wushu instructions at wushu main.
- Learn all the wushu jumps jumping into a sand pit. Jumping into a long jump sand pit, sand on the beach, or even jumping into your grandmother's vegetable garden is better than trying the jumps on hard ground. Always dig the sand soft enough so that you can't sprain your ankles or injure your knees when you land..
- In order jump higher, at Chinese wushu schools they have a little bump at the edge of the sand pit. So you actually jump from the bump and not from an even surface. The bump should look like a little wave (between 10 to 25 cm high - see illustration 1 above).
- A few years ago I found an old wooden reuther springboard at my gym in Austria. So I took it and placed it sideways in front of a long jump sand pit. And THIS was much better than the Chinese "Bump-Method". I was able to jump so much higher and therefore had more time to work on my technique. So if you want to try this, you might be able to get an old reuther spring board from a school or a gymnastics gym (or you can buy one). Note: For most wushu jumps, you have to place the springboard 90° to the running direction - see illustrations 2 to 4. If you want to learn the wushu cartwheel without hands, you will have to place your springboard straight.
- In general, wushu jumps should not be practiced on mats. Sand is much better because you can keep twisting after the landing. Because gymnastics mats are kinda sticky, you can injure your ankles when you land your wushu jumps on plastic-mats/judo-mats etc.
- Always train with shoes - If possible, get yourself a pair of "Fei Yue Wushu Shoes".
- Do stability training for your joints.
- Also strengthen all your leg muscles with plyometric exercises, isometrics and of course weight training.
- Thin, weak leg muscles are more likely to get injured.
- Always stretch and warm up before you practice your wushu jumps.
- Think safe, don't risk your health.