Feature: Love journey of U.S. Wushu family

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 7, 2023
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by Zhou Yilan, Xu Jianmei

FORT WORTH, United States, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- You might have never imagined that a profound love of traditional Chinese martial arts could help give birth to a modern U.S. family.


"What's her name?" I asked, looking at the youngest student with long blonde hair in the Kung Fu class in Plano, about 50 miles away from Fort Worth, Texas, assuming the lady in front is the mother.

"Oh, that's my elder son," she whispered.

The mother is Angela Saucedo, 37 years old. Her son, Skye, just turned six.

"We live in Fort Worth. We drive for one hour to this Wushu school every week," Angela said.

Next to Angela in the Kung Fu classroom, her husband David Saucedo, aged 38, and their three-year-old son, River, were watching the kicking, jumping and flipping very attentively. Angela is an aerial skill coach. David works in the aircraft industry.

"We make progress from every lesson, and I am steadily getting back into Wushu shape while having fun learning challenging skills," Angela said.

"When I was young, I tried a few different styles of martial arts, but none of them was quite what I was looking for. It wasn't until I found Wushu in my mid twenties that I felt like I'd found a good match for me. Wushu is powerful, acrobatic, and beautiful," Angela said.

"The acrobatic part of Wushu really impressed me. There's also the spiritual side, you know, and practicing something like that, having that kind of discipline to obtain such extraordinary skills, I think you have to be very strong, you know, mentally and have a real conviction. So I very much admire the athletes who have done that," she said.

"And I want to be like that. I want to gain those skills, that kind of discipline and that kind of endurance and those admirable skills that I think are very helpful to life," Angela continued.


David and Angela first met in Hawaii in 2010. Angela told Xinhua they fell in love because of Wushu, and still couldn't contain her excitement when recalling that full moon night when she first met David in Hawaii mountains.

"I heard the sound of drums. I followed the sound with the moon lighting my path and came upon a group of youthful free spirits dancing around a big bonfire, playing drums, singing and reciting poetry," Angela said. David was among the group.

"We talked late into the night. I found out he had been living in China not too long ago training Kung Fu, and I was very interested to hear more about his experience because that is something I had been wanting to do as well," she recalled.

"Exactly! That's pretty much the first thing that interested her about me," David said with smile.

"She wanted to know my experience about being in China and everything I'd learned in China and whether I could demonstrate what I knew and whatnot," David said, as if he were there talking with Angela on that moonlit night years ago.

David started learning Wushu when he was under 12 years old. In his early twenties, he went to China for the first time and studied Shaolin Kung Fu in Henan, central China, but never imagined that his love story and marriage would have been bound with Wushu so profoundly.

David immediately invited Angela to go out on a hike and promised her everything she wanted to know about Wushu if she'd like to climb mountains with him.

"We became best friends and soon started training and adventuring together. I asked him to teach me everything he knew including Kung Fu," Angela is still grateful to her husband for introducing Wushu to her, 13 years later.


The couple found a school in Hawaii where they started training Wushu together. "Once we started, we loved it. We didn't want to stop," said David.

"This was my first time experiencing the camaraderie, community and family that comes with joining a good school," Angela added.

In 2014, Angela realized her dream of training together with her lover in China. They attended a Wushu school in Yantai, Shandong Province, where they said the training was very intense but got them in great shape.

"It was a beautiful experience," David said, with glamor in his eyes.

Coming back to America, the couple has never stopped on their Wushu journey. Over the years, they participated in a lot of events across the United States including competing and dragon dancing together.

"We did a lot of demos. We did a lot of competitions. We traveled to different cities," David said proudly.

When they decided to start their family, they moved to Texas and focused on raising their children, reducing their Wushu practice.

But the dream never died. "My soul deeply longed for the community and growth of training with a good school again," Angela said.

"There are so many impressive different styles of Chinese martial arts!" Angela noted. She is currently especially fascinated with the intricate beauty and power of Changquan, one of the Taolu forms.

"We also enjoy the agility and acrobatics of Duilian Fight sets, and the Fluid grace of Taijiquan," she added.

"Training Kung Fu is beneficial because it's not only a very good physical challenge, but it is also a mindfulness practice. It's nice to forget about your everyday worries and just focus on training while you're in class," Angela said.

David said they were more active in Hawaii before having kids. Now they do it three or four times a week or sometimes just twice a week. "Our goal is to at least do it," he added.


At the backyards of their home, about 15 minutes away from downtown Fort Worth, the family showed us their daily Wushu practice.

Following the father's command circulating 1 to 10 in Chinese at a rhythm, the family, including three-year-old River, switched orderly between Wushu forms.

Six-year-old Skye spotted his father's mistake of missing the number nine and immediately pointed it out.

The integrity of harmony and love of the family is also seen when they play jigsaw puzzles with Chinese characters and even a map of China.

Angela considers training Wushu a good introduction to Chinese culture as well, saying it could spark an interest in Chinese customs, language, cuisine and travel.

"We wish our children could learn Mandarin Chinese, and someday we plan to visit China again to train Kung Fu as a family when they are ready," Angela said.

"I really want them to be part of that Wushu community, to have the Wushu family, make friends (via Wushu), You know, I think it's so valuable to have those connections. Where you're part of a community where they have the same kind of values and the same kind of interests. "

What kinds of values?

"We'd like them to be thoughtful and kind and helpful. Be a valuable part of the community, you know, to work hard and be disciplined," said the father, grinning. Enditem

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