Cover Photo : Liu Yu and her best friend, Xie Han (Wushu instructor in France) in Beijing -1986
Written by Liu Yu and Dawn Cerf, this is one of the book you read in your life, that leaves in you a mark.
This book is the biography of former Chinese professional athlete Liu Yu, member of the Jiangsu Wushu Team from 1974 to 1985, and now Taiji and Wushu instructor in the USA, at the San Luis Obispo Wushu Taichi Center. More info to train there : https://wushutaichicenter.com/ .
If you really want to increase your Wushu culture, you do have to own this book. Wushu culture is, as you know, a huge part of Chinese culture. Understanding it, is definitely a big help to understand Wushu a bit more. This, is also a way of improving your level.
From being a young child during the Cultural Revolution, to the hard professional trainings before heading to Beijing Sports University, and witness, powerless, at the Tiananmen events, Liu Yu tells us her complete story.
What you will have in hands is not only a book about Wushu, and what the real life of professional athletes is like. But it is also a key historical testimony of the life during the Cultural Revolution as a child and later, as a student.
Words from the author :
“How does an eager-to-please, young Chinese girl, owned by the unyielding Communist government, learn to fight for survival by becoming an independent thinker?
When Liu Yu, an impressionable Chinese girl, witnesses the venomous public trial of her mother’s co-worker and friend during the Cultural Revolution, her life is changed forever. The incident silences her voice but not her desire to escape from poverty and the wearisome fate her mother endures.
At age eleven, Liu Yu grabs her chance to avoid being sent to the countryside in the government’s plan to re-educate its young people even though it means leaving her supportive family behind. She catapults to the top of Communist society by becoming an elite professional athlete, living the dream of every child in China. Prestige and material comfort, however, are quickly overshadowed by loneliness and a brutal training regimen.
After enduring nearly ten years of rigorous martial arts training, feuding coaches threaten Liu Yu’s dreams of a national championship. She must then decide whether to follow her family’s values and her heart or push for the championship she feels is within her grasp.
Guided by her grandmother’s wisdom, the young woman realizes what she wants more than fame and fortune is the chance to control her own life. Liu Yu risks everything, finding the courage to turn against the cultural tide in China to seek her own destiny. In the process she rediscovers her voice, the one she lost as a child of the Cultural Revolution.”