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Local students excel in Wushu competition

Brothers Alexander He (right) and Aaron He (left) won three championships each at the 2021 Phoenix Wushu Nationals.
Brothers Alexander He (right) and Aaron He (left) won three championships each at the 2021 Phoenix Wushu Nationals.
(Ping He)

Two Carmel Del Mar School students recently won three championships each and ranked in the top six for the U.S. Wushu national team mock trial.

Before earning those accolades, fifth grader Alexander He and fourth grader Aaron He spent the past several years training on the East Coast, where their family lived for a time, and after moving to San Diego.

“There were many reasons for us to give up, but we kept doing this,” said Ping He, their father.

Alexander He performs Longfist hand form at Phoenix Mock Trials of 2021 Phoenix Wushu Nationals.
Alexander He performs Longfist hand form at Phoenix Mock Trials of 2021 Phoenix Wushu Nationals.
(Ping He)

The competition, Phoenix Wushu Nationals, brings participants from all over the country in different age groups and skill levels. According to the San Diego Wushu Center, contemporary wushu is a competitive sport with several international competitions held. The World Wushu Championships are held every two years with rules and regulations determined by the International Wushu Federation.

The 2021 Phoenix Wushu Nationals included more than 2,000 attendees from 25 states and two foreign countries, according to the event’s website.

Before the two brothers were prepared to take on that challenge, Alexander and Aaron had to overcome plenty of hurdles just to maintain their training regime.

Aaron He is performing Spear at Phoenix Mock Trials of 2021 Phoenix Wushu Nationals.
Aaron He is performing Spear at Phoenix Mock Trials of 2021 Phoenix Wushu Nationals.
(Ping He)

“We had to drive maybe 200 miles per week to visit different masters,” He said. “Could be in Pittsburgh, could be in Cleveland. We were living in Erie, Pennsylvania, at the time.”

The family moved back to San Diego in 2021. Alexander and Aaron have won multiple awards in various competition over the last couple of years.

He said he was “excited” and “encouraged” by how his sons finished in the latest competition.

This May, Alexander and Aaron will compete for the U.S. Wushu national team, and, depending on the results, could attend Pan America and the world championship and represent the U.S. this year.

“I feel that it’s a very good lesson for them,” He said. “Never give up.”


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