Profile- Jun Selwyn (by David Cutler)

New Zealand Chin Woo member and athlete Jun Selwyn has been training with Chin Woo for the past 5 years. In this interview Jun shares some of his thoughts and experiences on training in martial arts as well as his overseas success in representing Chin Woo New Zealand at the World Chin Woo Games.

*DC- What made you decide to start a martial art?*

JS- My dad took me along to watch and I liked it so I started to practice.

*DC- What style of martial art do you train in?*

JS- Modern Wushu with Chin Woo Coach Guo Yuan Cheng and two Japanese weapon arts – Kendo (sword) and Naginata (similar to the halberd).

*DC- How old are you? and how long have you been training?*

JS- I just turned 11 in April and have been training since I was 6. Actually I started training at a local Wushu club set up mainly for kids in Titirangi but the standard was not that high. My dad took me along to watch a demonstration in Hamilton led by coach Guo who he had met through his Tai Chi teacher who also belongs to Chin Woo.

*DC- What made you choose this particular style?*

JS- Because the way of moving was really interesting to me and the coach was really good. I started doing Kendo and Naginata because my dad was doing them and I liked the style too. Both of these let me understand application and distance from the opponent without getting hurt because you wear armour. It works well for me because I only train only Talou (forms) in Wushu and not Sanshou (free sparring).

*DC- Who or what has been influential for you during your training?*

JS- My coach is the most important influence for me and he helps me a lot – even when I was small and couldn’t concentrate very well. I really wish one day I could be as good as him. My parents say I need to try my hardest because hardly anyone gets to train with such a good teacher. Watching and talking with the senior students helps me a lot. They always work really hard and I can see how they train and it helps me train. Also they tell me off when I am not trying and mucking around.

*DC- I understand you have competed in Malaysia recently – what was this for?*

JS- That was for the 10th World Chin Woo World Festival and Carnival.

*DC- What did you enjoy most about the trip?*

JS- Seeing the Chinese teams going hard out. It really made me want to train with them. I even got to talk with some of them – it was difficult because I don’t speak Chinese but it was cool just hanging out and having something in common. Everyone supports each other and it doesn’t matter where you come from. It is just like having lots of brothers and sisters – even if its just for a short time.

*DC- What do you enjoy most about your training?*

JS- Succeeding in things that I find really hard and can’t do and then finally being able to do them. That and having good people to train with.

*DC- What has been your most memorable moment/ occasion so far?*

JS- Getting third place in Malaysia for Gongli Quan against some really tough competition. I was really surprised but really happy. That and placing third with Lu Shien for the two person form Jie Tantui. We were both really worried that one of us would forget the form.

*DC- What do your friends and family think of your achievements?*

JS- They were very surprised and happy at the result in Malaysia. Mostly my family wants me to enjoy doing Wushu and try my hardest.

*DC- Has your training helped you in other areas of your life?*

JS- I compete in Gymnastics as well so Wushu has helped that directly. It has helped with my concentration at school but mainly it helps me think about being fair to other people. I was the youngest competitor in Malaysia from New Zealand and everyone in the team treated me fairly. This is also how our club works.

*DC- What do you hope to achieve from your training in the future ?*

JS- I really want to be good enough to go to the Chin Woo 100th Anniversary in Shanghai and win gold. That’s going to be really hard. My Coach has helped me a lot and I want him to be happy that I tried my hardest no matter what. If Wushu ever becomes part of the Olympics I would really like to go.

DC- Jun, Thank you very much for taking your time to sharing your experiences with us.

JS- You’re welcome.

Chin Woo Reporter David Cutler is based in Auckland and can be contacted on

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