Jan­ice Hung let’s us see why she’s called the wushu Queen

FHM (Philippines) - - CONTENTS - Photos: Kevin cayuca of edge of light; words: aeus Kevin reyes

Peo­ple are usu­ally born into roy­alty. But Jan­ice Hung’s ti­tle of “Wushu Queen” was not be­stowed upon her through birthright; she had to work for it. Apart from her ob­vi­ous good looks and amaz­ingly ath­letic physique, she’s got an im­pres­sive list of ac­com­plish­ments which in­clude win­ning gold medals in the Na­tional Wushu Cham­pi­onships for ten years straight, a gold medal in the 1st Wushu In­vi­ta­tional held in Huang­shan, China, and sev­eral other medals in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions like the SEA games. This made it hard for us to be­lieve Jan­ice when she told us that she “was once the weakest link in the Philip­pine Wushu Team” and that her long, slen­der fig­ure was ac­tu­ally what gave her a dis­ad­van­tage in cer­tain cat­e­gories in Wushu com­pe­ti­tions. Af­ter hear­ing this from her, we de­cided we knew noth­ing about Wushu. Luck­ily, we had just the right mas­ter to teach us.

Can you ex­plain to us what Wushu is? Wushu is ba­si­cally Chi­nese mar­tial arts. In Wushu, we ei­ther fight bare­handed or make use of weapons like the sword, the spear, and the staff just to name a few. If you’ve watched movies like The Ma­trix, Crouch­ing Tiger, Hid­den Dragon, or a movie by Jet Li, you’ve al­ready seen Wushu in ac­tion. Daisy Ri­d­ley ac­tu­ally trained in Wushu to im­prove her lightsaber skills for Star Wars.

Does that mean we get to wield lightsabers if we stud­ied Wushu?

Be­fore you can use the dif­fer­ent weapons, you should have a good foun­da­tion. Hold­ing weapons can be dan­ger­ous even for peo­ple who’ve trained for years. One time I had an ac­ci­dent dur­ing one of my rou­tines. My sword hit my hand and I bled all over the floor. The cut was so deep I could see to the bone! That wound needed seven stitches to close.

Yikes. How did you get into Wushu any­way? When I was a kid, I saw the Philip­pine Wushu Team per­form at our school and that’s when I knew I that wanted to be just like them. At first, my par­ents didn’t want me to go into Wushu or sports in gen­eral be­cause they thought it was just for guys and I wouldn’t ex­cel in it. But at that point I had al­ready de­cided on be­com­ing a Wushu cham­pion some­day.

How does it feel mak­ing your child­hood dream come true?

I truly be­lieve that Wushu is my call­ing. Even now that I’m re­tired from com­pe­ti­tions, my life still re­volves around the art, whether it be through my host­ing gigs, act­ing in tele­vi­sion, or teach­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of Wushu ath­letes.

You’ve been the poster girl for the sport for so long now ever since peo­ple saw you in that iconic sham­poo com­mer­cial. How does it feel for your name to be so heav­ily as­so­ci­ated with the sport?

One time I was at a Wushu tour­na­ment and an old woman ap­proached me and in­tro­duced her grand­daugh­ter. She told me that I in­spired her grand­daugh­ter to start tak­ing up Wushu. Her grand­daugh­ter re­minded me so much of my­self when I was just start­ing out—we even kind of looked the same, ha ha! I am very hon­ored to be able to in­spire peo­ple.

Af­ter watch­ing you kick ass in En­can­ta­dia (and still look hot while do­ing so) re­ally in­spired us to learn Wushu. Do you think we’d still have a chance at learn­ing? Def­i­nitely. I be­lieve that any­one can get into Wushu, no mat­ter his or her health or age. I de­signed a pro­gram called Ude­fend that in­te­grates Wushu and Tai chi for use in self-de­fense. I give free train­ings to public school kids, out of school youth, and other com­mu­ni­ties. Wushu has given me so much in life so this is my chance to give back. I want to help em­power oth­ers as well.

Sup­port Jan­ice's cause by Lik­ing ude­fend: project on face­book

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