First Win Then Fight

Master of sports in Wushu, champion of Kazakhstan, senior coach of the East Kazakhstan Federation of Wushu and martial arts, multiple medalist of international competitions in China, twice silver medalist of the Moscow Wushu Stars tournament. It is all about Alexander Alexandrov, a refractory man from Beryllium Operations.

Alexander started his sports career as a boy. He studied from books, then studied at Anatoly Lyakh’s class.

– He was a great master, he could see the talent in each student, that is why he trained individually helping to find your own style, - says Alexander.

The life of the coach was cut short by a tragic accident and our hero lost his teacher. But the desire to study was so strong that he decided to go to China in pursuit of a mentor. Of course, now such a trip does not look like something exotic, but back in 1996, without the Internet, knowledge of the language and almost without money, this trip was like an adventure movie. Moreover, Alexander went to Shaolin school. This well-known monastery is located in the city of Denfeng, 3,000 km away from Ust-Kamenogorsk.

– Me and my friend went haphazardly. We got to the place. We knocked on the gate and explained in English that we wanted to study. The instructor accepted us, assessed our level, and admitted us to classes. They were free, but we were not allowed to live in the monastery. Fortunately, we were accepted in a peasant's house. We helped them with the housework and they provided us with bed and dinner, – Alexander remembers.

The daily routine was very strict. Rise at four in the morning, seven kilometers running to the monastery and classes until the evening. Six months passed. Then there were numerous exams. They were tested for honesty, endurance, and self-control. They had to resist nine combats with the monks in the last test. Our hero passed all the exams, but his knee was seriously injured during one of the fights. He came back from China with crutches.

After recovering from the injury, Alexander collected a group of his own students. He taught them what he had learned in China. In addition to the Wushu technique, it was also a philosophy, without which no martial art is possible. No wonder there is a saying "first win, then fight". Not only physical training is important, but also the art of "reading" people. By appearance, facial expressions, gestures you shall determine the weaknesses of the rival, and then use your skills.

– This was my first group. At that time, I trained only adults and only martial Wushu. Later I started training children sports. There is a huge difference, while martial art is a powerful weapon, sport is just a good physical training and entertainment, - Alexander says.

Furthermore, our hero decided to change his style from Shaolin to Tai Chi, which is more focused on energy. He went to China again for this purpose, where he was accepted into the school of master Chen Zhenlei. By the way, this is a great indicator of mastership. Since then Alexander regularly visits China: he trains and takes part in competitions. He has been teaching Tai Chi in Ust-Kamenogorsk since 2013.

  – We exercise in School 12. I have two groups of kids from 6 and adults. Adults are engaged in Tai Chi. It is a kind of martial arts, very good for your health and beauty. Desire only is important to start with it. I have some old people, and many of them improve their health, especially spine and joints, – Alexander explains.

Both kids and adults participate in the competitions of the republican level. Last year Alexander and one of his female students became the champions of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Both were awarded with Wushu Master of Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan. They both were also awarded at the prestigious Russian Tournament Moscow Wushu Starts.

In 2019 Alexander became a Senior Coach of the federation. For several years there was no one who dealt with the federation and we could state that Alexander is one of those who made it back to life.

This year Alexander is celebrating his 20th year of making business at Ulba Plant. His answer to a question if Wushu helps in work is always positive: “I have been working for Ulba Plant since 2000 and I always acted as a refractory man. This job is a hard one. It happened that my back was off however thanks to my hobby I never had any serious injure and I was quick to restore. So, sport is very good for both your health and job”.