We had the good fortune of connecting with Amina Materukhina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amina, what inspires you?
I am very inspired by the opportunity to practice, study, and teach Wushu to my students. Wushu is not just a physical activity that benefits your body. The essence of Wushu is to bring your skills to perfection. I have been practicing Wushu since I was 4 years old, I’ve won World Championships and I still have something to strive for. It inspires me when, after Wushu classes, I see in my students the desire for an ideal result. This is manifested through their immersion in the process, the purity of the execution of forms, and in how they overcome their failures. And I am happy in these moments. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to share my knowledge and skills. I have one student who recently challenged me to master a new Wushu form, forcing me to become a better coach. My students help me to get better and I am very grateful for the people I work with. Lastly, I’m inspired by the opportunity to showcase my Wushu skills on set and in films. I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by passionate people who I can share ideas with and I have become a better performer because of this. Every day provides something for me to learn and grow from and I’m truly excited to see where performing stunts takes me in the future.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In regards to my work as a Wushu Coach, I consider awareness, perseverance, and will the main principles that a Wushu student should follow. Mindfulness is manifested in conscious control over one’s actions, persistence in refusing to give up and stop trying, will in overcoming fatigue and weakness. I give my adult students Wushu in three aspects – internal work, form, and application. Internal work (qigong and meditation) increases the sensitivity and attention required in the martial arts. Forms improve coordination of movements, as well as strengthen and prepare the body. The application makes it possible to check your interaction with others and allows you to meet yourself through this interaction with others. Outside of my work as a Wushu Coach & Personal Trainer, I want to fulfill myself as a stunt performer. Jackie Chan is an example and a role model for me. Jackie Chan not only uses standard techniques, but he also invents his own tricks and runs them on himself. Of course, unlike Jackie Chan, I am at the very beginning of this path, but I believe that my experience in Martial Arts will help me. I believe that my success on the world stage is what sets me apart from most other performers. I won six major international wushu championships, including the European Junior Wushu Championships. The most memorable to me are the 3 awards (two gold medals and one silver medal) that I acquired after winning the World Junior Wushu Championships in Kuala Lumpur (first place in Changquan and Gunshu, second place in Daoshu). Between 2008 and 2012, I won three World Traditional Wushu Championships. I often refer to my time as a Wushu athlete as the most difficult portion of my life due to the long hours and intense training, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the dedication to achievement this instilled in me. The one thing that I am most eager to share with the world is my constant drive for growth. Since knowing one kind of martial arts is not enough for being a successful stunt performer, I am currently working on my Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Kickboxing, and Escrima. I love gaining new skills. I feel very comfortable to perform combat scenes in almost any direction and style. As a Wushu coach, I try to combine the traditions of Wushu with the latest scientific approaches. I’ve studied and analyzed methods of psychophysical training in traditional Wushu and developed my own technique. I am going to use the same combination of tradition and modern science for performing fight scenes. The main challenge that I will have to overcome in order to implement these plans of mine is to be able to prove to the American professional stunt community that I can be entrusted with the execution of such tasks. The first step on this path has been taken – I have already taken part in some projects and this gave me the opportunity to become a member of SAG-AFTRA as a stunt performer, but this is only the very beginning of the path.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Dodger Stadium It was the first Baseball Park I had ever been to when I came to America, so it will always be a favorite spot of mine. I may not be the biggest baseball fan (yet), but the atmosphere and people make it a one of a kind experience. Staples Center We would have to go see the Lakers play. I used to live in Downtown, so I like the L.A. Live area a lot. Sequoia National Park In Russia, we have a lot of beautiful forests that I loved spending my free time in. This reminds me of a little bit of life back home. Zuma Beach We don’t get a lot of really sunny beach days in Russia so this would be on the top of both of our lists. I love spending days out on the beach and I plan on living in a beach house later in life. Malibu Cafe I take everyone here when they come to visit me. I love the outdoor atmosphere and scenery – I could spend the whole day just exploring and taking everything in.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Mark Wildman for supporting, mentoring, and fighting with knives, swords, sticks, and everything else he has in his studio with me Matt Osborne for his friendship Shane Yan for practicing fighting choreography with me Li Jing for mentoring and giving me coaching opportunities Brunson K Delves for having me in his project My boyfriend Andre Holmes for supporting, helping, and loving me My sister Sabina Materukhina for being my best friend My dad for supporting all my decisions, giving me advice, and educating me My mom for going to Wushu competitions with me when I was a kid and supporting/taking care of me Also, shoutout to all my students/clients for trusting me, challenging me, and letting me do what I enjoy on a daily basis.
Josh Klaw Andre Holmes