There was a time when we use to Lion Dance at least once or twice a week for some convention or private event......nowadays nobody calls! No conventions or business events to perform at...certainly a sign of a lousy economy. Only weddings are available....and there is a fierce competition to undercut other schools to get these gigs. but I'm real happy to see some of our newbies get into Lion Dancing.....and since we haven't had any gigs they have had time to really practice. Ryan's been doing a great job working with new Lion Dancers. Ryan also did good at the Shark city Nationals in San Jose, he won a gold in the traditional wushu Competition. I was also very happy that our SF Taiji Team took the gold medal in the group Taiji event.......they did a combination Chen Taiji Baji Form and the Chen Taiji Ruler. It created a little ripple of interest among the judges and competitors who have never seen these performed.......the Chen Taiji Ruler use to be a secret of the Chen Villagers.......until Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang gave me permission to begin teaching it to the public in 2000.....it is a powerful tool to teach the student to move his/her Qi and coordinate their movements and their breath.
The SF Wushu Taiji Team won the gold medal in the Group Competition event.
The promoter also gave an award to our Team for supporting his event...it's the placque that I am holding.
While my students stressed over the competition...their training overcame their nervousness. Competition requires not only calmness but also confidence in one's own training. Too often, the student's worry too much about other competitors and don't concentrate on their own movements......this is the challenge of competition......the ability to focus on what you are doing and to exclude all the distractions...then your training can takeover. Training I should mention is of two types.......the review, or the actual remembering and perfecting of technique..........especially in taiji there is a tendency to follow rather than actually practice....this often reliance on others leads to inability to rise to higher levels of skill. I have even had wushu students who are like this....often never completing or finishing any forms and so can only perform parts of different forms. While many students hate to lead......it is one of the best ways to force them to improve and to learn the forms really well.
The shark City Nationals was held inside a huge tent next to the Marriot's Hotel.....we had three rugs for the wushu and Taiji Events. The event attracted about 100 or so wushu and gung-fu participants.....quite small, certainly a sign of the times......hard to get competitors to participate.
The rest of the tournament drew maybe another 500 or so competitors.
Members of the wushu judging panel. Having good judges can make or break an event I tried to assemble panels that had judges who had been judging at CMAT for many years and invited new judges to work along side and develop their skill too.
It was a long competition. tthe weather outside was 98 degrees.....and the list of competitors was long.......but the judges persevere to the end!!
Well next time I'll talk more about the Shark City Nationals and about the other tournaments that occurred. Time to relax and have dinner! Later!
Coming: Sept 14 Mid-Autumn Festival Sept 15 Dragon Boat Festival Oct 12 4th Annual Golden State Chinese Martial Arts Champions