Team Trials of course have come and gone. It was of course, nice to hold the team Trials in the West Coast for the first time since USAWKF was founded. But, behind the scenes lots of politics........Coach Li Xu Dong was the sponsor for the event and he tried hard to do it right. He talked to me ab out acquiring the necessary carpets for the Trials, and asked me for a list of qualified judges. Now, I have been running CMAT for more than 17 years, and have access to the largest pool of judges in the US......so I have a good idea who the good judges are......as it turned out USAWKF rejected most of them...and then required anyone who wanted to judge in the event to take their judges course......at a cost of about $500 plus $150 for materials........and you also had to join USAWKF...............well alot of the judges I listed did not want to pay for this........Li Jing had to take the course.....no way, a professional athlete with many years of judging experience doesn't have to do this......plus Brandon, who I feel is equally qualified and has spent time and money acquiring all of the judging material from China....and I dare say knows the rules as well as anyone in USAWKF.....then there were other objections from coaches who felt certain people were not fair to their students..........ay, yah..........all this makes it so difficult to plan an impartial event!! To promote Wushu and develop the sport...judges training should be FREE!! We need a large pool of impartial judges to advance the sport, rather than now where the line between judges and coaches is fuzzy....judges should just judge and coaches coach! Overall, the Trials ran slow....and the application of the rules spotty in places.............lots of unhappy competitors....but also good athletes, who show great promise. I want to congratulate Alfred Ching for making the team............but that wasn't Taiji he was doing!! His competition showed a great weakness in the rules and the judging.....he did all the Nandu according to the rules, but his form was definitely not Taiji! Just because you do all the required movements and nandu does not make a Taiji form....it has to exhibit the spirit and flavor of Taiji too. This problem though is not Alfred's fault.....it is the fault of the rules...........China feels that many judges cannot judge real Taiji....so they made it easier by merely identifying easy postures and simplify criteria for the ease of judging. This of course result in slow Chang Quan....not Taiji........even Nanquan now looks like Chang Quan because of the rules.....Nanquan based on Hung Jia, Hop Jia, and Choy Lai Fut originally now, just has the same nandu movements as Chang Quan...........Nanquan has no nandu.......by using the nandu requirements after awhile everything will end up looking the same! Nanquan is well known for its powerful strikes and fast footwork, there are very few if any jumps in Nanquan styles. Nandu acrobatics is not wushu.....wushu does have some acrobatic movements but they are not the important techniques....afterall when are you ever going to use a 720 to kick a person?! The question is always: How much should you water down the martial arts to make it a sport?
Originally, Emilio was one of the judges I proposed to run the trials.......but the cost and other objections made him withdraw from the judging panel.
Sifu Kenny Perez, was my team mate on the 1985 US Wushu Team, not only was it good to see him. But I was impressed with his dedication....spending two weeks in the Bay Area to not only go to the Team Trials, but also to the Tiger Claw Championships!! thanks, Kenny for your support........same goes to Emilio!!
Elaine from Li Xu Dong's School did one of the better Taiji Sword routines.........her advantage was she studied Taiji first , so her Taiji was very good....she then learned the Nandu movements to add to her routine. Her routine definitely brought out the characteristics of Taiji and was not just a slowed down Chang Quan Routine.
Justin did a nice straightsword routine during the Team trials.
After, the team trials were over for the day, there was a Master's exhibition, which began with the Lion Dance by the Yau Kung Moon School under Sifu Lee Lok Sang.
They are one of the best Lion dance Schools in Chinatown and have won competitions all over the world.
After, the Lion Dance there followed a 2hr Master's exhibition. I performed the Taiji Bagua Fan for the Exhibition. Then, there was a second day of Trials.......but I didn't stay for that. It was a long day....
It was good to see lots of students and parents from the West Coast participate and get a feeling for how USWKF runs things.......while alot of the coaches and judges from the West Coast were not part of the event it was good that everyone came to show support for the event. Ideally, Team Trials should be non-partisan and non-political........someday maybe!!
Ok, time to take a break, and upload more photos! Cya, all!!
Coming: Sept 14 Mid-Autumn Festival Sept 15 Dragon Boat Festival Oct 12 4th Annual Golden State Chinese Martial Arts Champions