Touraments are an important way to promote Wushu.....while we have CMAT at UC Berkeley...it is mainly a Chinese Martial arts Event and as such is not part of the mainstream.........that has been the major problem with promotion of Wushu up to now....while it's good to have our own events we need to be part of the Martial arts scene of this country. NASKA for instance is much bigger than anything USAWKF has ever done and it's athletes are of a very high caliber......and actually if China is insistent on Nandu....they should compete at the sport karate level....everyone of the top athletes can do nandu. This has been the focus of Tiger Claw Championships...to bring Wushu to the mainstream and give wushu athletes a chance to compete against top martial arts athletes.......US wushu athletes cannot expect to be able to compete at world level by participating in just one or two events in a year........the wushu players in Asia have many tournaments to sharpen their skill and gain experience. Unfortunately, not everything has been smooth....this year Disney the main sponsor for the Tiger Claw Championships decided to go their own way.....so instead of having ten tournaments thru out the country we only have one........and some of the competitors not too sure what to compete in. As always politics rears it's ugly head....everyone has their own idea and is not willingly to cooperate and help each other. So this year the RDK Ultimate Nationals, which last year was supported by Tiger Claw was on it's own......they did call me up to help them with the judging for the wushu events.........but for the students and parents it was confusing...RDK was still supported by Disney but no Tiger Claw......this resulted in a small number of Wushu competitors.......about 80 or so competitors. the people organizing the Disney events believe they can promote wushu without Tiger Claw. Again it's just too bad that's the way it ended up. Overall the Tournament suffered from lack of attendance...last year this event drew well over 1,000 competitors and was three days ........the Hotel was packed........this year the economic conditions had a big effect as many competitors did not want to spend money travelling....one year made a big difference. So to attract more athletes, RDK gave away money, Professor Carlos Navarro won the over 50 division......Grand champion and $100......he's a young 72!
Some of the young competitors in the Teenage Grand Champoin competition.
And the winner.......Christina Yu.........you will hear more from her and her two brothers in the future, one of the up and coming rising stars of wushu.
After, RDK, it was time to work on the Shark City Nationals....a tournament put on by Tony Katengill........who when we were younger competed against each other in open tournaments.
Tiger Claw went with Tony, a big promoter to bring wushu to the main stage......
Tony did a great job of promoting the event and giving everyone a chance to compete.....every major style of Martial arts....Japanese, Korean, Brazilian, and Chinese was represented. For me it was more organizing of judging panels..........it was special as both Coach Wu Bin and Master Liang Shou yi came to support the event. Master Liang I had not seen in more than 10 years. I met him first in 1986, when the US Team was competing at the Tianjin Wushu International Invitational Championships. Also, great was the presence of Grace Wu the grand daughter of the great Master Wang Zi Ping....who help create Modern Wushu.
Gig introducing Coach Wu, who came out to support the Tiger Claw Championships. Coach Wu spoke about the importance of supporting each other to help Wushu grow as an international sport.
I was delighted to see Master Liang Shou yi and his beautiful daughter Helen....who does an equally beautiful Liuhebafa Form. He and I had some good discussions on how to practice Bagauzhang.
This was some of the many Masters and helpers of the Tiger Claw event. Chen Ganng sitting next to me talked about the early movers of Wushu in China.
I was surprised however, to see an old friend Shr Min Hu, from the Beijing Wushu Team...he had come out to do some seminars.
Emilio and I had some time to relax and talk Wushu with Coach Wu.
Overall the turnout for Wushu was small, but even then it was hard to have enough judges for wushu....Taiji and Traditional had more than enough judges. So wushu finished last......it was too bad many of the better wushu athletes did not participate. Zhang Hai Yang from Hebei easily beat everyone....American wushu Athletes still have alot of catching up to do. On a brighter note the number of good young wushu athletes under 16 was really good to see...they will need more experience but they have great potential. It was great to see alot of old friends...and reminds me one of the great things about wushu.......Wushu yi jia........we are all one wushu family!!
Alright....still to come some observations on the Team Trials...now time to relax! Cya all!!
Coming: Sept 14 Mid-Autumn Festival Sept 15 Dragon Boat Festival Oct 12 4th Annual Golden State Chinese Martial Arts Champions