The year has gone by really quickly with the Queens Birthday weekend behind us already.
We had a very good start with very good attendances and many new enrollments. At the gradings around the country, the standard has been very good overall. It is a testament to the fine effort of the instructors and the improvements made to the syllabus and drills in the last twelve months.
March was a big month for us. The Christchurch Chinese Lantern Festival always has been a great opportunity for promotion. We had a great place to demonstrate and big receptive audience on both days. A well prepared children and teenage demonstration team will be planned for next year.
Professor Yek had the first student camp in Christchurch the following weekend. It was very well attended, and had information that was really helpful to everyone. As it worked so well, the camp will be duplicated later in the year in Auckland. The student camps will be annual fixtures from now on.
Next, we had a Kung Fu seminar in Melbourne to coincide with the F1 race in Melbourne. Master Bruce Lord, Mr Barry Thompson, Ms Linda Miller, Wai Hoe and I really enjoyed the trip. It was good to see and train with the enthusiastic Melbourne members again. Mr and Mrs Tim Scotter put on a fabulous Aussie barbeque in our honour. It will be a great to do the F1 and seminar again.
We had visits from several old members. Dr Brendan Hock who practices in Tauranga, trained with our senior class and was keen to pick up all the recent changes so he can train with his wife and boys till we have a new branch in Tauranga.
Mrs Keriana Humphrey was back for a short visit with her children.
We look forward to seeing Mr Graeme Humphrey back from Oregon, USA for a visit soon.
One of our founding members, Professor Jason Bates (Vermont, USA), dropped by with his family. Jason, a medical physicist and a 3rd degree black belt, keeps in very good shape by training regularly on his own.
I met up with another of our founding members, Professor John Ralph, who invited an old friend, Mr Peter Cobham, and I to visit his holiday home in the Coromandel. Professor Ralph is one of the world's top wood chemist. He spends some months here and the rest of the year in the USA. Mr Cobham is also a wood chemist and a senior TKD black belt who resides in the Sunshine Coast. They both used to train with Master Willie Lim in Rotorua and Hamilton. We have not seen Peter for over twenty five years. The three of us hiked, swum, paddle boarded, discussed global warming, wood chemistry and martial arts of course. I have subsequently taken up paddle board surfing when I arrived back in Christchurch. It is great for balance and core fitness like our two martial arts.
In May, the senior Sing Ong Tai Chi instructors had a special training day in Auckland. It was good to practise with Master Kinney, Master Simons and the other advanced Tai Chi teachers under the tutorage of Master Michael Yek.
In May we had a seminar at Mr Tim Smith's Sydney branch which was revived on the 15th of March. It is centrally located and should attract many new students. Ms Yan Zeng, our two long time Sydney brown sashes Helen Haigh and Shane Chalmers, a member from Nelson and three new members are training there with Mr Smith. We had a very tasty lunch at a nearby Szechuan restaurant after the seminar there.
During the Sydney trip, I stayed and trained with Prof. & Master Yek. It is always great to learn their consumate moves and ideas that are and privy to so few till now.
The Queen's Birthady seminars were very well attended. We discussed the attitude to training Tai Chi and what it means to take training seriously, starting with the six and five exercises. We then reviewed some moves in the 42 form reviewed at the camp and discussed the special features and attributes of the various forms and how they should be practiced.
For the Kung Fu seminar we reviewed our basic philosophy. That is: 1) to be totally efficient in self defence and not fighting pound for pound as in a combat sport; 2) to use a high level of skill and internal energy rather than just speed and strength and; 3) to attack pressure points for the most effective results.
We practiced the spin crescent kick which was taught in a mini seminar at HQ a few week ago. It was followed with 'fajing' or release of internal energy, and Flow Drill 1. As for the instructors, we worked on the advanced spin hook kick technique, and close range hand formation-sensitivity drills.
The firearms seminars were conducted by Mr Rod Woods who is a treasure trove of information on survival, stalking and shooting amongst many other skills and specialist knowledge. We had practical shooting at our range at HQ. We found the seminars very enjoyable and informative.
The tournament had 87 competing in the fighting and 20 in the forms. Boths competitors and officials came from Auckland to Invercargill for the the weekend. It was obvious that the technical ability of most of the fighters had improved again. Except in a few cases, we seem to be getting better matchings for most of the fight divisions. It should get even better as we have more entries in the future. It was great that the competitors conducted themselves with dignity, sportsmanship and politeness throughout the day. It was a full house of spectators from early in the morning till we finished at 4pm. The officials as usual did a great job running the whole event efficiently.
The results of the tournament are:
|Lower Intermediate Grade:|
|Higher Intermediate Grade:|
|2nd Eq:||Margaret Hill||HQ|
|2nd Eq:||Sophia-Jane Buckingham||Blenheim|
|2nd Eq:||Richelle Curugan-Everson||L. Hutt|
|2nd Eq:||Francis Forgues||Rangiora|
|Children Under 10 years:|
|Children Under 11 years 55-63 kg:|
|1st:||Dion Troy Aiono||Papanui|
|Children Under 12 years High Int.:|
|Children Under 13 years < 45kg:|
|Boys Under 13 years < 58 kg:|
|Boys Under 15 years:|
|Youth Under 17 years:|
|Men Intermediate < 68 kg:|
|Men Intermediate < 60kg:|
|Men Intermediate < 75kg:|
|1st:||Allan Falloon||U of Cant.|
|2nd:||George Starling||U of Cant.|
|3rd:||Peter Tan||U of Cant.|
|Men Intermediate Heavy Wt.:|
|1st:||Graham Slater||L. Hutt|
|Plate:||Simon Malcolm||U of Cant.|
|Men Purple-Red Grade < 79kg:|
|2nd:||Morgan Hind||U of Cant.|
|Youth Advanced Grade:|
|2nd:||Matthew Nauschutz||L Hutt|
|Women Advanced Grade 50-60kg:|
|1st:||Tze Ying Chan||Blenheim|
|2nd:||Richelle Curugan-Everson||L Hutt|
|3rd:||Penelope Lake||L Hutt|
|Plate:||Eleanor O'toole||L Hutt|
|Women Advanced Open Weighht:|
|Men Advanced Grade < 75kg:|
|Men Advanced Grade Heavy Wt:|
|Black Belt Open Weight:|
|2nd:||George Pope||U of Cant.|
It is very encouraging to see so many promising intermediate and advanced grade students of all ages emerging lately. In a few years time they will all be good Black Belts or very close to it.
The learning experience from the tournament should be more important than the result. Almost everyone at the tournament can learn from the 'poker game' analogy. It is much easier to play with a decent hand, but you must still know how to play your hand well. It takes time to improve 'your hand,' ie the kicks, punches etc. That is why we spend so much time on the fundamentals. And we also need to spend time on learning how 'to play our hand' ie efficient application from Fight Games 3 & 4. Without getting too complicated, competency in both basics and application should generate the desired results.
We should have a very good camp in Invercargill, where we will high-light the above mentioned. The senior Black Belts will be introduced new advanced hands techniques and drills.
Warm up carefully for training in the cooler weather and see you at camp. May Chi be with you.