The recent strong earthquake and after shocks in Christchurch have been foremost in everyone’s mind. Luckily our residence was not affected at all. HQ suffered only one broken mirror, where there was severe damage to just about all the older buildings in the neighbour-hood. As I was overseas during the first week and only monitored everything from news reports, e-mail and phone calls. I was told that the tournament team trained on the morning of the earthquake. All classes were back to normal by the Tuesday even though numbers were a little down. We should always use our regular training to give us some degree of normality and help us cope with any stressful period in our lives. So far those members who have been in touch did not seem to have suffered much serious damage or any injury. We have been very lucky this time. We have had many concerned members from all over contact us to check if everything was alright.
If there are any members in need of help or advice, please contact your instructor and we shall try our best and even organise a group to give a hand.
The recent camp was another overwhelming success thanks to the hospitality of our Southern members and the organizational skills of the commander Mr Brent Davidson, Mrs Davidson and all helpers. Even the notorious Invercargill weather was unusually kind and most pleasant. We had great support from far and wide with a record attendance. Everyone was enthusiastic to learn and share. The spirit was most uplifting and infectious.
The main theme was again good fundamentals. Nothing was spared in emphasising the very easy to achieve and most important but commonly neglected aspects such as accurate stances -‘knee over toes,’ sinking -‘not popping up’ and balancing - ‘not tilting pelvis.’ This applies to everyone, from the raw beginner to the most advanced. In fact, it is more important for the advanced as the degree of accuracy needed for advanced techniques is critical.
As for the black belts, we worked on advanced hands sensitivity drills and the new “Circle Form.” Our principles of total balance, using minimal effort, natural movement and sensitivity, need to be taken to the extreme in these techniques. It is a challenging new dimension for many of you, and it will take a quite a while to fully appreciate and adopt it. Eventually the these skills will integrate all our other fighting techniques bringing with it more efficiency and comprehensive control of ourselves and the opponent.
We have made the unprecedented decision to change the Black Belt grading date to the 4th of Dec. The reason for this is that Prof. Yek has received an invitation to attend the 100 anniversary of Prof. Huang in Malaysia with his senior students. However, it clashed with our assigned grading date and Master Kinney, Master Simons and I were unable to accompany Prof. Yek. It was only after we had the support of all the senior instructors that we decided to change the date. Those who had to change flights booked for the previous date are advised to contact Master Kinney so Mr Thompson can reimburse the penalty charged for changing flights.
It is a very late announcement of the candidates list for Black Belt grading due to many special circumstances. They are as follows:
|Tony Waiwiri||Te Anau|
|Penelope Lake||Lower Hutt|
They should do well judging from the performance of the candidates in recent years. Best wishes.
As for the next few weeks at HQ, I will be taking a special session on the side kick (5th Oct Tue 5:30pm to 7:00pm) and a Women self defence class (14th Oct Thu 7:00pm to 8:30pm).
The special training sessions are roughly once every couple of months to help all ranks with their techniques.
The women self defence class is an annual event for members and their family. Friends are welcome for a token fee of $10. We may have a ‘test’ on the following Thursday for those who are able and keen to try it.
We also plan to repaint the exterior of the HQ building which had stood up so well in the earthquake at our next working bee on the 24th Oct. It is a very big job but it can be done in a day if we have enough help. Please give us an indication if you can help so we can organise the teams and equipment or just come along if you can.
The 35th Jade Jubilee Badges, T-shirts and new uniform badges with Chinese characters are now available for purchase.
As it is our 35th Jubilee year we are having a special celebration at the posh George Hotel. Mr Daniel Dunne the conference coordinator at the hotel, is also a senior member at the University of Canterbury branch. He is looking after us well and it should be a very classy and memorable occasion.
It has been a very busy and turbulent year so far but we have a good start and made excellent progress. Now we are entering a very exciting phase where there are great changes in the black belt syllabus. There is a good intake of keen new students and a better direction for the intermediate ranks at HQ. We are also looking at a sharper and more disciplined performance from the younger students at HQ. I am very optimistic that the standard of skill overall will be lifted greatly in the next six months.
Train hard but remember not to over stress anything, and most of all enjoy it. See you in the future events.
May Chi be with you.