Wednesday, June 7, 2023
HomeTai ChiWhat an amazing victory! – Violet Li Tai Chi

What an amazing victory! – Violet Li Tai Chi

The Tiger Claw Elite Kungfu and Taekwondo Tournaments, held in San Jose, California on final Saturday and Sunday Might 6-7, 2023, attracted 1,536 expert rivals from all around the U.S. and overseas. Whereas many athletes obtained well-deserved medals for his or her distinctive performances, the true champion was the worldwide martial arts neighborhood.

The organizers of the event had painstakingly deliberate each element effectively prematurely, with lots of of rivals already registered by March 2020. Nonetheless, the outbreak of the pandemic resulted in widespread societal shutdowns and residents have been suggested to shelter in place. Sadly, this led to the cancellation of the 2020 Tiger Claw Elite Tournaments. 

The three years that adopted have been a difficult time for the martial arts neighborhood globally. Many martial arts and Tai Chi colleges have been pressured to shut their doorways. Throughout this era, a number of the most revered figures locally, together with Tai Chi and Qigong grandmasters Yang Zhengduo (95) and Zhang Xue Xin (94), and Effie Chow (89), and martial artists and film stars Jimmy Wang Yu (79), Harry Mok, Yu Hai (81), and Sonny Chiba (82) handed away. Whereas most died of previous age, just a few misplaced their battle to COVID-19. Majority of colleges re-opened however a number of haven’t reached their pre-pandemic enrollments. 

When folks lastly reunited on the tournaments final week, they embraced tightly and shared bittersweet feelings with out phrases. Many expressed their gratitude for the chance to return collectively once more after such a protracted separation.

As a choose for the tournaments, I felt honored to witness the unimaginable ranges of talent and dedication displayed by the athletes. All through the weekend, I used to be assigned to guage at numerous ranges, starting from younger kids to seniors and from first timers to superior practitioners.

One specific second that stood out to me was when a 5-year-old boy with blonde hair and blue eyes grew to become overwhelmed by the gang and stood immobile in a contest ring. With the repeated reminders by his coach, he accomplished the routine and wasn’t positioned among the many prime three spots. Seeing him burst into tears, I rushed over to reward him for his effort and let him know that he would nonetheless obtain a medal — all first-time rivals have been rewarded with a participation medal.

One inspiring competitor was a soon-to-be 63-year-young girl who had suffered from extreme ache in her neck, shoulder, and decrease again on the age of fifty attributable to a sedentary life-style working for a pc firm. Regardless of looking for medical help from each Jap and Western docs, nothing helped till she found Kung Fu. She now wears a number of medals round her neck as a tribute to her unimaginable perseverance.

The tournaments featured a variety of classes.  Other than the Korean Taekwondo, the Chinese language classes included the WildAid Tiger Claw Championship to lift the attention of the endangerment of tigers within the wild, Worldwide Wushu Sanshou Dao (IWSD) General Grand Championship , Conventional Kung, Shaolin Temple Kung Fu, Fashionable Wushu, and Tai Chi & Inside Fashion martial arts. Regardless of the record-breaking variety of attendees, the tournaments have been run effectively as a well-oiled machine. Organizer Gigi Oh famous that the official deadline for competitors registration was April 12, however the event had already reached full capability and extra folks have been keen to hitch. 

Within the Shaolin Temple Kung Fu class, there have been 5 champions representing every division who competed for the Grand Championship. Based on the foundations, the highest rating and the underside rating have been eradicated to keep away from bias, and solely the three center scores have been used to calculate. On the finish of the competitors, all of them scored a powerful 9.94 at a scale of 1 to 10. Since all 5 rivals additionally had the identical prime rating, the winner was decided by the very best backside rating. In the long run, Kyle Wong in his late 20s introduced house the Grand trophy that evening, incomes a well-deserved victory.

Along with organizing a number of tournaments, the occasion coordinators additionally placed on numerous fascinating applications geared toward entertaining and educating attendees on the richness and variety of martial arts. One such program was a mesmerizing Kung Fu exhibition held on the Friday evening previous to the tournaments. The showcase featured three Bay Space Kung Fu colleges, that are Shaolin Warrior Martial Arts, based by Grasp Zhao Hai Chuan in San Jose, Kung Fu Dragon USA based by Grasp Yu Zhen Lengthy in Pleasanton & San Ramon, and Shaolin Temple USA based by the Shaolin Temple Abbot Shi Yongxin and managed by Shaolin Warrior Shi Yan Ran in San Francisco. Through the exhibition, round 60 younger Kung Fu practitioners from the three colleges, aged between 5 and their early 20s, displayed their spectacular martial expertise and thrilling formations.

Afterwards, ten Shaolin Warriors from the unique Shaolin Temple in Henan, China introduced 14 various kinds of Shaolin Kung Fu and Qigong. They began with 8 Silk Brocade, then seven conventional Shaolin Fist varieties (Cannon, Ditang Plum Blossom, Large Arhat, Small Cannon, Plum Blossom Mantis, Taizu, and Sever Star), a particular Qigong follow of  Two Finger Stand, trio drunken set (fist, sword and workers), a tough fashion Qigong maneuvering to interrupt metal bars on head, Shaolin Animal Fists to imitate Tiger, Scorpion, Snake, Canine, Leopard, Toad and Praying Mantis, Picket Fish & Zen Qigong or Tong Zi Gong, a tough fashion Qigong feat of Iron Throat breaking spears, seven conventional Shaolin weapon workout routines (13 Spear, Bodhidharma Employees, Eyebrow-height Employees, Plum Blossom Broadsword, King Kinnara Employees, Spring and Autumn Broadsword, and Bodhidharma Straight Sword), one other arduous fashion Qigong feat of 5 Spears Chest Stabbing, Cotton Fist, Qigong Breaking Staffs exhibiting the facility of Qigong, Iron Crotch (a high-level arduous Qigong routine), and ended with the large match of Shepherd’s Whip, Pudao, Three Part Employees, Double Spears, Double Broadswords, and 9 Part Whip. The show of assorted strategies and weapons was gorgeous and overwhelming to witness.

Shaolin Kung Fu is known for its range and richness. It has so many fist sorts, animal varieties, and weapon varieties. Nonetheless, it’s important to notice that many of those practices could be hazardous to a practitioner who has not undergone correct coaching or practiced diligently day by day for years. Many of the Shaolin Warriors are 18 or 19 years previous and commenced their coaching at a younger age, just like Olympic gymnasts who peak of their athleticism of their late teen years.

On Saturday evening, a gaggle of masters, particularly Shou-Yu Liang, Ren Guang-Yi, Helen Liang, and Chen-Grasp Yang, carried out a number of inside martial artwork varieties together with Xiao-Yao Gong, Chen Fashion Tai Chi Single Broadsword, Baguazhang, and Chen Fashion New Body, alongside event champions.

The next day, Sunday morning noticed the celebration of Kung Fu Tai Chi Day, which commenced with a serene and peaceable efficiency of Tai Chi 24 by 300 Tai Chi practitioners, led by world junior championships in Tai Chi, Judy Liu in 2018 and Presilla Zou in 2022. The ambiance of the efficiency was soothing and calming. In a while, the competitors resumed with numerous divisions, comparable to Inside divisions, WildAid Tiger Claw Championship, Heavy Guandao Championship, and IWSD Grand Champion.

Addition to the contestants, there have been 350 volunteers to function judges, rating keepers, timers, runners, and infrastructure set-uppers.  As a martial arts fanatic, I used to be thrilled to see the neighborhood coming collectively as soon as once more. It was an enormous win for everybody concerned, and a testomony to the resilience and dedication of the martial arts neighborhood.

Disclaimer: I used to be invited to guage for the tournaments.


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