2006 News

Club Gradings December 2006

Well done to all the members who passed their gradings recently. As usual the standard was extremely high which is testament to the amount of work put in by everyone. Special mention goes to Ian, John and Stephen from the Navan club who passed their gradings for purple sash. The grading for purple sash is the first taken by Bobby O'Neill, head of Lau Gar Ireland and a Guardian of Lau Gar Kung Fu. It is an intimidating test of the skills and knowledge the guys have learned in the years they've been with the club so well done to the lads.

The Rumble - October 2006

Boyne Valley Martial Arts members took part in the annual Rumble in Leixlip this past Sunday. Despite the fact that it was the first fight for all but one of the crew everyone acquited themselves very well, especially as the standard at this competition was extremely high, several medals were brought home so well done all! Frank, our roving club reporter has once again kindly put pen to paper.

Sunday last saw an entire team from BoyneValleyMartialArts enter their first ever tournament – and come away with a fistful of Medals. Our entry team consisted of Katie "No Fear" McGinley, Christopher "No Remorse" Dempsey, Frank "No Food?" Burton, Darren "No Bother Bosco" Masters and Dermot "Bring'em Back Alive" O' Buachaille. All with the exception of "Bring'em Back Alive" (BBA) fought in the Points rounds whilst BBA went into the Continuous category.

Katie fought two tough fights and demonstrated that her kick certainly has potential, winning her 3rd Place in her category.

Next up was Christopher, who decisively stopped his opponent in his first ever fight, before being narrowly defeated in his second.

Frank lost his competition debut in the quarter finals – according to "No Food", "all was going really well apart from this guy in the ring who kept kicking me before I punched him ….."!

No such worries for Darren. Having disposed of his quarter final opponent with one punch and a nasty fall, he went on win a much deserved 3rd Place.

Finally, and the precursor to the Rumble ….. "Bring'em Back Alive" fought some tough and gruelling bouts to come away with 2nd Place in his category. "Light Contact" is a term loosely used when referring to BBA's fights and they were not for the faint hearted.

So, well done to all – it was an enjoyable learning experience and hopefully will sharpen your skills for future tournaments.

From the fighter's corner – we would like to thank those from the club who turned up to voice their much appreciated support, – also a thanks to Niall and Derek for giving up their Sunday and free time.

As for the Rumble …… The event certainly lived up to its name……especially if you sat near our 84KG + entrants at 4:30pm, no-one within a 5 meter radius holding with a Mars Bar, Sandwich or packet of crisps was safe! There was more belly rumbling than at this year's National Belly Dancing convention!!

Ratoath Club Demonstration 9th September

in glorious September sunshine members from all of the Boyne Valley Martial Arts clubs gave a superb demonstration of Lau Gar Kung Fu to celebrate the official opening of Ratoath community.

Our demo was much anticipated throughout the day and this was proved by the large crowd that was present despite a very long delay in getting started. Students from all of the clubs gave a display of some simple self defence moves, various hand and kick blocks and sets from the Lau Gar syllabus, an improvised weapons sequence, the Chin Na sequence from last years summer course and some wood breaking. There were plenty of "ooohs" and "aaahs" during the demonstration so hopefully we'll have done enough to try and encourage a few people to take up our art.

Derek was extremely pleased with how things went and by the effort put in by everyone so well done all and keep up the hard work at training.

Summer Training 2006 - Scarborough, England

11 people, 7 days of training, between 4 and 7 mile runs every day, training 4 hours a day in a sauna (not really but it was close!!!), 150 "Shaolin Stamps", 25 minutes of Jarm Jong........sound like fun??

Actually it was, and on top of that we learned stuff too!!! A great review of the week has been written by Frank, one of the attendees from Navan Lau Gar Kung Fu club.

Scarborough – for 51 weeks of the year a placid beach resort full of arcades, casinos and the traditional chipper where mushy peas come with everything including your cup of tea. However one week in every year sees this tourist town turn into a Lau Gar Mecca and the stench of toil and sweat hang in the air like to enormous squawking seagulls.

Our journey commenced over breakfast in the departures lounge in Dublin airport on Friday 21st July as the four veterans of the summer courses (Derek, Niall, Andy & Mark) recalled stories from previous trips and ensured the newbies (Frank, John, Tony, Dermot, Martin, Darren & Mary) woke up to the harsh reality of what was in-store once training started. The only saving grace at that point was that training was not due to commence until Sunday and we had all of Friday and Saturday to enjoy!!

After we landed at Leeds Bradford airport we made our way to Harrogate (our home for the evening). Once we settled into our B&B we received a tour of the town from our guide sifu Dawson before we had a bite to eat and a beverage or two. Later that evening we had a Chinese banquet and generally relaxed in our own way.

Saturday morning brought a hearty breakfast and a 2 hour train journey to Scarborough. Our hotel was strategically located a 2 minute stroll from the morning run starting point. Saturday mainly consisted of a stroll around the town as the dread of what tomorrow was to bring bore heavy on the mind.

Sunday – no run …….. yippee! Instead we make our way to the Pindar Leisure Centre for training. And then it happened – the pattern of events that brought groans and aches for the next few days and would bring many of us past of our pre-existing limits – the Pindar Surprise!!

Training started at 10am with Morag. After an initial 5min "joint loosening" up we went into a 20min "warm up – and it got warm – very warm, believe you me! We stretched, went into a "long armed" plank, press-ups, one armed plank, downward dog – and all in a graceful manner, controlling our breathing and taking fully enjoyment from the experience. If that was not enough Johnny "Again" Russell had not even taken the floor yet.

He introduced himself through 10min of intensive stance training (hoi bo, ma bo, woo-dip-ma, kung bo, puk bo, gum goi dok lok, and back to hoi bo), which was followed by 1 hour of his Tai Chi/Lau Gar routine plus a Silk Reeling exercise and Yin Yang Boxing. As the week went on the Tai Chi/Lau Gar routine developed into quite an attractive piece and is roughly a third of a set currently being composed by JR.

At last ……. a water break. This oasis in a dessert of pain passed too quickly and we were broken into our syllabus groups for 1 hour. This was a great experience in itself – being taught by different sifu, with each of them bringing to the table a new twist or insight into what we were learning. It also took us out of the hall and into the fresh air – where any bit of a breeze was welcomed!

However, whilst Scarborough may be a holiday resort – we were not on holidays! All too soon we were back in the hall under the watchful eye of Andrew Nation as he began 1 hour of kicking combinations and walking techniques. It writes and reads a lot easier than it was ……. The kicking combinations built up into 9 kicks that stretched not only the legs but and the pushed our concentration to the limits – the walking techniques really teased our focus, co-ordination, flexibility and our knees!

Once again a water break before we hit the home straight comprising of Shaolin Stamping (starting with 30 day 1 and ending on 120 by day 7), followed by a 15min "cool down" stretching session with Morag. Strangely this session was quite similar to the earlier "warm up" session and was approached in the same manner – graceful movement, controlled breathing and I believe I even heard, if not uttered, one or two controlled expletives during this session!

We finished off each day with the Jam Jong, which is a series of 6 meditative positions. Each position is held for a period of time before moving into the next one. Anyone familiar with the "Bear Hugging the Tree" stance will know that this is one of the six meditative positions. On the Sunday we held each position for 1 minute – thus the entire exercise lasted 6 minutes. By the following Saturday each position was held for 6 minutes! This was an enjoyable exercise whereby you really get to feel the flow of your "Ging" as well as the burn on your shoulders!

So, our Pindar Surprise doesn't sound too bad really – does it…? However, whilst we didn't run on the Sunday – we ran every other day.

Monday morning at 7am saw us head off on a 3.5 mile run from our starting point (2min from our hotel) around the cost – up "heartbreak ridge", exercise in the car park for 20 min, and then back along the roads to the seafront.

Tuesday then came with a wicked twist! The startling line had moved…….from our 2 min vantage point to the car park on top of "heartbreak ridge" 30 min walk away. This now meant we were leaving the hotel at 6:20 for a 30min walk , followed by an hour run up "Oliver's Mount" and then a 30 min walk/crawl (depending on the day) back to the hotel – before breakfast and the day's training!!

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday followed the same sequence - by which stage the runs had peaked at 7 miles for most ordinary mortals, but not for Andy who decided that he had "got into a grove" and decided to run circa 12 miles on the Friday morning and if not for the excellent tracking of Dermot "Bring'em Back Alive" O'Buachalla we could have still being waiting at the finish line for Andy and worrying about how little time we now had for breakfast!

Saturday's training was a little more relaxed and we were given demonstrations on the Staff, Southern Sword and Rope Dart, before we ourselves demonstrated the Tai Chi/Lau Gar routine we had learnt from Johnny "Again" Russell.

5 of our group were upgraded following their successful completion of the course (Tony, Frank, Martin, Darren, & Dermot) and we all received certificates having got to the finish line in one piece.

Just in case you get the wrong impression, It wasn't compete torture on the summer course. It was tough and it was a challenge – but we also have a few light moments once our bodies allowed us after training. On the Wednesday evening we enjoyed a barbeque with all participants on the course and on the Friday evening we had a wonderful night at the 30th Summer Course Anniversary dinner – where we witnessed a Lion dance with a difference!!

Club Grading May 2006

Congratulations to everybody who graded last weekend. It was by far the largest group to grade so far in the history of the club with gradings being undertaken from White all the way through to Yellow sash. The standard was very high and Derek was especially pleased by this and he has praised everybody on their efforts over the last few months.

Master Yau Weekend Training Course - March 25/26th 2006

Once again the Master Yau training weekend in Wexford proved to big a big success. There was a large turn out for both days training especially from the Navan and Dunshaughlin clubs so thank you all!! Training on both days included breathing techniques, meditation, the "Shanghai" form of the "Eight Brocade" exercise and a Chin Na sequence similar to that taught on last years summer course.