Guardian of Lau Gar, 7th Degree Black Sash John Russell visited our clubs recently and gave a 3 hour lesson on Chi Sau or pushing/sticking hands. The course was very well attended with students from all clubs present and all grades were represented. As always Johns class was extremely enjoyable and hopefully everyone found something to take away on the day.
To celebrate the end of another years hard training Derek and some of the senior students gave a small demonstration at the final kids class in Navan on Thursday 17th December. There were sets, self defence applications, weapons sets (sword and staff), wood breaking, the chin na form from the 2007 Llandudno summer course, a sparring demo from some of the kids, the dual man form from this years summer course and even some shaolin stamping to boot! Derek also gave some awesome demonstrations of chi kung and ging. Finally, all of the kids and adults who graded in the last few weeks were presented with their sashes and certs. Well done everyone, as commented on by John, your hard work is paying off and hopefully the clubs will continue to go from strength to strength in 2010. Enjoy the short break because we'll be back training hard again very soon!
Derek recently hosted a training course led by Master Liming Yue in the Chen 12 Step Form. The training was spread over two days and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. Master Liming was impressed by the level of Kung Fu demonstrated by the club members and this allowed him to accelerate the learning to a little bit more of an advanced level. Hopefully Master Liming will be returning to Ireland again soon and I'm sure those in attendance will be training with him again.
When Derek first opened the Navan club he stated that it should take 6 years to attain a black sash grade. Exactly 6 years and 1 week later, 3 of the original students Ian Lafford, John Hughes and Stephen McDowell stood in front of Master Yau to grade for 1st Degree Black Sash. The guys have trained at least twice a week for the last 6 years, often training 3 times a week and have worked extremely hard which was evident over the course of the hour or so that the grading took place. The grading is carried out in Chinese and Master Yau can ask for any technique from the syllabus, in any order. It is a physically and mentally draining test and the guys did amazingly well. Niall Whyte also graded sucessfully for his 2nd Degree Black Sash. We'd all like to Derek for his guidance over the last few years in preparing us for these gradings.
Training began on Saturday with a brief warm up consisting of the Shanghai 8 Brocades before Master Yau took us through some of the techniques used in the "5 Animals" of Lau Gar, namely Snake, Crane, Dragon, Leopard and Tiger. As well as the techniques themselves Master Yau really impressed on the need to incorporate the spirit of these animals into the movements as without thought and meaning, there are exactly just that...movements.
Having trained some of these techniques Master Yau then led us in some Jarm Jong before hosting a brief Q&A session.
Following training on Saturday there was a Chinese meal in Wexford town.
Sundays training took a similar vein from Saturday continuing with the 5 animals techniques and finishing up a Tai Chi sequence and once again a Q&A session.