2010 News

End of Year Gradings

Its been a hectic end to 2010 with Derek holding gradings in all of the clubs over the last few weeks. The standard, as usual, was very high amongst both the adults and especially the kids who graded in front of their parents and all of the hard work put in over the year has really paid off and was evident at each of the grading so well done to all.

Special mention goes to Laura Wallace who passed her Brown sash grading, held recently in Wexford. The grading, conducted in chinese, was taken by head of Lau Gar Ireland and Guardian of Lau Gar, Bobby O'Neill and Laura did extremely well. Laura is only 14 and has been training in the Navan club almost since it opened, starting off with the juniors class before moving up to the senior class about two years ago. Well done Laura!

John Russell training course - 16th/17th October 2010

Another cracking weekend of training with John Russell, but dont take my word for it, see below for a review of the weekend from one of the Drogheda club members, who following a death threat, shall remain nameless.

John Russell, Guardian of Lau Gar and 7th Degree Black Sash, came to Ireland this weekend to give a two day training session, hosted by Boyne Valley Martial Arts. We had a great turnout from all clubs and the venue this time was the Drogheda club at the community hall in Ballsgrove. The course was attended by 25+ members from all of the BVMA clubs, and a few of our UCD cousins with a very broad range of grades present, from non-graded students right up to 3rd degree black sash.

On Saturday the session began with a gentle warm up of squats and stretches. As always, the weekend had a particular theme, and for this weekend we were focusing on the Nineteen Key Words of Lau Gar. These were broken down over the course of the weekend by John, and some of the concepts we learned were shaking, steal, leak, springing, stamping, dragging. While working with partners we got to explore the practical applications of these techniques, each taking turns as the attacker/defender. John gave great guidance and took time with all of us to help us work on our techniques individually.

Sunday’s class began with the same theme of squats and stretches, and after a recap of what we had learned already we moved on to further explore the system. We learned today how to use chopping, slicing, spitting, piercing techniques amongst many, and how to apply these short range movements in practical applications. Things got rather lively when we were all required to practice our newly learned techniques, in particular ‘huen’ which means circle or encircle, to defend ourselves, which resulted in most of us getting ‘dumped’ on the floor at some point. There was a tremendous amount of information to be gleaned from this weekend, and thankfully we were given handouts to take away which will help with our learning.

As always Johns class was extremely enjoyable and hopefully everyone found something to take away on the day.

Llandudno 2010

Another summer course and yet again some members of the various BVMA clubs made the trip to the UK. This year the old hands were Derek, Niall, Catriona, Simon, Andy, Darren, Martin and in the tradition of always having a summer course novice with us, Warrick made his first summer course trip. The course this year was held in the Welsh Riviera town of Llandudno, North Wales. It's 5 years since the course was last held here and those of us who attended back than had grins/grimaces as we knew what the early morning runs held...The Great Orme...more on that later.

First things first...huge thanks from all of us to Simon and Warrick who were our own personal chauffeurs for the week often leaving themselves long walks from the parking spots to our accommodation and never complaining...much ;). Seriously though, a heartfelt thanks from us all to you both boys.

First things first...huge thanks from all of us to Simon and Warrick who were our own personal chauffeurs for the week often leaving themselves long walks from the parking spots to our accommodation and never complaining...much ;). Seriously though, a heartfelt thanks from us all to you both boys.

Our early morning rendezvous at Dublin port for the quick ferry ride to Wales was good practice for the week that was to come as each morning required us to meet at 7am for a quick run up and around the aforementioned Great Orme. Sifu once again excelled in his choice of accomodation as it was right beside where most of the early morning runs started, meaning we weren't already knackered by the time the run started, well played that man. Fortunately the first mornings run started from the car park at the top but as the week progressed the runs grew progressively more difficult as you had to run up the Orme first before you could run around it and trust me...it's ridiculously steep! However, there was also the option of Tai Chi or a good bracing walk which by the end of the week most of us were partaking in. Don't for a second think were taking it easy, on the last day we walked 8Km along the cliffs with some steep inclines in under an hour.

Following breakfast back at the B&B, training each day took place from 10am - 2pm and consisted of a gentle warm up, some stance training, syllabus work, kicking techniques, walking techniques, a yoga based cool down routine, shaolin stamping and meditation. There was as usual a theme to the week and this year it was a new set based on the movements of the 5 Animals namely - Leopard (Pau), Tiger (Fu), Snake (Se), Dragon (Lung) and Crane (Hok). At the end of the week the team had to demonstrate the entire set with each portion linked into the next and just to make things awkward, in a different order to the one we learned it! So, cue a long Friday afternoon after training in which we drilled the set, then drilled it again and then for good measure we drilled it again. However the hard work definitely paid off and it was clear to see the effort that we had put in when we did the demo on the Saturday, so well done all. On the last day we all recieved our certs and Warrick having completed a tough week of training was upgraded from Orange to Green sash and received his cert from Master Yau.

The mid-week BBQ was organised this year by the Welsh crew and they provided a super feed in a great location so well done and thanks!!

The week was over all too quick but the good news is that the course is in Llandudno again next year, its a great weeks training, you'll meet some old friends from the BKFA and make some new ones so start saving folks.

Paul Receives his Black Sash and Grading Certificate

Paul Granger received his certificate and Black Sash from Derek tonight. Its been a long wait for Paul who started training back in 1987 in the UK where he reached brown sash. Paul has been training for a little under two years with BVMA and despite a very long commute he has put in a huge effort to train before finally grading for his 1st Degree Black Sash back in March of this year. Well done Paul!!

More Grading Successes

Huge congrats go to Frank and Catriona from the Navan club who recently underwent a gruelling session in Wexford while grading for their Brown Sash. Both of the guys have put in a huge amount of hard work over the last few months and it was evident in the standard that they produced on the day.

Sifu Dawson was recently awarded a 5th Duan Wei at a grading held by the The Chinese Wushu Association, held in Dublin.

Until very recently, no grading system existed but now there is a central grading system in China, called Duan Wei. The Duan Wei is similar system to our own Black Sash system, the highest grade being 9th Duan Wei.

The connection between the BKFA/Lau Gar Ireland and the Chinese Wushu Association will help to establish Lau Gar on an International scale, particularly as Master Yau himself now sits on the grading examination panel (no pressure there then!!). There were a number of other Lau Gar Ireland members who took the examination and all passed their Duan Wei so congrats to all.