2013 News

Even More Competition Successes

Some of the club members attended the recent NorthEast Open. This competition is always well attended with some quality fighters

Congratulations go to Sean Keogh who won his section and to Carly Anderson who came third in hers.

Congrats also go to Glenn Chegwidden and Eoin Sweeny who won their respective sections at the Best Of The Best Tournament held in Tallaght

Boyne Valley Martial Arts Successes at 2013 BKFA Nationals

Following a series of gruelling Sunday training sessions members from Boyne Valley Martial Arts attended the BKFA Nationals held in Birmingham over the weekend of 27th October and came back with an impressive haul of trophies.

Jake Patterson 1st

Glenn Chegwidden 2nd

Nathan Hegarty 2nd

David Wallace 2nd

Warrick Bowler 3rd

Junior team 2nd

Stephen McDowell semi-finalist

Dave Eagers semi-finalist

Well done to everyone, an incredible result and testament to the quality of the training we receive and your own hard work at training and squad sessions.

New Black Sashes Awarded

As mentioned earlier this year marked the 10th anniversary of the clubs foundation. As part of the recent Master Yau course in May several of the club members went through the Black Sash grading process in front of Master Yau. This is always a daunting, yet thrilling, experience.

John and Ian, present in that first class 10 years ago successfully graded for 3rd Degree along with Stephen who joined the club not long after it opened.

Catriona, who first graded for Black Sash two years ago (becoming Irelands first female Lau Gar Black Sash to boot) has gone one step further in grading for her 2nd Degree Black Sash.

Special mention goes to Simon who after 6.5 years of dedicated training and hard work passed his 1st Degree. Simon now becomes the 7th Black Sash instructor in the club which is phenomenal for such a small club running for such a short space of time - proof indeed of the high quality of the instruction we are receiving.

Boyne Valley Martial Arts at the Lau Gar Summer Course 2013, Llandudno, Wales

Once again, another summer course is complete for this year, with many members from various BVMA clubs making the trip to the UK. This was the largest group (an impressive 14!) so far to travel from the BVMA clubs and one of this years rookie, Laura has written the review below.

Llandudno, Wales again hosted this year's summer course where we all had the honour to train with Master Yau and witness the moment when John Russell was presented with his Red Sash by Master Yau. A real privilege to witness, with more on that later.

A huge thank you must first be said to all our personal chauffeurs, Simon, Stephen and Warrick, who drove every morning to and from the hall. Thanks again guys!

Our trip started with the short ferry ride over to Wales from Dublin Port. Sifu once again excelled in his choice of accommodation as it happened to be right beside where most of the early morning runs started. Thankfully our first morning run started at the car park at the top of the Orme, but if we found that run tough, we would be surprised as to what was lying ahead in the following days. As the days went on, the runs became much more difficult, as we had to run up the Orme and then around it and trust me when I say…..it is incredibly steep!! By the end of the week, many had taken the second option of Tai Chi after a number of days of running up to 8km in under an hour up and down a steep mountain at 7am! I think just making it through that was a serious accomplishment to everyone so well done!

After breakfast at the B&B every morning, we headed for the hall for training which ran from 10am-2pm. We started with a gentle warm up, our sticking hands routine, syllabus work, stance training, walking techniques, kicking techniques, shaolin stamping, a yoga based warm down and meditation. At the end of the week, we all had to demonstrate our own routines we had made up using the five elements which formed this year's theme of Chi Sau (Sticking hand); sticking, striking, take down, seize and capture and kicking. After Friday training, we made sure our routine was drilled into our heads by practising every chance we got over and over again. On Saturday it was clear how much effort was put in by every single group. Everyone's hard work paid off and it was great to see the accomplishment on everyone's faces at the end and trust me……it was a massive accomplishment!

On the last day we all received our certs and some of our members were upgraded so congrats to Niamh, Sean and Finja who were all upgraded from Orange sash to Green sash and also to Glenn who was upgraded from Blue sash to Orange. Well done to you all.

This year, our mid-week BBQ was hosted by the Scottish crew who gave us a super feed in a great location. It was a pity that our BBQ was on the one day of rain we got when in Wales but spirits were kept high and everyone had a great evening so well done and thanks!

During the week we all had the enormous privilege to witness Master Yau announce his successor and award him with his Red Sash with the title of "Master Russell". For us to watch on was an honour as Master John Russell is the only person in the world to receive this. So a huge congratulations to Master Russell!

Thank you to everyone who partook in this year's summer course to Llandudno. Old friendships were renewed and new friendships made. It is truly an amazing course that will teach you skills and give you tips to help with your regular training in your club. My advice? Start saving!

Historic News for Lau Gar, the BKFA and Lau Gar Ireland!

On Friday 2nd August 2013 Master Jeremy Yau named Sifu John Russell as his successor and awarded him a Red Sash and the title of 'Master Russell'. Master John Russell is the only person in the world to receive this accolade to date.

Master Yau states he is NOT retiring and will never retire as his life is Kung Fu and will continue teaching at future events and courses, he is simply putting things in place for the future.

On behalf of the Guardians and Lau Gar Instructors and Students we wish to congratulate Master Russell and wish him a long and prosperous life. Congratulations Master John Russell and we thank you for your lifetime commitment to Martial Arts and teaching us.

Summer Course Update - reposted on behalf of the Guardians

Hot on the heels of Carl Jones' brilliant Lau Gar Chi Sau (Sticking hands) Course last weekend the theme of this year’s Summer Course is Chi Sau!

The aim is to build up over the course of the week, in groups, a dual person Chi Sau set that will help people practice aspects of Chi Sau. Each group will produce their own set. These sets can then be taken forward and entered into a competition at the Nationals.

Chi Sau is an exercise in sensitivity and finding and making openings so that you can apply your techniques. It is an exercise that will help you improve your fighting tactical awareness, positioning, angles, etc. As demonstrated on Carl’s course, there are concepts, techniques and drills that can be adopted to improve your Chi Sau skills and the secret is, as with all Kung Fu, PRACTICE, which the dual person set will help you do.

Below is a note from Sifu Carl Jones re Chi Sau which was posted in explanation before his course:

Often we look at four elements that cover Kung Fu:

• Striking (da)

• Kicking (toi)

• Throwing (suai)

• Locking (na)

However, Master Yau has said on many occasions that there is a fifth element which is the glue that holds the other four elements together - Sticking (chi).Sticking hand drills and sparring are designed to improve your reactions for close-in fighting. This enables you to easily find openings and take advantage of weaknesses in your opponent’s defences.

In real situations, ‘sticking’ gives you control of your opponent and can create opportunities for you to end the fight quickly. As soon as you make a block, or are blocked, you can utilise sticking hands techniques to take immediate control of the fight.

Grading Successes

Some more good news this week. Well done to everyone who graded at Master Yaus course last week but especially the guys (and gal) from Boyne Valley Martial Arts.

John, Ian and Stephen - 3rd Degree

Catriona - 2nd Degree

and special mention to Simon who, after 6 and half years of hard and dedicated training, passed his 1st Degree.

Simon is now the 6th Black Sash Instructor in the club and the 8th Student that Derek has trained to Black Sash or higher with a number of brown sash students waiting in the wings - testament to the level and quality of the training we receive and dedication of the students.

Master Yau Irish Visit 2013

Master Yau paid his annual visit to these shores over the weekend of 25th/26th May and shared his immense knowledge during two days of training. Over 40 members from the BVMA clubs in Drogheda and Navan as well as the Wexford contingent (led by head of Lau Gar Ireland, Bobby O'Neill) and our UCD cousins were in attendance. We are truly fortunate and extremely grateful to have such an opportunity to train directly with Master Yau, something that very few people get to do these days.

Day 1 consisted of Master Yau taking us through some of the basics of our system, demonstrating how we should "feel" the correct body postures and positions for our technques to work to their maximum effect. I have to say that even after more than 15 years of training in Lau Gar it was a real priviledge to watch a master, our Master, at work.

Day 2 consisted of instruction in the Internal 8 brocade sequence and some Jam Jong. Master Yau also led a class for our junior members - no mean feat to keep 30+ young kids in order but they hung on his every word.

Master Yau was guest of honour at an evening meal hosted in a local chinese restaurant with most of the people training during the day in attendance - a real chance for the Irish branch of the Lau Gar Family which Master Yau is justifiably proud of to get to know their fellow Lau Gar practitioners from the other clubs.

This is the first Master Yau course held outside of Wexford and fittingly coincided with the 10 year anniversary of Sifu Derek Dawson opening the Boyne Valley Martial Arts club. Master Yau did us the very great honour of presenting Derek with a token of appreciation from the students.

New Brown Sashes awarded

Congratulations go to Martin, Darren and Warrick who took their Brown Sash gradings in front of the Head Instructor for Ireland, Bobby O'Neill. The guys are the first students from the Drogheda club to grade for Brown sash and have put in a massive amount of hard work to get to this level so a huge well done to the lads.

Irish Open

A weekend at the worlds premier fighting tournament with almost 3,000 fighters registered might not sound like everyones cup of tea but a number of club members registered and fought at the Irish Open held over the weekend of 1/2/3 March.

The standard at this tournament is always extremely high with some of the worlds leading fighters in attendance and the guys did extremely well and should be very proud of themselves - their club mates certainly are.