Wushu Notes

This page is comprised of current events and goingson in the world of wushu (at least my world which I think is pretty expansive, as far as wushu in America goes). Sections are seperated by the dates they were entered. If you are new to this page, it might be best to start at the bottom and read up section by section. If you are a regular, go straight to the top of the list for the latest info!

12/23/97 - OK, its official! The collegiate tournament will be February 21st, 1998! We've got the OK from the UCMAP and it looks like we may have some special guests, more info on this as it becomes available...

So everybody get the word out! I want all you college students to be there! Registration Forms will be available from the official web page as soon as I get back to Berkeley (I'm in D.C. visiting the family right now).

12/20/97 - I just added the World Wushu Games Results! Click here to read it! (Note, we also have some US Team photos in there!)

Also, things are still rollin' for the Intercollegiate Wushu Games, keep checkin' for info as it comes!

12/13/97 - Yet MORE WWGames news. This latest info comes from our new friend Emilio Alpanseque of the Spanish Wushu Team. First he comments on the Cung Le controversy:
Also I want to certify that Cung Le didn't hit the Iranian's fighter on the nuts, because he didn't have any!!! I was there, front row, and Cung delivered a front kick to the lower abdomen and the iranian fell into the floor, screaming... Then he stood up and started to fight again. Then Cung gave him a good lowkick to the upper internal thigh and once again the iranian went to the floor screaming, but this time it was for good! You have to know that when you actually get hit there, there's no way you can scream or yelled like that guy did!!
Also, Emilio was kind enough to forward us the SanShou results. The country names are in Spanish, but hey, I think we can all figure it out (hey, gimme a break, I'm a busy guy!)
Rusia 3 0 1
China 2 2 0
Iran 2 1 1
Kazakhstan 2 0 1
Egipto 1 1 1
Vietnam 1 0 0
Rumania 0 2 1
Filipinas 0 1 2
Espaņa 0 1 1
Taiwan 0 1 1
Tadzikistan 0 1 0
Azerbayan 0 1 0
Italia 0 0 2
Corea 0 0 2
Portugal 0 0 2
Israel 0 0 1
Malasia 0 0 1
Inglaterra 0 0 1
Brasil 0 0 1
Holanda 0 0 1
Estados Unidos 0 0 1
India 0 0 1
Yes, you read correctly, that's Azerbaijian with a silver. I didn't totally erase them because I don't want to censor the facts, but let it be known that no Azerbaijiani SanShou athlete will get anything but scorn on this web page!

OK, aside from finals, I've been also working on the next Intercollegiate Wushu competition. I can't say that its 100% approved yet (our Martial Arts program here at UC Berkeley can be quite picky!) But since the date is coming up, I've started working on things such as reg forms and rules and stuff. The 'official' web site for the collegiate competition is located here. Check it out. More info will be announced as soon as it becomes available.

12/9/97 - OK, WWGames news is out! Here's what I got from our pal Luciano:

Hi Raffi and friends!!!!
Here Luciano from Argentina.
I finally put my World Wushu Championships page, with results and some b&w great photos! Take it a loock if you want, you can go from my home page at: http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/4267 or just go straight: http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/Spa/6631 it is still under construction, remain a lot of pictures and comments.
Well, I'm think the seal of dissaprobal for the wushu pages in the links section are quite right!!!
Ok, merry christmas to all of ya, bye.
And just in case you want things easy: click here to go to Luciano's page, or click here to go to the World Wushu Championships page.

As you may know, last weekend was WKF Nationals. I haven't gotten the news about the results, but I did get a severe chewing out by my dear friend Mae. Apparently certain people interpreted my news report about the US Team's performance in a different way than I meant it. This is would mostly be due to the way I wrote it of course. So don't be thinking Mae was like bad-mouthing people, OK?

For instance the quote 'Luis Diaz "didn't do too bad" in Nan Quan' wasn't meant to sound like "hey, he wasn't completely horrible," it was from me asking Mae on a transcontintental phone line "hey, how did Luis do in Nan Quan?", to which she replied something like , "I don't know, I didn't watch Nan Quan, I think he didn't do too bad" (as in he did pretty decently). OK? you guys see the difference? Its my fault for not correctly quoting Mae. I don't want all kinds of wushu people hating me because of this kind of stuff! (although I think Luis probably hates me already because of that crack I made about his glasses on the Pay-Per-View thing...)

Things are still in the works for collegiates, nothing is set in stone yet, but I am going to be setting up the homepage for it pretty soon. Check this space for more info soon.

12/2/97 - Jeez, its been like almost two weeks since I've updated this page, I apologize! Actually even worse than that, I don't have any new news yet! I've been pretty busy working on getting the next intercollegiate wushu competition to ever happen! Don't worry, looks like its going to happen, mark your calendars for President's Day weekend 1998. I'm also rushing to get a flyer ready for the Nationals (this coming weekend BY THE WAY). OK, I'll put up more as soon as possible, I'm still working on getting the complete results from the World Wushu Games.
11/19/97 - Sorry to leave you guys a whole week without more news! Anne and Mae are back, and you know what that means, don't you? Results! OK, as I'm sure you can tell by now, there aren't any results here... but don't worry, I'm going to get them soon (I hope). As soon as I do, I'll put them up here. But in the meanwhile if you're looking something to keep you occupied on the internet, check out my new photo-essay about our recent Great America Wushu Trip, where a bunch of us from my wushu class went to an amusement park. I'll admit that its not a really good substitute for wushu results... but hold on a few more days and you'll get them.

Something I did get from Mae since she's been back, was an official world wushu games T-shirt. First let me thank Mae (and Anne and Nathan if they were involved in its procurement too), but I do want to express my aesthetic repulsion to it the logo... quite freaky looking! (its on their website, click here if you want to see it). Still, since it is the WWGames T-shirt, I will wear it, no matter how freaky and big that guy's legs are.

Also Mae informed me that they did break the ties for the top places. So it wasn't an all out medal fest like Baltimore. Opps, but since this isn't like a real newspaper or anything, I can't be expected to be THAT correct all the time.

11/12/97 - OK, more news is in! Nathan is back in the US (school demands his presence, otherwise he'd be like Anne and Mae Hsu, out there enjoying their trip to Rome). First, I'd like to give the news about Cung Le, which I also heard from my new pal Ming Dong, a student of Cung's. Cung Le only got a bronze medal. I say only because apparently he was ripped off! He was fighting a guy from Iran - he won the first round, and was about to win the second round when he planted a kick that ended up on the guy's inner thigh. The guy claimed that it was a groin kick and he couldn't continue! So the judge DQ-ed Cung Le. Apparently a doctor even examined the guy, who apparently didn't have swollen 'nads' and did have a conspicuous bruise on his inner thigh. So because Cung Le was DQ-ed, this guy automatically advanced... into the gold-silver match. And did he fight well in this match? Well apparently he didn't fight at all, he just showed up, threw in the towel and walked away with the silver. What a crock! our good friend Mr. Cung Le has been ripped off! Apparently during the medal ceremony there was a good deal of boo-ing for this guy on the medal stand... a small retribution at best.

Also, Nathan was giving us some impressions of the competition, at least on the Men's side. Apparently for broadsword and changchuan, there were upwards of 70 competitors in one division! How the funk do you judge that many people in one division? [according to my instructor, Zhang Hong Mei, they should have divided people into groups depending on skill (say like top 20 people, middle 20, 20 who ain't all that... etc). I guess this is how they do it in China, except I guess that means you have to have two rounds, a prelim and a 'final'] But apparently there was only about 30 guys in straight sword (so if you're planning on competing at the next world championships, you can increase your chances significantly by doing straightsword).

Here's some more info that John Z. Wang put up in the guest book:

Rome results! I saw in a HK paper (in Chinese dated 8 Nov 97) some prelim results:
Country (# of gold medals/silvers/bronzes)
PR China (6/0/0)
Hong Kong (3/4/2)
S Korea (2/1/2)
Vietnam (1/3/4)
Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) (1/2/1)
Philippines (1/0/1)
Macau (0/2/0)
Japan (0/1/2)
Singapore (0/1/0)
Malaysia (0/1/1)
Holland (0/0/1)
Vietnam really suprised me with their # of medals - wow. And HK's so small - where'd they all come from?
In response to John's last comments:
Vietnam: That's the word on the street, they're pretty damn good. Nathan and Tri Nguyen took them shopping in Rome, and apparently they're pretty nice people too (of course, everyone in wushu is a pretty nice person, right?)

Hong Kong: Word is that all their people are wushu athletes from the mainland who got to Hong Kong one way or another. Back in the day, it was called 'defecting', nowadays, I don't know what its called. Just as an example, one real famous Nan Quan champ from Guangzhou apparently swam to Hong Kong and was never seen again (because he is hiding or because he drown? -- You decide!)

And the question you've been dying to know the answer to: Lucciano, how good is he? This is the crux of wushu web pages -- as the creator of this page, I pretty much could say anything I wanted to about my wushu ability, and there would be no way of knowing if I was full of it short of seeing me in person or knowing someone who knows me. Well, I'll dispell all the myths surround me, and say straight up: I'm not very good :(
BUT, for someone like Lucciano, our wushu web friend from Argentina, we had no way of knowing (I don't know many Argentinians, do you?) well, finally, we have verification! Nathan reports: He's pretty good, pretty clean. -- Did he get a gold in chang chuan? no, I think his idol Yen Wen Qing probably beat him out for that one, but thats OK, finally we have answered the Lucciano question. (note: Lucciano doesn't proport himself to be any kind of super wushu person on his page, we were just dying to know anyhow).

11/7/97 - 2:00 pm PST
Hey, just minutes ago, I got a call at work from Mae Hsu, direct from the World Championships in Rome. I furiously wrote down details as she relayed them, so that this account will be as accurate as possible. Upon hanging up I ran the three blocks from my office back home to broadcast the info the WWW. Unfortunately, the news is not good as we'd hoped, but nothing we shouldn't have expected.

Firstly, let me say that according to Mae, the whole organization of the whole thing REALLY blows! The events are disorganized, the accomodations suck, etc etc. Mae was telling me that they had three people in one tiny hotel room, and that they needed to take a 1/2 bus ride just to get to the gymnasium. Beyond that, the food sucks, the meals are apparently served like 8 hours apart... not good for an athlete participating in a big time sports event. But apparently the accomodations for the judges are even worse than the athletes'. Mae mentioned something about the judges going on strike because they were upset, but I don't know the details, so I won't comment further at the moment.

But I'm sure you're much more interested in the results. Apparently the results are similar to last World Wushu Games', ie: LOTS of ties. Mae related to me the fact that there were like 2 and 3-way ties for each of the top five places in some categories. Furhtermore, the judges appear as biased as ever, rating certian people WAY higher than they should be. But I suppose thats to be expected?

Mae was hesistant to go into to too much detail about the results. Apparently no one on the US Team had done that great (all the forms competition is over now). Clara Shen managed to get 7th place in woman's straightsword and Tri Nguyen placed fifth in men's straightsword (tied with two other people, and behind about 10 people tied for 1-4). Apparently both Anita Lopez and Clara Shen have been sick, so there performances have been effected by this. But despite that fact, Clara also managed to secure 7th in staff after the top contenders from Japan and Hong Kong fell or made other major errors.

The US Team was not without its mishaps either. Nathan Tong broke his staff, and Mae caught her spear butt on her sash as she was completing her spear routine, but she still managed to place 12th despite this. Luis Diaz "didn't do too bad" in Nan Quan, and apparently Sherng Lee Huang did somewhat decently in Broadsword (although I don't know the places on these).

So did anyone do well? Well apparently our good friend Chan Dae Park of the S. Korean Team scored first place in men's broadsword. The shining star for the US Team appears to be none other than Cung Le! He has easily advanced through his first two matches with quick victories (throwing the guy out the ring three times to end the match, etc). And he has also apparently gotten the opportunity to demonstrate his infamous suplex! The final rounds aren't til tomorrow, so lets all keep our fingers crossed for Cung Le.

Mae wanted me to know that despite the lack of medal success, and all the problems the tournament has been facing, they were all having a really good time, and the level of the competition was really high. She particularly mentioned the Vietnamese, as well as the Macao team and of course the China team.

Thats all the news for now. The next update will be coming home with Nathan on Monday, hopefully I can get more complete scores and what not from him. There also apparently is a video tape, so hopefully we can see first hand what went down.

11/1/97 - The team is away, all we can do now is cross our fingers and wish them luck. But don't fret, I should be hearing from them in 3 or 4 days with results! I cut a deal with my dear friend Mae Hsu I'm doing her TeleBears(our UC Berkeley telephone registration) for her while she's in Italy, and she's going to call me from Rome w/ some results (something about raising $1200 was mentioned in there too) ;)

But while we're waiting, I thought I'd list some results of the very important 8th All-China games that just went down in Shanghai. Actually, these aren't complete results, rather just the Beijing Teams' results (but does anyone else matter?) Anyhow, here it is, as reported by my Amigo and BJ Team confidant, Patrick Lee:

Liu Qing Hua cleaned house, getting 1st in Chuang Chuan an 1st for combined spear/straight sword.

Han Jing placed 3rd for combined spear/straight sword
(New Beijing Team member)

Li Jing placed 5th for combined spear/straight sword
(Li Jing got 4th for straight sword, 5th for spear)

Zhou Zher placed 1st for combined broadsword/staff
(New Beijing Team member, also going to World's in Italy)

Yes, Jiang Bang Jun placed 2nd in Chang Chuan to Ren Wen Qing. :(

Li Jing and Li Ying placed 7th for their sparring set.

Kong Xiang Dong placed 2nd in Tai Qi Quan.

Shang Yu placed 4th in Nan Quan.

He Jing De placed 6th in Broadsword/Staff.

Qui Dong Xing placed 8th in Broadsword/Staff.

Ka Li (and ??)'s sparring set placed 8th for their sparring set.

Also, they are also going to Hong Kong sometime in the near future. And, even better, they *MIGHT* be coming to the US again.

10/31/97 - Happy Halloween Everybody
We'll, they're packin' off tomorrow morning to go to Rome, are you as excited as I am? Last nights' practice was pretty awesome, my local three US Team members were kickin' some ASS! They're going to tear through the rest of the world's wushu athletes in Rome! Competition starts on Tuesday, and you know Raffi's Wushu Page is getting the exclusive scoop on this! I plan on being the first web person to put up the results, so check back OFTEN! (email me if you want me to email you when I get the results up!). Lets all wish all of the US Team good luck!

Last night we presented Anne, Mae and Nathan with the money we've collected so far in our wushu fundraiser. I am proud to say that we gave them a total of $813! (And mind you, there's about another ~450 that we haven't even collected yet) It think its a great achievement that we collected this money, and it really says something about the generousity of the wushu community! Even though some of are starving students (like me), newly graduated wushu people, we all dug deep and turned a small scale fund raiser into a big time success!

I especially want to thank our friend Ho Young Pak, of the National Martial Arts Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico for his help. He was an old friend of Anne and Mae's from back in the day, and when he found out that we were running this fundraiser, he didn't hesitate to contribute. I'd put up his logo and web page, but I don't think he has a web page, and therefore I can't steal his logo.gif from there. I'll see what I can do and try to add it in right here:(if you see a picture right here, its because I went back and stuck one in after I typed this).

Despite the fact that the team members are leavin' tomorrow morn, we haven't quite shut down the fundraiser just yet! We've been promised approximately $1200, but that just makes a dent in the estimated $3000 costs of the three athletes! Therefore I'm still accepting contributions, which will be given to the athletes upon their return, to try and refresh their dwindelled bank accounts.

10/29/97 Its only 3 more days til our US Team members leave us for Rome, but our fundraising efforts are just kicking into high gear! We've collected in excess of $600 as of today, with several hundred more still coming! Who would have thought that a little ol' fundraiser amongst wushu pals could be this successful! (To think, that originally I was thinking that like $200 would be a good goal!) A large part of thanks goes to our one and only business sponsor (to date), ! Since they are a company, I feel they are entitled to a little bit of 'free' advertising for their help. The rest of us individuals did it just out of kindness ;)

Don't fret though, After the fundraising is complete, I will put up a donor list to thank all of those who chipped in (any amount is appreciated, even Sherpa's $3).

10/24/97 Anticipation is running high for the upcoming world wushu games in Rome. I was surfin' around and I came across what I think is the 'official' web site of the games. It is not very impressive, except for their cool logo. You can check out the page at Artimarziali.it. But it seems to be all in Italian. :(

Anyhow, we're still collecting money to fund the US Wushu Team for said World Games. We had a potluck after our practice at the Pacific Wushu Academy last night for our three classmates Anne, Mae and Nathan. It was quite fun, and I'm proud to have these 3 guys representing our country in Wushu... too bad they're paying so much of their own money! (hey, you can still chip in, check out the Wushu Fundraiser Page).

10/20/97 Its less than two weeks til the world Wushu games start, but we're still running our fundraiser, its not too late to pledge money to help offset our US team's travel expenses.

While you're at it. Feel free to call the WKF headquarters, ask to speak to Anthony Goh himself, and complain about how the WKF is stiffing their own athletes! (don't you wonder where that $25 every two years goes?) I am urging everyone to call (410)444-6666 to complain to the boss himself! (Mr. Goh, if you're reading this, feel free to email me your side of the story, since I'm a fair minded guy).

The second annual collegiate wushu championships are still in the planning stages, we'll be putting out the info as soon as it concrete.

10/15/97 If you did't notice, check out the fundraiser we're running to help raise money to send 3 of the west coast members of the US wushu team to the world championships in Rome. Also, don't forget to check out my newly updated Beijing Wushu Team Picture Page, its awesome!

Despite my excoriating article, it seems like the people at TC media are doing something right, they are donating uniforms and shoes to the US Wushu Team for the World championships. I wanted to bring this fact to everyone's attention, wish more companies were this responsible (if only their magazines were better).

And lastly, if you're as fumed about the WKF's bad handling of the US Team, I encourage you to write to them at their email address: WKF. EXCEPT this email address apparently is just the email address of some dude at Towson U, not really at WKF headquarters or anything, AND it doesn't apparently work... so in otherwords, they don't really want you to email them... But you can at least check out their partially completed Web Page.

10/3/97 Firstly, the moment you have all been waiting for, my cover-to-cover review of the nightmare that is the Oct/Nov Issue of Wushu Kung Fu

Secondly, on a more positive note, the World Wushu Games are coming up, I just found out that our friends at the IWuF - The International Wushu Federation (why is that 'U' in there anyway?), have a nice little intro in their IWUF News webpage, click to check it out.

Thirdly, this past weekend, almost my entire wushu class at the Pacific Wushu Academy went to Great America, an amusement park in San Jose, and guess who else happened to be there? None other than the elusive Ace Wong, who managed to kick all of our butts at Laser Tag! Pictures are forthcoming, so stay tuned.

9/27/97 I got some feedback about my previous entry (the one right below this!) One of my sources (who will remain namless), wanted me to point out the fact that not only is the WKF not paying for the plane ticket, the athletes also have to pay their own way all the other expenses on this entire endevour (hotel, food, local transportation, etc etc). So in reality its going to be costing each of our athletes like at least $1000 each for this trip (the aforementioned honor of representing the WKF in world competition).

Also in wushu news, the latest issue of Wushu-Kung Fu, the TC Media DTP nightmare (please assasinate the guy who does the graphics for this MAG!) There was an article about women wushu athletes, featured in it were my good friend Anne Hsu and my dear friend Mae Hsu, both of whom are on the US Team competing at the World Wushu Games in Italy in Nov. Anyway, from what I understand, this article has numerous factual errors that can only be blamed on bad journalism. As I have not personally seen the article yet, I will not comment further. I plan on buying it and reading it in detail, then coming here to the wushu notes page and throughly trashing it. So check back here soon!

9/24/97 As you may or may not know, it has recently been revealed that the WKF, the governing body of wushu in America (who's name should be changed to "We Kan't Fundraise") will not be able to provide transportation or even subsidize transportation for the US Wushu Team to travel to the upcoming world championships!

"But wait a second Raffi, didn't the WKF put up like $3 million bucks for the last World Wushu Games? Can't they afford 8 or 9 measily plane tickets to Italy?"

Well, one would think that they could, but apparently they are too lame to...

"Isn't it kind of unfair to expect the athlete to pay their own way in order to represent the illustrious USAWKF at the world championships?"

Why yes, yes it is unfair. You would think with the two years between world championships, they'd have saved up a little bit of cash. (unless they spent it all on the Pan American Wushu Games. But I sincerely hope not.

"Hey, speaking of fundraising, didn't the WKF region 8 have a totally expensive banquet last week? I thought it was like full, where'd all the money go?"

My sources tell me that despite the fact that they charged $25 a head, and despite the fact that they had a full room (at least 100-200 people), somehow they managed to lose money! (something about a table full of flag wavers that may or may not have paid, as well as perhaps general monetary incompetance).

"Is there anything WE as concerned wushu people can do to help?"

I'm sure Mae, Anne and Nathan would be willing to accept charitable donations. If anyone wants to donate money on their behalf, feel free to email me and we can arrange something.

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