Anyway, back to wushu! OK, well I personally have been way out of it for the past few weeks because of a heinous shoulder injury (don't ever let someone stomach throw you on your bad shoulder, it only makes it worse!) So I've been trying to take it easy, but life hasn't given me the chance.
Hey, don't forget that June 20 and 21 is the Lily Lau Tournament in SF. Click here to check out their web site. Are you going? All of the students from the Pacific Wushu Academy are planning on going and supporting Lily Lau. Don't forget that the Pan-Am games are up in Toronto the week after that. (Hey, you can still go, even if you're not on the National team for your respective Pan-American country!)
And what about Nationals? August 5th-9th, in wonderful Towson, MD (thats sarcasm, by the way, as a Maryland native I have the right). Looks like a lot of West Coasters will be there. As of now I'm planning on being there, so you know we'll have the full expose up here by August 10th. I would give you a link to the web address for the tournament, (there actually is one, sort of), but its so lame I'm not going to bother, they don't have any useful information like reg forms or order of events at all (but they do give a nice history of Baltimore County). OK, enough WKF bagging! Later!
Hope you guys enjoy it, sign the guestbook or email me with your comments!
In the meanwhile, check out this link to see a video (in Real Video format) of the Beijing Team's performance at Arnold Schwartzenegger's Martial Arts festival (thanks to Lisa for finding this). Click here to see this and other video clips from the festival.
Mind you that these are rather unscientific surveys. Many people have visted the guestbook several times and given different answers each time, but this illustrates what choices people are making...
As expected, lots of Chang Quan practioners, lots of "I like them All" responses to "What is your favorite feature." I take this as a sign of positive feedback, plus no one chose "I didn't like anything."
That evening Patrick, myself and Li Jing went to see the epic Titanic, which was the first time Li Jing watched an American movie in the theater. I actually made it the whole movie without having to pee this time. Let me tell you that the universality of love stories and sinking ships crosses all language barriers.
Most of monday was spent taking care of other non-wushu business in LA (yes, we do things besides for wushu!) I took my car (see photo at right) to a shop to get its engine rebuilt (If you ever need any VW work, I strongly recommend Bela's Foreign Auto Repair in Burbank, CA). Then we went back down and watched yet more wushu and were assigned the important task of 'ice cream run.' (Its the tax one must pay!)
Tuesday we watched yet more wushu and hit the KFC before heading back up
to SF. One important thing coming up that I found out more info about is
the April 4th performance in Culver City (call 1-800-850-NWTC for
tickets). There are rumors (which I can't confirm or deny) that Jet Li
will be there, as will many other mega-stars (names floating around
include Sinbad, Quincy Jones, Shannon Lee and even (maybe) Denzel
Washington). Of course those are just rumors, so don't sue me if all you
get to see is David Carradine or some other non-mega-star.(by the way,
I just picked his name at random, I haven't heard any rumors about him
Also in important Beijing Wushu Team news: The latest issue of Wushu Kungfu Qigong by TC Media is out. And for once, it actually looks like its pretty good! This issue is a 'Beijing Wushu Team Special Issue'... they have articles on Jet Li, Li Jen Hung, Li Jun Feng, Zhang Hong Mei, Hao Zhi Hua and the current Beijing Team. I flipped through an advanced copy briefly and the best thing about this issue is the classic 'old school' photos of the Beijing Team from the 70's and 80's!
I'll put more info up when I get a chance!
I got my hands on an article about Wu Bin (Beijing Team Head and coach of Jet Li back in the day) that supposedly was written for a Chinese Wushu magazine by non-other than Jet Li himself. Check it out here. I stuck a couple of Wu Bin photos in there too as a bonus.
I also have added yet another innovative exclusive feature to this site (as if Animated Wushu and The Men of Sanshou aren't enough?). The Wushu Instructors Directory - a (hopefully eventually) comprehensive listing of 'real deal' wushu instructors throughout the country, and eventually the world (outside of China of course). Email Me if you have more info for me to add (is your instructor in there?). I'm trying to screen out the wushu frauds and what not, but I'm not endorsing any of these teachers, mind you.
I also decided to animate another one of the ACTION CAM shots that was on my Action Cam Page, this one is the famous Eric vs. Erick match.
In additional news: Jet Li was sighted at the National Wushu Training Center two days ago. Unfortunately he disappeared before our inside agent could obtain any autographs! (He better show up at that Culver City performance or I'm going to be really upset).
Also the USAWKF has yet again revamped their website. This time it is actually MORE complete than before, but yet again, it is presented to us far from complete. I don't know whats up with the people designing their page (I hope they're not paying them very much), you'd think they'd be aware of a basic tenet of web site design - don't put it up til its ready! (especially for a commercial website, its almost a law) I'm wondering if those guys read this page. They've never signed my guestbook... perhaps they were unhappy with my past criticisms (like claiming their name actually stands for ""We Kan't Fundraise""). But hey, El Presidente For Life, Anthony Goh now has an email address, email him at email@example.com, feel free to ask him if had to pay HIS own way to Rome in '97.
I'm off to LA now though, another trip down to visit the Beijing Team. I'll snap some photos and stick some up ASAP. I'll be back on Wednesday, so don't worry, updates soon!
Also, I'm headed down to LA this weekend, part of the reason is to get my car fixed, the other reason is to (you guessed it!) visit the Beijing Team! I just can't get enough of 'em!
One thing that I would like to expand on is the state of Wushu Web sites. Someone mentioned that there is only a 'one-sided' discussion of wushu on these pages... some have even called it cliquish. It is true that Erick Louie, Eric Yeh, myself and UofO's Luke Harrington are good friends, but we do not selectively report any info. This page is a resource for wushu pictures, news and results, as well as personal outlet for opinions and observations. Adding a guestbook has allowed people (like our friend The Naked Killer to critique what they see, which I welcome.
Erick Louie has even put up some submitted articles from other people (unfortunately none of my friends are literate enough to submit articles I think). But a point to note is that we are not newspapers or TV stations, we do not have to remain 'objective' for journalistic integrity. It is a strong possibilty that the events that I report are likely to be one-sided (because I am only one person!)
Please enjoy these pages for entertainment purposes, don't get too angry. I try to leave politics at the door, I don't have vendettas against people, I don't tell people not to go to tournaments (that would be a sickness). I don't sell pirated wushu videos. Sometimes people disagree with my opinions (sorry Luis Diaz!) but if you don't like it, start a new web page!
I will say that I get several email messages a week from people around the world expressing their appreciation for this web page, its comments like that that keep me interested in expanding and updating. (Mucho Gracias to all my amigos in Sudo y Latin America!)
On a more positive note, I have been slowly updating stuff! I just added a shockwave flash animation between the top page and the wushu page. Look for more Shockwave animations coming soon (it is a pretty cool plug-in). Click here to download the plug-in.
And I wanted to also let everyone know the details about the Beijing Team's S.Cal performance. Its going to be at 8pm, April 4th, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Culver City California. For more info and tickets, call 1-800-850-NWTC. See you there?
But they are considering returning next year and definitely want to do one up here. (Wu Bin, the team leader, specifically wanted to perform at Berkeley because their performance was so well recieved in '95).
Wushu rocks Middle America! - On a brighter note: 6 of the athletes went to Ohio for the Arnold Schwartzenegger martial arts tournament. They competed in the group competition and won first place. The prize was $10,000! Reportedly, Arnold asked them to perform at the tournament demo show, which was sold out with 4,000 spectators, and they got a standing ovation after the performance! They are going to come back for next years tournament because they're raising the prize to $20,000.
The athletes who performed were He Jing De, Qiu Dong Xing, Shang Yu, Wu Jing, Jian Zhen Jiao and Han Jing. The five male athletes totally rocked the house with a five man sparring set (which Patrick reports is absolutely kick ass). Han Jing also really wowed them with her whip chain performance. I am looking to find a video of this competition, if anyone was there, let me know!
By the way, the photo is of Eric Yeh, He Jing De, Raffi, Patrick Lee and Jiang Bong Jun hanging out at a minigolf course in Souther California.
On a 'local' note, we had a somewhat note worthy visitor here last week. None other than Bruce Fontaine signed the guest book (or an imposter claiming to be Mr. Fontaine, we can't know for sure!) Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Mr. Fontaine was one of the main mercenary bad guys in Jackie Chan's Operation Condor
Also we've gotten some more news from our good friend Dan 'HK' Wu, the Fashion Supermodel/Wushu Stud/Founder of the Oregon Wushu Team. He'll be returning to the good ol' USA by June or so. Get your autograph books ready.
Yes, the Intercollegiate Wushu Tournament is OVER! We didn't have as many competitors as we'd hoped, but we had a great turn out for the Beijing Wushu Team demo and the competition was pretty good too! As soon as I get a chance, I'll type up the results and add them to the Intercollegiate Wushu Championships page here.
In addition to having the Beijing Team demoing (tentatively scheduled for 2 pm), we will also be having some terrific competition. U of O is sending seven athletes, UCLA is sending 6 or 7, we have 2 from Arizona State, at least one from Stanford, and a bunch from Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo. So if you can make it, you should! not only is the competition between us collegians going to be great, but you get a preview of the Beijing Team too!
2/5/98 - Here's some hot-off-the-presses Wushu news from our Spanish friend Emilio Alpanseque:
Hi Raffi, I just found something you should post on your news page so everyone can know: NEW COMPULSARY ROUTINES!!! The IWUF Technical Committee will meet and make the necessary preparation for the seven new taolu routines. The original seven taolu routines have been in existance for over ten years now and were originally designed for the Asian Games.Under the guidance of the technical committee the wushu experts will develop for the IWUF, seven new routines. Nandao - Nangun & Taijijian, these will form part of the competition format as well. The seven new Taolu routines will be demonstrated in the Exhibition Events during the 5th World Wushu Championships 1999, and will then be accepted at the 6th World Wushu Championships 2001, as competition events. This is very important, everybody should get ready to learn new routines in the future..... seeya! EmilioSo from the looks of it, thats a new Southern Saber, Southern Staff and Taiji Sword compulsory... what are the other ones? More info when I get!
A few items to note: Looks like the Jiangsu team is postponing their visit to the Bay Area. Which means they won't be able to demo! :( Thats OK, though. The Beijing Wushu Team is going to be in the US by the date of the tournament and they had expressed interest in coming to do a demonstration to promote a performance in the Bay Area which will probably be in April. If this becomes 100%, I'll let you all know.
Also me and my good friend Brandon Sugiyama went to the Cal Wushu club to pass out registration forms, Looks like they've got enough people field about 4 or 5 teams (or at least 4 or 5 teams worth of competitors). So all you other schools better come in force!
Also I discussed some of the taichi divisions with Liu Yu, and she wanted to know the timing and scoring for tai chi. We decided to use international rules for tai chi competition. As I am not a tai chi expert, I am leaving it up to the head judge for the tai chi rings, so if you have any questions, you can discuss it with them on the day of the tournament.
In addition to that, we also decided to add Tai Chi Weapons as a new division. This allows competitors to do a yang form, a combined form and a tai chi weapons form.
I will continue with updates as time allows!
I'll also add some update about the intercollegiate tournament! We are a definite for the Jiangsu team! (as definite as one can be, nothing is 100%). They are going to demo! They are performing in SF at the Palace of Fine Arts on Feb. 20 and 22, so they offered to come and demo at our tournament on the 21st! (did I mention that admission is free for spectators at the tournament?) Obviously this demo is a teaser to get you to go to the full shows, but heck, I want to see as much as I can!
Looks like we'll also be having some good tai chi competition! Liu Yu is planning on bringing some of her students who are Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students/faculty/staff. Coach Eric Chen is sending some of his students (UCLA, if not other schools). We have some Cal State students planning on coming, some Stanford guys (tai chi too hopefully), as well as our good friends from Oregon, of course.
So where is your reg form? The deadline for 'pre-reg' price is January 30th! We'll be lenient if you're a few days late, but you better hurry! If you need a reg form, email me.
I'll update you further as the date approaches, but this definitely looks like its going to be the wushu tournament of the year! (Don't get me started on the April UCB regular tournament!)
Responses have been positive, we're hoping on getting at least the same teams as last year, plus even more individual competitors from many more schools. Check back for more updates as they become available! (and don't forget to tell your friends!)