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!

2/06/99 - Wow, well one pretty good excuse for not updating since last week is the fact that I've been practicing SIX times a week (in addition to my 3 days a week in the weight room). Also I've been working hard on preparing The SherpaMobile 2000 for the ride down to Irvine for collegiates, ONE week from today!

Yes, I just picked up two more headrests out of some mid-seventies VW bus in the junkyard to put in the rear seat of my '67 VW Microbus so that my passengers needn't worry about whiplash on the way down I-5! Other bonuses include a used generator belt in case mine breaks along the way! (I didn't want to make a special trip to the VW parts place, so I just grabbed one off of some old dead beetle). In case you're wondering what the The SherpaMobile 2000 looks like, to the right is a picture of a similar year and somewhat similar conditioned VW microbus (don't ask me what that car is doing upside down next to it). And just in case you don't know, here is a picture of the SherpaMobile 2000's namesake.

Now as far as collegiates go! OK, I've been informed that CSULB isn't going to be fielding a team this year, lets hope they can make it next year. Also I want to clearly state, Elan's last name is HOM not HOLM, I somehow confused him with motion picture star John Holmes and mistyped his name.

After a bit of shuffling due to injuries, Cal's TWO teams seem to be finalized, I'm going to keep the exact line ups a secret, but let me just share a little with you. In keeping with our school's colors, we decided to name the teams "Blue" and "Gold" and while our exact base of operations will remain a secret, it will most likely be on of Orange County's Motel 6's, and NOT the Holiday Inn Select... (hey, we go to public school).

Other things coming up on the horizon include the 1999 UC Berkeley Wushu Championship (aka WKF Western Regionals, aka Wushu-Kungfu Championship, aka Chinese Martial Arts Championship) on April 10th. This should be fun and its nice and close! Unfortunately last year my streak of competing in every single Berkeley Wushu tournament since the first one in 1993 was broken, but I'm determined to start another one!

BUT the big thing to check out is the BEIJING WUSHU TEAM PERFORMANCE at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall on MARCH 14th! Tickets are on sale now! Jet Li won't be able to make it due to his busy film schedule on "Romeo Must Die," but if we're lucky, it looks like superstar Daniel Wu might make an appearance! (keep your fingers crossed!) Get all the info at the official web site, at http://www.wushu.net/beijing
(don't ask my why those mountains are there!) ;)

I guarantee it will be a show NOT worth missing!

1/26/99 - Sorry for being so delinquent during this exciting time of year... Collegiates! (a little thing called school started last week!) I've got a couple things to announce, first of all, be sure to check out my new feature, Raffi's Random Photo. What is it? A random photo, not necessarily of people doing wushu or even wushu related. Just a fun thing to throw on there... I hope to update it once every few weeks at the least.

Also as Collegiates Fever sweeps the nation, I wanted to be the first to help announce that "Cal State Fullerton is in the HOUSE!" (or "da HoUsE!" if you want to get hip). They will be at Irvine in force and wanted to debut their new logo! What do you think? Thanks to Jessie Castro for sharing it w/ the Wu Lin here.

Oh, also wanted to give you a top secret report from one of our top field agents who was doing some spying last week down on the Stanford Campus(actually its just me, I've visited a few of the Stanford Wushu Club's practices): Stanford is on the map! They're going from a defunct club to a legit force in just 3 months! Word is they're going to have a team competing as well as almost a team's worth of individuals. Pretty good for a club that is 75% composed of people who have done wushu for 3 months! But they are lucky to have a few experienced wushu competitors going to school there to give them a well rounded team. (A signs indicate that wushu matriarch Natalie Lu will NOT be coming out of retirement to represent her school though) :(

So far looks like the field will be this (in no particular order):
1) Cal (TWO TEAMS)
2) Oregon
4) Stanford
5) Cal State Fullerton
6) Cal State Long Beach (???)
7) UC Irvine
Yes, thats right, two cal teams, this time there will be no "Golden Bear/Cal Wushu Club division, the two teams will be unified under the leadership of former Beijing Team member Li Jing. Li Lao Shi is the new instructor at Cal Wushu (Bryant Fong is also still an instructor, but only 1/3 of the classes). As a matter of fact tomorrow is Cal Wushu's first meeting of the semester where we will be demonstrating our competition forms for Li Jing so she can choose the two competition teams. Wish me luck! I'm looking forward to the opportunity to compete a third time as a Cal student (I ain't going ANYWHERE baby! I'll delay getting my PhD just to stay eligible!) Despite my personal bias, I definitely think Cal Wushu will be the team(s) to beat (especially since The Golden Bears won last year!) between US Team members Nathan Tong and Mae Hsu, remaining first places will be scarce! And thats not even getting to the rest of the team. Watch out for Elan Holm, David Chang, Inyork, Jimmy Tsai (and me), to name a few.

One big question mark is CSULB. Who's on the team and are they even coming? If Jason shows up there could be some real battles in the Advanced divisions... who else is on their team even? Oregon looks to do well with seasoned competitors Mark Tamimi and Peter Wolf in the intermediate divisions. UCLA? Another question mark, who from last year's team will return? One thing to be sure of, the iron man Rob Peckham is sure to land a gold or two if he tries 7 divisions again this year! CSUF has Phillip Chen, who will most likely do very well in Nan Quan... This is getting interesting!

1/16/99 - oh man! so in case you didn't notice, this entire site got erased (AGAIN!) by villianous hackers! This time they got the whole ISP! I had a backup, but unfortunately it is a bit out of date (dammit!) So a lot of my newer stuff wasn't backed up. Luckily through my ingenuity and a little help from my friends, I was able to recover some of the articles (Thank you Takayo!!!)

Did you read the little blurb on the front page about checking your hard drive cache for any files? Please check it out and let me know if you have anything, ok? I've recovered a lot of stuff, but a couple important things are still missing! Hopefully I'll get most of it back ASAP.

Well in lieu of me recovering my Wushu News for the past two months, here's a quick review: hmm, November we had news that Wushu in the Olympics is still a real possibility, the IWF has applied for Wushu to be included in consideration for future olympics. December I had complete Asian Games results, hopefully I can get them again. The important news is the fact that Team Trials are going to be held on May 1st in Houston, Texas. See you there? (actually no, cause I ain't going!)

January started off with a bang, at a new years party in San Francisco I got the opportunity to meet none other than Robin "Liu Kang" Shou of Mortal Kombat fame. As I was busting a move on the dance floor as we counted down the seconds to 1999, I saw this really familiar looking guy standing off to the side... later on in the evening they announced "Robin Shou is in the house..." I suddenly realized who it was! Anyhow, I went up and introduced myself and told Robin to check out the site (should have had my camera to add it to my "Famous Wushu People Pictures" page).

So where are we now? collegiates baby!

10/5/98 - A quick note: our good friends at the Southern California Wushu Association are back on the web! Check it out by clicking HERE. Don't forget to try out the new poll of the week question.

Also I watched the second episode of Martial Law this weekend, what did you guys think? I think it was better than the first episode, martial arts and story wise, but something has to be done to fix Kelly Hu's trashy clothes... give me ONE respectable outfit which shows her beauty without flashing excessive amounts of skin and headlights.

10/3/98 - Happy Mid Autumn Festival everyone! Just wanted to drop this note to let everyone know about the success of the Stanford Wushu Club's first workout last night. They had a great turnout for their first workout, at my estimation over 30 new students! If even a quarter of those guys will stick with it through the quarter I think Stanford's wushu program will definitely be "on the map" from here on out.
10/2/98 - I just finally got around to watching my tape of last week's premiere of "Martial Law." The verdict: not that bad. Again, like with Jackie Chan or Jet Li's movies, I'm glad to see another HK Super Star (this time Sammo Hung) make it in American, and I'm want to support their endeavors, but I will not hesitate to point out things that I didn't like.

The martial arts was pretty decent, especially for American TV. Definitely more martial arts then your regular cop drama, even "Walker, Texas Ranger." Hopefully this help expose mainstream America to some real wushu.... BUT I had a few other points I wanted to bring up, most of which were brought up in the guestbook entry on Erick Louie's page by Peter from UCI, but I wanted to expound:

1) "Racist Guy" - This part really irked me... so for those of you who haven't seen it, there's one really racist cop who out of the blue goes up to Sammo and makes a racist rant that even includes the word "Dog Eating" As you'd expect Sammo whoops on the guy, but thats not my point. My point is that all his fellow cops did was to tell the racist guy to go away... no apologies to Sammo for the hate crime just committed by their fellow officer, no reporting the incident to the chief or internal affairs and getting the racist SOB fired. I think an apology would have been the least to expect... but what they showed on the screen in Martial Law is more or less that you can say any racial slurs you want, just be prepared to be beaten with an eraser if you happen to have said them to Sammo Hung.

2) The "Ching-Chong" Music - thats for lack of a better term. But you know exactly what I'm talking about... the same type of music you saw in Rush Hour... a conviently placed gong or other stereotype of appropriate "Oriental" Music. Things like this only reinforce people's misperceptions that that type of music even approximates actual Chinese music. In today's day and age can't we expect more?

3) Skanky looking Asian woman - The only asian female character in the show made her "debut" (as well as her shot in the openning credits) in a bikini, and in the rest of the show she's running around in some tight little number (I think the only reason she wasn't wearing some slinky dress was because she needed to kick in the final fight scene). Obviously Kelly Hu is an attractive woman, but couldn't she be presented with a little class? Not as some Asian sex-pot bimbo? Things like THIS only further perpetuate stereotypes of Asian women in Americans' minds.

OK, enough of this ranting! I gotta get ready, we're going down to Stanford for their first wushu club practice of the year. See you there?

9/29/98 - Hey, did you notice the banner ad up there on the main page? Its my attempt at promoting the new SOUTH BAY AREA Wushu class starting up this friday October 2nd. (I like to call it the new Wushu Alternative). Eric and I are going to head down there this friday to show our support to the class and its instructors (who happen to be my wushu instructors).

In other news, hmm, the guestbook discussion seems to have cooled off. I appreciate the viewpoints of everyone who decided to chime in. Except for that guy "ASIAN GANGSTA-VN-MAFIA" (also known as Mr. Caps Lock), I can't say I cared for the ignorant yet violent tone. I much more appreciated the criticism of "John Doe," who was quite reasonable and polite. Keep your comments coming in! This page thrives on controversy and debate.

[Bruce Lee taught me this himself]
Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky weren't the only ones trading blows in Washington D.C.
[Brandon, before the men in white coats came and took him to the
psychiatric ward]
"Mommy, what is the strange man doing?"
9/23/98 - Not too much international wushu news since Lisa scored us the results of China's Asian Games Team tryouts (see below). But I recently finished the roll of film that was in my camera since the day after WKF Nationals back in August, here are two highlights that I thought I'd share with the internet.

Thats me teaching Brandon a lesson on the Mall, and thats Brandon making a public spectacle of his 8-diagram self in front of the Capitol. For more pics, be sure to check out Erick Louie's Wushu Romp in DC page.

Also I want to take this opportunity to let everyone know that the next Intercollegiate Wushu Championships are now scheduled for February 13th, 1999 hosted by the University of California at Irvine. Be sure to check out their official web site. It should be pretty awesome though. Like last year's, it is planned to have the Beijing Wushu Team demo and judge. There are some rule changes, implemented by the UCI people to help facilitate the participation of more teams, so be sure to check it out on their site. At this EARLY date, it looks pretty good to have several more teams participating. As you may know, the first two years only had teams from UC Berkeley, UCLA and University of Oregon participating. This coming year, in addition to UCI, hopefully the wushu clubs of Stanford University, Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Long Beach will be sending teams.

Wait, did that say Stanford? But isn't the Stanford Wushu Club defunct? Well if all goes well, the club will be revived this year. My good friend Allison Okamura and classmate Steven Kam have been working to recreate the Stanford club. Pacific Wushu Academy Instructors Phillip Wong and Zhang Hong Mei will be teaching. I'm glad I could help out in this effort, if even just a little, and lets wish them success (as much as I have against Stanfurd, more wushu is good for everyone!) This will also create a wushu class in the South Bay, something which doesn't really exist at the present (and no, I don't consider Sifu Meng to be wushu). Check out the Instructors Directory for the latest class info.

Hmm, anything else exciting going on? At this point I'm just trying to add more text so there's not a huge blank space where the text stops and the pictures keep going on the right. Don't forget to vote in the poll of the week. This week's question is about picking your favorite stance. I have gotten at least one inquiry as to what exactly the "flute riding stance" looks like. Well if you really want to know.......

9/21/98 - Check out the results of the Asian Games tryouts on the Beijing Team Results Page. Thanks go out to Lisa for the hook up! Also did you check out my review of Jackie Chan's lastest flick? check out this link to look at it. And don't forget to vote in our latest poll of the week while you're here.
9/11/98 - In addition to a new poll, be sure to check out the latest article in our Jet Li section, Fists of Legend and Fury. I want to thank the author Glenn Omatsu for giving me permission to reprint it here. Sorry its taken me so long to put it, I've been busy lately w/ school and all.

But I have recently finished my roll of film from the post Nationals tourist stuff that Brandon Tai Qi Pimp Daddy Sugiyama, Erick Golden Boy Louie and Felicia I need a good nickname Sze and I did in Washington DC. If you haven't done it yet, you should also check out Erick Louie's page, now w/ his photos from that same day. (go to WUSHU.NET and click on his big ole' noggin' to check it out).

Whats next? Hmm, I still have a couple good videos to add that I haven't had a chance to do yet.... I might be busy the next week or two though, I'm trying to sell my car in the next two weeks. Anyone know any one interested in buying a '67 VW beetle?

9/2/98 - Two days in a row! OK, I just wanted to let you guys know that I have institued a brand new voting program, no more "BeSeenQuizlets," now we have the genuine "Yehware Pollmaster 2000," courtesy of Eric. Thanks Eric! As for this week's question... lets just say that I was running short on good ideas.
9/1/98 - Hey y'all, schools started and I've been pretty busy, not much going on except lots and lots of Chinese 1A homework.

But I wanted to report some important news w/ respect to this page. Potentially I will be pretty busy working on some other web projects this coming semester, so I might not be able to update this page as often as I'd like (well I already don't update as often as I'd like, but even less frequently). But that shouldn't be too bad, since there's not really much major going on in the wushu world for the next couple of months. But hopefully with the help of my crack team of informants, we can keep the latest news coming in, even if I don't have enough time for things like as many original articles and photoessays.

But don't worry, even if I only update this page 1/100th as often as I do now, I think I'll still be a hell of a lot more frequent than my wushu web page competition out there ;) (thats a friendly stab, btw, don't go crazy on me!). Did you check out the FAQ page yet? I'll be adding the much overdue Jet Li/Bruce Li article (well actually its Glenn Omatsu's article, I just haven't put it up since I edited the HTML code for it) this week, check for it.

8/28/98 - Sorry for not updating in a few days, Our semester just began here at Berkeley so things have been hectic. I just added a new page though, the Frequently Asked Questions Page. You've seen these kinds of pages on a lot of sites, so I thought I should make one after about the 10,000th time someone asked via email or guestbook "hey, is there a wushu teacher near me?" or "Can you send me videos?" Hopefully this will help answer the questions of those people (as well as the 99% of the people who don't email).

Other than that, not tooo much news going on right now that I can comment on. Its been a pretty full house over that the Pacific Wushu Academy lately, Nathan is back from China, Felicia just moved back, Mark is still down from Oregon, Brandon The Taiji Pimp Daddy Sugiyama is honoring us externalists with his chi... and this week we have our pal Joe visiting from the East Coast.

8/19/98 - Hey, we got some Wushu in the Olympics news hot off the Chinese Presses (courtesy to our crack reporter Lisa):
There were Sanshou Nationals held on August 16th in Hebei.  Apparently the
Chinese Wushu Federation is trying to make dramatic changes to Sanshou
competition rules:   biggest change being they no longer using protective
body gear!!   The only protective gear used are gloves, mouth/teeth guard
things, and crotch guard. This may have just been a trial thing..but looks
like they're pushing to officially adopt these changes soon since losing
the protective gear obviously adds a higher degree of difficulty and
excitement to the sport.  Also, it gives Sanshou atheletes more mobility
& freedom to use "wushu" sparring techniques.

Chinese Wushu Federation president Li Jie made a couple comments on (1)
how  the degree of difficulty in both Sanshou & Taolu needs to be much
higher in order to be officially recognized as an Olympic sport ; (2)
how there needs to be more research into traditional wushu in order to
restore traditional wushu techniques into contemporary wushu forms...both
need to mutually work with each other and develop into something
"exciting"; and (3)  how wushu should be marketed into the int'l sports
business world.

Lastly, Africa recently officially established their Wushu Federation.

Source:  Xinhua News Agency 8-18-98

And I assume everyone has checked out my recently added pictures and review of WKF Nationals? Click here to check it out, and if you actually went to nationals, don't forget to rate the tournament on the wushu poll of the week.

8/9/98 - Just got back from day TWO of nationals in Baltimore. If you didn't read yesterday's update, read that one first (below). Today was pretty fun, finished up the weapons and then did handswets, and threw in some group sets too. Here's a brief (and totally NOT official) list of results, according to my best recollection:
Open Weapons Mens: 1. An Nguyen (Sword) - O-mei 2. Peter (Whip) - China 3. Arthur (3 Section) (Raffi dropped it) Open Weapons Women: 1. Anita Lopez (Sword) - O-mei 2. ? 3. ? Chang Quan Mens: 1. Lam Nguyen - SCWA 2. Matt Nguyen - SCWA 3. An Nguyen - SCWA Chang Quan Womens: 1. Clara Shen - O-mei 2. Anita Lopez - O-mei 3. Felicia Sze - WZT Wushu Center Nan Quan Mens: 1. Phillip Chen - WZT Wushu Center 2. Netherlands Guy 3. Some Indian-American kid (I think Mark got 4th) Open Traditional Mens: 1. Rory Bratte (Ditang) 2. Mantis Guy (Mantis) 3. Breakin' Guy (Windmill style Ditang) Open Traditional Womens: 1. Felicia Sze (Eagle) - WZT Wushu Center 2. Rosa Huang (Mantis) 3. Snake Girl (Snake) - O-mei Open Handset Mens: 1. An Nguyen - O-mei 2. Lam Nguyen - SCWA 3. Rory Bratte Open Handset Womens: 1. Paola - Brazil 2. Clara Shen - O-mei 3. Anita Lopez - O-mei Group Weapons Set: 1. O-mei 2. SCWA Group Hand Set: 1. SCWA 2. Wushu West
If you couldn't guess, the Southern California Wushu Association kicked some major booty. Based on my assessment of the scores, it is clear that Clara Shen of O-mei won the Women's all-around and it appears that Lam Nguyen won the men's all-around.

Everyone had a really good time even those of us who messed up pretty badly (not only did I drop the 3 section, but by the time I picked it up and finished the set, I ended up finishing on the wrong damn side of the carpet!) The BBQ was a major rip off, but otherwise the competition was pretty well run (out of there by 5:30!)

I was a little hurt that I didn't get invited to the post tournament bash at one of the competitor's house, but then again, inviting me is like inviting the paparazzi... anytime anything important happens within earshot of me I hear calls of "thats going to end up on the web page!" (which is why I wonder why anyone would repeat the line "Matt, you're in love with me?" right in front of me). :P

Anyhow, wushu tournament romances aside, I'll compile these results in a comprehensive article once I get my pictures developed. Check back here in a few days (most likely in a week or so).

8/8/98 - Just got back from Day one of Nationals in B-mer. It was a lot of fun. So far they have gotten through (only) the weapons (spear, staff, b.sword, s.sword), tomorrow is open hand divisions and open weapons (ie 3 section staff, which is me).

I have some incomplete results of what has happened so far:

Broadsword Mens: 1. Rory 2. Lam Nguyen - SCWA 3. Hui Nguyen - SCWA (Erick Louie 4th, 20 competitors total) Broadsword Womens: ??? Straightsword Mens: 1. Rory 2. Matt Nguyen - SCWA 3. An Nguyen - O-mei (David Chang deducted 1.0 for restart) Straightsword Women's: 1. Clara Shen - O-mei 2. Felicia Sze - WZT Wushu Center 3. Anita Lopez - O-mei Staff Mens: 1. Rory Lam Nguyen - SCWA 2. ? 3. ? Staff Womens: 1. Clara Shen - O-mei 2. Felicia Sze - WZT Wushu Center 3. Paola - Brazil Spear Mens: 1. Hui Nguyen - SCWA An Nguyen - O-mei 2. Matt Nguyen - SCWA 3. David Chang - Wushu West
Rory (who is kicking ass if you couldn't tell) is that kid who was doing staff on last year's Pay-per-View Sanshou special... he's still young, but he's doing really well in this competition. (a shoe-in for all around?) But remember that none of the US Wushu Team men are here (Nate, Luis or Tri) and neither is Scott Parker or Jason Nguyen...

The competition is a LIIIITTTLE bit slow, but still pretty well run, Liu Yu and Liu Xiao Ling are running rings, judges include Woody Wong, Wang Zhen Tien, Bryant Fong, Chris Ho and a lot of other people from China and other places that I don't recall (a lot of ex athletes from Jiang su running around). the show included the world famous Pan Qing Fu/Dianne Naughton sparring set, btw.

On a personal note, I have been approached by about 4 or 5 people so far out of the blue who recognized my name or face as the "web page guy." Its kind of cool, everyone seems to like it and gave me words of encouragement. Thanks to everyone if you guys read this, I enjoyed meeting you all. (Wushu in Tennesse?)

On another note, I met some people who compete a lot on the NASKA circuit and we were discussing the controversy/discussion that has been going on on this web page of late. I learned some interesting things, I will have a full report ASAP! (gotta give you guys a reason to come back, don't I?)

8/1/98 - Its one week and counting til this year's big show. I'm looking forward to seeing my East Coast friends (including Joe 'Mama' Scarcella and Tina 'I Do work in between email' Harris) as well as my other West coast friends (ie Erick 'The Desert Fox' Louie and Felicia '1 Billion Chinese People Can't Be Wrong' Sze).

I'll be there working the Mighty 3 Section Staff as well as the deadly Spear (King of the Long Weapons!). Hope my butt doesn't get kicked too hard by our friends from the Southern California Wushu Association as well as the local mid-atlantic talent and some really good people I hear are coming from Canada too.

Look like it should be a pretty good competition, Anyone who's anyone will be there (opps, sorry Anne, Mae and Nathan! Actually they all have good reasons for not going. Anne is in middle doing modern dance performances (quite good ones, btw). Mae has a badly injured ankle (too much ass kicking at Pan Am games) and Nathan is lost somewhere in Inner Mongolia last I heard (thats the best excuse of all)). Oh, Eric won't be there either, but right now he can't even tie his own shoes right now, so its probably a good idea he is sitting this one out (yes, his chi ball has grown that large!)

I'm actually taking off for DC in about 12 hours, but I will still have email access and plan to update this page remotely (including results from the competition!) I have an interesting academic article that I will be putting up in the Jet Li section as soon as I get a chance to HTMLize it. Meanwhile, here's a picture from my recent trip to the Sierra Nevada mountains (this is at about 12k elevation in the middle of July). A forthcoming page will summarize the hiking trip, in the meanwhile, enjoy my Titanic reenactment.

7/23/98 - In case you didn't see it, I have a little blurb about Jet Li's appearance on the Howie Mandel show on my LW4 Page (Now expanded to also cover Jet's recent LW4 related TV apperances.

In other news, Nationals is only about two weeks away, are you ready? I'm getting there... only a few more practices til I'm going east. Hopefully I'll have a chance to practice a little more once I get back to DC. I still have to figure out how to get my spear home. If you haven't sent in your reg form, do it ASAP, the due date for pre-reg prices is the 25th I believe.

On a personal note, I'm going to be off camping this weekend, so I might not be able to update the Wushu Poll of the week until Tuesday, so that gives you an extra day to vote! Keep your fingers crossed that I don't get eaten by a bear or anything.

7/17/98 - Sorry for taking so long to update, but I've been pretty busy lately (so has this page, btw, tons of Jet Li fans stopping by to check stuff out). I hope you guys all got a chance to check Jet out on the Tonight Show last night. He wooed the audience with his humor and excessively gregarious smile. As much as I dislike Jay, kudos to him for having Jet on (although I noticed that all the LW4 people appeared on Leno and none of them appeared on Letterman, is this more of that NBC plot to put Dave out of business?)

Rumor has it (at least Eric has it) that Jet will also be appearing on the Howie Mandel Show on Monday (perhaps because Howie was at the premiere last week?)

In other news, due to the increase in popularity of this page via the Jet Li/LW4 thing I have been recieving a LOT of email from people checking out the page. I will try to respond to everyone, even if it is a one sentence response like "No I won't give you Jet Li's phone number, sorry." Also I have gotten a lot of requests for video tapes, sorry but I don't have the time to be mailing out tapes to people (money or no money!)

On less positive notes, I recieved my first piece of hate mail this week. some distrubed freak who takes issue with the fact that I am not Chinese but I like Jet Li. Maybe in a few days I'll show the text here, but it is quite homophobic (apparently he didn't have brain power to figure out that the "Men of Sanshou" is a joke...) but it does show how stupid this guy is (he 'corrected' me on the fact that Jet Li (former Beijing Wushu Team member) doesn't speak Mandarin, he speaks Cantonese).

And on top of that, I also got email from the author of the "Gary Stearns, NASKA Champion of Chinese Wushu" asking me to remove his page from my links page. Apparently they have finally updated the page (for the first time since it went up over 6 months ago as near as I can tell). They now have the video clips they were promising. I suggest you all go and check it out(access it via the Wushu Web Ring link on the main page). It gives you an opportunity to see the type of competition that exists on the NASKA circuit. This entire episode leads me to believe that I should do an expose on the NASKA wushu competition circuit. In the meanwhile, check out Erick Louie's article about his experience competing at a Karate tournament from his page, The Wushu Zone.

7/10/98 - Today is the day! Hope you're all going to be seeing LW4 tonight! I know I will (me and my wushu buddies and my friends at Design Reactor and Gamer's Extreme will be jamming the theater).

Also I finished the long awaited summary/commentary on the Lily Lau Tournament that was held three weeks ago. Check it out here.

7/7/98 - YES! I saw LW4 tonight! Click here to read the review!

Speaking of Jet Li, check this out:

After viewing your Jet Li Homepage, I thought you might be interested to
know that...

Jet Li will be chatting about his role in 'LETHAL WEAPON 4' with
Entertainment Tonight Online (http://www.etonline.com) on Monday, July
13 at 5 PM Pacific Time / 8 PM Eastern Time.

Entertainment Tonight Online
Paramount Digital Entertainment   
I'll be online, how about you?
6/30/98 - Yesterday morning I was leafing through the most recent issue of AsianWeek when I came upon an announcement that there was going to be a give away of free passes to a sneak preview of Lethal Weapon 4 Tuesday morning in SF. Brandon and Mark and I were going to carpool over to Chinatown and scope up the passes when the office opened at 9am. That was the plan anyhow.

Turns out that Mark didn't wake up, and didn't show up (something about being up all night long or something), so between Brandon running around the Bart station for 10 minutes and the extra 10 or 20 minutes we spent in traffic at the Bay Bridge toll plaza (cause two people ain't a carpool on the Bay Bridge), we were missing our 8:30 arrival time window.

Brandon and I got there at about 9:05 or so, and as we drove up Sacramento Ave in Chinatown, we realized that the line went around the corner. We estimated it was pretty close to 50 people, so I decided to give it a try and Brandon decided to head to work since they still hadn't started distributing the passes yet.

Once I got in line, I found out that the first 50 people had been given slips of paper with their number on it, and I was 53 or 54. Me and the other people around me decided to take a chance incase they had extra.

After waiting around for about 20 minutes (and hoping that people who had to go to work would give up and leave), the line started moving. As I approached the door I wasn't too optimistic about my chances. As the guy with the #50 slip of paper walked off with his ticket, I realized that the guy passing them out still had two left in his hand, but wait, there were two more people in front of me, I was screwed! But luckily for me, the woman two places in front of me didn't bring a photo ID, and they refused to give her a pass. Her misfortune made the difference for me, and I walked away with the last free pass. Whew.

I felt bad for the woman, I had considered letter her use my photoID so she could get a pass, but when it came down to her getting a pass or me getting a pass... my Jet Li destiny must be fulfilled!

This doesn't necessarily get me in, but trust me, I'm going to get to the screening WAY early!

6/29/98 - New wushu poll of the week up there, don't forget to chime in with your choice! Also I put two new video clips up on Friday night, check them out (they're the 'new style' kind).

I picked up Mae from the airport last night, got a bit of news from the Pan Am games. turns out, like most competitions, this one was slow and long, but what the lack in efficient tournament running skills, the Canadians made up for in wushu skill. Apparently they did well in most events, with Katrina taking a bunch of gold.

I'll put up more complete results when I have the chance.

6/25/98 - I got the news baby! Felicia has come through for us in a big way with results of the Men's Competition just held this week in Shanghai! But wait, you say, where is the familiar courier mono-space font used to display the results? Well, the results aren't on this page anymore, I've created a special page just for Beijing Team competition results, it can be found by clicking here. This page houses all the past results and future ones as they become available. If you have any additional information, please email me and I'll add it.

I got my pictures back from the Lily Lau tournament. Some of them came out pretty good. I've yet to finish my write up though, so give me a few more days to get this guy done.

Also I took Mae to the airport yesterday. She is in Toronto by now, preparing with the rest of the US team for the Pan American Wushu Games. I'm hoping that Anne or Mae will come back with results and/or personal summaries of the event. I'll put up more info when I get it.

6/22/98 - We had the Lily Lau tournament this weekend, it was long, it was slow, it was seriously badly handled in many respects, but hey, most tournaments are. I took two rolls of film, which are now speeding their way through the Costco film development process as we speak. Hopefully by wednesday or so I'll have a write up and photos done.

Also, just to totally be killing myself, I got results of the Beijing Team at the Men's Team competition being held as we speak in Shanghai right now. Our crack on site reporter is compiling the news and will be sending it tonight. I have some preliminary results, to make it short, Jiang Bong Jun is kicking ass, and KXD is doing well too.

The results will be posted on the new (as yet unfinished) "Beijing Wushu Team competition results page" (a new feature which will include all the competition results from the past year or so that we've reported on here.

I also have some new videos to put up, which I hope to add by the end of this week too.

6/15/98 - Hey, everyone, well its now one week post Jet. Wow, I have seriously gotten like an average of 3 or 4 email a day from Jet Li fans. Between asking who his girlfriend is (not a big secret) to asking why I'm saying bad stuff about Jet being a Mahjong addict (hey, I got inside sources, I'm not just making this stuff up!) Hopefully, if nothing else I've exposed some people to wushu who might otherwise just think that Jet Li actually does "kung fu."

Most people seem to like the new design of the page. To be honest I kind of borrowed some of the HTML code from my friends' gaming site, Gamer's X. I have also just added a new feature, The Wushu Poll of the Week. This is a little add-in that allows to take a running tally of people's opinions. Please take the poll (and sign the guestbook while you're at it). Look for more features coming in a week (as well as a new question of the week)

6/10/98 - I worked all night, but the Jet Li article is done! Click Here to see it. But by now I'm sure you noticed a new look on these pages. Patrick finally convinced me to change the aesthetic of my site (or rather, I finally got around to implementing what he convinced me to do). Some people were having trouble reading stuff on the paper cuts background, some people don't like the 'Cal-Look' (blue w/ Yellow text), plus I had about 10 different formats. Well from now on, I'm going to stick to the basics, black and white (maybe a little blue and yellow). In the next few days I'm going to go back and change most of the pages that I update (picture pages, etc).

Well don't forget to sign the guestbook to let me know what you think. Check out the Jet article and don't forget to check out my Mulan pictures!

Click here to view more past installments of Raffi's Wushu News.
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