Chinese New Year Video
Well, to be honest, I was paging through the website recently and I noticed that there were a few posts that have somehow gotten lost.
Plus – being that one of the things that had gotten lost was a video of a Kung Fu demonstration we’d done waaaay back in 2013 for an Atlanta Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration for one of our Martial Arts brothers’ schools, well…
We couldn’t just let that go, could we? No!
So here we are, August 12th, 2016, posting up a video that was recorded back in 2013…lol
Anyway, what’s in the video?
The Kung Fu Community of Atlanta
It was February of 2013 (Chinese New Year tends to fall around this time), and Sifu Gary Mitchell hosted the Chinese New Year Kung Fu celebration.
Sifu Gary has been a friend to our school (and the people involved) for a long time, so we would surely not miss this opportunity.
We’ve been working together to produce informative Kung Fu entertainment with them for a while now.
Decatur Martial Arts Academy Rocks
Usually, Sifu Gary has his celebrations at his own pretty impressive Kung Fu school. But this year, he held it at the Decatur Martial Arts Academy, Head Instructor: Claude Sullivan. Mister Sullivan has been a mainstay in our little Decatur martial arts hub for quite a while. Anyway, he was nice enough to let Sifu Gary throw his party here.
We all gathered at Master Sullivan’s martial art school, Decatur Martial Arts Academy, and were pleasantly surprised at the impressive space of the school and the friendliness of all. There was a definite “family” vibe going around. 🙂
One of the benefits of taking a martial arts class is friendship-building. People with similar interests like martial arts tend to gravitate towards each other.
However, long-time practitioners and teachers are not immune to the effects of Ego and Greed. “My martial arts are the best,” “they don’t know what they’re doing” are among many, yet frequent, negative views that can keep martial arts instructors from getting along. But none of us caught any such vibe from Master Sullivan.
Instead, it was nothing but a positive Martial Arts Community thing. We felt welcomed.
After we finished being jealous of their beautiful space, we all began to focus on what we came to do: Show the world our Kung Fu!
Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Demo - 2013
Keep in mind that I am no video editor. So the video is a bit janky. 😛 It starts right in the middle of the action and continues. There’s no prologue, no introduction. No explanation. And no music or musical accompaniment to Kung Fu. But oh well. I think you might dig it anyway. 😛
Wu Bu Quan
When the video starts, you’ll see four of us doing a group rendition of one of our very first introductory materials, 五步拳 or Wǔ Bù Quán. The name of this form means “Five Stance Fist.” This is because there are five Kung Fu stances (not the same as Wushu Stances but of the same seed) that are kind of important to learn and are focused on in this form. At least, that’s the idea, anyway. But, as you watch it, you will see more than five stances, and even more cool are the harmonized hand movements with them. It turns the whole thing into this neat little package of Kung Fu Awesomeness.
But seriously, Wu Bu Quan is a very modern creation, invented in the last century. You can find many, if not most, modern compulsory and competitive 武術 Wǔ Shù (or Martial Arts, yeah I know, it’s confusing) training curricula. And oddly enough, you can find it in many Northern TCMA (Traditional Chinese Martial Arts or Kung Fu, as the West, calls it) styles.
Since many different styles and schools have adopted the movements into their introductory levels of Kung Fu training, there have been adopted many different transitional movements and other tidbits of differences. But, in general, it’s still the same form. The stances are there. The basic form idea is there. Some get pretty martial – executing the application of the martial combative in their mind as they perform the movements, and some are just interested in the aesthetic quality of the movement put together.
For example, check out the below shots!
So yeah, in this short bit of the opening of the video, you have four of my students and myself doing Wu Bu Quan. I’m the guy in the fancy outfit and boots. The others are my students.
After a slightly confusing shuffle of where everybody should be, we moved on to…
Lian Bu Quan
We performed a group demonstration of 練步拳 Liàn Bù Quán, more commonly known by its Cantonese counterpart, Lin6 Bou6 Kyun4, or other romanizations like Lim Po and others. This set is also an introductory form for us in Northern Shaolin.
Its name means “Connecting or Linking (but with this character, we call “Training“) Steps.”
It’s a short form, as TCMA (Traditional Chinese Martial) Arts forms tend to go, but it’s one without the flash of advanced sets. It has the get-ready-and-go mentality for preparing people for battle. Short, easy, and direct martial tactics that work. And drive up the Centerline. So three of us demonstrate that form, then we move on to the bunt.
The Bunt! Or Short Strike 😛
短打 Duǎn Dǎ “Short Strike,” oddly enough, is NOT one of our precursory forms. No, it’s the first form one learns within the Ten Classical Core Handsets of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu! So we have a partnered set of Tun Dah (a popular nomenclature) next.
Then there’s a whole bunch of clapping. I don’t blame the audience; I’d want us done too. 😛
But we ain’t.
A Test of the Tui - Tan Tui
Next in the video is an unusual situation. We have one of our new students perform 彈腿, Tán Tuǐ, known as “Springing Leg (or thigh),” due to the nature of a particular kick which repeats frequently. But, of course, there is more to it than that. It’s considered somewhat of a Grandfather in our system. Why? Because it holds so many of our movements, transitions, principles, and more in esteem. One could study just this form for years and still become a Kung Fu Master.
Anyway, this guy performing Tan Tui is a new student and has learned only a fraction of its secrets. I gave him some guidelines, told him to do just a few repetitive movements from the form, and let’s see what he can do. He did fine. Not an outstanding job, by all means, but the fellow made us look good. Oh! And he did indeed learn some things 😉
And then the clapping begins again.
Oh, God! When will they ever finish???
I tap a student on the shoulder and let him know that he’s up.
Two of them walk on stage and begin to perform the…
Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Two Man Application Form
I am not a fan of the name of this form and believe there might be a better or at least more attractive name out there. Because this is not the only way in which we dance. Not with opponents, anyway.
We have applications and work them to the bone on almost every form in the system! There are plenty of Northern Shaolin sets at our disposal for demonstrations. Heck – even in the progression of learning the Northern Shaolin Kung Fu system itself, one tends to learn several different forms that are stylized fighting movements.
Some forms are empty-handed, like this one, but some have weapons in one or both of the partners’ arms.
Anyway, these two cats had only learned this form for a few months before demonstrating it here. It’s decent. 🙂 Hey, but at least you see your school T-Shirts! 😛
Two of them walk on stage and begin to perform the…
Straight to the Sword
After this, I grab my straight sword and head into the demonstration to perform one of our 劍 Jiàn straight sword sets. This one is called the “Dragon-Shaped Sword.”
Or, at least it should be.
What I mean by this is I got a little nervous and flubbed up the form something terrible! But I pulled it off without anyone realizing it.
The Closing of the Kung Fu
Next, I set down the sword and move backward, signaling for my students to come in towards the center. And we bow to the center.
We turn around, bow to the VIPs at the table, including Master Sullivan, Master Holland (Taijiquan teacher in Atlanta), and then, fortuitously, towards Sifu Mitchell as he comes on stage to get his kids in place for another impressive Kung Fu demonstration.
And that’s what you got.
I hope you enjoyed taking this little walk down memory lane with ys, as I have. And I hope you’re reading this because you are either a Kung Fu fellow (brother or sister) or considering becoming one.
If you are considering becoming one, reach out! We won’t bite.
Do Life, my friends.
Do Life. And Do Kung Fu.