6th Daqingshan International Competition

by Paddy Hanratty on 2018/06/11

Just got back from my third visit to DaQingShan. As always, it was a wonderful experience, despite recurring pain from an injury prior to leaving Canada.

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View of the two Taiji Squares from the hill leading up to the Pagoda


The push hands and forms competition was exciting, and the introduction of fixed step push hands involving the international students was an interesting addition.

The opening ceremonies were spectacular, with performances and forms demonstrations by Grand Masters of various styles too numerous to mention. International students and Disciples of Master Chen from across the globe, along with a large group of Practical Method students from the local town of Wulian, demonstrated the first 13 moves.

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The opening ceremony with local and international Disciples and students of the Practical Method performing

 Vince, a new student to Practical Method, won the fixed step push hands competition, the prize being a beautiful long handled sword donated by Master Chen. When he won the event I was reminded of a suggestion Master Chen made when he first met Vince…that he should enter the push hands competition. When Vince expressed his reluctance, Master Chen, prophetically as it turns out, said he was making a mistake…citing beginner’s luck.

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Vincent from the Reunion Islands with his gold medal and sword

 James Strider and Rick Pietila won gold and silver respectively in the forms competition, and Rory Trend won forth place in his weight category in push hands and a cheque for 1,000 yuan.

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The new exhibition of Practical Method history and schools across the world, International Hotel, Daqingshan 

 Master Chen’s instruction was, as always, an eye opening experience. Most of the daily training was under the supervision of Han Rui, a very capable and helpful instructor. Janet Ho, from Australia, was always available for language interpretation and being generally helpful in every way possible, including arranging trips to Wulian for massage treatment on my foot. The Tui Na Masseuse was very good, and the treatment, although very painful, was extremely effective. I’m also very grateful to Rory Trend from Australia for showing me some exercises to help bring the swelling down and prevent future flare ups.

The food was even better than I remembered from my last visits. The International Hotel is a magnificent building and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Using a beautiful architects illustration mounted on the wall near the international hotel, Master Chen outlined exciting future developments planned for DaQingShan.

During a day trip to the Weifang Martial Arts Festival, all the various international students were invited to assemble behind hand held signs showing their country, the largest representation being from Australia. The other participants were from Malaysia,  Singapore, USA, Canada, Romania, India, Indonesia and two new students, Tony and Vince from the Reunion Islands in the Indian Ocean.

We were treated to several martial arts demonstrations and the most incredible Lion Dance I’ve personally witnessed.

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Lion Dance at the Weifang Martial Arts Festival

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Jodie from Canada outside of the Weifang Martial Arts Festival

 After the martial arts festival we went to the Weifang Kite Museum. The history of kite making in Weifang goes back to the early years of the Ming Dynasty. Before leaving, I bought a couple of beautiful hand painted silk kites to take home for my grand children.

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One of the many beautiful hand made kites on display at the Weifang Kite Museum 

After practicing the Yilu in a local park, we had a great meal at a local restaurant where we were invited to try complimentary bowls of fermented soya milk, which is a local delicacy. Marjorie, from Singapore, acted as interpreter and kept things running smoothly as we moved from place to place.

I spent my last 10 days of my trip in the beautiful City of Rizhao, training with and instructed by James Strider from Perth Australia, long term disciple of Master Chen,  and Jozef Deconinck, a new and enthusiastic student of Practical Method from Zelzate, Belgium. We trained with many local students, whose enthusiasm and energy helped keep me going when I found my own energy flagging. The training was under the supervision of senior instructor Chen Xu, with the assistance of instructor Pang. I made many new Chinese Taiji friends.

The training hall is right on the water front, at the location for the 2008 Summer Olympic water events. The weather was beautiful and the air was clean, with a fresh breeze coming in off the sea.

 

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