Kung Fu Tai Chi Day 2015

The day after TCEC, we performed at the Kung Fu Tai Chi Day celebration at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose. Usually, there’s a group taijiquan follow-along, welcoming of the masters, and lion dance. Then, the masters and/or their students perform. While Dr. Yang, Nicky, and Jon were planning the program, I was surprised they asked me to perform with them. I don’t feel pressure at competitions, but this demo has a bigger audience and includes some masters. Luckily, I had an easy part. I was the staff side for Kong Shou Dui Gun (Staff vs Barehand) and basically, my job was to make Quentin jump. No one would be paying much attention to me :)

Credit: Kevin Ho for Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine

Credit: Kevin Ho for Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine

We started practicing Kong Shou Dui Gun this semester for demos and had it checked several times. If you’ve wondered if the barehand side should string/touch the ribs of the staff side during the first 2 parts, the answer is you can, but you don’t have to. Realistically, the staff side can easily angle and hit the barehand side’s head. The purpose of the sequence is to train White Crane jumping for the barehand side, not create an equal sparring situation. The first 2 parts were passed down to Dr. Yang and he created parts 3 and 4 for demo purposes. I haven’t practiced it much since I passed it several years ago, but now I want to focus on the barehand side to improve in jumping. Our performance was okay, but we weren’t used to the squishy mats so it wasn’t our best.

Even Dr. Yang performed! I usually only see him perform taijiquan or San Cai Jian, but he did Yao Gu so it was a rare treat. He is 68 years old!

After Master Chiu Chi Ling’s performance, we asked to take photos with him and he happily obliged. Being the movie star that he is (he appeared in Kung Fu Hustle among other films), ordinary photos simply would not do. He had us do several poses and when he noticed my weapons bag, he gave me a stern look and pointed at it animatedly. We must’ve taken 20 shots among our group and I wish I captured the process on video as it was more entertaining than the photos could show.

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Team Retreat Center with Dr. Yang’s wife, daughter, and a few guests.

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