|Posted by Karl Lancaster on July 27, 2010 at 4:12 PM|
Zhen Wei Academy Strikes Again - By Karl Lancaster 6th Duan Disciple
A few years ago I wrote an article for Combat called 'Mizong the Next Big Thing'. In it I described how Grand Master Lu Jun Hai had moulded a team capable of competing at any level within the confines of tradtional Kung Fu forms tournaments.
Well, Mizong boxing is hardly front page news these days. And to be honest, even the majority of martial arts ethusiasts have no idea what it is. Despite there having been several films based around system, the most famous being 'Fearless', starring Jet Li and 'Fist of Fury', starring the late Bruce Lee. But, even though it's not known in every house in the land I still stand by my previous article. And if you ask the Chinese they just might agree!
On 12th and 13th July 2010 a nine man team representing Great Britain competed in 10th Grand World Wu Shu Festival in Shanghai. The entire team came from Sifu Lu's Zhen Wei Academy.
The Festival, now in its twentieth year, attracted students of both Wu Shu and more traditional kung fu. Twenty-seven countries took part in what is seen as the pinacle of Kung Fu competition.
A nine man panel of elite judges took two days to mark 300 entrants. The catergories covered modern Wu Shu, traditional external kung fu and Internal styles. Sub catergories included bare hand forms, long weapons, flexible weapons, shorts weapons, two man and group work. Competitors were split in to male and female and those under sixteen years of age, between seventeen and forty-nine and those over fifty.
Previously the Zhen Wei Academy had provided the backbone of the British Team at the US Open, British Open and the European Championships. And the team had done well at these events including winning the overall European title and collecting several indivdual gongs too! But, against a large Chinese contingent in their own backyard we had no idea how we might fare.
Any doubts about being able to compete with the best were well and truely washed away by the end of day two. Sifu Lu had prepared the team well, drilling us again and again until we could virtually do the forms in our sleep.
On day one I was one of the first members of the team to compete. I was up in the long weapons catergory for over fifties. I had won in this catergory at the European Championships a few years back but had never been able to recapture the same form since. But I gave it my best shot, and due to some hard work on my part, and a lot more on Sifu Lu's I notched up a score of 9.23. It was enough to eclipse my nearest rival and snatch the gold.
My victory seemed to ignite the rest of the team but opposition was tough and the results hard to come by. I have to say though that I was a very proud father when my youngest son, also the the youngest team member at thirteen, scooped a silver medal.
However the bulk of our team was more heavily involved on day two of the competition. By close of play team members like Gary Matthews, Kevin Kilnminster, Adam Lynch and Andy Lee had rewritten the events history books and taken several golds each! Brothers Shahab and Zayn Talaimojeh once again contributed to the Zhen Wei Academy haul. And Anish Patel, my son Luke and myself added further medals to the total.All in all we came away with 32 medals, not bad between nine!
Although I mentioned Mizong Quan earlier in the article that is not the only element taught at the Zhen Wei Academy. Sifu Lu is also a master of the Qing Ping Sword, and also teaches Tai Chi, Xing-I and a large number of weapons forms.And, with the exception of the Tai Chi, all these other disciplines came in to play as well. This included a team daedo performance, monk spade, chain whip, dagger, sword v sword and sword v spear.
To top things off the judges voted the British team the best in the traditional elements section.To say Sifu Lu was delighted was an understatement!