Kungfu & Society
29th Jul 2017
Canadian Woman Country’s First to Win Global Gold in Martial Arts Championship
Patricia Wright of Chatham, Ontario became the first-ever Canadian gold medalist at the World Karate Federation in Linz, Austria, on October 29. Wright competed in the intellectually impaired division- she had suffered from severed epilepsy since childhood, which was made worse after receiving a traumatic brain injury during a car accident six years ago.
This was her first ever world championship, so she had only expected to place in the top ten of her division- now a world champion, she has her eyes on Olympic gold, saying “I'm very excited to see potentially what is next. The next step for me potentially is the Paralympics, if I qualify. We have to see if there's a division for me to qualify in.” For now she is travelling Europe, competing and winning in other tournaments in Spain and Romania.
Very popular with seniors: the Chinese martial arts Tai Chi
Cecilia Lima-Wüst has been teaching at the senior center for more than ten years. More than 300 volunteers work in the ten Heidelberg senior centers. They help with program planning, lunch or organize courses. One of them is Cecilia Lima-Wüst, who has been offering Tai Chi for over ten years at the senior city center.
Cecilia went to China and studied traditional Chinese medicine and tai chi. She lived in China for seven years, and in 1999 she came to Heidelberg. She saw a notice board at the senior center, advertising a Tai Chi teacher position.
"For me, the courses were also a way to improve my German, because that was not so good at the beginning," reports the 55-year-old. Her voluntary work has given her much self-confidence and facilitated her integration into German society. For the seniors, the Tai Chi courses are very popular and the slow, flowing movements are an effective low-impact exercise.
Beating Sexism; Martial Arts Star Promotes the Contribution of Women
Maria Tran is an Australian-Vietnamese actor and Martial Arts specialist. As a child, she was captivated by Hong Kong martial arts videos, which documented the rise of action stars such as Jet Li.
She admits that she was teased growing up for her “boyish” interest in Martial Arts. As a child and teenager, Tran states that she disliked the “set etiquette” which girls were expected to follow.
Yet, this hasn’t prevented Tran from making her dream of a career in Martial Arts a reality. She has recently helped to produce the Supreme Ultimate, an art installation with a feature film and live performances by martial artists.
This project was aimed at giving women a public space to perform, and showcase their talents “without labels”, allowing for community building and freedom of expression. For Tran, it was important to give these women an opportunity that she was denied- to be able to perform without judgement.
An Unlikely Hero; from Pharmacist to Kung- Fu Champion
In the West, Wushu was made famous by action stars like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Now, Western Australia has a new World Champion.
Elizabeth Lim, a twenty-six year old pharmacist, has become Australia’s first World Champion in the sport, triumphing at the Championships in Jakarta.
Lim is described as “mild-mannered”, yet proves explosive as she competes, demonstrating a mastery of skills such as butterfly twists and aerial spins. She has been training in Wushu for nearly a decade, and is part of the WA Chin Woo Athletic Association, which was founded in 1996. The organisation is not-for-profit, and was designed to help keep young people, particularly the children of Asian migrants, off the streets, and give them something to focus on. The organisation emphasises that Martial Arts are a means of discipline and fitness, not for “people who likes to fight”.
Independent Martial Arts Film,The Defector, Ready For Online Release
Martial Arts Instructor Lee McGeough, and two students from the University of Gloucestershire have produced an intense “Kung-fu” thriller, using a budget of just £250.
The short film, which was shot on locations in and around Cheltenham and Stroud, was filmed throughout July and August 2016.
The plot centres on a top secret agent, who defects from his “malevolent and ruthless political organisation”, and is pursued through the streets by his former employer. He uses his extensive Martial Arts skills to attempt to survive.
More than twenty people have worked on the film, including other Martial Artists from Lee’s company, Spectrum Fight Choreography. The film is due to be released on the 31st of October. If more funding becomes available, then there is hope that The Defector could be turned into a full-length feature film.
Bai Long, the Western Kung Fu Master
Sky Patterson, a 27 year old American from Portland, Oregon, is known as the Western Kungfu master and has developed a large following in China due to his excellent acting in the movie Tai Chi Zero and The Kung Fu Master.
Patterson started learning Kungfu when he was a childand he studied theatre and Chinese language at the University of Southern California. After his graduation, he received a full scholarship from the Chinese government and went to study in Beijing for one year, where he competed in the international Kungfu competition and acted in several films. He also won the Gold Medal at the International Shaolin Temple Cultural Festival and grand champion at the Long Beach International Karate Championship. Patterson calls himself “Bai Long,” which means White Dragon in Chinese. “Because I am a white guy who was born in the year of dragon based on Chinese zodiac,” he says.
Posted by Yuqing @ InteractChina.com
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