Celestial at 2014 WTQA Festival

After the success of the Celestial Tai Chi College’s group performances at the International Martial Arts Games (IMAG) held in Melbourne last year, and the College’s affiliation with Wushu, Tai Chi & Qigong Australia  (WTQA), some of our Instructors and students were inspired to enter the 16th WTQA Wushu, Taijiquan & Qigong Competition held on 31 August 2014 at Monash University.

The participation was voluntary with no selection process taking place, as it is a friendly competition and allowed participants from our College to experience performing to a larger audience and to widen their appreciation of other forms and standards of Tai Chi.

Instructors from the following three Celestial Tai Chi Centres decided to enter the group event:
- Ashburton Centre:  Margaret Rogers, Noel Schmidt, Yvonne Schmidt, Anna Yeow, Christine Dowdall and Chee Wah Khew ...performed Traditional Yang Level 1-3.
- Camberwell Centre:  Amanda Cubit, Jo Fraser, Suzette Hosken, Joy Muir (seconded from Moonee Ponds) and Catriona Wells ...performed Traditional Yang Level 1-3 and Beijing 24 and obtained equal Bronze medals for both (being in the same competition group).
- Hawthorn Centre:  Belinda Leong, Thi Nguyen and Edward Yong ...performed Traditional Yang Level 1-3.

Thi Nguyen is a student at Hawthorn – it was a wonderful effort to be the only non-Instructor to perform.  It would have been very stressful for her as a student does not normally get a lot of focused feedback, whereas Instructors are used to being reviewed by peers and the Masters. Thi enjoyed the experience as it focused on her movements and improved her Taiji.

Several of our Instructors also performed individually - Suzette Hosken, Rita Sullivan and Edward Yong, and were awarded medals in some of their events.  Senior Master Chin Min was a judge in the Wushu and Qigong sections, and Zenaida Calderon worked as a volunteer.

The Opening Ceremony included a spectacular Lion Dance presented by the Hung Gar Yau Shu Martial Arts School. The WTQA President, Tara Brayshaw, opened the competition with a stirring famous Chinese legend – "The Two Pots" (see below) and set the scene for a friendly competition.

After lunch there were special performances by the Melbourne University Tai Chi and Wushu Club, Bill, L Y Law – Cheng Zi Taiji (CMC) 13 & Pushing Hands, our Senior Master Chin Min LianTaiji Phoenix Fan Routine, Michael Agar – One Finger Shooting Zen and Combat Sequences, Lilei Lin Enright – 42 Form Taijiquan, and finishing off with a Drum Performance by the Hung Gar Yau Shu Martial Arts School.  It was worth going just to see these performances.

It was an experience to see the many varied and different Taiji forms being taught and I was very impressed with the Bamboo Wudang form – I could imagine the bamboo swaying in the breeze watching around 10 participants dressed simply in figure-hugging black. It brought back memories of the 2012 China trip with Grand Master Eng Chor to the Wudang Mountains.

The Instructors from Ashburton enjoyed the refinement of their Taiji and the bonding experience of the exercise and are ready to participate next year.

For a performer’s first-hand account, see "Competing at the WTPA Annual Competition" by Suzette Hosken, from last years competition.
For further information, see the Term-5 (September 14) newsletter.

Margaret Rogers
Senior Instructor (Ashburton. Hawthorn)
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The Two Pots (a famous Chinese Legend)

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, which she hung on the ends of a pole that she carried across her neck. Every day she would make the long walk to a stream to fetch water for her home. One of the pots was in perfect condition, and always delivered a full portion of water. The other pot had a crack in it, from which water leaked. As a result, by the time the woman returned home, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For two years the woman made her daily trek to the stream, each time returning with only one and a half pots of water.

The perfect pot was proud of its condition and of what it could do. The cracked pot, however, was ashamed of its imperfection and of the fact that it could do only half of what it had been made for. One day, the cracked pot, overwhelmed by what it perceived to be its bitter failure, spoke to the woman at the stream.  “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old woman smiled at the pot and replied, “Have you noticed that there are vegetable plants on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? I have always known about your flaw, so I planted vegetable seeds on your side of the path. Every day, on our walk home, you water them. For two years now you have provided food for me. Without you being just the way you are, I may not have had enough to eat”.

Each of us has our own crack, our own unique flaw. It’s these cracks and flaws that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding, and it’s often these cracks and flaws that enable us to do good. Accept people for what they are; look for the good in them and the good that they do.