Tuesday, September 19, 2006

San Francisco Plum Blossom Martial Arts Tournament - 2006

Last weekend was the annual Plum Blossom Federation martial arts tournament in San Francisco. Mira Mesa White Dragon had it's largest turnout to date for this tournament, totalling around 30 attendees between the instructors and students. A number of us caravaned up, some others drove on their own, some flew, and for all I know, some just decided to be in San Francisco and just suddenly were.

We did really well, of course. ;) Most of our attendees came away placing in various events. White Dragon (including the other 6 schools) overall had a pretty massive attendance, but there were attendees representing a number of different schools in the Plum Blossom Federation, including some from Italy and other international schools. Myself, I was entered into 5 events, but unfortunately only competed in 4 (I missed the call for the 5th).

I placed first in the 'Advanced Tai Chi weapon set' division with the Tai Chi Cane set. In Push Hands, I was inexplicably put into the heavy-weight division, but still came away with 2nd place. The guy I lost to was 6'4" and a muscular 205 pounds, a full 50 pounds heavier than me, with fairly good skills on top of that, made the final round a bit rough. I tied for 4th in the 'Advanced Weapon form' division with the Ba-gwa dan-dao (8 diagram broadsword set) in a division with some REALLY good competition... just watching the others perform in that event was worth being in it, winning or no. Same with the 'Advanced Hand form' division, where I placed 5th with the Siu Fut Jeung (Small Buddha Palm hand form), the others in that division were amazing.

Not quite the number of medals I came back from the last tournament in May with (there I got 3 golds, 3 silvers, and 2 bronzes), but I competed in far fewer events, and the judging was done by judges from many different areas of the art, all of who probably look for different things... the fact that White Dragon artists consistently scored well even with judges from different backgrounds and schools says something for the way the school teaches. I found it interesting to watch martial artists from other schools competing too, the styles they use are often quite different from ours, but impressive in their own right. I probably learned a bit just watching some of them.

Was a fun tournament, will post link to the pictures shortly

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