Yongquan 2007 AGM report
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The Yongquan 2007 AGM was held at the end of September in our regular rural location at Sifu Robertson's family farmhouse in Onecote near Leek. While the AGM is always held around the end of September this year was a little different because we combined the AGM with the first ever Yongquan competition. The competition was proposed by Sifu Kerr as a way for Yongquan students around the country to test their skills against each other, and also to have some fun.
By its very nature competition will always be bound by rules and restrictions, which can ultimately be detrimental to long-term training in our arts, so Sifu Rand had stipulated that nobody was allowed to train specifically for the competition rules beforehand. To help people observe this the competition rules were only available a short while before the event.
Saturday morning saw Sifu Rand leading the group in a training session in the sunshine outside the farmhouse, which focused on developing the internal aspects of Tai Chi Chuan form practice, followed by a session on push hands led by Sifu Robertson. After lunch and the AGM back in the farmhouse we moved into the Onecote village hall where the competition started in earnest. Both Tai Chi Chuan and Choy Lee Fut forms were judged together with moving step and fixed step push hands. It's worth noting that the competition felt much more like a training session where you were getting some great personal feedback on how you were doing with your forms and push hands from Sifu Rand and Sifu Robertson than it did a 'competition', and a good time was had by all. Sifu Smith (ably assisted by Jon Doveston) was also on hand to judge the Hsing-I practitioners links and 5 element fighting. While one person was being judged everybody else continued training.
On Saturday evening we all went out for a Chinese meal in Leek and both Chuen Pin Yoong and Michael Ash were presented with their hard won level 1 teaching certificate in Hsing-I. On Sunday morning we finished off the judging and provided some free time to train in what we'd been learning over the weekend.
One of the motions passed at the AGM was the elevation of Choy Lee Fut to the same status within the YMAA as Tai Chi Chuan and Hsing-I, with its own grading syllabus, and this will produce some changes on the Yongquan Web site in the near future, so look out for those in the members area.
I'm proud to say that I managed to win the Yongquan cup! Mainly by entering every single category available (that's a good tactic if you're thinking of entering next year b.t.w.!) 2nd place was Paul Andrews, 3rd Chuen Pin Yoong, 4th was Luke Pantelidou and 5th was George Burleigh. Sifu Rand said he was very impressed with the high standard of entrants all round, so give yourself a well deserved pat on the back if you entered!
There was a great atmosphere at Onecote and everybody had a great time while learning more about the different arts we practice in the YMAA. Thanks to everybody who attended, and I'd highly recommend everybody in the YMAA attend these events if they get the chance.
Many thanks to Sifu's Rand, Robertson and Smith for their expert tuition throughout the weekend, and especially to Angela and Chuen for cooking delicious food and to James for providing all the tuna sandwiches!
Secretary, Yongquan Martial Arts Association
Sifu R Rand