WORLD CHIN WOO CHAMPIONSHIPS & TAIJI LEGACY
5th Taiji Legacy International Martial Arts Championships hosted
by Jimmy Wong was held this year at the heart of Dallas-Fort Worth,
Texas in the center of many attractions including Six Flags Over
Texas and the Texas Ballpark, home of the Texas Rangers. From July
12 to July 14, nearly 800 participants attended seminars & competitions,
while nearly 3500 spectators watched the competitions, Master's
Demonstrations, and Sanshou Fight Night. The Arlington Convention
Center, with over 30,000 square feet was a perfect, luxurious venue
for this growing and grand event.
all started in 1998, when tournament promoter Jimmy Wong wanted
to create a unique event gathering all styles of taiji and kungfu
from all parts of the world. The focus was on taiji and thus, all
major styles of taiji were displayed at the opening of the tournament
- Chen, Yang, Wu(Hao), Sun, and Wu. As music was played, masters,
competitors, and the general audience were free to come out to the
floor and perform their style. It was both educational for the public
and fun for the participants. Thus, the first Taiji Legacy Championships
was born. Over the years, the Taiji Legacy has added seminars, a
72-foot illuminated dragon dance, Sanshou, and a formal Wing Chun
Grand Champion title. This year, the 7th World Chin Woo Championships,
held once every 2 years, was hosted in conjuction with the Taiji
Legacy. This is the first time in history that the Championships
are held in a Western country. It brought together participants
from many other countries including China, Malaysia, Japan, Poland,
Switzerland, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Venezuela, Mexico,
motivated Jimmy Wong to host the World Chin Woo Championships comes
from his deep respect and love for Chin Woo. Chin Woo was founded
by Grandmaster Huo Yan Jia in 1909 in Shanghai, China during a time
of turmoil. The Chinese were often called the "Sick Men of
Asia" because of the Opium War. To keep the Chinese image,
Master Huo decided to organize the Chin Woo School to allow all
Chinese the opportunity to learn Chinese kungfu and strengthen themselves
in order to defend the country. After Master Huo passed away in
August 1909, Mr. Chen Gong Zhe, Mr. Yao Chan Bo and Mr. Lu Wei Chang
reopened the Chin Woo School. Master Huo's younger brother, Mr.
Huo Yuan Siang, and his son, Mr. Huo Tong Ker, continued to teach
at the Chin Woo School. Later, many famous martial arts masters
were invited to teach in Chin Woo. Even though they came from different
schools, they all followed Chin Woo regulations. Thus, Chin Woo
became a famous and popular martial arts association in Shanghai.
In 1920, Shanghai Chin Woo sent five representatives to Southeast
Asia to make Chin Woo available to other countries: Mr. Li Hui Seng,
Mr. Luo Xiao Ao, Mr. Chen Gong Zhe, Mr. Yap Shu Tian, and Mrs. Chen
Shi Chao. By 1923, these five Chin Woo Masters had opened Chin Woo
schools all over Southeast Asia and visited nine different countries.
Of the five masters, Mr. Yap Shu Tian was considered the most knowledgeable
in kungfu. He and his two brothers, Mr. Yap Shu Xiang and Mr. Yap
Shu Shen were regarded as the "Three Great Heroes of Chin Woo"
because of their life-long devotion to Chin Woo and their great
Jimmy Wong began his training under Mr. Yap Shu Shen in Malaysia.
In 1977, he came to the United States to pursue his B.Sc. and MBA.
Mr. Wong subsequently traveled to Malaysia and Singapore Chin Woo
schools for several years to consult with school officials and to
extend his expertise in martial arts as well as in lion dance. The
Chin Woo authorities were favorably impressed with Mr. Wong's dedication,
hard work, and extensive knowledge of kungfu and provided enthusiastic
support and encouragement to Mr. Wong's efforts to spread Chin Woo
in America. These efforts culminated in the establishment of the
first officially sanctioned Chin Woo School of kungfu in the United
States on July 25, 1987.
year's Championships had a tweak of celebration as the year 2002
marks the 15th Anniversary for USA Chin Woo. Thus, Jimmy Wong opened
the Championships with a 15 lion dance show and a demonstration
of Chin Woo's compulsory 12 set Tan Tui form, performed in unison
by all of the different Chin Woo Schools from around the world.
Then the exciting illuminated dragon started its dance by coiling
up into a "C" and then a "W" to represent "Chin
Woo", and finally becoming a wild flapping phoenix at the end.
The jam-packed excitement of the Ceremonies doesn't stop there.
There was a special performance by the Houston Shaolin Monks, an
Olympic-style march-in by all the competitors by country, and a
similar style march-in by all the judges by their event category.
As always, Jimmy Wong amazed us all by recognizing over 100 judges,
officials, and special guests by name without any notes! Some of
the special guests included Mr. Tai Yim, Mr. Jeff Bolt, Mr. William
CC Chen, Mr. Hoy Lee, Mr. Johnny Lee, Mr. Chien-Liang Huang, Mr.
Qiang Ya Liang, Mr. Steve Sun, Mr. Ray Luk, Mr. Henry Poo Yee, Mr.
Tu Chungking, Mr. Mike Barry, Madame Wong Jurong, and Mr. Wu Chengde.
From overseas, there was Shi De Yu (Shaolin Temple, Henan, China),
Mr. Bah Chee Yeoh, Mr. Chan Kor Yap, Mr. Wie Yoo Teng, Mr. Kok Yeng
Chow, and Mr. Satoshi Ito. Other Masters in attendance included
Mr. Earl Portnoy, Mr. Philip Russell, and Ms. Debbie Fleishman.
Lifetime achievement awards were presented to Madame Wong Jurong,
Mr. William CC Chen, and to Jimmy Wong's Sifu Mr. Yap Shu Shen (accepted
by his son, Mr. Yap Chan Kor).
In the midst of all the excitement of competition, nearly 70 seminars
were taught by Masters and Grandmasters from all over the country
including Jin Cai Cheng, William CC Chen, Zhonghua Chen, Sam Chin,
Gene Ching, Andrew Chung, Jay Dunbar, Jianye Jiang, Johnny Lee,
Yi Yuan Lee, Randy Li, Qiang Ya Liang, Henry Look, Yuzhi Lu, Benny
Meng, Sam Ng, Philip Ng, Richard Peck, Shi De Shan, Shi Xing Ying,
Chun Man Sit, Steve Sun, John Wang, Elaine Waters, Greg Watson,
Hong Chao Zhang, Hui Zhuang, and Jingde He.
the end of the day, everyone walked home with something, whether
it be a nice shiny medal or a great experience. The big winners
were the Grand Champions:
what, you ask, will Jimmy Wong have up his sleeve for next year?
How about Hainan, China? The 1st China Hainan International Martial
Arts Championships & Cultural Exchange will be held in June
28-29, 2003 in Hainan, China (the beautiful Hawaii of China). For
those who don't want to travel too far, the 6th Taiji Legacy will
still be held in Dallas, Texas in August 2003. See you then!