1999 Chinese American Athletic Tournament

by Raffi (1/19/00)


Hmm, what's the best way to describe this event? What was supposed to be a one day thing turned into a two day marathon. It was held at the end of July, 1999. The schedule said forms would be done the first day so most people only planned on coming on Saturday, but by the time the judges got going and got through most of the kids, we had to stop and get ready for the Master's Demo. Luckily my Xingyi division went right before they made us stop, so I got one of my two divisions out of the way. But all the weapons divisions had to wait til the next day.

Maybe this is why things were so slow, my pal Eric was helping run the wushu ring.

Brandon as always, doing well in the internal divisions.
The Master's Demo turned out to be pretty huge, lots of schools, lots of masters. One of the highlights was Grandmaster Chan Pui's performance, also the hosting school, Lily Lau's Kungfu Academy was said to be very good, but I didn't actually watch much, since I was participating in a group set demo by the Pacific Wushu Academy, which I have to say is one of the more tiring sets I've ever had the joy of performing. After we finished, the "National Taiwan Wushu Team" (I'm not sure what their exact team name was) performed a marathon "demo" that turned out to be a full blown performance, nearly an hour long! Although I'm informed that this was shorter than the one they did the week before at the US Kuoshu Federation's nationals. Having just spent a month in Beijing training wushu, I was a little jaded to their performance although I did like some of their choreography.

After that demo a lot of people left (I felt sorry for the groups that went on after them). The remaining events were pushed to the next day. Unfortunately a lot of people hadn't planned on returning the next day and so the attendance was pretty sparse. Luckily for me, I was carpooling with my only competition in the flexible weapons category, Elan 'Homkind' Hom so I knew what I was facing going into it.

[wha ha!]
Mark Tamimi came down from Oregon for this one. Here he is caught in the middle of a butterfly.
Elan and I were going head to head in flexible weapons with our three section staffs. Oddly enough, we ended up getting a tie, so we both got first places. This late in the day, I don't think the judges wanted to have us go up again, so they didn't do a tie-breaker or anything. (and I think they had plenty of extra medals to give away). This meant that we both qualified for the Grand Championship, the only other competitor was David Chang, who I think had gotten firsts in everything he entered (spear, straight sword, changquan, etc).

I didn't do as well in the grand champ as I did in the flexible weapons category, so I knew I was out of the running, but Elan had a good chance. He decided to compete with his whip chain (why? for fun! I think he figured people were tired of watching three section staff for the fourth time, so he spiced it up). He did a really good job and I thought he would take the grand championship, but before they gave him his scores, the judges called him up to the head table and started asking him questions. Turns out they were disqualifying him for not competing with the same set he qualified with. Despite being the audience favorite, The People's Champion was denied the title!

The women of this wushu team from Taiwan performing a nice group straightsword set.

So turns out the second day, although it was long (we were the last competitors to finish) was still a lot of fun. After that Elan and I got back in the Sherpamobile and left the Southbay with a couple medals and a pretty funny story (you should have heard what the head judge said to him when he told her he thought the audience would like it more if he did whip chain).     :)

The men of this wushu team from Taiwan performing group Nanquan compulsory.

Sorry for so few photos, despite all the sitting around I was doing, I didn't take that many pictures. Also sorry for taking so long to get this up, but then again I've got stuff from last April I haven't put up yet either. All in all this tournament turned out to be pretty good, and I have to say a lot of the problems I cited at Lily Lau's School's previous tournament (chronicalled in my lost article 'Lily Lau's Eagle Claw Cup Exposed.' The text was lost, but you can still see the pictures from that one here). So I wanted to give credit where credit is due.

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