By Ram Srinivasan, Epoch Times Staff, Sep 29, 2008 –
NEW YORK— Martial Artists from all over the world competed in the first International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition hosted by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) this past weekend at the Armory Track and Field Center in New York.
The event is part of NTDTV’s Nine Competition Series intended to reinvigorate the traditional Chinese art forms ranging from fine art, music, cooking, and dance. The two day contest began with preliminary rounds Saturday, followed by the semi-final and final rounds on Sunday, concluding with an awards banquet in the evening.
Both male and female competitions were held, featuring four different martial arts forms— Internal Style, Northern Style, Southern Style, and Weapons. The preliminary and semi-final round allowed contestants to compete in several forms, though they needed to commit to one category for the final round.
Joshua Peck of Pennsauken, NJ, 14, received Honorable Mention recognition for the Northern Form competition. Mr. Peck had previously competed in the International Zheng Jiang competitions in China, winning six gold medals for empty hand, broad sword, staff, and other forms. In regards to practicing Kung Fu, he said “it actually calms me down, and has helped me develop who I am now. It helped my technique. In Karate, my technique was lacking. I learned a lot of new stuff, like flips, and everything.”
Mr. Peck had practiced Karate before he started learning Kung Fu. “Before Kung Fu, I did Karate. But after a while, it was the same routines over and over again. I tried Karate for about 3 years. Kung Fu is like a whole new world.”
Asked about how he felt after competing in the finals, he said that “happiness, courage, bravery, all these feelings come to my body and mind right now.”
The martial arts competition required a minimum of three types of jumps or acrobatic flips for the long fist and weapon forms. The requirement for this competition was completely different from that used in contemporary martial arts contests, where the focus is purely on the appearance of the movement itself.
Marcus Leonard, 22, of Richmond, VA received Honorable Mention recognition in the Southern Form contest. Like many other contestants, he became involved in the martial arts from a young age.
“When I was a kid, martial arts struck my interest, around the time I was 8,” he said. He started training when he was 11. His style was Jow Ga, which Marcus described as “a form of Southern Fist (Nan Quan) which could also be classified as Northern Fist (Bei Quan).” Marcus’ teacher was an expert in Shaolin, Long Fist, and Wing Chun styles.
About the differences between contemporary and traditional martial arts, Mr. Leonard said they were very different. In traditional martial arts, “you respect the founder, respect the teachings, learn kindness, then learn justice, then learn Kung Fu. And then when you learn Kung Fu, you can protect yourself, but if you were a true Kung Fu man, you wouldn’t abuse your ability, your power. You meet a person, and if he is evil, you shouldn’t teach him for 10,000 pieces of gold. And if he has no honor, you shouldn’t teach him even if he was your brother. But if he has honor, you should teach him, even if he was a stranger.”
– The Epochtimes