For five thousand years, the traditional marital arts of China have evolved.
[Leslie Jaw, Hung Gar Style]:
“I look at them and ugh, the years it must have taken to get to that level, it’s mind boggling.”
At the core was the belief in “wude,” or martial virtue.
[Deogenese Arbosa, Praying Mantis Kung Fu]:
“Its not just performing, but you also want to be able to defend people, and protect people, that’s what martial arts is really all about.”
Dozens of different forms, styles, and fists gathered over the weekend to compete in NTD’s 3rd International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition.
They came from across the globe to midtown Manhattan–some as old as 90, some as young as 11.
[Jing Duan Yang, Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Physician]:
“Well, marital arts are a wonderful treasure of Chinese culture. It’s really not just about performance, but cultivating a person’s body and mind and spirit.”
Competitors tell why they’ve decided to take part in this competition.
[Angela Gao, Pi Gua Quan Style]:
“This competition is made for purely traditional martial arts and I really appreciated that because I feel that nowadays modern marital arts look really fantastic and amazing but its missing the core value and I think traditional, it’s like traditional Chinese characters. There’s more beauty, there’s more history involved in traditional martial arts than the modern version.”
The competition is divided into semifinals and the finals.
For Kevin Yang, martial arts have been a way of connecting to his cultural heritage.
[Kevin Yang, Small Flower Fist]:
“Chinese marital arts is a big thing for Chinese culture, it’s a big part of Chinese culture. And, I’ve for the most part grown up in America so to be doing something that’s so rooted in my culture, I definitely feel more connected to it.”
His training paid off–at the end of the day–Kevin took home the bronze prize in the Male Fist Category. Angela also won the bronze in the Female Fist Category. Leslie Jaw has participated in the NTD Martial Arts Competition for all three years. Today, she’s taking home silver.
This year’s gold winner is Baili Wang, from mainland China. The prize is a check for 5,000 dollars. Wang now plans to make a new life for himself in the US, starting his own martial arts school. But all the contestants will take home memories from today’s competition, as they carry the spirit of traditional Chinese martial arts into the future.
NTD News, New York