What is competition?
1 : the act or process of competing : RIVALRY: as a : the effort of two or more parties acting independently to secure the business of a third party by offering the most favorable terms 2 : a contest between rivals; also : one's competitors
Are there benefits to Competition?
Competition is adrenaline that make us feel alive. It wakes up shy and timid people to get in front of a crowd and do what they need to do. Learning your art and knowing how to present it brings out a confidence which can make you a leader. It is good for all ages. For athletes who work hard it shows level of skill against others who have same number of years. For coaches it is comparison between your skills to teach and that of others.
What is missing in Martial arts worldwide ....
Simple answer: Etiquette, (WuDe) specially in the arts that are reaching the limelight. Coaches are teaching physical education but not complete martial arts.
My thoughts on competitions in America....
I have been living in the USA now for 33 years. I have judged in 100's of competitions and I have learned how these events are run. NASKA (North American Sport Karate Association) has A-AAAAA rated events - all competitors know they must attend all 12-14 National events per year to earn points if not the person below them in scoring will move up - by the end of the year the highest scores earned name the USA National Champion. This is very important to USA open circuit competitors. NASKA also brings in ESPN, it promotes its champions to land roles in films, not to mention magazine coverage. Prize money is is awarded for all 1st Place winnings and higher for each Grand Championship.
The only Wu Shu event that is growing every year is the Berkeley event in the West Coast. From what I am told their event is run by University students. California has many Wu Shu clubs and they support each other's events. Incredible!!! These young people can produce with little experience what Masters doing events for years cannot produce in the East Coast. Keep it up!
So where does that leave the rest of the USA specially the East coast? We are not unified, we barely have any university clubs to hold our own collegiate events. Masters in traditional Wu Shu do not respect the modern Wu Shu styles. Where ever exists two minds there will be a conflict of interest. The point is to come to a mutual understanding and work together. Everyone deserves a chance to grow. Whether you do Wu Shu modern or traditional Wu Shu (kung fu) - we are still Chinese martial artists. From the old comes the new!
My thoughts on the past two AWS hosted Championships ......
Overall we only host fair and non political events. The Judges are highly respected and Professional.
My disappointments ....
If you love life don't waste time for time is what life is made up of. Words from Bruce Lee. We live by these words so the disappointment is living in a country trying to lead those who do not want to led. Few Wu Shu leaders of the past voluntarily stepped down knowing they could no longer waste energy on negative people. There are many great masters living in America actively teaching. Our guest judges and Grandmaster Edward Aguirre had conversations and the main topic is 'why are there NO Americans who have world class level for competition. We have never seen any to compare with the Ukrainian guys who came to compete at our Miami event yet they only place 5 to 8th place in the IWuF World Games. America is at a low level of Wu Shu in the world since 1990. We need coaches certification seminars, we need judges certification seminars, we need to raised the morale of the young who are the future of this sport. If your students never enter competition how are they being prepared to deal with the competition which is LIFE? Support worthy events the same way you would want your event supported. The thing with us is we never forget who does what and says what. The AWS is loyal to real friends. This world is too big for us in this country to out due one another. We all have opportunity to grow and make money if that is the only reason why you teach. Martial arts was not meant to be a business because the old way Masters in China did not ask for money, they were hungry to share their secrets to real worthy individuals and have their name carried through life. Commercialized martial arts lost the real meaning of discipline. The level of a student grows with the color of a belt and the martial level of the student is destroyed when that black belt cannot defend his or herself in a street attack. We have visited many schools all over the world and have seen the same thing, money and more money made. Most Masters know this and so they are ashamed of supporting events because they have the reputations but nothing to show. One day close minded people will have faded and the new generation will arise who want to see great things happen. Until a real unified USA event is produced where athletes show up from all corners of the USA; no American event can ever name a real US Wu Shu Champion.
My thoughts on the future of Wu Shu....
The AWS has travelled the whole world 4 times over. In each country we have taught in or visited it is the same cries as we here in America face. Each country has a power hungry dictator who has never done Wu Shu in his or her life. The thought of Olympics means POWER and that is all that is important - not the martial art. Each nation has tons of left out in the cold good schools who cannot join their federation because of politics, favoritism, money, or just plain control. Not always the best people rule. Till this day the US Olympic Committee does not recognize our Wu Shu governing body. Call the USOC legal department and ask.
In this country people complain about the lack of fairness or the leadership YET they are the same people who still support the same people they complain about. Keep the Wu Shu spirit clean and go to an event produced to give back real competition and brotherhood. You are only loading up the gun of the person who later laughs at all of us. We hear each country say how many athletes are cheated from making their national team selection. How some great athletes are black listed and complained about to the IWuF for attending non-federation events. Real martial arts training teaches proper martial etiquette. So here is the solution for this country - The USA is so great and very big, no one man can control everything. The USOC goes by the book. There is a Wu Shu Federation in this country recognized by the IWuF but not recognized by the majority of the people practicing Wu Shu in America or our national Olympic Committee. The IWuF can remove any country from membership if that country's national Olympic Committee recognizes another. We know this for a fact because we did our part to help remove a leader and bring the real Ukraine Federation to lead. The IWuF will not interfere in any internal disputes. We failed in the long anticipated 2008, did not make 2012, 2016 and the latest news we did not make 2020 either.
What does I will support you mean....
Means that we will come to help your event, share our experiences and bring students to compete. This alone means we will come to work to make your event run smooth and by bringing students who pay to compete we are helping your event with all the financial burden it took to make the tournament.
For the past 25 years we paid for ourselves and brought athletes to compete to all events we attended. In the East Coast we traveled with 8 to 15 competitors for many years.