International Martial Arts Competition Revives Lost Traditions
(Minghui.org) Hosted by New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television, the 2019 International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition concluded its finals in New Jersey on August 25, 2019.
Screenings for the competition were held in Taiwan, Germany, and the United States. Over seventy contestants from Asia, Europe, and the Americas reached the semi-finals and finals on August 25.
The competition “aims to revive the traditional Chinese martial arts and display its true values to the world.” The sponsor highlights the importance of “martial virtue” and cultivation of moral character that are essential to traditional martial arts but which have been lost in modern mixed martial arts.
Contestants ranging in age from 9 to 82 competed in seven categories: junior unarmed, female unarmed, male unarmed, southern fist, junior weapons, female weapons, and male weapons. Through a variety of techniques and weapons, the participants demonstrated different styles and schools of traditional martial arts.
Judges: Preserving Traditions
“Traditional martial arts stress 'gong' (energy) and not just superficial appearances. We can tell whether you have 'gong fu' or not,” said Youfu Li, the head judge of the competition and a former international martial arts champion.
He said that NTD's competition requires “traditional martial arts” and emphasizes the martial virtue of “punishing the evil and dignifying the kind.”
Longfei Yang, another judge for the competition and the founder of the Xin Wu Men Martial Arts Association, said that in today's society where the essence of traditional martial arts has been lost, NTD's competition platform has invited a large number of contestants who stress martial virtue and tradition.
“In the competition this year, we noticed that contestants from more countries participated. It's become more international. It also means that more people understand the differences between traditional martial arts and modern martial arts,” Mr. Yang said.
Male Weapons Gold-Prize Winner Hopes to Promote Traditional Martial Arts
“Traditional martial arts pays attention to calming the heart. You can feel your body only when your heart is calm,” said Dayan Liu, a contestant from Taiwan and the gold-prize winner of the male weapons category.
He said that all ancient Chinese artistic skills, not just martial arts, stress the concept of “harmony between heaven and mankind” and moral values.
“Through practice and training of the body, you temper your mind and body. You keep improving, reach different levels, reach the state of unity between awareness and action, and all the way until you reach harmony between the heaven and mankind,” he said.
Speaking of how he studied martial arts, he shared his encounter with his first teacher: “When I was little, I was very active and liked to show off. I then met that teacher who was very reserved. His skills were good but he was very humble, peaceful, and polite. So I developed this admiration for him and started to learn from and practice with him.”
He was surprised that he won the gold prize. He said that he had been working on promoting traditional martial arts so he did not care whether he won an award. “Traditional martial arts face being lost. I joined the competition to be part of promoting them. I'm working hard on it,” he said.
Group from Colombia: Appreciate This Learning Opportunity
In a mountain near Diomkeo in northeastern Colombia, there is a village where people live very simply. Everyone gets up at 3 a.m. to exercise, practice martial arts, read, and pray, and they go to sleep at sunset after an hour of meditation. They plant organic vegetables and herbs, raise bees, and live according to nature.
Eleven people from this village participated in the martial arts competition this year. The youngest contestant was 11 and the oldest was 69. One person won a silver prize, two won bronze prizes, three won honorable mentions, and one won honorary contributions.
“The energy at the entire competition site is very strong... I learned from all the contestants. The judges carry very strong energy. I can feel it. I like them. I respect them a lot,” said Laura Franco Gomez, the silver-prize winner of the female weapons category.
“No matter what country we're from, we're here for the same goal: traditional martial arts... We're like one family. We learn from each other and find opportunities to improve ourselves,” said Mauricio Pinzon, bronze-prize winner of the male weapons category.
“Practicing martial arts keeps me healthy. It makes me feel strong. This is the kind of lifestyle I want to follow,” said Armiláli Pinzón Valderrama, an 11-year-old contestant who won the bronze prize in the junior weapons category.
“I really appreciate this opportunity to participate in the competition and compete with young people. It makes me feel young,” said Sahvash Fortoul, a winner of the prize for honorary contributions.
He said that what's important is “trying” and working together to “preserve traditional martial arts and their divinity.”
List of Winners
Junior Unarmed Category:Gold Prize: Zongting ZhuangSilver Prize: Karel KorencBronze Prize: Xiaole Yang, Weijia Wang, Martin WernerHonorable Mention: Junyi Wu
Female Unarmed Category:Gold Prize: vacantSilver Prize: vacantBronze Prize: Megan Westerman, Ellen Beat OpfermannHonorable Mention: Lucero Osorio Fernandez
Southern Fist CategoryGold Prize: vacantSilver Prize: Marcus LeonardBronze Prize: Chenghong Xie, Xiuxian Chen, Dennis Chen, Jingzhi Chen, and Zhewei XuHonorable Mention: Dongliang Shen, Christoph Waldhaus
Male Unarmed Category:Gold Prize: vacantSilver Prize: vacantBronze Prize: Guozhi Zhuang, Chris Chappell, Zichuan Liu, Andy Zhang, Michael Hwang, Douglas HughHonorable Mention: Eike Andreas Opfermann
Junior Weapons Category:Gold Prize: vacantSilver Prize: Qifeng LiBronze Prize: Armiláli Pinzón Valderrama, Yinyu Chen, Dingkai Luo
Female Weapons Category:Gold Prize: Yingxuan SunSilver Prize: Laura Franco GomezBronze Prize: Yizhen Shi, Sarah Belser
Male Weapons Category:Gold Prize: Dayan LiuSilver Prize: vacantBronze Prize: Changgeng Chen, Mario Salazar, Mauricio Pinzon, Shaoxuan ChenHonorable Mention: Jimi Jose García Gonzalez, Jesus Alirio Franco Montoya
Prize for Honorary Contributions:Guozhi Zhuang, Peiyun Li, Dongliang Shen, Sahvash Fortoul, Chongzhi Chen