Newsletter - 25th August 2004
News From Fire Dragon Australia
NEWS FOR JULY 2004
2004 classes started on January 6 after a two week break over Christmas and New Year.
Preparations for the year's first demonstration commenced almost immediately - the National Multicultural Festival on 7 February. The Club performed on a stage, which was a little tight, and a little slippery, but had good visibility, and sound. Senior members broke concrete to demonstrate their capacity to put mind and body together, but because of the total fire ban in operation, were unable to use fire. Still, the audience appreciated the sequence - Wasu Jayne Hardy - Ma Gai, broke four slabs, followed by Sifu Shr Zr breaking eight, and finally Master Hardy, who got all the way through the 15 he missed in 2003!
With the demonstration season well started, Fire Dragon was again called to show our understanding of the Way, this time in Glebe Park, on March 13. While the lawn was a bit moist, students coped very well, and a very impressed audience showed their appreciation. The lack of the time constraints which operate during the Multicultural Festival allowed a more thorough demonstration of student capabilities, and again finished with some breaking. Master Hardy again put his hand through 15 slabs, this time with our trademark fire. The performance finished with a sandwich break on glass, but the audience need have had no concern - no damage was done to our Black Belts.
Just two hours later the Club was again called on to share our Way, this time in the Holy Grail Bar, as part of the Canberra Fringe Festival Dance - Fight Club ~ Dance Club. A little crowded, and challenging, but a good demonstration, and a lot of fun, between Belly Dancing, Capoeira, Karate, Flamenco and Kung Fu.
The following weekend, the Club was again busy, this time at short notice in Dickson Shops, with the Majura Festival. As usual, we challenged ourselves, with Master Hardy defending against live knife attacks at real speed, and students excelling. With the breaks, Sifu Bellchambers performed his first fire break, of 9 concrete slabs, while Master Hardy again broke 15 slabs, on fire, but this time with a heel palm strike from finger tip distance.
The first NAS tournament was on March 21, and the sole Fire Dragon competitor was Luke Pedrana. It was Luke's first competition, but he brought great credit to himself, his Instructor, Sifu Bellchambers, and Fire Dragon, with a first place in Novice Forms (colts), and in Novice Points Sparring. A great effort, and well deserved result!
The second NAS round took place on May 23. Sifu Bellchambers (Shr Zr) not only assisted with judging, but also competed, and came a very creditable second in the Open Forms Division, and third in Male Open Point Sparring.
On the 25th June, the Shaolin Monks appeared at the Canberra Theatre, eagerly observed by Fire Dragon. The Monks ranged from young boys to the more venerable Abbot. All displayed inspiring abilities, together with great friendliness, and a sense of fun. Due to the great good efforts of Geoff Wilmot, Joel Reinberger and Frank Lewins, 14 members of the Club were able to talk to the Monks backstage, before their performance. Master Hardy presented their Abbot with a framed photograph of Club members, with the Club's thanks, and sent a message of thanks to the Head Abbot. The Monks returned the gift with gifts of their own, including a signed poster. The teachers and students of Fire Dragon feel privileged to have met these practitioners of the Way.
On 1 July, Master Hardy changed the training arrangements for the Ainslie Club, by introducing separate Beginners and Seniors classes. Beginners now train for an hour and a half before the Seniors class, which is allowing Master Hardy to concentrate on teaching basics to beginners, while giving the Seniors more advanced attention. Despite the expense of additional hall hire, the changes are well worth while, and have been greeted very positively by students. And everyone still gets together after training on alternate Thursdays!
And, on another positive note, Master Hardy has succeeded in registering the Club name and logo as Trademarks - a legacy for the Club and future students and Instructors!