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Newsletter - 6th February 2005

News From Fire Dragon Australia

NEWS FROM FIRE DRAGON FROM AUGUST 2004

With the new Beginners and Seniors classes, Fire Dragon in Ainslie has become stronger, and so too have the links between the Ainslie and Queanbeyan Clubs. Once a month, students and Instructors organise a monthly social event for students and families and friends. The August event was an excursion to Laserzone, at which Joel Rheinberger and Stephen Wells in particular excelled. Later in the year, the Club saw Hero, which impressed with its traditional values - and action of course, and members of the Club helped Brendan Hayes celebrate his 30th at a barbeque. These events are an important part of building the Australian Pai Lum Family.

The NAS Round 3 competition was on 1 August, with another good result from Fire Dragon Queanbeyan. Luke Pedrana earned first place in Mens' Novice Forms 1, while Sifu Patrick Bellchambers - Shr Zr - won first place in Men's Open Forms 1, and third place in Points Sparring.

Luke, performing his winning form - Flowing 1.
Luke, performing his winning form - Flowing 1.
Sifu Bellchambers - a force to be reckoned with, inside (or outside) the Ring!
Sifu Bellchambers - a force to be reckoned with, inside (or outside) the Ring!

On 2 October, the ACT NAS State Championships - Luke earned the title of 2004 State Mens' Novice Forms Champion and also won third place in Mens' Novice Point Sparring. Sifu Bellchambers performed very well, to earn second place in Men's Open Forms. Well done - both!!

Luke - Mr Snake - ACT Novice males Forms Champion, with his Instructor, Sifu Bellchambers - Shr Zr, also no slouch at competition, with their trophies.
Luke - Mr Snake - ACT Novice males Forms Champion, with his Instructor, Sifu Bellchambers - Shr Zr, also no slouch at competition, with their trophies.

Master Hardy taught a Day Course for Fire Dragon students on10 October. It was a well-attended course, and participants learned not only Pai Lum techniques and approaches, but also new Form, thanks to Bai Hou Long, Master Rusch, who had taught them to Master Hardy at Shinzan's 2003 International Pai Lum Camp. Master Hardy explained more on how to learn from the Pai Lum forms, both beginners and advanced.

Students challenged themselves, as did Master Hardy, performing a short range heel palm break on concrete strips with no spacers - and all learned. And while the opportunity was there, Master Hardy graded three students - Luke Pedrana and Tiernan Creagh graded to Blue Sash, and Owen Martens to White. Luke was also given the Club name of Mr Snake - reflecting his success in tournaments!

The participants at the 2004 Day Course
The participants at the 2004 Day Course

The 2005 Multistyle Martial Arts Camp was held from 27th and 28th November, with a preponderence of Fire Dragon students, but a range of Instructors including Sensei Jason Ballard, Sifu David Crook, Sifu Peter Watson and Sifu Andrew Nehrlich joining Master Hardy in teaching a variety of approaches to defence, including foot, hand and body techniques, grappling, and weapons. Bo staff, short sticks, knife and Chinese Broadsword were included. Students of the Broadsword joined Master Hardy in a challenging session on the oval, practising hard in our strong sun.

The 2004 Multistyle Camp, at Greenhills Conference Centre
The 2004 Multistyle Camp, at Greenhills Conference Centre
Some of the Camp Instructors - Sifu Nehrlich, Sifu Hardy, Sifu Watson, and Sifu Crook
Some of the Camp Instructors - Sifu Nehrlich, Sifu Hardy, Sifu Watson, and Sifu Crook

Saturday night saw five Fire Dragon students, from both Ainslie and Queanbeyan Clubs put through their paces to grade to their next levels. On Sunday, all were given the news they had earned and hoped for - success! (Readers are referred to the Gradings page for photos.)

And on the Sunday, after Master Hardy performed a challenging break (which he managed on his second attempt), he invited students to use their Ch'i, and lie on broken glass. Two White Sash students took him up on his offer - Owen Martens, and Brendan Hayes. Well done both.

Brendan Hayes - soon to be Yellow sash, lies on broken glass
Brendan Hayes - soon to be Yellow sash, lies on broken glass
Owen Martens, also enjoying a comfortable bed, in one of the few opportunities to lie down.
Owen Martens, also enjoying a comfortable bed, in one of the few opportunities to lie down.

At the NAS National Championships on 4-5th December, Sifu Bellchambers joined Master Hardy in judging and refereeing, and also competed - a difficult task! Despite being unable to come away with a trophy, Sifu Shr Zr performed very well, with an excellent 1000 Steps, and a comprehensive display of accurate fast and varied techniques in his sparring. He brought credit to the Club, and to the Pai Family!

At the NAS National Championships on 4-5th December, Sifu Bellchambers joined Master Hardy in judging and refereeing, and also competed - a difficult task! Despite being unable to come away with a trophy, Sifu Shr Zr performed very well, with an excellent 1000 Steps, and a comprehensive display of accurate fast and varied techniques in his sparring. He brought credit to the Club, and to the Pai Family!

The 2004 Christmas Dinner was held on Friday 17 December, at a local Szechuan restaurant - lots of good quality food, and good feeling. It rounded off a hard but productive year for Fire Dragon Australia. A tricky year of the Monkey which was met with intelligence and Ch'i.

Enjoying the 2004 Christmas Dinner
Enjoying the 2004 Christmas Dinner
Which included Szechuan food
Which included Szechuan food

The 2004 Niket Rewal Award was presented to Tiernan Creagh by Master Hardy, as recognition of the effort Tiernan has put into his training, and to assisting his Instructor - indeed for following the Way of the White Dragon. Certificates were awarded to Emily Puttick of Queanbeyan and Chantal Seimens of Ainslie as most improved students, and certificates were also given to Joel Rheinberger, Geoff Wilmot, Luke Pedrana and Frank Lewins for their efforts at helping the White Dragon.

The Pai Lum Family enjoying company as well as the food
The Pai Lum Family enjoying company as well as the food
A good afair!
A good afair!

The last training session for the year was Wednesday 22 December, when Queanbeyan Fire Dragon joined their Ainslie colleagues for a joint lesson with Master Hardy and Sifu Bellchambers. Classes started in 2005 in Ainslie on 11 January, but Queanbeyan students showed their spirit by demanding classes on January 5!

And, sadly, Fire Dragon Queanbeyan received news just before Christmas that they would be unable to continue to use their home of the last year, the Greek Orthodox Church, because of problems the Church was having with insurance. However, with a great deal of rapid work, Sifu Bellchambers found a new home, and the Club is now settled into their new quarters at the Presbyterian Chutrch, at 3 Morrisett St.

Instructors and Students are looking forward to growing in knowledge and strength in the forthcoming Year of the Rooster!

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