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Newsletter - 1st August 2010

News From Fire Dragon Australia

2010 was a year of energy and achievements for Fire Dragon students, and started with an unexpected invitation to regain a Guinness World Record. On 15th January 2010, we were called to Sydney by Channel 7 to see if we could regain the Guinness World Record we first earned in 2005, for the fastest time to have 16 concrete blocks broken on the chest.

We had only a few days’ preparation, so Master Hardy assembled the team and concrete and worked on our times. Practice was after training, and by light, so difficult. And, during the second session Wasu Ingrid Bean had one of her fingers caught between the sledgehammer and the concrete. A nasty injury, but Wasu Bean impressed with her courage, and accompanied the other team members to Sydney for the World Record.

Before the team made the attempt, by way of a warm-up, Scott Savage had nominated to try for another – fun – Guinness World Record. When we arrived, we found out what it was – the most eggs to be broken with his forehead in 30 seconds. Scott had only a little while to practise with the set up, but quickly worked out how to use his Kung Fu training to effect, with steady stances bewteen the eggs. And Scott achieved his World Record, breaking 67 eggs!

Scott Savage in action
Scott Savage in action
And - Scott, now a World Record holder!
And - Scott, now a World Record holder!

An hour or so later, with stacks of concrete and a crowd, Fire Dragon was ready for their next World Record, and Shr Fu Bellchambers swung the 14 lb sledgehammer precisely, while other team members removed the broken pieces. When the dust cleared (and there was plenty of dust!) Master Hardy emerged unscathed, and Fire Dragon had regained the World Record, with a blistering time of 7.37 seconds.

Shr Fu Bellchambers in action (Master Hardy is obscured!)
Shr Fu Bellchambers in action (Master Hardy is obscured!)
Master Hardy with Chris Sheedy, Guinness World Record Adjudicator, with the team, and the mess.
Master Hardy with Chris Sheedy, Guinness World Record Adjudicator, with the team, and the mess.
The Fire Dragon Guinness World Record Team
The Fire Dragon Guinness World Record Team

The Club then had a busy demonstration season, with several performances as part of the National Multicultural Festival on 6th and 7th February. The first, on the 6th, was an opportunity to display the Way of the White Dragon to a keen audience of Festival goers, with everyone performing well, and Master Hardy smashing some concrete sleepers for the first time in public – unfortunately not on fire, due to safety considerations.

The Dragon arises at the National Multicultural Festival
The Dragon arises at the National Multicultural Festival
Master Hardy removes a knife threat
Master Hardy removes a knife threat
Shr Fu Bellchambers neatly takes the bottom out of a bottle with a palm strike
Shr Fu Bellchambers neatly takes the bottom out of a bottle with a palm strike

The next day, Fire Dragon performed first at the Dragon Boat Regatta, and then at the Chinese New Year celebrations (where Master Hardy’s concrete break was done with the added difficulty of fire).

Tara James puts in a strong front kick in sparring at the Chinese New Year demonstration
Tara James puts in a strong front kick in sparring at the Chinese New Year demonstration
Wasu O'Conner and Shr Fu Bellchambers in the middle of a staff form
Wasu O'Conner and Shr Fu Bellchambers in the middle of a staff form
Scott and Mitchell demonstrate the Combat Form learnedin Florida
Scott and Mitchell demonstrate the Combat Form learnedin Florida
The Fire Dragon demonstration team
The Fire Dragon demonstration team

The Club’s next demonstration invitation was to North Ainslie Primary School’s multicultural day on 27 March, where students and parents all enjoyed the efforts of the Fire Dragon team.

Master Hardy breaks 5 concrete sleepers on fire at the North AInslioe demonstration
Master Hardy breaks 5 concrete sleepers on fire at the North AInslioe demonstration

Master Hardy held the 2010 Day Course on 2 May, and used this as an opportunity to pass on much of what he learned in his 2009 visit to the US. Techniques and approaches from Bai, Xue Long and Pai Shao lI featured, including knife self defences, and a systematic approach to Chin Na.

Participants at the 2010 Day Course
Participants at the 2010 Day Course

It was with great regret that members of Fire Dragon Australia mourned the passing of Shr Fu Bellchambers’ father George, of an unexpected heart attack, on 18 May - . George had been a childhood friend of Master Hardy, and is greatly missed by Shr Fu Bellchambers and his family and friends. Shr Fu Bellchambers was able to take some comfort from the support of his wife Sophie, and of his Kung Fu Family.

The late George Bellchambers - missed but not forgotten
The late George Bellchambers - missed but not forgotten

On 26th and 27th June, Master Hardy and several of his senior students helped Sensei Peter Carter in his attempt to spar for 24 hours solidly. Sensei carter was still standing and fighting after 24 hours, and Master Hardy’s students performed very well – turning up at all hours (literally!), and fighting well and with good control.

Sensei Carter lands a hand strike with Master Hardy refereeing
Sensei Carter lands a hand strike with Master Hardy refereeing

On 9th July, Master Hardy accepted an invitation to talk at the ANU’s Wisdom in Management Conference at the ANU. A very interesting opportunity to explore how Harmony contributes to Wisdom.

Master Hardy hosted a celebration of training at his “Half and Half party” on 31 July – to celebrate his training for half his 56 years, and his senior Shr Fu Patrick Bellchambers’ training for half his 28 years. At the party, Master Hardy awarded Wasu Ingrid Bean the first Sen Chuan Award for Courage. This Award is in memory of the late Grandmaster Fred Schmitz – Sen Chuan (Iron Fist), who taught Master Hardy at some personal cost despite being far from well. Wasu Bean demonstrated outstanding courage when injured during practice for the World Record achieved in January. One of her fingers was caught between concrete and the sledge hammer, and despite the injury, Wasu Bean held herself well, and travelled to Sydney a few days later to support the rest of the Fire Dragon team.

Wasu Ingrid Bean was presented with her Sen Chuan Award for Courage at the Half and Half Party for Master Hardy and Shr Fu Bellchambers. This not only recognised Wasu Bean's bravery, but also commemorates the late Pai, Sen Chuan - Iron Fist.
Wasu Ingrid Bean was presented with her Sen Chuan Award for Courage at the Half and Half Party for Master Hardy and Shr Fu Bellchambers. This not only recognised Wasu Bean's bravery, but also commemorates the late Pai, Sen Chuan - Iron Fist.

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