Newsletter - 1st June 2009
News From Fire Dragon Australia
2008 commenced with Fire Dragon Instructors and students preparing hard for demonstrations – the first, as part of the National Multicultural Festival, on 9th February. Despite a challenging environment, the Fire Dragon performance stood out, although Master Hardy unfortunately broke his right arm in his second attempt at a large stack of concrete.
The next day, undeterred, Fire Dragon was again on show, which with a longer timeframe allowed demonstration of a fuller range of the techniques and teachings of Pai Lum Kung Fu. Master Hardy broke a smaller stack of concrete with his left hand this time, and prepared for the following weekend, by lying on glass with over 400kg of concrete on his chest broken by Sifu Bellchambers with a sledgehammer.
And, the following weekend, Fire Dragon Australia went for it yet again! Seniors competed at the Australian Kung Fu (Wu Shu) Federation’s National Championships, with success from all: Sifu Bellchambers ; Wasu Ingrid Bean, and Wasu Jayne Hardy
On the Saturday, students helped Master Hardy as he prepared for an attempt on the Guinness World Record for the heaviest weight of concrete broken on the chest with a sledgehammer, while lying on a bed of nails. This took a very great deal of preparation, as the requirements for an attempt are naturally stringent. It also took great teamwork, with Wasu Jayne Hardy and Michael O’Connor leading the two teams placing the concrete slabs and removing broken pieces. Sifu Bellchambers of course wielded the sledgehammer, ensuring every slab was broken before it was removed. At the end of the night, Master Hardy had 532.3kg of concrete broken on him, while lying on a bed of nails, and did break the pre-existing World Record, by over 20kg!
After the show was over - several weeks afterwards in fact - when Master Hardy had completed the documentation, and received official recognition, he was sent his official certificate, and treated his team to yum cha!
Sunday 17th saw Fire Dragon on stage once more – for the fourth time in 9 days – with Chinese New Year celebrations in Dickson. Forms, swords, defences, fire and concrete were performed and broken, for an appreciative audience.
All those who took part in the demonstrations over the two week period gained from the experience – and helped the Dragon in Australia!
On 1 April, Master Hardy was authorised by Grand Master St Charles to promote his sister Jayne to Black Belt - after many years training (and a few diversions by way of Veterans Australian and World Records for athletics), Jayne showed herself, her teacher, and her fellow students what she can do!
It was very good to welcome our third Black Belt!
On 16th May, Master Hardy took Sifu Bellchambers with him to Townsville, to visit with Sifu Jamie Scuffell, of the Shen Zhao Pai Athletic Association. Sifu Scuffell very generously afforded the two Pai Lum Instructors days of his time and his students’, to show them forms, techniques, and the Way of the Shaking Crane.
The 27th May saw Master Hardy and Sifu Jayne Hardy put on a small demonstration for the teachers and students of Campbell High School, as part of their Multicultural Day. Those present saw a quick display of forms, techniques and breaking, which was appreciated as the martial aspect of Chinese culture.
Master Hardy taught a one day Seminar for Fire Dragon students on 15 June. It was a well attended day, and students learned forms and techniques. However, perhaps the most valuable lessons are the aspects of the course which are less apparent – the exposure for a whole day, to – Pai Lum Kung Fu – which, like any language, is best absorbed by immersion!
The 21 June saw yet another effort from Fire Dragon students and Master Hardy, as they presented a demonstration at the North Ainslie Primary School’s Multicultural Day. This was the third time that the Club had helped out this local school, as a way of contributing to the community, and again, their efforts were greatly appreciated – particularly as outside demonstrations during Winter are more challenging.