Wheelchair Taiji Team Secures Wushu Grand Prize
Original Chinese Language Article By: http://www.baibuting.cn
(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
On the 27th November, 2011, the Hankou Sports Centre hosted the Third Hubei Wuhan Yangze River – North-South Martial Arts Competition. Amongst the competitors was the Baibuting ‘Pine Crane’ Taijiquan team that was successful in the 16 Style Wheelchair Taijiquan and the 32 Style Wheelchair Taijiquan Long Sword categories.
The Baibuting ‘Pine – Crane’ team is comprised of many people with lower limb disabilities, as well as other, different types of disabilities, such as deafness, blindness, and cognitive issues. These people are extraordinary, because they have to try harder than able-bodied people to attain the level of excellence they have achieved. Many members of this team have suffered and sacrificed to get where they are today and their example should serve as an inspiration to all other martial artists. Everybody who practices martial arts shares a common motivation to develop the mind and body and perfect technique and character. Disabled martial artists have grace, poise, determination, calmness and a tremendous inner strength and will-power to succeed. Watching their performance is an inspiration to everyone, and much is learned as a consequence!
At 10am, the team began to assemble at the local meeting point, and together with a number of volunteers to assist, the team members gathered together their equipment, clothing and other necessary objects, boarded the bus to the competition. Many different able-bodied martial arts teams gathered at the sports centre, all practising their various martial drills and weaponry. The ‘Pine – Crane’ team, due to their disabilities, did not do this as they had already prepared themselves in the months leading-up to this event. They gathered together quietly and with dignity – they were unfazed by the other competitors. Instead, the disabled competitors showed a very deep and strong heroic strength premised upon a confidence gained from facing hardship and suffering during their lives. Everything was calm, until the music began that signalled the 16 Style Wheelchair Team to take to the floor. The entire atmosphere in the stadium suddenly changed – as all eyes were on the incredible unfolding performance. Any spectators were surprised, but all were impressed, as many had never seen wheelchair martial arts before. As the performance ended, there was a stunned silence – and then an outbreak of incredible applause, cheering, and appreciation!
When the beautiful music used by the ‘Pine – Crane’ sounded again, the audience became quiet as the 32 Style Wheelchair Taijiquan Long Sword display began. There was no jumping or fast spinning – but there was exact and precise execution of sword strikes, thrusts, parries, deflections, blocks and traps! Each move, and collection of moves, were stunning in their speed and accuracy which was combined with an ingenious use of physical limitation. This display was full of fighting-spirit and heroic demeanour. The audience was enthralled to watch the inter-play of ‘hard’ (yang) and ‘soft’ (yin) techniques performed to a steady rhythm. When the ‘Pine – Crane’ Team finished their routine, not only did they receive a standing ovation, but even the usually impartial referee stood-up, applauded and gave them the ‘thumbs-up’ sign! Then the judges announced the maximum score of ‘9.0’! Very rarely is this score given to any martial arts performance. This was a just reward for the performance and all the effort this team had put into their training and other preparation. Performing Taijiquan whilst in a wheelchair gained the respect of the Hubei martial arts community, and this success demonstrated that people with disabilities can live independent and fulfilling lives and achieve things for themselves.
The Baibuting ‘Pine – Crane’ and ‘Pine – Yang’ Taijiquan Teams are trained by the old teacher Zhong Biao (钟彪) and the success at this competition proves the effectiveness of the training methods. After the event, when back in their home community, people came from far and wide to congratulate the team and talk to their teacher – many being reluctant to leave. Everyone was happy and Zhong Biao said that the winning of this award was very good for the community and should serve to encourage others to train in martial arts – regardless of any limitations. The joy was palpable!
(Correspondent: Chen Daizhi -陈代枝)
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2016.
Original Chinese Language Source Text: http://www.baibuting.cn/activity/2011-11-28/13224676672210.html