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Banquet Ceremony, Masters Yang and Ma -- Gan Bei!
 
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Masters and Friends 
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Master Yang's Students along with those from the Center for Body Mind Harmony 

 

After spending a good night in Jinan and lunching with the family of Master Yangís father, the bus took off for the coastal city of Qingda. Qingdao is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities of China and home to the famous beer, Qingdao Beer! However, drinking aside, the tournament was our primary activity.

The Qingdao Tournament is administered by Mr. Zhang Wei-fu, a master of meihua praying mantis. And indeed he was a most gracious host. His young teenage son, Zhang Mao-chang is an upcoming traditional wushu star and is also the godson of Master Yang.

The tournament was well-organized and the variety of traditional praying mantis forms was incredible. Master Ma Marlon, New York Wu Tang School, and Master Yang served as judges. Participants from our team competed very successfully, earning medals in all categories and places. Master Ma gave a powerful performance of Chenís pao tui form in the Mastersí Demonstration closing ceremony. However, the tournament is more than competition and medals: it provides an opportunity for Wu Tang practitioners to experience the roots and culture of their lineage. Itís a bridging experience that moves them beyond individual achievement and often deepens their commitment to preserve and pass on the traditional martial arts of GM Liu Yun-qiao.

The night after the ceremonies we boarded a train for a short trip to Nanjing. After a good breakfast in a five star hotel, the bus was readied and the trip continued through the An Hui province onto the famous Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain).

Beautiful Shots from Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain)

Scenic Mountain Peaks f1

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Marriage Locks -- Lost Keys Forever? 

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Master Yang and Father Climb the Second Highest Peak 
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  Group Rest
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Baji Thunder Shakes Huang Shan!
 
 

At the base of the mountain, we boarded a cable car and ascended to the peak of the mountain. The air felt fresh and cool and it was a relief to be away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. On the second day of the stay, we experienced a magnificent sunrise and the climbed the second highest peak. Grandpa, at age 78, was up at the crack of dawn and kept pace throughout the climb. Once again, the stay was all too short and it was time to head for Shanghai.

Shanghai

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The Largest Tower in Asia
 
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Yang Pu River
 
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Meeting Jet Li's Coach, Wu Bin 
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Joe Prepares to Demonstrate for Wu Bin 
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Master Yang, Wu Bin, and Bob
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  Group Shot

Coming down from the mountain, we were headed for the final leg of the trip, Shanghai. However, prior to catching the train in the city of Tun Xi (city where rivers intertwine), we toured a calligraphy paint factory and bargained for gifts on the streets. After a quick supper, we arrived at the train station and prepared for a 12-hour, overnight, train trip to Shanghai.

Arriving in Shanghai, we knew that this was the end of the line and we would soon be on a crowded flight home to Ohio. However, there were still a few things left to see and experience in this grand city. Historical films of the early 1900s show an early affinity for western culture and tastes. Today, 100 years later, the city continues to reflect this embrace. As we toured the city, there were trips to a beautiful rock garden, old style shops, modern department stores and a traditional Chinese medical school. However, the biggest surprise was yet to come. About 6:30 that evening, Wu Bin, the fmous coach of movie star and wushu practitioner Jet Li, arrived for a visit. Wu Bin had been in attendance at his tournament in Beijing and took a quick flight to visit his 90-year old father who resides in Shanghai. We were most grateful that he took time from his busy traveling schedule to visit and chat with us. Pictures were taken and some of the group demonstrated their forms for him. After about an hour or so, Wu Bin bid us farewell and headed back to Beijing. We, in turn, headed back to our rooms to pack and prepare for an early morning departure. 4:00AM arrived quickly and it was now time to head back home.


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